Don’t underestimate the importance of accessories. Take two men with a classic black suit — just what they add to it, and wear with it can say a lot about who they are and also create quite different looks.
When buying a tie (or any accessory) here’s an important lesson: match the tie to what you intend to wear it with. Don’t just buy a tie because it looks great by itself. It’s an accessory. You won’t wear it by itself (unless you want to get arrested). It will need to fit with the suit and shirts you already own. We’ll often talk about classic men’s dress — and the importance of keeping the more expensive items, like suits and shirts simple — this is because it gives you the flexibility to mix and match — and to be in a position to add flashes of color in a way that works. Coordinating your tie, dress shirt, and the suit isn’t brain surgery. All it requires is a basic grasp of proportion, pattern, and color. From this, you can build a large and interchangeable wardrobe.
When choosing a tie the main thing to make sure of is that the color of the tie and the pattern of the tie don’t clash with what you’re going to be wearing it with. Traditionally solid color or stripe pattern ties sell better — and this simply reflects their versatility — they go with anything. But don’t be put off by a tie with a bolder pattern or color — a gentleman wants to stand out — but in a good way, not in a “this guy has no taste in ties” kinda way. Not too skinny, not too wide, and in a classic color scheme.
Ties are not the only way you can add color to a simple suit either. What about pocket squares? This is one surefire item that will boost your look in 60 seconds flat. You can fold them various ways, from a straight fold right through to a puff fold. The important thing to remember again is that coordinating color is everything. You want to match it to a color in your tie, but not match it exactly.
There’s the story that great American film director Martin Scorsese spent days laboring with an editor over a single sequence to a fight scene in Raging Bull. He watched it over and over, still unsatisfied. “What do you want,” the editor eventually asked? “The scene flows perfectly". “That’s the problem,” Scorsese replied. They sat down and cut from frames from shots till it was no longer perfect.
The lesson is that in order to obtain real perfection — it’s good to be a little imperfect.
Find a pocket square. Wear it. Your suit looks naked without one. We mention it because there’s nothing classy about checking the time on your phone. Not everyone can afford a Rolex, and really, do they need to? Of course, if you have the money, why not splash out and get something that’ll pretty much last a lifetime — and many of these high-ends watches will. If you’re on a budget — that’s fine too — but keep it simple. Get a watch with hands. Yes, the digital sports/diving watch may be great for lap times, but you’re not in the on the field or in the pool now, so look for a simple classic dress watch. Brands like Timex, Casio, and Seiko all produce very nicely designed watches that won’t clash with anything you’re wearing.
Oh and avoid bit chunky gold or silver watches with lots of fake jewels. A gentleman wouldn’t look good in one. But then no one would.