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Rules for men’s dress

FASHION CAFE with TREVOR MUMBA
ALL style is relative. Some people will disagree with this article on what they think is good style.  As you can imagine, this results in a situation in which there is no single list of men’s dress rules that are comprehensive and absolute.
The following are a set of rules that The Fine Young Gentleman stands by. There are some rules that are immutable, such as the one that a man should match the metal of the bit on his loafer with the buckle on his belt with the metal on his suspenders with the buttons on his blazer with the metal of his cufflinks.
Then there are some rules that have exceptions, such as the rule that a man’s socks should match the colour of his pants.  The Fine Young Gentleman’s rules are derived from a variety of sources including tradition, classic rules of men’s dress, common sense and personal taste.
1. Thou shall match the metal of the bit on his loafers, belt buckle, suspenders, blazer buttons and cufflinks.
2. Thou need not match the metal on his watch with the other metals he is wearing, however, it is preferable.
3. Thou can wear black shoes with a navy suit/pants.
4. Thou shall only wear black, brown or oxblood (burgundy) leather shoes for business dress.  The only exceptions allowed are white bucks.  Blue, green or any other coloured shoes are inappropriate.
5. White bucks are awesome.
6. Thou shall match the colour of his socks with the colour of his pants.  As an exception, socks can be matched to something worn above the waist such as a man’s shirt, tie, pocket square or suspenders.
7. Thou shall match the colour of his belt to that of his shoes.  This holds true in all situations except when wearing white bucks.
8. Thou need not match the leather on his watchband with that of his shoes and belt, however, it is preferable.
9. Thou shall wear a belt when wearing pants with belt loops.
10. Thou shall never, ever, ever use their belt to hold accessories like beepers, phones, Blackberrys, ID tags and/or keys.
11. Thou shall never wear a tie and pocket square of the same pattern.
12. Thou shall not wear a French cuff (double cuff) shirt without a jacket.
13. Thou shall not wear slip on shoes with a suit.  In fact, they should be avoided.
14. Loafers are awesome, especially those with bits or tassels.
15. Thou shall not wear flat toe/square toe shoes.  They should be avoided like the plague.  They are cancerous to a man’s wardrobe.
16. Thou shall only wear patent leather shoes for black tie (semi-formal) and white-tie (formal) occasions.  Patent leather is never acceptable to be worn in a dress or causal setting.
17. Thou shall never wear a long necktie for a semi-formal (black tie) affair, even if that tie is solid black.
18. Thou can wear brown suede shoes for business dress.  They are elegant and gentlemanly.
19. Thou shall not wear suspenders without a jacket.
20. Thou shall only wear suspenders that utilise buttons, not clips.
21. Thou shall not wear a crew neck undershirt when the top button of a shirt is left unbuttoned.  When leaving the top button unbuttoned thou shall wear a V-neck undershirt as The Dude does.  The Dude abides.
22. Thou can wear brown suits for business dress.
23. Thou shall only wear shirts with white collars and white cuffs with a jacket.  These shirts should not be part of a business casual wardrobe, that is, one where suits are not utilised.
24. Thou shall leave the bottom button of vest (waistcoat) unbuttoned.  Except when wearing a double breasted or flat bottomed vest, in which case the bottom button should remain buttoned.
25. Thou should iron the collar of a shirt before wearing it.  Creased collars caused by dry cleaning and hanging do not follow the natural circularity of one’s neck.
26. Thou shall not wear a back pack/book bag when in business dress, especially when in a suit.  Book bags are reserved for casual wear and students.
27. Off colour shirts with a white collar should have French (double) cuffs, regardless of whether or not the cuffs are white or the same colour or pattern as the shirt.
28. Thou shall never button all three buttons of a three button jacket. Sometimes the top, always the middle and never ever the bottom.
29. Style is a state of mind.
30. It is impossible for a man to be considered well-dressed if his shoes are in poor taste or of noticeably poor quality.  For any good ensemble is built on a fine pair of shoes.
31. Thou shall not wear a sports watch with a suit.
32. There should be no presence of logo or branding when wearing a suit.
33. It is better to be overdressed than underdressed.
34. A man need not an excuse to wear a tie or jacket.  In other words, a man needs not an excuse to dress up.  Despite the fact that in today’s society it seems he does need one.
35. Never, ever, ever wear a black dress shirt with a suit (or a dinner jacket/tuxedo for that matter).  Just because they may be or may have been ‘on trend’ does not mean one will ever look good on you. – www.thefineyounggentleman.com.

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