The Little Things

It’s the little things that will ensure you are remembered: holding open the door for the person behind you, smiling at someone as you pass by and, in the world of menswear, thinking carefully about the details.

In an increasingly image-conscious world, where looks and the way you dress make almost as much difference as your ability, being able to really define yourself is hard.

The well dressed male is now a universal phenomenon, so it is down to the individual to decide just how he will make his outfit stand out. The easiest and often most effective way to separate yourself from the crowd is to pay attention to simple details that you might normally overlook – the things we think about, but never REALLY think about. The finishing touches that become an afterthought behind the outfit as a whole.

However, if you take a step back and give these details the attention they deserve, I think you’ll find the little things aren’t so little after all

Suitable Sock Selection

I don’t really think there are any set rules when it comes to socks. Of course, there are certain colours that will pair better with others, but in general, I believe that you should be able to wear whatever the hell you want.

Socks are a fantastic way to add colour, individuality and character to an outfit. When everyone around you is still wearing hideous sports socks, or those god awful white tube socks, you can be strutting your stuff in block-colour beauties or Fair Isle winter warmers.

Socks are one of the very few things that men can afford to really experiment with – so feel free to go crazy. I love to see a man in great socks.

If you want to make a statement there’s an entire rainbow of colours for you to choose from, the number of patterns is endless (especially due to current trends) and the fun you can have: limitless (yes, socks are THAT fun).

Sock Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Socks Lookbook

happy socks ss13happy socks ss13matalan ss13pull and bear ss12mcneal clothing company ss12PAUL STUART AND PHINEAS COLE ss11
Current Styles
  • Happy Socks Multi Patterned SocksHappy Socks Multi Patterned Socks
  • Topman Dot Pattern 5 Pack SocksTopman Dot Pattern 5 Pack Socks
  • 5 Pack Aztec Print Socks5 Pack Aztec Print Socks
  • Asos Aztec Pattern SockAsos Aztec Pattern Sock
  • Reiss 1971 Tokyo Central Patterened Sock Pale BlueReiss 1971 Tokyo Central Patterened Sock Pale Blue
  • Reiss Amalia Triangular Design BlueReiss Amalia Triangular Design Blue
  • Topman Twisted Yarn 3 Pack SocksTopman Twisted Yarn 3 Pack Socks
  • Asos Waffle SocksAsos Waffle Socks
  • Calvin Klein Flat Knit SocksCalvin Klein Flat Knit Socks
  • Pantone Orange Boot SocksPantone Orange Boot Socks
  • Pantone Green Crew SocksPantone Green Crew Socks
  • Falke Tiago Cotton-blend SocksFalke Tiago Cotton-blend Socks
Rolling Up

Short sleeve, long sleeve, polo, Henley or t-shirt, it’s amazing what simply rolling up the sleeves on your shirts can do for your look. With a dress shirt, just rolling the sleeves will immediately dress things down – perfect for those Riviera-inspired looks we all love so much.

Folding the sleeves on a white tee a couple of times will add an instant rockabilly edge and I’ve always found that pushing up the sleeves on a jumper or long sleeve tee just gives it that little extra something. This is especially true if you’ve got something to flash on your wrist.

Don’t over think what you’re doing here, just roll things up as far as you see fit, but seriously consider this simple touch next time you put an outfit together. It really is the simple things that make the biggest difference.

Rolled Sleeves Lookbook

Men's Rolled Sleeves Lookbook

he by mango ss13h&m ss13reiss 1971 ss13unknowncruciani ss13lbm 1911 ss13he by mango ss13allsaints ss13tesco ss13
Key Pieces
  • Reiss Dayton Short Sleeve Basic V-neck Tshirt WhiteReiss Dayton Short Sleeve Basic V-neck Tshirt White
  • Reiss Bless Short Sleeve Basic Crew Neck T-shirt RoseReiss Bless Short Sleeve Basic Crew Neck T-shirt Rose
  • Allsaints Sandringham PoloAllsaints Sandringham Polo
  • Asos Stripe T-shirt With Wide Block StripesAsos Stripe T-shirt With Wide Block Stripes
  • Allsaints Rudder Crew JumperAllsaints Rudder Crew Jumper
  • Allsaints Commander CrewAllsaints Commander Crew
  • Allsaints Ursen Long Sleeved Crew T-shirtAllsaints Ursen Long Sleeved Crew T-shirt
  • Reiss Pluto Super Slim Shirt WhiteReiss Pluto Super Slim Shirt White
  • Allsaints Biscay ShirtAllsaints Biscay Shirt
  • Reiss 1971 Oliver Multi Direction Stripe Shirt WhiteReiss 1971 Oliver Multi Direction Stripe Shirt White
  • J.crew Cotton Oxford ShirtJ.crew Cotton Oxford Shirt
  • Allsaints Reaper ShirtAllsaints Reaper Shirt
A Pop Of Colour

A flash of colour at the wrist, some playful protection on your phone, your important documents stowed boldly safe or a head/neck kept toasty warm. These are all things that you can use to add a splash of colour to any outfit – without shouting about it, risking faux pas, embarrassment or breaking the bank.

