When someone gets me a present that causes me to break out into a hearty guffaw, that's when I know (or its reaffirmed) that they know me well! This was the case when I received this book, Debrett's Guide for the Modern Gentleman, from my sister a couple of years back. It's not something that'd you read from cover to cover, more of a dip in and out type when the situation arises. This has certainly been the case with me on numerous occasions where it has helped address huge misconceptions I had as well as provide snippets of rather interesting trivia. I thought I'd share with you, paraphrased, some of the biggest takeways from my clothing and style bible.
1. Belts and Suits
Never wear a belt with a suit. It will make you look like you are cut in half, ruin the lines of the suit and therefore your appearance. As an additional negative, it also gives people the impression that your trousers don't fit properly. If you must wear something to keep your trousers up, wear braces instead (button-on are preferable to clip-on). As they fall from over the shoulder, the trousers will be allowed to hang, allowing for natural movement.
2. Coat Buttons
Speaking of suits, never do the lowest button on a coat as it pulls the coat out of shape making your suit/appearance look wrong. Obviously, the exception to this is if your suit is of the one-button variety. Waistcoats should have six or seven button and again, the lowest one should be left undone.
Roll ties rather than fold when storing/packing as it reduces the likelihood of any creases. When tying a tie, its length should be just above the waistband, no longer and certainly never tucked into the waistband. A tie's width should match the width of the lapels on your suit coat or blazer.
4. Pocket Squares
These should always be worn with a tie but should never match.
5. Shirt Cuffs
Shirt cuffs should end approximately 11.5cm (four and a half inches) from the tip of your thumb. When worn beneath a suit coat, blazer etc, approximately 1.5cm - 2cm should be visible at your wrist. Make it good practice to bring the jacket you will be wearing with your shirt when buying it.
Invest in some shoe trees which are immediately placed into leather shoes upon removal. As leather is at its most malleable when warm (the heat coming from your feet), the shoe tree will aid in maintaining the shape of the leather. Additionally, it serves to draw out any excess moisture from inside the shoe (unvarnished wood is best for this). Alternatively, if your shoes are soaking, fill them with newspaper as soon as possible to absorb the moisture. Never leave them by a fire or radiator to dry as the heat will dry out the leather and warp the shape. Leather shoes should be rested for at least a couple of days after they are worn in order for them to dry out so alternative between different pairs.
And finally, my own little tip:
Always keep jackets, coats and blazers on sturdy hangers to help maintain its shape. Wooden ones are preferable to plastic as plastic can bend under the weight of the coat. Conversely, fold, rather than hang knitwear as hangers will disrupt the shape around the shoulders (where the hanger ends).
Obviously, there are many more tips on offer in Debrett's guide, and not just focused on men's fashion, but I think these are the ones I found most useful and thought you would to.
What style/fashion tips and tricks do you live by?