Below are principles I follow when it comes to looking dapper. It took me years of observation, experimenting, and countless regretful purchases to gain this knowledge. By sharing this with you, I hope you will avoid the pitfalls we face as consumers in the fashion industry.
Simple Style Principle #1:
Thou shall build the wardrobe from the ground up:
This means do not skip steps. A stylish outfit is sleek from head to toe. A pair of shoes that is bold and stylish is lessened by wearing it with 90's baggy jeans and an oversize shirt. A $5,000 designer suit is overshadowed by dirty square toe shoes and what looks like your dad's blue dress shirt.
Too many people think one key item of clothing will make their outfit stylish and it's false. The key is for every piece of clothing in your outfit to be essential and good fitting. From there, you can pick which part of the outfit you want to "pop" and draw the right type of attention ie.) bold statement jacket, outlandish shoes, a shiny gold watch.
By having essential and good fitting apparel for every part of your body, you have built a strong foundation and possess an interchangeable wardrobe for all occasions. How do I know what items are essential to build an interchangeable wardrobe?Answer: The Simple Style Manual will go over all the key items a modern day man should own in his repertoire.
Simple Style Principle #2:
Thou shall not overvalue brand names:
With millions of dollars spent in marketing and endorsements of good-looking celebrities, it's easy to assume brand name designer clothing is superior and a necessity in looking dapper. There are other reasons for spending more on clothing such as higher quality fabric or the production process. This is not the forum to debate this topic. What you need to know is this:
stylish designs are not exclusive to designer brands; why pay a high price when a more modest brand carries the same design?
The advertised higher quality/construction of the product is over rated. Unless you are a stuntman, a sweater will not fall apart on you after 3 months if you follow standard wash and care procedures.
"(Insert expensive brand name) fits me better" is a common reason. To combat this, you must:
1) Keep an open mind & try on new inexpensive brands; most brands have improved the fit of their products, and 2) Find a local tailor. A good tailor is the difference between spending an extra $20 on a shirt vs. paying 5 times the price.
Simple Style Principle #3:
Thou shall not own more than 3 versions of the same clothing item:
We are all guilty of liking a particular clothing item and buying many variations of it. Story: When I was younger and a TV show called The OC was popular, polo shirts were the coolest. After getting several complements on my first polo shirt, I broke SSP#3 for several years. I bought an unspeakable variations of the same polo shirt. The pitfalls for doing this are:
You become the (insert type of apparel) guy. For me I was the polo shirt guy.
No matter how different the pattern/color/fit is, your collection will begin to blend and each item will look the same to observers.
This limits your range and is a poor use of your money; there are so many other ways to look dapper and you are not doing it.
The key is no matter how great you look in it, own at most 3 variations of the same item. This means 3 leather jackets, 3 pairs of boots, 3 v-neck sweaters, etc. For clothing items that do not have many substitutes like suits, socks, scarfs; it is important to ensure variety by changing colors, patterns, and material.