Back to Basics

Style Guide for Every Guy…because they don’t teach these things in college:

1. If you are going to dish out hundreds of dollars for a suit, take the time and spend the extra cash to get it tailored! A tailored suit that really fits will flatter any shape.  So many guys are walking around looking 10-15 pounds heavier than they actually are because their pant legs are too wide or the chest measurement of their jacket is too big.

While we’re on the topic of suits- every guy should OWN at least one- no matter what your occupation or everyday style happens to be- a good, (well- tailored), suit never goes out of style, and there is a 100% probability that at some point in your life, you will be required to wear one.

Here is some great advice from AskMen on taking the steps to tailoring a suit:

2. Flip Flops shouldn’t be worn by any man over the age of 22 during the work week or on the weekend past the hour of 7pm. Flip flops were okay in college, because of their comfort and convenience, but the day you get that diploma is the day people start assessing you as either a potential employee, investment, or future spouse, and in each of these cases the audience isn’t looking for someone who is too lazy to put on a pair of real shoes.

Here’s the gist of it:

– Flip flops are not appropriate for bars, clubs, or restaurants. In fact many bars and clubs in any metropolitan area blatantly state that flip flops are not in coherence with their dress code. Also, do you really want whatever slime is on the floor of the night’s hot-spot to be wedged between your toes and under your toe nails?…

-Flip flops are not acceptable in the workplace and certainly should never be worn with a suit. This should need no explanation, but for denser readers, let me put it to you in the simplest of terms- toes are distracting, and usually kind of gross.

If for no reason other than not wanting to resemble this kid… do NOT wear flip flops in any serious setting.

So what kind(s) of shoes are acceptable, you ask?…

3. The most appropriate shoe really depends on a few things, and there isn’t one overarching rule of thumb, other than to use your best judgment, but there are some guidelines to follow:

-If you are dressing business casual for work and NOT wearing a suit, but maybe just khakis, button down, belt, and possibly a tie, the appropriate shoe could range from a Sperry-type shoe to a loafer to a more casual, laced, dress shoe. In this scenario it is less important the type and brand of shoe, than it is the color and condition of the shoe. Stick with genuine matte leather in a darker, neutral color.

-If you are dressing for a job in a work-place that requires or encourages business attire, then your shoes are an important aspect of this and should be a dress shoe in either brown or black, and should be in a satin, or polished finish rather than a matte finish…unless your going for a more urban, trendy look and choose a pair of suede lace-ups oxfords.

Here are a few examples of great options for a business-attire shoe:



Left to Right: Gucci Chiaia Brogue $525.00, Silvano Sassetti Cap-Toe $650.00, Brunello Cucinelli $930

One of the most crucial elements of a man’s appearance is something that is often overlooked, but the proper choice of neck-wear really does make all the difference.  A tie is the only place where men can show their personalities and style on a daily basis, because unlike women, men don’t have many outfit choices. Here’s my two-cents on neck-wear:

1. You should continuously be purchasing ties. You want to have a variety of ties- there are different styles that are appropriate for different settings, and a plethora of patterns and designs to suit individual personalities.

  • Classic Tie, Solid Colors: Find a classic tie that you like in a solid color, and then buy that same tie in as many colors as possible. Crucial colors that can be paired with most neutral suits and any white or blue dress shirt are: Navy Blue, Light Blue, Red, Maroon, Yellow, Black, Grey.


(All three ties above can be found here)

  • Classic Tie, Striped: Another standard when it comes to neck-wear is stripes. Keep in mind that “stripes” is a category in itself. There are a variety of types of stripes: pin-stripe, laser-stripe, bordered-stripe, two-color stripe, three-color stripe, equal-width stripe, etc. Personally, I think it is good to own various types of stripes, but some people, especially those with a well-defined personal style, have specific preferences when it comes to striped ties.



(All three of the above ties can be found here)

  • Classic Tie, Patterned: There are way too many patterns to discuss in too much detail- floral, brand logo, paisley, polka-dot, hounds tooth, woven, etc. Honestly, it’s best to choose a pattern that you are comfortable with, one that won’t draw too much attention to you.



(All three of the above ties can be found here)

  • Straight &/or Skinny Tie: A big trend among millennium men is the straight tie. This started as an urban trend, but has quickly spread. This type of tie is really more suited for business casual and nighttime settings. Skinny ties come in a variety of patterns, but straight and skinny ties typically only come in stripes and solids.. so if you find one in a funky pattern, it’s best to leave in on the rack.


(All three of the above ties can be found here)

  • Bow Tie: If you went to any of the Ivy League schools, or any school south of the Mason-Dixon, you know all about bow-ties…as much as I love the look of a bow tie, it sends the message of frat boy, or elitist, and hey, that may be what you’re going for, but unless you’re well-situated in your career, going to a wedding or black-tie affair, or attending a horse race, keep the bow- tie at home and stick to one of the classics.


(All three of the above ties can be found here)


Despite the fact that there are dozens of YouTube video tutorials on the topic, I still see so many men with weak knots… this site contains exhaustive instructions on how to tie several types of knots and provides both written instruction as well as video tutorials.

3. Last, but certainly not least…

It may seem ridiculous to spend $80 – $120 on such a small item of clothing, but do it. You’re paying for quality here. Stick with silk or wool ties; stay away from anything poly-blend… this goes for almost anything you purchase.

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