Men’s style advice from 10 people who probably know better than you

Men's style advice

Men’s style is often a fickle thing, especially these days when men are more open to experimenting with all things fashion related; from fedoras to facial hair, tie bars to tartan and everything in between – it’s difficult to keep up with the vicissitudes of men’s fashion. No one should impose rules on you as to how you dress and style is something very personal, but how about taking some general men’s style advice from 9 guys (and one woman) who know a thing or two about this caper.

1. Men’s style advice from Tommy Hilfiger

On high quality dress shirts: “You can always tell the difference between an expensive dress shirt and an inexpensive one by the intensity of the colour. For instance, the right light-blue shirt should be a deep light blue.”

On experimenting with colour: “Men who are afraid to wear colour are too conservative. There are certain men who work on Wall Street whose wives dress them. They’ll buy a gray suit and a black, a navy and a charcoal one. They’ll wear a white or cream shirt every day with a red, yellow or burgundy tie. And a black belt with black shoes. That to me is so boring. What about wearing orange with khaki?”

2. Men’s style advice from Giorgio Armani

On being smooth: “Growing up in Milan, I went to the cinema constantly and was captivated by the impossibly glamourous men that I saw. Movie stars like Clark Gable, James Dean and Cary Grant. Cary Grant just looks amazing in a suit – even when he’s being chased by a crop duster through a field of corn. You can learn how to be smooth by watching a man like that.”

On fashion advice: “Always take the advice of a woman over that of a man. Always. Men tend to regard your outfits solely in terms of whether they’d wear them themselves, but women have an uncanny ability to distance themselves from things like this.”

3. Men’s style advice from Karl Lagerfeld

On fashion: “Trendy is the last stage before tacky.”

On being an innovator: “If you ask me what I’d most like to have invented in fashion, I’d say the white shirt. For me, the shirt is the basis of everything. Everything else comes after.”

4. Men’s style advice from Kenneth Cole

On dressing for success: “Getting dressed in the morning is a self-fulfilling reality. If you don’t look good, you don’t feel good, and you may as well go and get hit by a bus.”

Men's style advice

Above clockwise from top left: Tommy Hilfiger, Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani and Kenneth Cole.

5. Men’s style advice from Zac Posen

On double-breasted jackets: “You have to be taller than 5”8 to wear a double-breasted jacket. If you’re not, you can look very square. You get into sea-captain territory. If you’re not tall, you should go for a shorter, one-button jacket.”

On being a gentleman: “You should always carry a handkerchief. It’s a courteous thing to have. If I am out at night, I keep a handkerchief on hand for a lady.”

6. Men’s style advice from Tom Ford

On suits: “I hate the trend of short suit jackets. When a man’s butt is showing below the bottom of his jacket, I think it makes him look like a female flight attendant from the back—not my idea of sexy.

I don’t believe in playing around much with suit cuts. I like a fairly classic shape that gives a man strong shoulders, a fitted waist, and long legs. Classic simplicity always works.”

On mixing patterns: “When mixing patterns, don’t think about it too much—just throw it together.”

7. Men’s style advice from Jolie Andreatta (wardrobe designer on the set of hit show, “Suits”)

On suits: “Suits are like medieval suits of armour. [They] tell us who the person is, what kind of background they [come from], what kind of status they have.”

8. Men’s style advice from Lino Ieluzzi (Owner of Milanese menswear boutique Al Bazaar and darling of street style photographers)

On breaking the rules: “Imperfection is never a mistake; it’s a sign of humanity. You must break the codes, break the perfection. Never pay attention to rules.”

On buying second-hand: “I would never buy something that is already aged or broken, because I think this is not honest. When I break something myself, through my experience with it, it then becomes beautiful because it is part of my life.”

On housework: “The only thing a real man should do in the house is make love to his wife and polish his own shoes. Everything else, the woman should do by herself.”

Men's style advice

Above clockwise from top left: Zac Posen, Lino Ieluzzi, Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter from the TV show ‘Suits’, Tom Ford.

9. Men’s style advice from Mr Martin Greenfield (tailor to America’s political elite as well as the likes of Paul Newman, Michael Jackson, and Shaquille O’Neal)

On dressing: “I love to dress up. It shows you’re important.”

Men's style advice

Above: Martin Greenfield.

10. And now, here’s Philippe Perzi Vienna’s two cents worth on men’s style

  • Powerful men have signature looks. It’s ok to wear a uniform – if you feel comfortable in a suit, shirt and tie, wear a variation of this outfit throughout the week.
  • You will reach an age where you will feel most comfortable wearing a shirt (and possibly even a suit) everyday.
  • Classics are classics for a reason and men’s style has changed little over the past 100 years – who are you to bring about the wind of change?