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THE TAILORING RULES OF SARTORIAL STYLE, FROM MATCHING SHOES TO NOT WEARING A BELT
Photography by Craig Landale
They say that great personal style is not something that can be taught or learned; you either have it or you don’t.
To a degree there may be a slither of truth in that, but I’m a firm believer that as long as you follow a few simple rules you can ensure that you will at least have a good foundation to work from.
With that foundation in place you should then be able build a respectable ensemble without breaking out in to a cold sweat and/or hurling your wardrobe down the stairs in a fit of rage.
Never fasten the bottom button of your blazer/suit jacket - this will improve your silhouette, drawing it in around the midriff and out towards the waist. Remember to do the same with your waistcoat.
Brown shoes, brown belt. Black shoes, black belt - with your browns make sure they don’t completely match, but incorporate a similar shade to pull your look together without being too ‘matchy.’
Wear a belt, or wear braces - please don’t wear both. Unless you’re in McFly. If you are – I know where you live. In the words of Liam Neeson - I will find you...
Your blazer or suit jacket sleeve - should be short enough to show some shirt cuff - about half an inch. But not too short or otherwise you’ll start looking like an ageing interior designer.
Don’t wear a belt with a full suit - it’s fine with a smart casual combo, however the premise of the suit is that it should glide over the contours of your body perfectly and fit like a glove. So you shouldn’t need a belt. Find yourself a tailor and spend that extra £20 belt fund on a couple of much needed adjustments.
Black shirt with a white tie - please don’t. Please. Unless you’re going to the Prom. In the seventies. Which you’re not.
Make sure the proportions of your outfit are balanced - ff you’re wearing a skinny tie stick with a skinny lapel, preferably a notch lapel. Wide blade tie – a wide lapel. A wide lapel works with a notch but a peak lapel is great for those of a dandier ilk. Simples!
When wearing a tie - the tip should just reach your belt line. I know it was super cool at high school to have a stumpy 6-inch appendage around your neck; but those days are over.
When it comes to shoes - not too pointy, you’ll end up looking like a tragic punk-rock hangover. A simple round toe is the most flattering, like a Derby or an Oxford. It’s always worth spending a little more on your shoes too; there is nothing worse than a cheap pair of shoes! They don’t tend to age well and you’ll end up replacing them much more frequently. If the wallet won’t allow it try trawling the vintage stores and outlets for a bargain.
Match your metals - much like your leathers your metals should marry, so make sure you team that silver watch with silver cufflinks and so on. You get the picture! But don’t go overboard with the metal wear – Mr T was famous for his style yes, but not for the right reasons.
I hope that you’ve found these tips useful. Now go tackle that formidable wardrobe.