The eightfold path to sartorial enlightenment

Philippe Perzi Vienna

These days, it seems men have never had more choice, more access to style advice or been more bombarded with aspirational imagery when it comes to leading a fashionable and luxurious lifestyle. By the same token, men are becoming braver, savvier and more discerning about their clothing choices. We must admit, we’ve been enjoying the sartorial renaissance, a course correction of some sorts, following the casualisation of the male working wardrobe in the 1990s, but at the same time can’t help but ponder if this constant barrage on our senses through social and print media is helping or hindering our fashion choices? Well, we can’t stop the hyperactive fashion press from touting the arrival of the latest trend each season, but we can give you some sage advice on how to make the most of your devilishly handsome self without committing any sartorial sins along the way. 

Philippe Perzi Vienna has been outfitting some of the finest dressed men in Europe for generations, so whilst we don’t want to impose any rules on how you should dress, we have seen trends come and go and do know a thing or two about this clothing caper. As they say, fashion comes and goes but style is forever. So, here are some tips to help the modern gent master the art of dressing well, an eightfold path as it were, to sartorial enlightenment.

Philippe Perzi Vienna

1. Dress for success

Remember, the way you dress is like holding up a mirror to how you live your life. If you’re a professional and want to be taken seriously, then dress for the occasion. Getting dressed in the morning is a self-fulfilling reality. If you don’t look the goods, you won’t feel good about yourself and won’t perform well. Looking put-together is part and parcel of portraying success. Wrinkled clothing just says you may or may not have slept rough last night.

2. Favour clean-cut, impeccable tailoring

Important for all gentlemen, particularly if you’re larger, taller, heavily set or athletic. The best way to trick out your wardrobe is to return to the tried and true classics. Aim for a tailored silhouette, with elegant shirts, ties and suits that play homage to classic masculine lines. The most sartorially aware gents tend to anchor their look with classic and timeless pieces and then mix in bold statement items such as brightly coloured shirts, ties or pocket squares and experiment with texture and pattern.

3. Remember the extra 10%

How many times have we been chided by parents or well meaning advisors that prospective employers or members of the opposite sex surreptitiously take note of the condition of our nails, our shoes or how clean shaven we are, and therein surmise our whole character? Well, these may seem like minor details but the extra 10% effort you make is where you distinguish yourself from the rest. You should think of accessories that support your tailored wardrobe such as pocket squares, ties and socks, as very important personal and social indicators, precisely because they tend to have no utility and are otherwise completely unnecessary, except as symbols of status and aspirations. A natty tie or a nonchalantly placed pocket handkerchief are the perfect sartorial highlight to a well put together outfit and speak volumes about the wearer. The secret is not to be too pre-meditated about it. Think coordination rather than contrivance.

4. Dress for your complexion

Colour probably influences a first impression more then any other aspect of attire – and unlike women who have cosmetics to invigorate and highlight their complexion, a man needs to know how to wear colour in order to enhance his expression and visage. Identify whether you’re a high, low or medium contrast complexion and try to wear clothing that mimics the colour difference between your skin tone and hair colour. For example, if you’ve got dark hair and fair skin, you’d be a high contrast complexion, whereas those with blonde, white or red hair and fair skin are low contrast. Check out our blog for more details.

5. Learn how to mix and match patterns

Just because there’s a plethora of patterns out there, doesn’t mean that a multi-patterned approach is inherently more stylish than plainer or more simple ensembles. But let’s be honest, stripes, checks and dots sure add some graphic interest and variety to your wardrobe – you just have be familiar with harmonising the patterns in order to pull it off with aplomb. Scale is key when mixing patterns; generally, when you mix two like patterns, the size of the patterns should be as different from each other as possible. Conversely, when mixing two different patterns, the size of the patterns should be similar in size. Once you begin mixing three or more patterns, it does require significantly more skill and comes down to your intuition, imagination and experience. Check out our blog for more details.

6. The quality remains long after the price is forgotten

Focus on high-quality and classic clothing, the best you can afford, but eschew wearing ostentatious branding and blind trend following for the sake of appearing fashionable, it may have the exact opposite effect. You should know instantly that your clothing is of high quality from the fabric and it should also make you feel special. For example, all Philippe Perzi Vienna shirts are made in exceptionally high thread counts and we only use the very best Egyptian cotton, such as Giza 45. Our shirt collars and cuffs stay smooth and firm forever, because we use special Swiss-made lining. All our shirts have mother-of-pearl buttons and we’re very proud of our Oeko-Tex standard certification, which certifies that our garments do not use any harmful toxic substances.

7. Don’t be a repeat offender

Per the above tip, if you buy high-quality and classic clothing, then the odds are that you will have the opportunity to wear your clothes for many, many years to come. But be aware, if your friends can take short odds on what you’ll be wearing, then you might need to update your wardrobe. Equally, it’s important to know when to part with certain items of clothing i.e. when they are past their prime. You owe it to yourself to keep your wardrobe fresh and stain-free…and if anything is threadbare or has holes, it’s time to bid adieu.

8. Be an individual

It’s great to seek inspiration from some of the most rakish men around, but remember what looks good on you and dress in clothing that makes you feel like the best version of yourself. Don’t just follow the latest fads and fashions because you saw someone famous wearing it. Wear clothes that do justice to your physique, colouring and personality.

Philippe Perzi Vienna

There are enough rules in the world that we are obligated to follow without adding an arbitrary set of guidelines to how we should dress. However, there are some fundamental prerequisites to the art of looking good and dressing well, and once you know the basic principles, the path to living a more stylish and luxurious lifestyle will be paved with sartorial successes. Start shopping the Philippe Perzi Vienna collection now!