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Saudi Born, European Educated, Hong Kong situated fashion loving Editor and Fashion Director in the luxury publishing sector

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Savvy Suiting

Savvy Suiting

I love a man in a suit…..scratch that…..I love a man in a GOOD suit, a GREAT suit, we’re talking Tom Ford Black with a crisp white shirt underneath (nice little article about it here), a pair of Bulgari cufflinks and some Valentino shoes.  Throw on a Hermes tie and you’re good to go.  If I were a man – and I’m very happy I’m not – I would go full on every day, because the alternative is so much drearier. 

Esquire is the top google hit for style advice for workwear for men.  Unfortunately whoever takes care of their fashion section is rubbish, they advise men to saunter into the office wearing a hot pink and white stripe shirt, with a red and navy silk paisley tie.  Get real Esquire.  People who wear suits usually have to be in the office for 7 AM and the last thing they want to think about is trying to mix and match stripes and florals. (The picture is too ugly to put on my pretty post but you can see a tiny portion of the fashion train wreck below).

To Avoid this....

My tip.  Keep it simple!

If you are a conformist, an investment banker, a lawyer, a medic, a public servant or a business man in the traditional sense, then there is very little room for manouvre around the confines of the stereotypical suit.  Barristers may be the exception to the rule (as are headhunters).  I’ve met two men throughout my life who find it necessary to wear three piece suits every day.  Personally I wonder what they wear at weddings and black tie events, but it’s probably a top hat with a cane no doubt.  Anyways both of these men were quite ahem rotund….and looked slightly foolish.  They both were pompous, had small man syndrome and had read the food pyramid upside down.  My point is leave the three piece suit at home unless you are Prince Charles or Harry.

Different professionals in various industries and even countries are prone to a few different fashion crimes.  Here they are done out in an excel sheet….(Professionals LOVE excel….it makes me kind of dizzy)

Fashion Crime
Middle Eastern
Trying to look like John Travolta in Grease but in a suit: Too tight, too greasy, too shiny.  Wet look hair gel is so over
Dressing like its Independence day, every day of the week.  We are over the red, white and blue combo….please get over it too
Horrible shoes.  Go to Italy, find the oldest man in Milan and get him to tell you how important Italian leather shoes are…pronto!
Brown suits, it is not camel, it is brown, and it is not the 70's anymore
Seiceáil léinte, tá tú ag obair i mbanc, ní ar fheirm, nó i gclós lumber. Seiceáil léine le comhionannas vótaí atá ar whammy dúbailte ... Ugh
Vos pantalons sont trop serrés et vous ne pouvez plus respirer, donc vous êtes coupable de virer au bleu.  Pas cool….pas cool du tout.

So what should a man wear to work?  After living and travelling in a variety of different countries and previously working in the banking sector I have come up with a formula.  It’s easier for the bankers to understand it this way.

A = One ridiculously well tailored suit, if in Asia get it tailored, if not go into Hugo Boss, and if you’re really serious about the process go into Tom Ford.  My choice is black – other people may say otherwise, but a black suit will always get my attention and looks very sharp...if it's good enough for Mr. Bond...

B = Crisp white shirt, personally I don’t see the point in getting shirts tailored, and you do not need to spend a fortune on this aspect of the outfit.  Save the money that you don’t spend here for the Hermes Tie you’re about to buy.  Marks and Spencers or Thomas Pink shirts will suffice.  Buy five, one for every day of the week.  Ask any woman and she’ll tell you that you cannot go wrong with a white shirt on a man.  Try out different materials, different white patterns and have fun...but only in the white department of the store.

C = The most important part.  ACCESSORIES.  I cannot stress it enough.  Inès de la Fressange (Chanel muse and fashion superstar) has always emphasized the fact that looking stylish is all about the accessories upon a simple canvas.  So invest in that Hermes Tie, try out a cravat!  Invest in classic yet unusual accessories and cufflinks.  Buy that tie pin, moneyclip, Bally man bag and let your accessories do the talking for you.  

Winning Formula: A + B + C = Savvy Suiting

Photos coming soon. For now check out the following websites

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