A Good Man | Personal Styling & Fashion Advice for Men http://www.agoodman.com.au Personal Styling and Fashion Advice for Men in Melbourne and Sydney Thu, 22 May 2014 08:17:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 I spent $200,000 on men’s clothes last year http://www.agoodman.com.au/i-spent-200000-on-mens-clothes-last-year/ http://www.agoodman.com.au/i-spent-200000-on-mens-clothes-last-year/#comments Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:55:50 +0000 http://agoodman.com.au/?p=2223 For many men, throwing down a few thousand dollars on new clothes is a big deal. Daunting, of course, because of the huge effect that a whole new wardrobe can have on your life, your confidence and people’s perception of … Continued

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For many men, throwing down a few thousand dollars on new clothes is a big deal. Daunting, of course, because of the huge effect that a whole new wardrobe can have on your life, your confidence and people’s perception of you.

But what if you’re spending a few thousand dollars every day?

For those new to this site, A Good Man’s main service is personal styling. We meet clients, assess their needs and budget and help them curate a wardrobe that will help them become the man they feel like on the inside. Sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s a huge transformation and a pretty sweet job.

Let’s get straight into it. Here’s our client breakdown for 2013:

Our feet still hurt from all that walking.

That’s a lot of clients, a lot of money and a lot of guys feeling great about themselves. That $200,000 is money we don’t earn commission on; all cash that goes directly to small retail businesses.

Not many men get to say that they spent well over six-figures on clothing in a given year. Sure, maybe Kanye West does, but even the ultra-rich who have the luxury of having any and every item of clothing they could possibly desire have no experience with shopping for hundreds of different body shapes, different budgets and different styles.

(And, as we’ve learned from styling Gabriel Macht and several other high-profile celebrities, clothes are often just given to them by labels and the actual amount of money they drop is far, far lower than you would expect.)

In four years of running A Good Man, this has been our busiest year by a mile, and the more men begin to get exposure to fashion the more services like ours begin to flourish. But it would be a waste if we didn’t actually learn anything; if we just took all of these clients shopping and had no actual insights or understanding of patterns and consistent trends in that way that men shop and the way that men approach clothes.

Unfortunately, each of these insights really deserves its own article, and in time we’ll endeavour to do just that. But for now, here’s a short list of things we learned in 2013:

Fat Men Don’t have Fat Legs

With very few exceptions, every one of our clients who are overweight all seem to buy the same pair of very large “fat man pants”. Usually a size 38, usually boot-cut, usually made of cheap-feeling light blue denim. Without exception, each of these men actually has legs that are a lot slimmer than he thinks. “Slim-fitting” or “tapered” cut pants are not necessarily just for skinny guys, big guys can and should wear them too.

Every man is 4 pant sizes smaller than they think

This is related to the last point, but it’s so uncanny how many men’s wardrobes we’ve looked through and found that almost all of them are wearing pants that are far too large. Most often, when a guy thinks he’s a 34 in jeans, he’s actually a 30 (or at least a 32). Out of around 100 clients last year, only four or five actually knew their correct pant size.

Colour theory is mostly bullshit

Men want little rules about colours that they can wear to properly match their complexion. But we can tell you first-hand, after working with hundreds of men and trying on hundreds of different colours and textures in clothing, that seasonal colour theories that expect men to fit neatly into one category or another are so broad and unhelpful they leave men more confused and limited than if they had never learned about them. They’re limiting because they stop you from trying on certain clothes because you’re adamant that the colour won’t work – when it often will look just fine. Colour doesn’t fit neatly into “red” and “green”, there are millions of variations in each spectrum and the way the particular hue and tone compliments your face is too unique to fit neatly into a four-season colour theory.

Men have trouble letting go of clothes

Men are really, really sentimental about clothes, and 70% of the stuff that’s in their wardrobe is there for reasons other than because they like wearing them. “I kept this because my wife bought it for me and I love her” is a common one; “I got this t-shirt at a music festival when I was 20″ is another. We don’t make our clients throw this stuff away, but we put it in a separate drawer because they add useless clutter to the wardrobe.

Everyone looks good in Filippa K Chinos

Seriously. Get them from Swensk. They have one the best basic cuts of any pants we’ve seen, and they work well on just about every single guy we tried them on, from skinny guys to body builders.

