Sunday, 9 September 2007

Playing by the rules

Most men's (and women's) magazines seem to like trotting out 'rules for the stylish man/woman' or some such nonsense at least once a year it seems. It's a strange idea when you think about it to assume that all 'stylish' people abide by one set of rules, and not really a myth I buy into. More often than not these lists vary from the vague to the oddly specific. Take this lot from Tom Ford's Style Rules. The first one- 'be confident'- seems like fairly sensible advice but 'never button more than one button on a jacket'? What, never? Seems very odd to me and not something I would necessarily advise or entirely see the logic behind. Surely most jackets are designed to look their best properly buttoned up? Maybe it's a slimming thing.

On closer inspection it would seem that Esquire is hoarding a collection of style rules . It is probably best if I stop reading all of these, but if you are in any doubt of the stupidity of style rules, please consider the following:

"For all hairstyling products, a little dab will, indeed, do you. In the unlikely event that a little dab will not do you, get a different hairstyle."

Good advice, perhaps, for the men who do overuse, but for the quiffed man? Pah!

So what do we think about rules? Personally I'm inclined to think 'learn them, know them, then make up your own'. That way at least if someone says you look crap at least YOU know what you were aiming for. My own personal rules focus on flattery.

I think at the moment they would be:
make sure it fits,
choose colours that suit you
and remember that accessories make all the difference.

What do you think? What rules (if any) do you follow?

I try not to follow rules but I do know a vast number of them. I used to love reading the ask GQ style questions, it was the highlight of the magazine for me but it did put me off. It reminds me of American Psycho, when an outfit is thought about so much it is no longer style, it's more of a maths equation as opposed to something aesthetic. That said I do try and match my belt with my shoes and aim to match my bag with the rest of the look.

I am not a fan of Tom Ford and wouldn't take too much notice of man who applies the same rule of never buttoning up more than one suit button to that of his shirt buttons (a slight exaggeration but seriously Tom I don't want to see your chest hair!) Whilst I'm on the subject of your style Mr Ford, please take note that you can wear more than just white shirts (unbuttoned) with a suit jacket and jeans! OK, enough of this nonsense. I agree with Ford on his first rule of 'be confident', if you wear your clothes confidently most things will look good. I partially agree with one his other rules 'You can't wear trendy clothes forever. Everyone has to grow up.' It is sad fact of life that we all do get older, although in most cases men look better with age. I advocate that your style should develop with age but growing a few years older should not necessarily mean you can't wear certain things. Is their an age where it is no longer acceptable to wear jeans or trainers? I hope not anyway. I think there comes a time when you can't wear jeans and trainers as your staple uniform but this age should be quite young. Everyone should mix it up when they have the chance! On the flip side (did I just say flip-side? that's a first right there) of this point I don't think age is an excuse for bad clothes.

OK my rules are as follows:

Be confident

Ensure that the clothes fit as they are meat to

Be a style magpie but make your finds your own

Think about the coordination of colour

Where/use complimentary accessories

Mix old and new where possible

Never wear too much of one label/brand at a time

Before leaving the house look at yourself in the mirror for a few seconds at least

Experiment with your style. Try not to wear the same look over and over and over


j said...

Just reading this post sends a chill of doubtful paranoia down my back. I think my rule is go naked when you can. If you can do this confidently, you have nothing to worry about.

Anonymous said...

I want to see Tom Ford's chest hair...I want to see more of it!!!


p.s. Since you are not a Ford fan, you might not have noticed the more recent pictures of Tom wearing ties, or wearing his lovely grey-blue shirts. But yes, he does wear white ones alot.

underneath said...

I like your blog - very aesthetic.

Stylesalvage Steve said...

Wow, it's always great to get comments! We both say thankyou:

J - Rock it as nature intended.

Christian - I think it's quite an even split between those who want to see chest hair and those who don't. I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities in the future to see more of his chest hair.
Ps - it's good to see mr Ford wearing ties and he looks good in the grey shirts!

Underneath - Thankyou. You make us blush!

Candid Cool said...

I think the rules are an excellent foundation when one is trying to build a wardrobe.

I went through all the style rules when I realized that I had amassed an assortment of mismatched clothing that I never wore.

Once I got a good foundation wardrobe I realized it gave me room to experiment with my style and figure out what truly works on me.

But Confidence & Comfort are Key. Without that, doesn’t matter if it’s a $2,000 Chanel jacket, it’s not going to be a good look.



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