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  1. #1
    Paul McGregor's Avatar

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    Simple Ways To Add Elegance

    So I was brainstorming some ideas for a new article, and thought i'd actually get the ball rolling with one of them on here, hopefully getting some thoughts from our fine readers!

    I'm a huge fan of paying attention to details, and sometimes get more excited over a paisley pocket square then I do a three piece suit. The simple addition of a tie or bow tie can transform a casual shirt and jean combo into something a lot more elegant. But it's not only accesories that can simply add more of a formal touch to a look. The fit of the clothing can make a huge difference too. Trying the same shirt on in two different sizes can make a huge difference to the final outcome of a look. A medium may be quite a loose fitting shirt, giving more of a relaxed and casual feel, where as a small may be more slim fit, giving more of a tailored, elegant feel. It's these tiny details which can add more elegance to your style.

    This look is perfect, I really like the overall fit of the clothing and the attention to detailing such as the addition of a pocket square and a dash of colour from his socks. He has taken a standard black suit and transformed it by paying more attention to the smaller things than most guys would.



    Can you think of any other ways of adding simple touches to a bog standard look? A lot of guys slack nowadays, and become lazy chucking on a t-shirt and jeans. I just think if people paid a tiny more attention to detailing, it could easily transform their overall style.
    "Lifes too short to blend in..." - Owner of Brighterman Accessories

    Check out my articles for Fashion Beans - In my spare time I try to live a lifestyle I normally can't afford

  2. #2
    Ivan Condor Aasllani's Avatar

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    This thread would be useful to me. I have purchased a navy/black fine check suit and need to create a fine ensemble around it to celebrate my 30th birthday.

    I have already added a crisp white shirt, navy tassel loafers and a superb tie, which looks black in the dark but when light hits it, has an emerald sparkle. It sounds hideous but it's not.

    I'm now looking into a possible pocket square & sock combination to tie it all together. What sort of colours/patterns do you think I could go for? I'm thinking some kind of paisley would be good. Not sure whether to contrast the blue & green with some burgundy, or tone it in with some green. Any ideas?

  3. #3
    Sam

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    I think that learning some of the pocket square folds in this article would be the hallmark of a real dashing gent - the pyramids are a really interesting look.

    Edit: Pin Money... I'd go for a white, or perhaps a cream pocket square. I personally think the pocket square should usually be contrasted against the jacket and compliment the tie and/or shirt, all in the most discrete way possible.
    Last edited by Sam; 07-11-2011 at 06:00 PM.

  4. #4
    Olly's Avatar

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    I'm a big fan of cravats, vintage and otherwise.

  5. #5

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    I do think the fine details count overall. To be honest, we tend to judge others on their fine details. To me, a nice watch exudes class when worn with complementary clothes. I also like to pay attention to socks. I always wear vibrant socks. It just exhibits confidence.

  6. #6
    Jay's Avatar
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    I'm all about the details in every single way (some say I'm obsessive and they are probably right.

    To start with the suit has to fit. And fit well. On the jacket, I want a half inch of shirt cuff showing, a lapel that matches the width of my tie (I'm about narrow ties and lapels, but not skinny), a double vent, quality lining, 4 or 5 kissing buttons at the cuff (and they must be kissing), and a slim tapered leg in the trouser and a half-break at the shoe.

    I always wear one or two-button suits - the bottom button is never done up on a two-button suit and I ALWAYS button the suit when I stand up and unbutton as I sit down. having a beautifully tailored suit and not doing the buttons up is like having your hair styled and then wearing a hat - a complete waste of time.

    The tie has to be done in a perfect half-windsor (the full windsor is too much for a narrow tie) with semi cut-away shirt collars and the shirt must be fitted (most shirts need taking in at the sides).

    Then it's about two simple accessories for me: the pocket square and the socks. For me, the pocket square is nearly always done in the square fold - it's simple, sharp and stylish. Occasionally, I'll go for a flouncier fold, but never for work as it's too showy. I only wear cotton pocket squares; silk makes you look like you're going to a wedding. Oh, and iron the pocket square so he crease in the fold i super sharp (and a top tip to stop it falling down into the pocket is to cut a piece of white card into the shape of your pocket and fold the square around it so it stays perfectly in place all day long).

    Socks have to tie in and match somehow, whether it's matching the shirt, the tie, the pocket square or a combination (but never exactly matching - again it's too wedding-like), usually by colour but occasionally by pattern.

    I'm short and skinny, so belts are optional for me (if trousers fit right, and they always should, then a belt isn't necessary), but if a belt is worn it goes without saying it matches the shoes and has a simple silver buckle - nothing big, nothing showy - and is simple, slim and otherwise plain (also the right length - nothing worse than then end of a belt hanging down).

    The shoes themselves are black with a black suit, black, brown or tan with a grey suit or brown or tan with a blue suit. They are always simple, well polished and on the slimmer side - nothing chunky with a suit.

    Yeah, I'm all about the details. And an absolute obsessive when it comes to looking sharp in a suit. It's amazing I manage to actually leave the house of a morning.

  7. #7
    Jay's Avatar
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    This is the result of my obsessiveness as typed above.



    The socks were these:



    The shoes are the weak link in the outfit admittedly and next pay day will see me with a new pair of brown shoes for work (and smarter end of casual). I guess you could quibble at the choice of pocket square too (I often wear a blue one with either a white polkadot or check, but I like the pin sharpness of the white against the blue personally).

  8. #8
    Sam

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    I was going to add something but Jay said it. All of it! Bravo. And top look - personally I'd have the jacket end higher actually but you really pull it off.

    Actually, there is something I can add - something small but worthwhile. Cuff buttons on suit jackets aren't there for a purpose of any sort so lesser tailors and brands often have totally decorative ones, with no buttonholes. If your cuff buttons are functional, leaving the button nearest your wrist undone is traditionally the mark of a good tailor and shows that you're a man who cares about the details.

    Edit: Incidentally, Jay, what does a double vent do for you? I tend to prefer single vents because they're better for the jacket when you sit down.
    Last edited by Sam; 09-11-2011 at 12:59 AM.

  9. #9
    Jay's Avatar
    Jay

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    Thanks, Sam. And you taught me something about the cuff buttons I never knew. If I ever get around to buying that Bookster hacking jacket I was going to get a working cuff (just becuase I can, I don't have one and I thought it might be an unusual detail), so that tip might come in very useful.

    I'm a short arse hence the slightly longer cut of the suit. It's a real pain having suit jackets shortened, so often'make do'. One of these days when I can afford Saville Row... (in my dreams).

    Single and double vents do the same job in terms of allowing you to sit down without wrinkling the suit. Centre vents are traditionally associated with American tailoring, so as I usually prefer European detailing on my suit, I go for the double vent. One difference is that when you sit down in a single vented jacket your more likely to have your backside on show, so the double vent is often the 'gentleman's choice' for that reason as it's more elegant. Finally, often the main reason jackets have single vents is that it's far cheaper produce, so the double vent has come to signal a mark of quality (in the same way that the number of buttons at the cuff does).

    Mostly though, it's simply because I like the way it looks.

    My word, I think I must be OCD to think in that kind of detail!

  10. #10
    Sam

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    Ah, makes sense. I'll look for double vented when I can then, sounds good.
    I agree with you - I think detail is everything in tailoring! Fit, fabric and construction are well and good but all that tells anybody is that you have some money.

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