Menswear in 2014 is mostly about being comfortable

Gone are the days where a ‘modern’ man’s outfit consisted only of tight pants and slim-fitting jackets. We’re seeing more and more relaxed cuts from high-end designers and it’s slowly trickling down to the man on the street. By “relaxed” I don’t mean your standard Dockers boot cut, or ill-fitting chinos from Target. The relaxed look we’re talking about here is a tailored-relaxed look, which drapes in a purposeful way.

Most men are really, really intimidated in high-end stores

This is the fault of the store, and not the fault of the man – and it’s such a shame, because most of the high-end stores we frequent are filled with staff that are really, really lovely and are more than happy to just chat and show you the products without expecting – or pressuring – you to buy anything.

You have to give a shit before you can not give a shit.

This has always been a rule, but this past year has shown it more than ever. You have to know the rules before you can break them, otherwise you’re just wildly trying to do your own thing without being grounded in other people’s expectations and tastes. You don’t just go out and paint “The Starry Night” without understanding and appreciating other painting techniques and art styles. Clothing is exactly the same. Learn every menswear rule you can, absorb it, then for the love of god start breaking free and trying something different.

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Every possible outfit combination from layering 6 pieces http://www.agoodman.com.au/every-possible-outfit-combination-layering-6-pieces/ http://www.agoodman.com.au/every-possible-outfit-combination-layering-6-pieces/#comments Wed, 30 Apr 2014 07:25:12 +0000 http://www.agoodman.com.au/?p=2254 Different Clothing Layering Configurations When we did our photoshoot for “Layering 101″, the sample article from “Dress Better in 7 Days”, we (for some naive, strange reason) thought it would be easy. Our goal was to make a little interactive … Continued

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Different Clothing Layering Configurations

When we did our photoshoot for “Layering 101″, the sample article from “Dress Better in 7 Days”, we (for some naive, strange reason) thought it would be easy. Our goal was to make a little interactive demo which would allow a user to select a different layering item to put on Julian, and they could pick and match different items to show the wealth of different outfits 6 garments could make.

The premise is this: You have 6 layers – a tee, a shirt, a knit*, a jacket, a coat and accessories. You can mix and match items to form different outfits, but you can’t change the order (so, for example, a t-shirt will never be worn over a knit or a jacket).

* we use both a jumper and a cardigan in these examples to show how they can both be used

Then we did the math and realised we’d have to photograph 64 different outfits (correct me if my math is wrong). There’s no easy systematic way to do this. It took a long time. Jules had to stand mostly still for all of it. He kinda looks like Shia LaBeouf.

If you would like to check out the Layering 101 lesson in full (it’s free!), jump on over to the “Dress Better in 7 Days” page.

Until next time,

A GOOD MAN

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Four Years of Men’s Style http://www.agoodman.com.au/four-years-of-mens-style-how-menswear-has-changed/ http://www.agoodman.com.au/four-years-of-mens-style-how-menswear-has-changed/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 01:10:35 +0000 http://localhost:8888/?p=1996 This month marks the 4th anniversary of A Good Man, which I started with my best-friend-turned-business-partner Julian Burak in 2009. I never would have thought that this harebrained idea – that men need someone, anyone to understand the challenges they … Continued

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This month marks the 4th anniversary of A Good Man, which I started with my best-friend-turned-business-partner Julian Burak in 2009. I never would have thought that this harebrained idea – that men need someone, anyone to understand the challenges they go through in dressing better and help them become the cool guys they always wanted to be – would have become a full-time job and a sought-after consultancy.

So today, we offer a retrospective.

I’m sitting here, in a bar full of dudes, drinking my first beer of 2014. There are some guys across from me. One is wearing a short-sleeved hawaiian shirt, some rolled-up jorts that he clearly made himself and has an old pair of Chucks on. He dons a huge grin and he and his mates are having a good time.

My first instinct is to judge; to think that he doesn’t ‘get’ menswear and that he’d look way better in a pair of tailored pants and a cool jacket. But who’s the one having fun and looking relaxed and comfortable in this scenario, and who’s the one being an elitist killjoy?

It all makes me wonder: does any of this fucking matter anymore?

When we started this business four years ago there was a need. It was a period where the average guy had never worn a pocket square, didn’t know what brogues were and taking an interest in dressing well was a bold, brave thing to do.

