Last week, we presented essential rules of style from menswear designer Philip Sparks. Today, we conclude the series.
A great way to spice up a conservative suit is to wear a plaid shirt. It may not be appropriate for black tie, but it can still be quite formal. Get a muted plaid – not purple or pink or other gimmicky colours. There is good plaid and there is bad plaid.
On plaid and plaid
The key to wearing plaid with plaid is thinking about the scale. If you’re wearing a medium- or large-scale plaid suit, pair it with a small-scale check or plaid shirt. And don’t match the overall colour; pick a subtle colour from one and use it with the other.
On bow ties
The bow tie’s back – and it’s going to be back for a while. Anyone can wear one; you just can’t be timid or shy about the fact that you’re wearing a bow tie.
On age-old rules
On a day-to-day basis, your shoes and belt don’t have to match. Right now, I’m wearing a brown gingham shirt with a brown belt, dark blue jeans and dark grey suede shoes. With casual dressing, as long as there’s a relation between all the colours, you don’t have to match.
On versatile suiting
If you own only one suit, it should be a dark charcoal grey three-piece in a textured wool. It shouldn’t be black, because most guys don’t actually look that good in solid black suits. A classic well-fitting three-piece suit is something every man can pull off, and you can pull it apart to wear parts of it separately.