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March 4, 2014

Style rules for the MAN - Part 1!

Hello my lovelies!

Summer!!!!! Is melting us down!!!!! Even though its almost August.

But that should not be your excuse to slacken on style. As I write this post, I'm just recovering from a horrid throat infection(my annual dose of antibiotics to keep me going for the rest of the year) that has kept me indoors for a week now. But I'm not complaining! It's given me the time to watch all the gorgeous looks from Cannes- Aishwarya Rai is definitely my favourite, Chennai's very own fashion week and the India Fashion week. I also got to meet up with Tarun Tahiliani at the Vogue Wedding preshow!!

All the men have been telling me its time to give their fashion some importance. So my next two posts are dedicated to all the men who've been asking - STYLE RULES.

Here you go!

People often ask me what MY personal style rules are.

This is hard – as what they are really asking is: can you tell me exactly what to do so I don’t have to think about it?

Unfortunately it's not that easy.

Situation, environments, culture.....all this goes into our personal style.

What I wear to a presentation during the summer is very different from what I wear around town, to the gym or when I'm dropping or picking the boy from various activities!

BUT....if I had to layout the rules to would go something like what I have laid out in this post.

Again, these are the "general rules" that should guide personal style and it's not the only way to think about style, but it's certainly a good starting place.

The next few rules are for the men and then can also be extended to the ladies.. here you go..

1. Give a Damn.

It all starts here.

If you don't care how you look, you're never going to look good. You can put on the best clothes in the world and you'll still look like a kid dressing up for a school play. Attitude is everything, in style and in life. I start my personal style journey every day by giving a damn about who I am and what I represent — my business, my family, and my values.

Caring about those things strongly makes me care strongly about how I present myself. I give a damn. I dress like I give a damn.

It all starts here. And without this rule, no one's ever going to get much of anywhere — in improving their wardrobe, or in anything else.

2. Know Your History

This is an important rule for anyone who wants to really understand his clothes, as opposed to just trusting experts to tell him what to wear.

You need to have a little understanding of (and respect for) where modern styles came from.

That's both a philosophical and a practical consideration. If you just try to memorize "do and don't" rules, it gets overwhelming. There's too much to handle.

You could, for example, memorize the "rule" that trouser cuffs are informal, and that business suits should always be hemmed without a cuff.

Or you could understand the history of the trouser cuff — as a working man's protection against fraying and mud, especially when working with horses and carriages — and know that its associations are with labour, not with business.

At that point you don't have a rule to remember. Instead, you have an understanding of what your clothes mean, which in turn tells you when they would or would not be appropriate.

So with all of your outfits, strive for an understanding of the style's history. Where our clothes came from matters, and it still influences the messages they send today — whether the people receiving the message understand why or not.

3. Don't Be Afraid to Lead

I always tell my clients that they can't be afraid to be the best-dressed guy in the room.

Because I'll tell you what — if you take the time to care about your appearance, it's going to happen.

And that's not a bad thing.

It takes getting used to. You may initially feel "overdressed," particularly when you're the only man wearing a jacket or a suit as opposed to a shirt or sweater.

Learn to embrace it. People may treat you differently — but the differences will be overwhelmingly positive. Turns out that most regular people assume a man in a sharp jacket or suit is someone important and treat him accordingly.

That's a good thing. It'll open doors for you. But you do have to accept and embrace your new role as someone people look to as a leader, especially if you've never thought of yourself as one before.

4. Know Your "Why"

This is a lot like my rule about knowing your history.

Fashion doesn't have a lot of fixed yes-or-no rules. And the few that it does have can be broken stylishly (and have been).

But you need to know what you're doing, and why. Otherwise you just end up looking silly.

I think "fedora guys" are a great example of why this rule is important. You probably know them — guys who own one black fedora, and wear it with everything.

They look out of place when worn like this. Sorry, guys, if you've ever done it, but there it is.

That's because fedoras are dress hats. They're deeply associated in our minds with suits. Wearing one with a T-shirt doesn't make you look like an innovator — it makes you look confusing and a little off-putting to people's habits of thought. And wearing one all the time tells people that you don't understand any other headgear options.

It's not that you have to follow the rules all the time. It's that you have to understand how the rules work in people's minds, and what they'll see if you break them. No one gets to rewrite style overnight. Even celebrities and designers get mocked if they push too far, too fast.

Have some respect for the existing traditions. They're there for a reason.

5. Understand Clothing Fit

This is my first rule for actually buying clothing, and I've said it many: the fit of your clothing is its most important feature.

Not everyone wants to hear that. It's not the most glamorous aspect of fashion. There are lots of numbers and measurement, and it can seem kind of boring.

But trust me on this one — the most expensive suit in the world isn't going to look good on you unless it fits your body right.

If you don't have the right fit, everything else is wasted effort. Plain and simple.

A good fit should flatter your body. It will draw attention to the parts of you that you want to highlight (usually the face, chest, and shoulders), and it can also minimize aspects you're not as fond of (a large midsection, for example).

Take the time to get to know your body, and have a tailor help you get accurate measurements. Learn to say "no" to clothes with a style you like, but a fit that can't be adjusted to suit you. It really does matter.

These are 5 rules for you to begin with.

Next time, the next 5 to finish up.

Till then stay stylish!

My Blog
Style rules for the MAN - Part 1
Evening wear for the year
A new year a new you
Sunglasses and more
Sales and sunglasses
Holiday shopping and colours for summer
Style tips for the summer
How it started
The beginning of the beginning
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