But now, four years later, even the most ho-hum labels have jumped on the foppish-sartorial bandwagon. All now have to produce a ‘classic’ line that caters to their new target demographic: the whisky-drinking dandies. (Ironically, this ‘new’ customer is the exact same guy who used to wear the graphic tees and ripped jeans that those very same labels used to produce – his tastes have just changed.)

We don’t need another ‘Gentleman’s Guide’ to anything; we don’t need to learn about ‘The Art of Whiskey’ and we definitely don’t need another lookbook with a guy in a navy suit, brown brogues and a combover.

It’s 2014 and proper is boring. Everyone knows the basics, everyone knows how clothes should fit. So what’s next – and what is needed – is people who are brave enough to experiment. People who know the rules and want to break them.

It’s so much easier to hate than to like.

If we accept that contemporary men’s style is going through a transitory period away from the norm and towards something different, we also need to accept that there will be a great deal of internet backlash.

I was speaking to a friend of mine – a tailor in Melbourne, Australia – who is pictured in this Tumblr-famous image:

This man, who outfits thousands of men every year and is more knowledgeable about modern suiting that anyone I know, gets a weird mixture of love and backlash for the way he dresses.

“People who comment on men’s style posts are funny. Lots appreciate when you try new things and wear things in a unique way, but others absolutely loathe it, as though it makes them uncomfortable when their precious rules are broken. They tell me my jacket’s stance is too high, and that my pants don’t elongate my legs enough. But what if I want to make my legs look shorter? What if I don’t want to look like I learned how to dress from an infographic?”

This conversation happened two years ago, and as time passes his words become more and more true. It’s so easy to say something is ‘wrong’ in men’s style, and even easier to demean those that dare be different.

People are jerks, you look great

This leaves us at an awkward position. The articles on this site – while still garnering 50,000 to 100,000 monthly views, despite not having written anything for a year – no longer say what we want them to say. They no longer speak with the voice that we – A Good Man – use in our day-to-day interactions with clients.

Four years on, we speak to our clients about comfort. About minimalistic wardrobes that make dressing better completely effortless. About how any website or clothing editorial that mentions “gentlemen”, “whiskey” or “for the mordern man” are stuck in a time-warp from 4 years ago and are best to avoid.

I’m well aware that as the co-founder of one of the world’s biggest men’s fashion consultancies, I may not be in the best position to tout a “let’s all just get along” approach to menswear. Especially when a big part of my job is going through your wardrobe and throwing away your bad clothes.

The rules exist for a reason, but everyone knows the rules. Let’s move beyond that.

So what’s next? Clean slate. New articles, about what real men – our clients – think about men’s style. No more “don’t do this” articles, plenty more “try this” and “here are options” articles.

We want to see fashion as a chance to experiment and try new things – not make you scared that men’s style is a bastion of intimidation and bitchiness that so many make it out to be.

But if your outfit genuinely is ugly, you can trust that we’ll be the first ones to tell you. It is, after all, our job.

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Do your pants fit? Take this simple test! http://www.agoodman.com.au/the-amazing-pants-fit-tester/ http://www.agoodman.com.au/the-amazing-pants-fit-tester/#comments Wed, 21 Nov 2012 06:50:41 +0000 http://agoodman.com.au/?p=1810 Many men simply have no idea how to tell if their pants fit or not. In this post, we've devised a simple test to check. Absolutely foolproof, results guaranteed. Continue reading

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Question: Do you need a belt to hold up your pants?

If you failed this test, you might be interested in signing up for one of our personal styling services. We can teach you all about how clothes should fit, how to put together outfits and how to find a style that suits you. Click here for more information.

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Men’s Colour Basics: Wear Dark Jackets and Light Shirts http://www.agoodman.com.au/dark-jackets-light-shirts/ http://www.agoodman.com.au/dark-jackets-light-shirts/#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 04:38:24 +0000 http://agoodman.com.au/wptest/?p=1568 Most men have no idea about what colours to wear. Without doing a full-blown colour analysis, there is one rule that almost all men can use to always look good: wearing darker jackets and lighter shirts. Continue reading

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Most men have no idea about what colours to wear. Without doing a full-blown colour analysis, there is one rule that almost all men can use to always look good: wearing darker jackets and lighter shirts.

