HOME > Tips & Advice >
IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS!
A MEN’S STYLE GUIDE TO TAKING CARE OF COLOUR, PATTERN AND ACCESSORIES
Photography by Craig Landale
The devil lies in the details or so the old saying goes, in other words the small things are what we should focus on the most because if you don't pay attention and do your due diligence then things might go apocalyptic-ally wrong, or if you have done your homework it's the place where things can really start to take off.
Menswear is a strange beast, well it is in comparison to our female contemporaries. To put it mildly, girls have a much more varied choice of what they can wear and they're also a lot more daring in their fashion choices.
Men on the other hand are usually a bit more reserved, so instead menswear is all about the small details. Details can mean anything from the fit of your clothes, the colour scheme you're using, the use of patterns, wearing the right shoes with the right outfit or using the right accessories with the right outfit.
If you're looking for the secret formula that's going to elevate you from "that'll do" to a consummate sartorialist, then details are the answer.
Knowing what colours work together and what colours don't is essential for any fashion conscious man.
Before we get onto combinations that work really well, let's go through some general rules that should stand you in good stead. First of all, don't wear an outfit all in the same shade, the same colour can work as long as there is a subtle difference in shade, pattern or texture. Secondly, be wary of bright colours, by that I mean use them, but use them sparingly, they should pop out of an outfit and make it special, not make you into a walking traffic light.
Experimenting with colours is a good thing and combinations can look incredibly good and breaking the rules is always fun. To get you started here is a list of combinations you can't go wrong with:
Monochrome - fancy fashion talk for black and white. It's simple, it's elegant and it works. I think this is because of the colours contrast yet compliment each other. You can't go wrong with a white Oxford shirt and a pair of slim black jeans or trousers.
Blue & Burgundy - this is really on trend at the moment and for good reason, these two colours really compliment each other well and help give a suit a 'mod' aesthetic.
Grey & black - I suppose some people would call this monochrome but I'm being picky, I'm a huge fan of wearing a grey jacket over the top of a black jumper and a white shirt. Stick to hounds-tooth or herringbone and you can't go wrong.
Orange & Brown - due to the mild autumn we've had so far there's still plenty of autumnal colours around, so it's the perfect time to incorporate them into your wardrobe.
Adding a splash of pattern to your outfit can lift it to new heights. Here are some cool little tricks and trends that I love about patterns:
Vintage floral pocket squares - yes exactly like your nan's curtains, except this time it goes in your breast pocket. I like these because not only do they look great, they can turn even the stuffiest suit into something much edgier. They add a touch of summer and eccentricity.
Matching patterns - this is simply combining a shirt and a tie with the same pattern. It may seem counter intuitive but the effect looks fantastic, for added effect make sure the tie is made from a heavy fabric like wool to add that extra bit of texture.
Checked trousers - checked trousers are really trending at the moment, and I love them, mostly because you can wear them with anything. Go for a full checked suit (again very on trend) or get a pair and wear them with a t-shirt for a more dressed down rock & roll inspired look.
This is what really separates the men from the boys in the sartorial stakes. The use of accessories is really important, it turns an ordinary outfit into something extraordinary. Here are a few of my favourites:
Pocket squares - yes I have mentioned them already, so to stop myself falling into waffling territory I'll keep it brief. If you own a suit or a blazer, get a pocket square, get more than one.
Ties - first of all, absolutely no novelty ties, because they look terrible and no one has ever genuinely laughed at a tie; learn some jokes and leave the humorous ties behind. Invest in solid colour ties in grey or black because you'll get the most wear out of them. Try one of those colours with a slight pattern or go for a knitted or wool tie to add much needed texture.
Watches - every man should have at least one nice watch. I favour leather straps with a simple clock face. Minimalist. Do what works for you though, I will say avoid Velcro straps though. In fact avoid Velcro in general.
Jewellery - personally, I'm not one for jewellery but it can look fantastic on the right gentleman with the right look. But keep it minimal, you'll be thankful when going through airport security.
The little things are the easiest to miss in life, but they're also the most important; there in lies the secret to success. Do yourself a favour and pay attention.