How to Dress Well

We all know guys who always dress well. Whether it’s at the office or on a night out, they’re consistently the most stylishly attired at every occasion, and they seem to do it so effortlessly.

While it’s true that some people just have great personal style, it doesn’t mean that dressing well is beyond your reach if it doesn’t come naturally.

Like most things in life, if you work at it and follow some basic rules, you too can become one of the best-dressed men in the room.

In addition to the advice list below, you should also apply the following to every rule:

Fit is everything. Every body is different; so don’t expect all the pieces you buy to fit you perfectly. Get to know a good tailor.

Spend a little bit more on quality items that last. And remember that trends come and go, so opt for classic styles over fashionable ones. There’s a reason certain pieces are considered classics, it’s because they’ve been tried and tested.


Start with the Essentials

Get the basics in place and everything else will follow. These are the essentials every guy needs in his wardrobe.

This list can be expanded and changed slightly depending on season. For example, a tailored pair of shorts is on the list through summer, while a warm coat is a must have in winter. As a rule of thumb, the following are constants.


Essentials Checklist

White dress shirt: A sport shirt, such as ZP’s Mulberry, can be worn for an interview or a formal event.

White T-Shirt: A plain white T-shirt, such as ZP’s Brookville, is ideal for layering or for a classic jean-tee pairing.

Cashmere Sweater: A 100% cashmere sweater is perfect for layering. No pattern, a solid in a classic shade is more versatile.

Tailored pants: A chino, such as ZP’s Aster, works for office hours and after hours.

Jeans: Consider a flattering slim fit and a dark indigo wash, which is suitable for both casual offices and weekends.

Suit: A single-breasted suit in a classic dark color. Opt for two-button and make sure it fits well across the shoulders.

Tie: You need at least one in your wardrobe. Keep it simple and silk with a matte finish.

Casual Jacket: Look for something versatile, such as ZP’s Oxford, which is a 3-in-1 jacket that transitions through the seasons.

Footwear: Include lace-up shoes for more formal occasions or business, such as Oxfords or brogues, Chelsea boots, which look equally good with a suit or jeans; and a quality leather sneaker, which is acceptable for work or weekend.


How to Wear a Suit

We’re not going to lie, nothing beats a bespoke suit, because fit is everything.

However, if you’re buying off the peg, look at the quality of fabric. Go for wool, wool blended with cashmere, or pure cashmere. For warm weather, consider linen.

The most important measurement on off-the-peg suits is across the shoulder, a tailor can alter the chest, waist, sleeve, and leg, but it’s near impossible to sort out a shoulder that doesn’t fit properly.

If you need a versatile suit that will be your go-to for all occasions, from interviews to formal events, keep it simple, go for a dark color, two-button, and single-breasted.


Suit Checklist

Shoulders: Shoulder pads shouldn’t stick out beyond your own shoulders.

Chest: There shouldn’t be more than a fist-size space between your buttoned-up jacket and your body.

Buttons: Three-button, two-button, one-button, or double-breasted? Don’t get overwhelmed, a single-breasted, two-button suit is a safe bet for most bodies and is extremely versatile.

Vents: Don’t buy a suit without a vent. The only question should be whether you want a center vent, which is standard, or side vents, which are a more stylish option.

Lapels: It depends why you’re buying the suit. A notch lapel is the best option for business and everyday wear, while a peaked lapel makes a bolder statement for a fancier event. When in doubt, go with a notch lapel.

Sleeves: They should show a quarter inch of cuff.


How to Choose Jeans

Jeans could be considered one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe. Choose the right pair and this staple will have you covered for work with a shirt, the weekend with a tee, and pretty much every occasion in between.


Jeans Checklist

Fit: There are so many styles, from skinny to wide, but you should opt for a classic slim fit above all others.

Denim color: Go for dark denim, it’s a classic that’s easily dressed up or down.

Quality: Choose a mid-weight denim with no stretch—it looks good and will last.

Rise: Buy a medium rise.


How to Wear Color

The first rule of wearing color? Don’t go overboard. Classic shades such as black, navy, and gray are wardrobe essentials, as are neutrals, but you can develop your own personal style with a splash of color. Done correctly, it looks great.


Color Checklist

Socks: If you want to start easy, step out in colorful socks.

Accessories: a bright backpack, hat or scarf can also be a less intimidating way to introduce brighter shades.

T-shirt: Layer a colorful tee, such as ZP’s Brookville in Dark Aqua under a shirt or sweater.

Check or plaid: If you don’t want to go with a solid, introduce a plaid or check with a colorful line in it, such as ZP’s Lieberman.


Develop Your Personal Style

Once you’ve got to grips with this list, start thinking about how you can develop your personal style. Whether it’s a color that works particularly well for you, a selection of cool hats, or an extensive sneaker collection, putting your own spin on things is the sign of a true style maven.


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