The simplest colour theory for men says that we should wear clothes that match the natural colours that appear in our complexion. What this means is: If you have hair that is darker than your skin colour (like 99% of men in the world), you should match that natural level of contrast in the clothes that you wear.

As with any outfit that a man wears, we want attention to be drawn to our faces. If attention is drawn to our clothes, then we’re doing something wrong – the clothes are wearing us.

Doing it right

See below; we have three different skin/hair combinations that roughly match most men’s natural tones. The outfits that they wear have a similar level of contrast (dark surrounding light).

In all three examples, the contrast-matching brings attention directly to the man’s face. You can test this – close your eyes, then open them and stare directly at the three men. Your eyes should naturally notice the face first.

Doing it wrong

Comparatively, notice the difference when we reverse the natural contrast, and wear light colours surrounding dark colours.

As above, close your eyes and open them to stare directly at this image. You’ll likely find your eyes being naturally drawn to the men’s shirts first, rather than their faces.

This is one of the simplest ways to ensure that your outfits help rather than hinder, and will also assist in matching wardrobe pieces together.

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The Gig Line http://www.agoodman.com.au/the-gig-line/ http://www.agoodman.com.au/the-gig-line/#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 02:17:49 +0000 http://agoodman.com.au/wptest/?p=1563 There's nothing worse than a man who has tried to dress up yet looks sloppy. A good gig-line neatens up almost any outfit and makes it look purposeful and well-composed. Continue reading

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IF you’re a man who wears a lot of dress shirts, pay attention: MIND YOUR GIG LINE. There’s nothing worse than a man who has tried to dress up yet looks sloppy. A good gig-line neatens up almost any outfit and makes it look purposeful and well-composed.

As with the Military Tuck, the Gig Line (also known as the “Action Line”) comes from the men of the ever-neat-and-tidy armed forces. It refers to a vertical harmony between your shirt placket, belt buckle and the seam of your pant fly

The Gig Line

There isn’t really much explanation necessary here, except to note that 99% of men don’t pay attention to their gig line, and constantly look sloppy as a result. Share this knowledge with them. Once you know about it, you’ll start to notice it everywhere.

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How to tuck in a shirt http://www.agoodman.com.au/how-to-tuck-in-a-shirt-so-that-it-stays-tucked/ http://www.agoodman.com.au/how-to-tuck-in-a-shirt-so-that-it-stays-tucked/#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 01:39:24 +0000 http://agoodman.com.au/wptest/?p=1560 There's a simple trick for tucking in a shirt that not many men know about. This technique not only keeps the shirt tucked in, but also helps remove excess fabric, making the shirt appear more tailored. Continue reading

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There’s a simple trick for tucking in a shirt that not many men know about. This technique not only keeps the shirt tucked in, but also helps remove excess fabric, making the shirt appear more tailored.

“The Military Tuck” has many variations, used by servicemen to give their standard-fit uniforms a clean, fitted finish. Purists who read this will have an obvious question at the back of their mind – “Why not just have the shirt altered by a tailor?” There are many reasons why a man would choose to tuck over altering; time, expense, hassle. While a tailored shirt will sit perfectly on the body, this 30-second tucking technique gets the job done just as well.

The Method

As shown below, with this method our goal is to take the excess fabric from the front and back of the shirt and hide it in the side-seams.

The Military Tuck - How to tuck in a shirt

Steps:

  1. Unbutton pants and place the base of your shirt neatly downward. Your shirt should not be scrunched into your pants as they’ll easily come untucked.
  2. Pinch the shirt at the side-seams and pull tight to collect the excess fabric.
  3. Fold this excess fabric backwards. You want both back and front of your shirt to sit flush against your body; no bunching (you haven’t pinched enough fabric) nor pulling (you’ve pinched too much fabric).
  4. Button your pants up, tightly securing the folds against your body.
  5. Adjust if necessary to neaten the shirt.

It helps to think of this method as placing your pants over your shirt, rather than tucking your shirt into your pants. Obviously, this technique only works for shirts that mostly fit, and just have some excess fabric in the body. If the shirt is a size (or more) too large, this method won’t work and it will need to be altered by a tailor to make it fit correctly.

