It’s the little things that count — especially when it comes to fashion. When you look at a well-dressed man, it’s easy to see the bigger picture, but what many fail to realize is that it’s all the little style details that he gets right that make him the package deal. Do you feel like you’re missing these tidbits? Here is your Cheat Sheet guide to some style details you need to get right.
1. Iron your clothes
It’s one of the first things you notice about a man. If your clothes are wrinkled and unkempt, no matter how on-point your outfit is, you’ll look messy — like you rolled out of bed. Not only is this a terrible look, but walking into work with a wrinkled dress shirt and unpressed suit makes it seem like you’re not taking your job seriously. It doesn’t matter how tired you are, always make sure your clothes are ironed before you leave your house. Not sure how to properly iron your shirt? Take a look at this guide from The Art of Manliness.
2. Look closely at your shirt collars and other areas
When was the last time you took a hard look at your dress shirts? Making sure your shirts are as well-kept as your suits is incredibly important. When you inspect them, look inside the collar for yellowing and check out the edges for fraying. Even the slightest hint of any wear and tear on your shirts can make you look unkempt. Additionally, there are certain spots on your dress shirts that are more prone to staining due to sweat, color that rubs off from your other clothing, or even makeup stains if you happen to have spent some quality time with a significant other recently.
3. Experiment with a new piece each season
You might be a man who knows what he wants and knows what looks good on him, but this may also leave you in a bit of a rut. You don’t really play with color and you tend to wear variations of the same outfit. Make it a rule that you’ll try at least one new piece each season. When you find that perfect trendy item, be it a scarf, a new pair of shoes, or a new jacket, wear the hell out of it. New and exciting clothing can be a good thing.
4. Accessorize just enough
No one is telling you to mirror Johnny Depp with stacks of bangled bracelets. In fact, it’s important to know that when wearing accessories, less is indeed more. The unofficial rules for accessorizing are as follows: Opt for no more than two wearable accessories, and one bag or carryall (such as a briefcase or portfolio) at a time. This is otherwise referred to as the rule of three. Your combination could be a watch, tie, and briefcase, or a tie, bracelet, and portfolio — wearing three accessories balances your look.
5. Pant length
When buying pants, not only do you need to try them on to make sure they fit, but you also need to concern yourself with the length. Wearing pants that are ill-fitted or too long is a major fashion faux pas. Your pants should not bunch or puddle over your shoes or flap around your ankles. The aim is to have your pants skim the top of your shoes, at least one inch above your heel to ensure a perfect fit. Get to your tailor, stat.
6. Scuffed shoes
Pay attention to your shoes. Sure, accidents happen and your shoes can show some wear and tear, but when they do, take care of it right away. Scuffs and stains can make the rest of your outfit look messy and dirty. Get yourself to your shoemaker and they will buff out scratches, repair worn heels, and more. This will not only look better, but also extend the life of your shoes. Another option: a simple, at-home solution like this one from The Huffington Post.
7. Don’t overspray the cologne
Cologne is meant to accent your look, not drown you in a smell that suffocates people. The Wall Street Journal sums it up perfectly: “When it comes to men’s cologne, it seems to be all or nothing. Many men wear none — and many men wear too much.” WSJ also explains that men’s fragrances tend to stress darker, warmer wood, spice, or amber notes. This makes men’s cologne much heavier, meaning that fewer spritzes are needed. However, a lot of men don’t follow those rules.
How can you tell if you’ve sprayed too much? “If you get too much ‘What perfume have you put on tonight?,’ well, you know you have too much on!” Kilian Hennessy, founder of By Kilian, a collection of luxury scents, said to The Wall Street Journal. “On the contrary, if you can’t smell your perfume the next day on your scarf or sweater, you probably didn’t apply enough. It is balance.”