Some More Preaching on Spiffiness... ;-)

Zina Tasreen , 26 Dec 2011
Product shilling with sprezzatura: Paolo Maldini
Product shilling with sprezzatura: Paolo Maldini

Much like the rude arse Yetis placed outside your beloved nightclubs whose sole purpose in life’s to shove you away from the guest list queue towards the one bursting with peasants, men’s sartorial choices *at this time of the year* often act in a similar belligerent, jostling manner to my senses. (I just might’ve bagged the title of the most vacuous person out there with that random nonsensical comparative statement, but never mind…) I’ve had a good ol’ rant on this already, and as a Good Samaritan, have showed you a nice little way out of the rut. Guess what? I’m back to nudge some more! So. Follow. Now.

Iker Casillas: Poor thing suffers from body dysmorphia, always in suits 6 sizes larger than
(San) Iker Casillas in ill-fitting suits: Poor thing suffers from body dysmorphia and thinks he’s 6 sizes larger than he actually is

If you can’t be arsed with the whole black-tie shebang, fair enough. But a suit? Pretty please? I can’t stress enough how critical it is to get the measurements right: a suit that fits you like a second skin gets you *halfway* there. I’ve already sketched out how to, mind.

This is how the open-necked look is done: George Clooney
This is how it is done: George Clooney

“I have to put on that fracking noose as well?” ‒ Do I hear you mumbling? FINE, no. BUT, you have to make sure that your shirt’s in pristine condition ‒ and more importantly, that the collar stands strong against the jacket lapels. A button-down or tall collar will do the trick nicely. Steer clear of soft or cutaway collars; they flap far too often to look put together. The biggest eyesore that you can *inflict* when going open-neck is the flash of your chest rug. Leave that for the beach or poolside ‒ and come undone with *just* one button from the top.

THE way to do boutonnière: Rahul Khanna
Sublime execution of the boutonnière: Rahul Khanna

Now a little accessorizing ‒ with a pocket square OR a boutonnière to spruce up your evening look. (Only Tom Ford can do both ‘cos he’s god ‒ remember that *less is always more*!)  Pinch a *single* flower from the vase lying around or from the neighbour’s garden, pin it onto your left lapel ‒ and you’re *guaranteed* to be the most elegant man of the night. The boutonnière not only gives a pop of colour and shows you to be bravely sensitive, fearlessly aesthetic (!!!), it’ll also serve as a brilliant (parting) keepsake, along with your business card/number/Facebook deets, for that wonderful lady you chatted up that evening (Why not???). (Note: sporting *green* carnations, and flowers too, is a signalling mechanism if – girls just aren’t your thing.)

THE way to do pocket square with an open collar: Rahul Khanna
THE way to do pocket square with an open collar: Rahul Khanna

Onto pocket squares… If you’re wearing a white shirt, you can choose any colour/pattern under the sun, but just *do not* go the plain white squared-off route (it looks a bit too severe with the white open collar). You’ve to put a little more thought, though, for any other colour of shirt: both should be complementary to each other but not “matchy-matchy” (you don’t want to suggest that you bought them two as a set at a cut price). For example: with a pale blue shirt, the pocket square could’ve some navy (any other shade of blue, really) or be of some contrasting colours altogether ‒ but it should not have the same shade of blue as the shirt.

How to do the "puff" (credit: mrporter.com)
How to do the “puff” (credit: mrporter.com)

As for the fold, strictly go for the “puff” style as it gives off a certain sprezzatura, which’s very much in keeping with insouciant theme of the open-necked look.

Note the simple belt buckle: Kaká and Rafael Nadal
Note the simple belt buckle: Kaká and Rafael Nadal

“I think the leather belt makes an attractive finish to the trousers,” trills Sir Hardy Amies, the true arbiter of taste. If you’ve belt loops, you’ve got to wear a belt. Keep the buckle as simple as possible. After all the effort put in to get this far, it’d make for a sorrowful ensemble if you were to pair a black leather belt with brown leather shoes. Elementary stuff this, but the belt must always match the colour of your shoes. Contrasting shades of brown, however, are fine.

Bandhgala perfection (!!): Rahul Khanna; examples of contrast *collars* that can be worn tieless
Bandhgala (and of course the trouser length) perfection (!!!): Rahul Khanna; examples of contrast *collars* that can be worn tieless

If you’re one hopeless lazy git, just get some contrast-collared shirts, which are substantial enough on their own, i.e. can be worn tieless. Or, invest in some bandhgalas: they’re epitome of grace and you can get away with any dirty, wrinkly (NOT SMELLY!) shirt underneath.

Immaculate open-necked look: Xabi Alonso
Immaculate open-necked look: Xabi Alonso

Hope this gently prods the calamitously clothed to mend their wild ways (a little?) :-) One can always live in hope, one can… *sigh*

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