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How men's style changed from the 1950s to the 1990s http://www.agoodman.com.au/mens-style-changed-from-1950s-to-1990s/ http://www.agoodman.com.au/mens-style-changed-from-1950s-to-1990s/#comments Wed, 15 Aug 2012 16:11:33 +0000 http://agoodman.com.au/blog/?p=1184 The gallery above shows a very simple yet powerful demonstration of men’s style changing over 5 decades. These photos come from the UMASS online yearbook, featuring their undergraduate Engineering class photos from each year. The original idea for this piece … Continued

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The gallery above shows a very simple yet powerful demonstration of men’s style changing over 5 decades. These photos come from the UMASS online yearbook, featuring their undergraduate Engineering class photos from each year.

The original idea for this piece came from a thread on the Film Noir Buff Style Forum but most of the photos were dead links. Hunted them down from various repositories and compiled them here.

Here are some choice comments from Reddit:

I’m not sure that an Engineering class is your best indicator of what’s fashionable

- from isecretlyjudgeyou

1971 – everything looking good, pretty cool, shirts and jeans
1972 – BAM! MOUSTACHES EVERYWHERE!

- from trumann

God the 90s fucking sucked. Nothing fit well and everyone got fat.

- from definitelynotaspy

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Style for Short Guys – How to Look Taller http://www.agoodman.com.au/style-for-short-guys-how-to-look-taller/ http://www.agoodman.com.au/style-for-short-guys-how-to-look-taller/#comments Tue, 12 Apr 2011 05:12:22 +0000 http://harrisonfjord.com/?p=1138 In a recent thread on Reddit I discussed some possible articles that I could tailor to the Male Fashion Advice Subreddit. For those unaware, this community is a great place to start if you have an interest in dressing better … Continued

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In a recent thread on Reddit I discussed some possible articles that I could tailor to the Male Fashion Advice Subreddit. For those unaware, this community is a great place to start if you have an interest in dressing better and want a helping hand from a 16,000-strong userbase.

In the thread in question there was an overwhelming response asking for articles on all sorts of men’s fashion tidbits, but the clear favourite was an article on how to dress for short guys.

Many of my clients have been shorter gentlemen and I have a great deal of experience working with this body type. The more astute readers may have noticed that I’ve split the title of this article into two parts; while short men are, without a doubt, the most likely candidates for clothing tips to look taller, these tips can be used for anyone who wants to add a bit of length to their look. Even I, at 6ft4in, use some of these methods in my own wardrobe to show off my giraffe-like figure.

So while this article is geared towards the shorter gentlemen who happen to come across it, it can be used by any man who wants to appear taller. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether that’s you or not.

Using Clothing to Look Taller

Step 1: The Length of Your Jackets

Public enemy number 1 when dressing to look taller is, without a doubt, the length of your jackets and blazers. This is an aspect of clothing that, I daresay, most men have never even considered before – but it is, absolutely, the most important thing to look for when adding the next item to your wardrobe.

There are several different guidelines we use to determine whether a garment is the right length for you. Without further ado, some pictures:

Cropped Mens Jacket

Full-length Mens Jacket

Ideal Jacket Length for Men

Ideal Trench coat length for short men

As the pictures above dictate, the ideal length for a jacket is, with your hands by your sides, between your sleeve-length and the first knuckle of your thumb. Cropped jackets (that is, jackets whose length is roughly the same as your sleeve length) are best suited for men who want to make their legs appear longer, while full-length jackets (which reach the first knuckle of your thumb) are best suited for men who want to diminish the length of their legs in order to appear more “normal” in size.

Anything outside of these two lengths will either make you look as though your clothes have shrunk in the wash, or as though you’re wearing oversized clothes that originally belonged to someone much bigger than you.

Step 2: The Length of your Jumpers and T-Shirts

As above, there are some simple guidelines for jumpers and t-shirts. For tighter jumpers (sweaters, for our American friends), it’s a good idea to keep the sleeve length around the base of your wrist, similar to your ideal shirt sleeve length.  For baggier examples, such as the jumper I’m wearing here, it’s fine to have some bunching up around your wrists.

