At the Modern Gentlemen, we welcome guest contributors and I am pleased to introduce the latest post from our youngest contributor to date. It just goes to show the art of dressing well and being a gentleman spans all ages. – SM
Dear Readers, my name is Ian, a 19 year old University student based in Australia. I began my personal style journey at the age of 18, when I discovered that style and the clothes I wore made a real, practical difference in my everyday life. It did so in two ways; the effect it had on me, and the effect it had on others.
When compared to the 20th century or even the 1950s and 1960s, the status quo for men’s taste in style and dressing well is not high by any means. Nowadays men rock hoodies, t-shirts and track suit pants out in public, instead of the tuxedos and bow ties that our grandfathers adored. Whilst I am not stipulating that we should all wear the same formal outfits our grandfathers did, the importance of clothing and the effects good style produced have been mostly lost in the progression of time for the male population. We need to understand that dressing great from an early age and paying attention to our presentation is highly advantageous to whichever goals and ambitions we have in life.
WHAT IS STYLE FOR THE YOUNG MAN?
Along my style journey, I have always embodied the stance that simplicity is the greatest form of elegance. Style is fundamentally different to fashion. Fashion is fleeting and lasts a few seasons at best, whilst style is exemplified in the fact that our grandfathers can step out from the 1950s in the same clothes they wore back then and still be deemed as well dressed. This shows the longevity of style for men, as we rely on staples and our clothing is based around pieces which will only ever vary slightly as designers input their own take on the classic blazer or the cut of the suit trouser. Style is an extension of your personality, and a way to say who you are without having to even open your mouth. Starting from a young age, we can differentiate ourselves from 95% of men who do not care about how they are dressed. People want to be around people who take pride in their appearance, as this conveys that we pay meticulous attention to detail in all aspects of life. For instance, people will naturally employ and do business with better presented people because if they are able to understand what looks good on them, what works with their body shape, and how to match colours, contrasts and patterns, they will likely be able to translate such responsibility into the work environment and perform well for the corporation they are hired to work for.
EFFECT OF STYLE ON YOURSELF
It is not what others think which matters to me; it is what I think of myself which determines my destiny. It all starts with the transformation clothing and style has on your person. Whenever I put on a good dress shirt and a good pair of leather shoes, I instantaneously feel as though I am ready to take on the world. The transformation is remarkable because if you are dressed better, you perform better in all of your endeavours. The shift in mindset is also seen when I help and give opinions on what to wear to my friends. I see them change into a confident male (even the shy, reserved ones) when they have a nice blazer or sports jacket on, as though it is their suit of armour. Everyone wants to be around people who are comfortable in their own skin, and good clothing definitely contributes positively to people feeling great about themselves. This sense of pride and gratification I gain from helping others dress sharp has inspired me to continue to help others to unlock the power of dressing sharp to do what they want in life.
Good style has also taught me to pay increased attention to details. Caring about the intricacies of clothing means that after in all areas of life, I am more meticulous and make sure that all details are catered for so that my work or studies progression successfully. Consequently, we begin to also appreciate people who put effort in addressing their appearance, and begin to notice such details, broadening our perspectives on creativity, colour and patterns.
Furthermore, responsibility, fundamental to success within any field, is exemplified through style. Planning ahead, to do lists are all applicable to style in knowing when that shoe shine needs to be done, when that shirt needs to be ironed and ensuring that your belt matches your shoes. If you can be responsible in ensuring that you look your best all the time, you can be responsible in the workplace and for the realisation of your goals and vision.
EFFECT OF STYLE ON OTHERS
People will always judge a book by its cover, and rightly so because sometimes the cover of the book will decide whether the person would want to open it in the first place. That is why style is just as, if not sometimes even more importance, than your substance.
A good suit of blazer will always give off the impression of power and authority. People instantly respect you more and are more open and willing to listen to what you have to say if you have a good sense of style. They assume that you have ability and you are able to build rapport much easier.
Lastly, dressing well is also showing that you respect what others see and you want to be presented as well as possible for others because you value their opinions.
MY STYLE RULES FOR THE YOUNG MAN
- Always wear a collared shirt, frames your face and upper body. Never a t-shirt, it originally designed as underwear and unless you have big arms and a big chest, it will not show off your body as well.
- Always consider fit first. Does not matter whether a blazer is $200 or $2,000, it will only look good on you if it fits well.
- Pants should not be so tight that you cannot sit down, but not too loose that excess fabric is hanging off your leg.
- Shirts should always be tucked in.
- Always wear leather shoes. I see so many young men who have well fitted coats, shirts and pants only to ruin the outfit with a pair of converse all stars. It is impossible to be well dressed with a great pair of shoes
- Know when to shine and polish your shoes.
- Always wear a jacket or blazer when the temperature permits, accentuates the masculine characteristics of your body.
- Understand how to match colours and patterns and after which colours and patterns work well on you and your skin tone. The understanding will come from experience and experimentation.
- Contrasting is highly important between upper body wear and lower body wear, unless you’re wearing a suit.
- Go for clothing which will last a long time and will always be “in season” instead of wild pieces which may be fashionable and trendy at the time but will be deemed as “last season” shortly afterwards.
- Suits should always be accompanied by a pocket square.
- Pocket square should never match the tie, instead reflect the colours in both the tie and the shirt.
- Understand that men’s style is about details, and on the suit that means the length and width of the lapel, matching the tie’s width to the lapel width and the pattern of the tie should harmonise with the shirt and the suit. The tie knot should complement the type of collar the shirt has. A tie clip can be added on for extra flair.
- Never leave your wrists unattended, the watch is the single most importance accessory that a man can own.
- Belts must always match the shoes.
- Enjoy being better dressed than most young men but don’t flaunt it, subtly is key.