Some Style Terms All Men Should Know.

The Button-Down Collar Shirt is one of those all-important pieces that remains a cornerstone of American style.

The Cardigan‘s staying power is remarkable in and of itself, but it becomes even more extraordinary when you consider that the design reaches back to the 1850s.

Cufflinks date back to the reign of French king Louis XIV, when they were known as “sleeve buttons.”

Pinstripes were about as flamboyant as it got in the ’20s, which made it a natural favorite for mobsters and rum-runners during the Prohibition Era.

Sport Shirts and Dress Shirts

What’s the easiest way to tell the difference between a dress and a sport shirt?

The lines are a bit blurred and there are exceptions on both sides of the fence, but in general, dress shirts tend to be more conservatively styled and colored since they’re meant for, well, being dressed formally. They tend to have stiffer collars (to withstand things like neckties underneath them and suit jacket lapels on top of them).

Sport shirts get away with more patterns, bigger and bolder patterns, pockets, epaulets, decorative stitching and buttons, button-down collars, etc. Sport shirts can get away with collars that are less stiff.

The Man Comes Before The Clothes

You have to understand that the purpose of clothes is to make YOU look good. It’s not about finding quirky ways of mixing and matching accessories.

The purpose of wearing any clothing item is to send a positive message about you that, in the end, will make people look into your eyes and think “this is someone who I definitely want to meet”.

What does this all mean, then?

Simply put, a simple and elegant outfit can often times make a more lasting impression than if you were wearing a really eccentric one. This depends on the social encounter, obviously, but this is as true today as it was a hundred years ago.

A nice fitting suit and a nice pair of black or brown leather shoes will convey more power and charisma than an over-accessorized casual outfit.

Remember this: every item of clothing you put on you has a very important mission: it’s sending a message about you. So make sure it is the right message.

The Man Comes Before The Clothes

You have to understand that the purpose of clothes is to make YOU look good. It’s not about finding quirky ways of mixing and matching accessories.

The purpose of wearing any clothing item is to send a positive message about you that, in the end, will make people look into your eyes and think “this is someone who I definitely want to meet”.

What does this all mean, then?

Simply put, a simple and elegant outfit can often times make a more lasting impression than if you were wearing a really eccentric one. This depends on the social encounter, obviously, but this is as true today as it was a hundred years ago.

A nice fitting suit and a nice pair of black or brown leather shoes will convey more power and charisma than an over-accessorized casual outfit.

Remember this: every item of clothing you put on you has a very important mission: it’s sending a message about you. So make sure it is the right message.

Tassels

Tassel shoes work great with just about any outfit, from casual to something that you would wear on a special occasion (think wedding).

If you’re a nonconformist you can wear them with your business attire but make sure you choose a darker color. Remember that dressing for success is also about avoiding bold colors and anything that may be too much of a distraction to your business partners.

Hangers are important!!!

A real suit coat deserves a real hanger.

A contoured hanger—which is often wood but can come in plastic as well—maintains the natural curve of a shoulder and the shape of a coat. Wire hangers flatten them unnaturally.  Trousers don’t deserve to be draped over narrow wire either, where they’re more likely to crease. A half-inch wide plastic number can do the trick, but a one-inch wooden hanger is better still, and looks terrific in your closet. What’s good for your suit is good for your morale.