manstyleThe road to achieving your own signature style is paved with a few basic rules handed down from generation to generation to ensure you always look classically effortless.  Rather than restricting your style, these Rules lay the groundwork around which you build your own personal style.  Trends in menswear come and go, but the Rules always remain the same.  Learn the basic Rules and you’ll never go wrong.  After all, you can’t properly break the Rules until you’ve mastered them first!  Herewith, three more of these all important rules, from our ongoing series, The Unbreakable Rules of Style.

Don’t Underdress a Tie

One basic rule of style that’s easy to forget, but should never be overlooked, is to never wear a tie without a jacket. At best, you’ll look like the 10-year-old ring bearer at a wedding; at worst you’ll look like that unfortunate photo of Mitt Romney in Mom jeans. Wearing a tie without a jacket is basically getting half-dressed. What to do if you want to take off your suit coat? Invest in a 3-piece suit, the vest keeps you from looking like a waiter when you remove your jacket, not to mention the slimming qualities inherent in wearing a vest. There’s only one casual workaround to this rule: it’s perfectly acceptable to wear a tie and sweater combo without a sports jacket.  College professors, rejoice!

Real Men Never Look Like They Need a Haircut

The secret to great men’s style and grooming is to always look effortless. One of the best ways to maintain your style is to never look like you need a haircut. Getting your haircut shouldn’t be a grand production that everyone notices, you shouldn’t look completely different when you step out of the chair, and you shouldn’t be properly groomed for only a couple weeks a month. Schedule a regular haircut every three weeks and settle into a routine of just “getting a trim.” Proper men’s grooming should always be about maintenance, not repair.  Keep your hair in check and people will notice your style, not your shaggy mane.

When to Wear Brown Shoes

Matching your shoes to your suit or pants is extremely easy. Simply put, wear black shoes with a black suit and brown shoes with everything else.  (Except, perhaps, a tuxedo, when you’d wear black patent leather shoes.) Black shoes are great, and they’re the only option with a black suit, but they don’t bring the right vibe with navy blue (too old-fashioned) or charcoal grey (too funereal). Ironically, people usually think of a black suit and black shoes as being the most versatile option for a guy on a budget. In reality, a navy blue suit and a pair of brown leather dress shoes are far more versatile, and much easier to build a wardrobe around. For the young professional just starting out building a wardrobe, take heed of the versatility of the brown shoe and blue suit.