Friday, August 17, 2012

You could do worse

For a million and one individual reasons there are countless men with zero interest in the clothes on their back who leave the chore of buying their clothes to the women in their lives. I'd like to pawn off the job myself at times, but haven't a taker.

The real job becomes the thankless task of getting your guy to look presentable when he leaves home. It's never easy to dress someone who doesn't care, but several tips may work wonders.

Fit is everything, so stop buying dress clothes labeled Small, Medium, Large... Men's shirts are sold in sizes. The numbers (ie 16, 32) represent neck size and sleeve length. Get a tape and measure. Shirts that fit look better and feel better. Real honest to goodness identifiable fabric wears better and lasts longer than plastic. Silently, he'll thank you.

Many men deep into middle age believe they wear the same size pants as they did in high school. It ain't so. Nothing looks worse than dun lop (my belly dun lopped over my belt). Pants are sold even number waist and length, with the expectation that they'll hang from his navel. If he is between sizes go up, and have the waist altered. Tell him he looks thinner with pants that fit. If need be, your dry cleaner can size pants to fit. Once you get the waist size right, you'll only need to do this once.

Most guys who don't care what they wear live in khaki's and blue jeans, which can be fine, and getting them to try something new is always a fight. May I suggest that if you're looking for ways to expand his sartorial horizons, skip the fashion departments of the mall stores and search Google images. You could do worse than to emulate the look of two men with bags of money, professional stylist on call to dress them, access to everything, yet dress pretty squarely and always look great.

Prince Charles may be the best dressed man on the planet. His day to day wardrobe is probably fairly small, considering all the business and professional engagements he has. He keeps clothing until it can be mended no further, yet always looks sharp, even in khaki's and blue jeans. It may be that his people are acquainted with irons, but he is a walking clothing tutorial, and his look can be copied on a modest budget. Once again, proper fit is everything.

Ralph Lauren is in the fashion business, but it rarely shows. Much of his clothing has been hanging in his closet a long time. He dresses conservatively yet most always looks well put together. Again, his look can be copied over and over.

While I offer no guarantees, I do recognize that most men are vain. A few turns around the office in clothes made of identifiable fabric, that fit well will garner compliments, which may lead to his taking a bit more pride in his appearance.

Shoes we'll tackle some other day.



EatPlayLove said...

I love the candid shot of Prince Charles, it seems to capture what fashion photographers try desperately to recreate. And Ralph... meh.

UCEAP Research said...

Charles's bag sets him apart.

Ann said...

I've thought recently that Charles' looks have improved immensely with age. As a young man, he just look doofish-now he's quite distinguished and yes, he is definitely a dresser.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Charles, does the pressed crease in his sleeves seem unusual? I applaud the flapless, inset pockets - when there are patch pockets and flaps competing for attention against the primary elegance of the double buttoned breast, the jacket becomes cumbersome. You can really see the tailoring around the shoulder, it's impeccable. The bag IS great, yeah.


LLP said...

We all need a great brief bag...

Anonymous said...

Toad, any interest in a book on Ralph Lauren? Got a pretty good one you may be interestedi n.

Toad said...

I may thank you. I do have the big book already however.

maven said...

My husband has almost the same bag as PC's. Hubby's is vintage Coach and has only two sections. Recently, I have been after him to put some black polish on it, but I see now that with PC as a guide, I have lost that arguement.