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Clothes-Minded

A Brief Guide to Gentleman Style

“Style is the answer to everything.
A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing.
To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it
To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art.”
– Charles Bukowski, Poet

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Image is everything. Your appearance is the very first thing a person notices about you. As men, we sometimes forget (or ignore) the importance of looking our best. But a Gentleman never forgets! Here are some style tips to ensure that you are operating at your very best gentlemanliness.

1. A gentleman understands the difference between fashion and style. Fashion is what’s “in” at the moment, usually dictated by trends developed by designers, the media, and public preference. Style is how you make fashion your own. It’s how you personalize your look. Always aim for embracing your own style, rather than trying to look “fashionable.”

2. Aim for fit, not fashion. Skinny jeans are cool. But that’s only if you can wear skinny jeans. The goal is to look like your clothes are well-tailored to your body. Your local tailor can help you with this. Pants can be hemmed and buttons moved on your jacket at the local cleaners. For suit jacket resizing, or to give your pants a little more “wiggle room,” it is best to go to a department store and develop a friendship with the alteration specialists.

3. What’s your size? You shouldn’t wear a small when you should really wear a large (and vice versa). Focus on wearing clothes that complement your figure, not accentuate it (leave that to the ladies). If you are naturally larger, realize that your clothes are going to be larger. If you are naturally smaller, then your clothes will be smaller.

4. Suit up. Lighter colored suits are best worn during the day and darker suits at night. If you leave for work in the morning and wear a dark navy, that’s fine. But if you’re going to dinner at night and want to wear a light grey, consider instead a darker color. Black suits are generally worn at night and for formal occasions, or when the moment specifically calls for a black suit.

5. Develop a desire to look put together. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing a gent wear a suit three times his size! Or wearing a pair of jeans that look like they’re from 1980. Or wearing square-toe shoes…with a 5” width tie…and a four button blazer. You get the point.

6. Express yourself by showing your individual style. If you like to wear paisley shirts, with multicolored pocket squares and flower lapel pins, own it. If you prefer a crisp blazer with a plain oxford shirt, do it.

The key is to look appropriate, feel comfortable, and essentially, be you. Above all, remember that being a man is required, but being a gentleman is a choice. Be a gent, gents.

(Photos courtesy of Image Facktory Groupe)

About Nicholas Hawkins

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Nicholas Hawkins is a menswear fashion consultant and overall gentleman savant.  He started Young Gentleman Society in 2008 as a way to help guys learn dressing and grooming basics and to show them how they can develop their own style.  A current law student, Nicholas spends his non-legal time in his favorite subjects: sports, art and entertainment, and hopes to combine all three in legal practice.  He believes that dressing and presenting well helps develop self-confidence and sets the path towards personal success.  Nicholas’ motto: “Being a man is required, but being a gentleman is a choice.” You can follow Nicholas online at ygsociety.com and facebook.com/YGSociety