Ideal Jumper and T-Shirt Length for Short Guys

Step 3: The Length of your Pants

Pant length is quite finnicky, and unless you’re incredibly lucky, each pair of pants that you buy will have to be altered at the leg for optimum length. The main things to look for as a short man shopping for pants is where the base of the leg falls on your shoes. Ideally, this will be right along your laces, with minimal bunching around your calves.

The wrong pant length for short guys

The correct pant length for short guys

Step 4: Wearing Pants at Your Natural Waist

Perhaps the easiest thing a man can do to increase the his perceived height is to wear pants at the natural waist (that is, up around your belly button) rather than at the hips. Examples abound:

Making your legs appear shorter

Making your legs appear longer

Step 5: Don’t Tuck Your Jeans Into Your Boots

As a short man, you need to do everything in your power to increase the perceived length of your limbs, as this adds “flow” to your body and will make you appear longer in every respect. One of the worst things you can do, then, is to diminish your leg length by tucking your jeans into your boots. Compare the leg length in the pictures above with the leg length here:

don't tuck jeans into boots

(plus, tucking your jeans into your boots makes you look like a bit of a douchebag)

Step 6:Patterns and Fabric

The final part of this guide for looking taller deals with the materials you surround yourself with.

Patterns for Short Men - Argyle

Patterns for short guys 2

The best pattern for short guys

Good patterns for short guys to wear

Bad patterns for short guys

best patterns for short guys to wear

bad patterns for short guys to wear

As for specific fabrics to look for: really, most things will be fine on you, but as a general rule plain, unpatterned fabrics are best. Similar to the pattern advice above, fabrics that are thin and intricate (think a thin marino wool jumper) will look far better on you than those that are large and chunky (think thick cableknit jumper).

Final Words and Other Considerations

Short men inherently know the pangs of finding clothes that flatter them. Whenever one of my diminutively-stanced personal styling clients is faced with the proposition of trying on some new clothes, I see a twinge of fear flash across their face; years of ill-fitting clothes have burned the unfortunate idea into their mind, that most clothes simply won’t suit them.

There are, of course, other considerations a man could make to appear taller: Cuban-heeled shoes; constantly positioning yourself on higher ground to your conversational partners; having your bones broken and re-set to add a few precious inches of height. The general rules I’ve given here, however, should form the basis of your wardrobe from now on and will allow you to instantly see the difference between clothes that will make you appear taller and clothes that will diminish your height completely.

I sincerely hope this guide has been helpful to you; please feel free to leave any comments or questions below, and follow me on Twitter @jvgallichio

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A Cool 3-Button Blazer?! Why Style Rules Can Be Broken http://www.agoodman.com.au/why-style-rules-can-be-broken/ http://www.agoodman.com.au/why-style-rules-can-be-broken/#comments Mon, 28 Feb 2011 00:03:56 +0000 http://harrisonfjord.com/?p=1047 There are many “rules” in men’s fashion, and two of the most prevalent are broken in this J.Lindeberg herringbone jacket: 1. Never buy a 3 button suit/blazer. 2. Never fasten the bottom button of a jacket/blazer (unless it’s a 1-button). … Continued

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A cool 3 button jacket

There are many “rules” in men’s fashion, and two of the most prevalent are broken in this J.Lindeberg herringbone jacket:

1. Never buy a 3 button suit/blazer.
2. Never fasten the bottom button of a jacket/blazer (unless it’s a 1-button).

Traditionally, the sartorially inclined shy away from recommending 3-button blazers and suits as they tend to be boxy and create unflattering and outdated lines when compared to a more modern 2-button suit. We also say that the bottom button of a jacket should never be clasped, as it diminishes the flow of the garment and creates a rather tight, uncomfortable and restricted look.

The reason why both of these rules can be broken here is that the buttons are set much higher than on a normal jacket, cut to create a nice, open “v” shape with the lapels when the bottom two button are fastened.

If we were to adopt the normal style rules with a jacket such as this, which implore us to button the top two buttons and leaving the bottom unclasped, we would end up with an almost comically high “v” shape in the lapels, as the top button is set irregularly high.

So, gentlemen, a quick and easy to absorb post today whose purpose is nothing more than to demonstrate that style rules can be broken and, when done well, produces some glorious results.

The post A Cool 3-Button Blazer?! Why Style Rules Can Be Broken appeared first on A Good Man | Personal Styling & Fashion Advice for Men.

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