Monday, January 26, 2009

Thoughts on Esquire's Portable Style Manifesto (in 3 parts)

1. The suit's got to fit. Esquire is right. While a general slide toward casual is devastating the suit market, you walking around like you're wearing your dad's hand me downs isn't helping. However true the rule is please ignore Esquire's oft quoted hand in jacket trick for checking your size. Buy your suits from a reputable retailer who has a measuring tape within easy reach. Your body type and personal style have a lot more to do with how your suit fits than how big your hand is, but generally you're suits are probably too large and your slacks sitting too low.

2. Respect the tie. Tuck in the shirt. Button the jacket. Get it right, all the time, every day. Esquire, again, is right. There are times to loosen your tie, untuck your shirt, and unbutton your jacket but those times are exceptions. Those actions are sloppy and their power comes from judicious use. If you use them every day then you'll just come off unkept. Instead take 10 minutes every morning to make sure your tie knot is immaculate, your shirt is tucked nicely, and you coat is appropriately buttoned. You're trouble will be noticed even if no one knows exactly what they're appreciating. And the next time you loosen your tie at the office you'll make a statement instead of a whimper.

3. Something on you person should always make a statement, and that statement should preferably be "Go to hell." Yes, again but tread carefully. This is one of those rules that can be easily overdone. Make a statement... Don't make a soliloquy. A belt buckle, odd socks, your lucky dice cuff links and a paisley pocket square all on the same day makes a statement where you're the punch line. One statement of personal style at a time is good place to start and if you're really up tight starting with something generally hidden is fine.

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