When it comes to accessories, if you're feeling dapper, run with it. Photo: Kitty Hill
Beyond a wedding band and pair of lucky cufflinks, a lot of guys are too afraid to step into the world of accessories.
Maybe they think they’re too flash, too effeminate or simply too much, but a lot of men just have no idea where to start.
If you fall into the latter category and admire the sartorial stylings of celebs like Johnny Depp, Lenny Kravitz and Jay-Z but are unsure how to incorporate their looks into your wardrobe, a few simple guidelines should help get you started.
I’m not typing this as an avid jewellery wearer looking to convert my unadorned brethren, my hands weighed down by scores of chunky rings as I drag them across the keyboard.
No, the first rule is to keep it simple. That’s not to say you shouldn’t wear whatever the hell you want - you should - but if you’re unsure about where to begin it’s probably best to steer clear from bedazzled knuckledusters and chunky gold chains.
From rings and cufflinks to chains and money clips, the one thing you should be mindful of is to match metals. If you’re a gold kind of guy, keep it consistent. Ditto for the silver foxes among you. And while some say that stones are for sissies, experiment and try things out. If you’re feeling dapper, run with it. If you feel it’s looking a little ostentatious it probably is and, unless that’s what you’re going for, you might want to move along.
They say that you can judge a man by his watch. Or perhaps I just made that up. Either way it’s a bunch of bull. The only thing an obviously expensive luxury watch tells a bystander is that you can afford an obviously expensive luxury watch. That, or you snapped up a pretty stellar copy from a street vendor on your last business trip.
They may have been the ultimate status symbol of yesteryear, but, like tooling around in a red Ferrari convertible, they don’t necessarily equate to class. In fact, the more simple your watch the sharper it is. Younger gents might even want to pick up an old-timey Casio or plastic timepiece – Swatch still have some really great ones – to give their corporate look a youthful edge. Whereas, the more wizened chap might want to save such purchases for casual events.
Speaking of suits, there are many ways to tart up your corporate garb, but they will be largely contingent on your office environment. If you work at executive level in the finance sector, for example, your choices may be somewhat limited. But if you’re employed in advertising or other creative fields then you’re almost obliged to have a bit of fun.
One accessory that will work in either context is the humble pocket square. I’m not talking about a flowing red silk bouquet tucked thusly in your breast pocket, but a smart cotton one folded straight or lightly fanned. It'll look especially nice in a light block colour or check against a darker suit.
And if you look in the wardrobe and sigh before reaching in for your trusty ol’ tie you might want to invest in a cravat or bowtie. Granted the cravat is normally reserved for formal events, fancy dress parties or the terminally young and fashionable, but they’ve been around since the 17th century so don’t be afraid to give it a whirl if you so desire. As for bowties, as long as you veer away from black – to avoid looking like you’re off to a wedding – and stick with neutral colours and natural fabrics, they’re a pretty safe bet.
What do you pop on when you want to mix it up a bit?