Michael Hill is one of the nicest guys I know, and he also happens to be one of the best dressed. He’s the Creative Director at Drake’s (an advertiser on this site, but also one of our favorite accessory brands). Recently, he wrote something for Christian Barker’s Men’s Top Ten blog, where notable style figures submit their ten style “commandments.” Like all good lists there, his points are more friendly suggestions than hardline rules. An excerpt:
While I find navy to be the most useful tie, jacket and suit color, navy trousers are not as easy as one might think, and best avoided altogether in worsteds and flannels. Conversely the same goes for grey jackets — beyond something like a Harris Tweed herringbone they’re tricky to combine. When it comes to the trousers I personally feel grey worsteds and flannels are best in darker hues.
A tight, well edited wardrobe can go a long way. For me that’s a navy hopsack and navy chalk-stripe suit; a couple of good navy blazers (in different weights), two or three tweeds; flannel and worsted trousers (again different weights). For the ties, a few Ancient Madders, a few repps, a navy and forest-green Grenadine, and a navy knit; blue and white striped poplin shirts, white and blue and white Oxford button-downs; over-the-calf solid navy and solid purple socks; and chukka boots. Once you’ve established a fit that works for you then it’s just a question of selecting these in great authentic cloth from the weavers, knitters and printers that have always specialized in each quality.
Avoid extremes and look for balance. And better to just do enough than to go over the top and force something. By the same token, aim to dress respectfully for the occasion or environment.
Don’t be afraid to try things in order to find things that work for you, that you feel comfortable and relaxed in. It’s a question of finding you’re own way within ‘the rules’, or as Mansel Fletcher refers to them ‘(no rules)… only things that haven’t been done well’. And this can take time, a lot of time. Many of the best dressed men I can think of are in their fifties or over.