Style, in all its forms, is lousy with rules.
No white after Labor Day. Hang your pictures in neat little rows. Get a haircut, hippie.
But in your correspondent’s humble opinion, a truly stylish gentleman is one who knows the rules but also how to break them appropriately. Not ignore them completely, mind you, but bend them every now and again to stand out and keep everyone on their toes.
Here’s how to become one of said gentlemen.
First, throw a double-breasted suit into your weekday rotation. Cut slim in the limbs and narrow through the waist, today’s new breed of DB goes from boxy throwback to “Damn, where’d you get that?” suiting napalm.
Second, rather than using Friday as your chance to dress down, use it as a chance to dress creatively. For example, trade the jeans and a tee for a snazzy kit over a tee and cardigan: in one fell swoop you’ve distinguished yourself from the pack yet again and also redefined “casual.”
Believe it or not, on a warm spring weekend the stylish weekend rulebreaker doesn’t steer clear of sweats, he embraces them. In slim fitting cashmere, that is.
He then pairs them with a clean white tank that has a little texture and a chunky zip sweater. A pair of clean white sneaks to top (bottom?) it off.
This man is now somehow both comfier and more stylish than everyone else.
Bend the rules: Trade your traditional tux jacket for a burgundy velvet number.
Break the rules: Trade that burgundy velvet number for a white dinner jacket.
Shatter the rules: Trade the whole damn kit for one done entirely in Japanese chambray.
There are homes that are nice, and then there are homes that are memorable. Three tips on achieving the latter:
Mix and Match
Don’t feel the need to chuck out all your old stuff to make room for a brand new setup. A truly stylish pad is an eclectic mix of both and tells people where you came from — not just where you’ve arrived in the present.
Throw Some Sh*t Against the Wall
All over it, in fact. Some framed pictures and/or artwork. A vintage flag. Some taxidermy, if it strikes your fancy. Just grab your favorite hangables, map out a rough spatial arrangement, and go for it. The key is not to be too precious about it; keep tweaking until you get what you like.
Make Your Drinking a Statement
A classy bar cart is the mark of a man confident enough to say, “Hell yes I enjoy a good drink, so much so that I’ve got furniture dedicated to it.” Pick up a solid vintage number, stack it with some quality imbibing utensils, and then fill it with one bottle each of the key spirits. For tequila, allow us to recommend Maestro Dobel Diamante — an oak-barrel-aged blend of Extra-Añejo, Añejo and Reposado tequilas that drinks beautifully straight or on the rocks. Bonus: the bottle looks rather handsome on that cart.
RECOMMENDED READING FOR THE STYLE RULEBREAKER
F**k Ivy and Everything Else by Mark McNairy