1 | They Invest In Pieces That Will Always Be In Style
Trends are all well and good – some of them are even worth paying attention to (this season’s oversized coat trend, for instance, isn’t likely to have gone anywhere by next winter) – but on the whole it’s far more sensible, not to mention stylish, to invest in key items that transcend seasonal fashions (no, those leopard-print ponyskin boots you just bought don’t count). A solid pair of slim indigo jeans, a beautifully cut white Oxford shirt and an impeccably tailored navy wool blazer, will always look sharp, so spend your cash on them.
2 | Their Shoes Are The Most Expensive Thing In Their Wardrobe
What’s the first thing you look at when you meet someone for the first time? That’s right, their shoes. If an employee turned up to a meeting wearing a pair of scuffed-up trainers with a passable suit, you’d probably sack them on the spot. If, on the other hand, they were wearing a pair of immaculately polished monk straps with some slightly dodgy chinos and a T-shirt, you’d most likely give them the benefit of the doubt. A pair of beautifully made, expensive looking shoes will cover a multitude of sins (Crockett & Jones is a good place to start).
3 | They Understand The Importance Of A Silhouette
No matter how much you spend or how beautiful the fabrics, if your clothes are cut badly, they will look terrible. Your jacket should be nipped in at the waist, your trousers gently tapered at the hem and your collar a finger width away from the nape of your neck.
4 | They Make Do And Mend
Once you’ve found a pair of trousers that fit you well, the last thing you want to do is spend hours traipsing around the shops trying to find a replacement pair when the crotch starts to give. Keeping your clothes and shoes in good nick and getting them repaired when they start to fall apart is not only environmentally friendly (pretty stylish in itself), it will also give you an artfully worn-in look – a bit like Bill Nighy. What’s more, wearing shiny new clothes at every opportunity has the propensity to make you look a bit like a footballer, which nobody wants.
5 | They Know The Difference That Quality Fabrics Make
On the other hand, a beautifully cut jacket made from static inducing, pigeon-grey nylon will not be redeemed by its shape. A high-quality wool, cotton or cashmere from a proper British, French or Italian mill will hide unsightly lumps and bumps, last the test of time without becoming shiny, and age far better than synthetics (in terms of comfort, primarily).
6 | They Have Their Alterations Tailor On Speed Dial
Unless you’re incredibly lucky or sample size (though the two tend not to be mutually exclusive), the majority of clothes you buy off the peg will not fit you immediately. Pretending that they do and wearing them anyway will make you look slovenly and careless. Instead, find yourself a good alterations tailor and take everything you buy straight to him. That way you will always look sharp, however much, or little, you spend. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised by how affordable the service is.
7 | They ‘Outfit’
Though it might sound like a bit of a faff (and more the behavior of a savant than a stylish man), preparing your outfit the night before will prevent untold hassle the next morning. What’s more, it will guarantee that your get-up looks considered, rather than thrown together. Outfitting is also imperative when packing – not least to save you space in your suitcase.
8 | They Know That Subtle Details Trump Flamboyant Affectations
You know that famous Australian phrase, “if you throw enough shit at a wall, some of it’ll stick”? (Gotta love that Ozzie subtlety), well believe it or not, that doesn’t apply to your clothing. For men, when it comes to dressing, less is usually more. Wearing a bow tie, pocket square, waistcoat AND tie bar will not make you look more stylish – it will do the opposite.
9 | They Spend Money On Good Underwear
Wearing good quality underwear will make you feel more confident. You wouldn’t wear a sweat-stained, drawer-crumpled shirt to the office would you? Treat your pants with the same care that you afford the rest of your wardrobe. In addition, follow Tom Ford’s lead and ”throw away your old socks and underwear every six months”.
10 | They Get Their Hair Cut Every Six Weeks
Even if it’s only for a day or two, that fluffy-around-the-edges ‘Donald Trump on a bad hair day’ look will negate all the good hair days you’ve had beforehand. Block book your haircuts with a barber who you trust, well in advance. Every six weeks or so should do the trick.
11 | They Enjoy It
We hate to say it, but if you don’t much care for clothes and you dislike getting dressed in the morning, the likelihood is that you’ll never be truly stylish. The key to dressing well and looking good is all about the pleasure you take in the process, and unless you relish every moment, you might as well give up now.