We’ve spoken before about the difference between being stylish and well dressed, but you can still be well dressed AND unique.

Surprising people with an accessory they don’t expect is a sure-fire way to be remembered and provides a fantastic point of focus – you’ll find very few people who expect to see someone rocking an orange watch. Colour is a big part of current menswear and we should all be embracing it.

It’s a subtle, yet at the same time not so subtle, way of showing people that you know what you’re doing. So what are you waiting for? Get involved!

Pops Of Colour Lookbook

Men's Coloured Accessories Lookbook

club monaco aw12louis vuitton pre aw13Essentiel Antwerp ss12paul smith jeans aw12reiss ss12 destination stylefashionbeans man 2011Mcneal clothing company ss13reiss ss13 wardrobe refresh
Key Pieces
  • Miansai Powder Coated Hook BraceletMiansai Powder Coated Hook Bracelet
  • Miansai Sterling Silver And Leather BraceletMiansai Sterling Silver And Leather Bracelet
  • Miansai Woven-cord And Metal Wrap BraceletMiansai Woven-cord And Metal Wrap Bracelet
  • Comme Des Garçons Leather Ipad CaseComme Des Garçons Leather Ipad Case
  • Reiss Robinson Document Wallet OrangeReiss Robinson Document Wallet Orange
  • Illesteva Leonard 2 Blue SunglassesIllesteva Leonard 2 Blue Sunglasses
  • Nixon Time Teller P Neon Wrist WatchNixon Time Teller P Neon Wrist Watch
  • Casio F-91wc-2aef Digital Blue WatchCasio F-91wc-2aef Digital Blue Watch
  • Marc By Marc Jacobs Designer-embossed Silicone Iphone 4 CaseMarc By Marc Jacobs Designer-embossed Silicone Iphone 4 Case
  • Brixton Heist BeanieBrixton Heist Beanie
  • Andersons Leather-trimmed Elasticated Woven BeltAndersons Leather-trimmed Elasticated Woven Belt
  • Asos Mixed Plait BeltAsos Mixed Plait Belt
Darken Your Toes

We love shoes. This is an indisputable fact. But we all seem to love the same shoes. Brogues adorn the paws of many a modern male, whilst loafers are helping fashion-conscious men go sockless the nation over, so how might we mark our beloved shoes out from every other Tom, Ben or Julian?

Take one pair of classic English brogues, Derby or Oxford shoes in oxblood, tan or brown and use your enviable polishing skills to make the toe darker.

By carefully (and slowly) layering up black polish onto the end of your shoe you can create a bit of artificial wear, add bit of interest and a little bit of individuality.

Personally, I think this is a look that works only with a round-toed brogue, Derby or Oxford. The texture of the brogue and the (often) separated toe cap on Derbies and Oxfords offers you the perfect place to start altering the look of your shoe and create a new focal point. The heaviness of the shoes will also suit the wearing effect of darkening the toe.

Test it out on a pair of old shoes if you want the practice and make sure you like what you see before you start messing with your Grensons.

Examples

Here are some examples of other gents who have darkened their own shoes and showcased their work on a variety of forums, tumblr and pinterest:

Examples of Darkened Shoe Toes

Key Pieces
  • Asos Derby Shoes In LeatherAsos Derby Shoes In Leather
  • Topman Morris Gibson ShoesTopman Morris Gibson Shoes
  • Topman Ben Sherman Ubow Longwing BroguesTopman Ben Sherman Ubow Longwing Brogues
  • Selected Homme George BroguesSelected Homme George Brogues
  • Reiss Bologne Toe Cap Oxford Shoes With Leather Soles TanReiss Bologne Toe Cap Oxford Shoes With Leather Soles Tan
  • H By Hudson Gould Tan Leather Derby ShoesH By Hudson Gould Tan Leather Derby Shoes
  • Paul Smith – Shoes Chuck Tan Buffalo Leather ShoesPaul Smith - Shoes Chuck Tan Buffalo Leather Shoes
  • He By Mango Leather Derby ShoesHe By Mango Leather Derby Shoes
  • Tods No_code Leather Oxford ShoesTods No_code Leather Oxford Shoes
  • Asos Shoes In LeatherAsos Shoes In Leather
  • Ben Sherman Brogued Derby ShoeBen Sherman Brogued Derby Shoe
  • Okeeffe Milo Leather Wingtip BroguesOkeeffe Milo Leather Wingtip Brogues
Final Word

As avid readers of Fashionbeans, the general trappings of fashion should be nothing new to you. We are all well aware that more and more men are taking a keen interest in the way they look (with varying degrees of success) and it is becoming increasingly important that we stay one step ahead of the pack.

Thinking a bit further than the basic requirements of your outfit is where you can really step up your game, without any real extra effort. Not caring how wild your socks are, sporting a colourful watch, bag or scarf, and rolling up the sleeves on your shirt are all simple things that you can do to make yourself stand out from the crowd. You just need to think outside the box.

I would like to point out that this is not an exhaustive list of outfit-detailing you can experiment with, but it is enough to get you started. As always, I want to know what you guys think – what little details do you like to add to your outfits?

Let me know in the comments section.

Will