6 things that will kill your look instantly. You’ve mastered monochromes. Layering is a cinch. You know your two-inch turn-up from a tailored sport jacket. Your shoes get a polishing weekly and your skin crawls at the sight of a fully buttoned-up suit jacket.

But just because you’ve passed Menswear 101 doesn’t mean that you’re not still making errors. You need to fix up to look sharp.

1. The Art Is In The Almost

By now you should have a grasp of the basic rules of metals and leathers: match them. But applied too simplistically and you look like you learned to dress from a manual.

Accessories are meant to add something to your ensemble when worn together, rather than becoming the central focus. So, rather than maniacally trawling the high street clutching a colour chart, consider this: too ‘matchy matchy’ is almost as bad as ‘no matchy at all’.

Leathers or metals that are in the same family work best together, so go one shade darker or lighter.

Get It Right

Don't match your leathers too precisely


2. Tie-Ten Up

The first rule of ties: of the thousands of possible options, a four-in-hand is always right. The second rule: pull it tight.

Even the man who’s inadvisedly opted for a Windsor knot looks better than his top-button bearing neighbour. To avoid it, keep every element taut throughout, then ensure it sits flush with your collar band. If that means the knot comes up too small, reset and deploy an extra loop.

On which note, with ties, length matters. The tip of the tie should stop slightly beyond your belt line, to balance your legs and torso. Too long = Chandler from Friends. Too short = everyone in Grange Hill, ever.

Get It Right

Get your tie knot and length right


3. A Close Shave

A beard isn’t two-fingers to your razor. And without daily care, your stubble veers from David Beckham to a guy who runs his own internet forum.

And where you trim can downplay any less than ideal contours. “Those with rounder, less angular faces can square off the corners of their stubble or beard slightly around the neck area, to give the illusion of a squared jaw,” says Adam Brady of Ruffians Barbers. Just stay your hand if you start seeing George Michael in the mirror.

“For a long, narrow face opt for a beard with about centimetre length on the cheeks, tapering at the chin towards the Adam’s apple. This will give the illusion of a shorter face.” Just remember never to shave off the beard any higher than just at the top of Adam’s apple, otherwise it might look like you put your beard in on a hot wash by mistake.

Get It Right

Short Beard


4. Proper Proportions

Style is about balance. Pair that narrow-lapeled two-piece with an equally slim tie and you’ll ooze the rakish charm of McCartney in his heyday. Pick a kipper instead and your torso becomes an optical illusion.

Your rule of thumb? For a medium to narrow lapel, the widest part of the tie should be equal to the width of the widest part of the lapel. If you’re rocking a Tommy Nutter suit with chest-wide lapels, the widest part of the tie should equal the width of your shirt collar. Which stops people thinking the tie is somehow much closer than the jacket.

Get It Right

MAtch your tie width to your lapel width


5. Drill-Sergeant Dressing

So, your lapels and tie are the correct width. The leathers and metals in your ensemble are married harmoniously. Is your gig line matched up? This military term defines an imaginary line that runs down the centre of your body, from your chin to your crotch. Your collar, knot, buttons and belt buckle should all align. In short – keep everything centred, from tie to fly.

The placket is the most unruly element, so ensure you’re wearing a shirt with an extended hem, which is designed to disappear further into your trousers and be pinned by your buttocks when you sit.

If unruly fabric keeps emerging, consider a set of shirt stays, which will pull your shirt down and, as an added bonus, pull your socks up. Just don’t let anyone see you sans trousers.

Get It Right

Line up your outfit


6. Optimise Your Opticals

There are things we wear for style, and things we wear out of necessity. The two need not be mutually exclusive. And the curse of myopia needn’t mean you resign to whatever glasses style doesn’t slip off your face.

First, the shade should suit your skin tone, as you’d pick the rest of an outfit. Then, a shape that brings about that all-important balance: rounded frames soften angular face types, while square frames bestow edges on the more spherical.

What brings them together is the brow line. The frame should follow the shape of your brow line and almost, but not completely, cover your eyebrows. This will ensure that the rest of the frame sits comfortably in the correct position on your face.

Get It Right

Get your eyewear colour and shape right


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