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How to dress better: 5 very simple style rules for the modern gentleman

It always helps to look the part – both in your professional and personal lives. And it doesn't take a style genius or a bottomless budget.

You know their type – the men who look put together no matter what they wear, even if they are in a T-shirt and slacks. While a good height and build, admittedly, does give a guy an advantage when it comes to carrying off clothes with panache, it doesn’t mean that those with lesser bods can’t do the same.


READ: Men: The simple style rules for dressing to look slimmer than you are


In fact, if you were to carefully observe this breed of well-dressed men, you’d realise that some of them aren’t really as tall, slim or buff as they appear to be. But they do possess something that other men might not have – a knack for finding clothes that suit and fit them impeccably, as well as an air of confidence that comes from knowing they are always putting forward their best image.

Are they simply born with a sense of style? That may be true in part, while the rest of the credit is actually due to these smart dressing rules, which will definitely benefit those who’d like to emulate their flair.


Crazy Rich Asian's Henry Golding does skimming well. (Photo: Instagram/Henry Golding)

Fit is everything, particularly when it concerns men’s dress clothes. The sartorially savvy man recognises the worth of investing in a couple of made-to-measure pieces, but he also knows how to make off-the-rack clothing work – with some clever adjustments.

A few minor alterations by a seamstress could make a world of difference. Study the cut of your most flattering bespoke suits and get the seamstress to try and recreate their fit. For example, get the waist width of the jacket right (skimming, not swimming).


Everyone notices your shoes. (Photo: Instagram/Tasuku_de_su)

If you can splurge on just one fashion item, we’d suggest you spend that money on a good pair of dress shoes. Well-dressed men know where quality counts most – a smart pair of Oxfords, brogues or loafers in fine leather will offer mileage that’s worth far more than their cost.

Shoes are one of the first things on men that people notice, since the typical guy isn’t likely to wear much else in terms of accessories. They can also make or break an ensemble – choose wisely and they will upgrade your look.


READ: Decoding men's dress codes: What to wear when the invitation gets specific



Chinese actor Hubing takes on tone-on-tone dressing, matching everything from scarf to pocket square. (Photo: Instagram/Hubing)

Finesse is expressed in the details, the finer points of dress that people see on you only when they are up-close. Not everyone will immediately notice these things about you, but when they do, the impact made can be huge.

What, then, are these details that set a sophisticated man apart from the regular guys? It’s in the way they knot their tie, how they cuff their jeans and roll their sleeves, the make of their cufflinks and watch, right down to how long they leave their fingernails – never too long nor too short.


Korean heartthrob Gong Yoo keeps its clean and sleek with staples. (Photo: Instagram/Thelonelyandgreatgoblin)

Whether you are one for making fashion statements or not, a good selection of basics should be the foundation of your wardrobe. A man doesn’t need a lot of them too – simple, detail-free items such as shirts and T-shirts in understated colours, jeans, chinos, jumpers, a denim jacket, a casual suit and a formal suit are the essential building blocks for creating an array of looks.


Desmond Tan dabbles in clashing prints to jazz things up. (Photo: Instagram/thedesmondtan)

While simplicity is the key to timeless style, there’s definitely room for the occasional print, pop of bright colour or accessories like hats, shades or trending sneakers of the season. It’s how style-savvy men imbue personality into their dressing, and what they do when the occasion calls for a look that’s a little more experimental than their usual choice of attire.

One thing they never do, though, is take on more fashion statements or accents than their personality can handle – because a guy will never look good if he feels self-conscious in his clothes.

Source: CNA/yy