How to get dressed:
A good life guide five-part series on men’s timeless fashion.
Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3,
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not expressed in fancy—rich, not gaudy,
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
There’s an astonishing amount of good advice in this passage.
Shakespeare’s counsel was made modern and even more pointed by Mark Twain,
“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
There’s an old saying among commercial salvage divers in Nova Scotia, the guys who wear the big brass helmets and spend their lives underwater, “The best is the cheapest because the cheapest could cost your life.” In clothes, quality that lasts wears well and is more likely to be worn because it’s appropriate and comfortable will be the best value in the long run.
Today’s fast fashion fills stores with all kinds of clothes at all kinds of prices. How is it possible to choose great clothes and be morally in the pocket? To start, this isn’t about money. The best dressed men I know get their clothes for little or nothing. With the advent of Value Village and the like the world’s best clothes are available to anyone anywhere. But it does take work and you have to care.
I often hear guy friends say they don’t like shopping for clothes. The reason for this is simple. Most men have never been in a store that sold a selection of nice clothes. Most men have never spoken to a salesperson who knew anything about clothes. Most men have never been in a store that sold high-quality clothes. Most men have never been able to find ‘off the rack’ clothing to fit them properly. In this last, the situation is so bad most men don’t even know what a good fit would feel like.
Do you care if your clothes feel comfortable? Do you want them to fit you properly? Do you want them to last so well, and be so timelessly fashionable, your grandchildren will want them and get years of wear out of them?
Knowing how to get dressed is not that hard. And clothes shopping, finding the best clothes, can be one of the most rewarding and profitable undertakings a man can invest his time in.
Follow along with our new series on timeless fashion for men.
Here’s everything you’re going to need:
You’re going to need a suit – a perfect suit – a blazer, a stock of white shirts, clean socks and underwear, well made shoes, a definitive watch that may be our only fashion ornament as well as a practical timepiece, a sweater that makes people want to be as comfortable as you appear, and a selection of pants that fit you properly.
We’ll share where you can get these things and how to make them last a lifetime.
Here are the ten rules of style to get started.
1. Give a Damn – Care about your appearance.
2. Know Your History – Be aware of the menswear that came before yours.
3. Do Not Be Afraid to Lead – Know that sometimes you’ll be the best-dressed man in the room.
4. Know Your Why – Realize that “rules” are there for a reason, even if they can sometimes be broken.
5. Understand Clothing Fit – A good fit should always be your first priority when purchasing new clothing.
6. Buy Clothing That Will Be In Style Years from Now – Avoid temporary trends and fluctuations of fashion.
7. Buy the Best Quality You Can Afford – Treat your clothing like an investment, and shop slowly but smart.
8. Practice Wearing Your Best – Make excuses to wear the good stuff, instead of letting it get dusty in the closet.
9. Know Your Environment – Dress appropriately, whether that means dressing up or dressing down.
10. Buy Clothing That Is Interchangeable – Expand your wardrobe with clothes that work together, not standalone pieces.