Men’s Style Guide: Fit, Fabric, Function

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Our very own style guide for dudes who want to be ridiculously good-looking…on a budget.

Gents, it’s time we had a little chat about the garments you currently possess. And if you have no idea what garments are, then we have a long way to go.

The reason I’m asking is because in 2015 your clothing choices can make or break you in a number of ways. That job interview you’re going for? Better be damned sure you’re wearing a suit that would earn a Harvey Specter nod of approval.

The first date with that girl you met at your local cafe? I’d probably ditch the joggers, homie (even if you’re still in college, she deserves better, man). That promotion at work? It’ll likely go to the guy who matched his socks to his tie colour and has a rose gold round-faced watch.

Why are these choices so important? First impressions mean the world, so the second you step out the door you better make sure yours is a good one. A well dressed man is a confident man, and a confident man gets things done. Period. It’s kinda like what Tom Ford says: dress for where you see yourself 5 years from now and you’ll get there.

Side note: the “Vogue Voices” series that Tom Ford is a part of is hype. Do check it out here.

“But Ryan, fashion is confusing to me. Where do I start?” Great question, young blood.

In a land full of Hypebeasts, leather jogging pants, and floral patterns (which The Verso heavily co-signs, when done right), men’s fashion can be a little confusing from an outside view. Luckily Uncle Ryan knows a thing or two about fashion, and can tell you that dressing well can be broken down into three simple ideas: Fit. Fabric. Function. Here are a few tips towards dressing better through these three foolproof elements.

Fit

Remember Jay from The 40 Year Old Virgin talking about highlighting his attributes like a diamond in the rough? I mean, he wasn’t too far off.

In terms of fit, clothing will inevitably differ from person to person. Those with an athletic, muscular build obviously have different needs than someone with a taller, thinner figure, but the point is that whatever the choice, your clothing should highlight your attributes and bring out the best of your silhouette.

For example, taller gents should opt for pants that are straight legged, but not too slim (the goal here is to emphasize long legs, not show how calf-challenged you are). For shorter guys, your best bet is to go with vertical stripes on tees/sweaters that elongate the torso, and unlock the power of the pinroll for pants that might be too long. Pinrolling jeans is a great way to make pants that are a little too long look great!

Do feel free to throw on a set of penny loafers with a pair of black chinos that are pinrolled, for dat Euro vibe. 2015 has been a year of a more tailored fit with pants, not to mention slimmer ties, trim bomber jackets and sleek overcoats.

Sleeves too long on a tee? Roll ’em up and show off the watch that you should be wearing. Unless it’s on purpose, tees should fall a little below the belt, and sweaters should be the same.

Regarding fancy tings like ties and blazers: fit is the most essential. Ties should fall above the belt when tied, blazer shoulders should allow for comfortable movement in addition to the rest of the suit, and the blazer shouldn’t drape off of you, but hug your torso comfortably.

Don’t have a lot of excess fabric at the bottom of jeans and pants, especially dress pants! As a rule of thumb, pants should have an even break just above your wingtip or shoe of choice.

This is just a primer on fit. For more details, check out this awesome series by FashionBeans.

Fabric

Do you even linen, bro? Getting the right fabrics and textures in your wardrobe is paramount to your overall visual presentation. You should definitely linen in the summertime, bruh. As a lightweight fabric, it’s great for those hazy, lazy summer nights.

Other staples in a gent’s wardrobe in terms of texture include suede, canvas bags/jackets, denim, nubuck, the good ol’ James Dean leather jacket, and the lumbersexual staple of flannel or plaid. Get creative with textures! You could even call it textural healing (but if you do then gimme credit for it, because I definitely made that term up while listening to Marvin Gaye with a lady friend).

More creative ideas for playing with texture: switch out the silk tie for a knit one and pair it with a crisp white collared shirt. For an American classic, combine a black leather jacket, white tee, and light blue denim jeans (bonus points for a pair of all white Chuck Taylors, too).

And if you’re sick of the college lookin’ jeans, try experimenting with corduroy pants, chinos, and if you’re really ballsy, these things that are everywhere in Vancouver.

Don’t attempt to pull off a Canadian tuxedo. Ever. Unless you’re Chuck Norris, Ron Swanson or Kanye West, ’cause they can do whatever they please.

Again, FashionBeans does well with a more in-depth series on the matter.

Function

Did you know that the trench coat actually originated in World War I as a means to lightly equip soldiers in the field? True story. D-rings, subdued colours, and gun flaps aside, the trench coat has gone from functional field equipment to perennial fashion staple.

 

Burberry trench coat
Image via Selectism

Whether you’re in school or attempting to navigate the tricky waters of adulthood, know that your fashion is often derived from matter of function. Especially in late 40’s/50’s America, clothing was not only a matter of function but also denoted status?much like the trench coat! So if you’re looking for sartorial inspiration, think about what you do currently or aim to do in the future.

Are you a writer? Glasses, paperboy caps, toque, mandatory Macbook Air and Starbucks. Are you on the hunt for employment? White collared shirt, thin, patterned tie, black chinos and wingtips. Artist? All black errthing’, fedoras, etc.

Dress like who you want to be, and it’ll start to be easier to become that person. Clothing is just clothing by itself, but integrated into style?that’s fashion. And fashion is confidence, right?

Featured image via Hypebeast

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