With the recent Emmy Awards and regular guys getting back into office status quo mode (read: wearing a suit/sportcoat) after a summer of fun, now seems like any appropriate time to revisit the basic rules of tailoring. Or, more importantly, the basic mistakes you don’t want to make. To that end, we asked a few Hollywood stylists to share their personal pet-peeves and advice for how to remedy the situation. Take their advice seriously and you may just find yourself on one of our best-dressed lists.
David Oyelowo in Vivienne Westwood, styled by Wendi and Nicole FerreiraGetty Images
With the Emmy Awards coming up tomorrow night, and regular guys getting back into office status quo mode (read: wearing a suit/sportcoat) after a summer of fun, now seems like any appropriate time to revisit the basic rules of tailoring. Or, more importantly, the basic mistakes you don’t want to make. To that end, we asked a few Hollywood stylists to share their personal pet-peeves and advice for how to remedy the situation. Take their advice seriously and you may just find yourself on one of our best-dressed lists.
1. Never Let The Suit Overpower The Man Wearing It
“Being too cautious is the biggest mistake guys make. Most men tend to be too conservative and age themselves with their styling selections for a suit. Picking up a magazine or going online and getting ideas will help push you to take some risks. Every time I have pushed a client gently to take a chance on a double-breasted suit or a statement blazer, it has paid off. Try chambray instead of a simple dress shirt, or a vest or a cardigan with a suit. Wear some sneakers or nice boots instead of typical dress shoes.” —Jeanne Yang
“Men have a tendency to stick with their old suit because they have it in their closet and it’s easy, but they look dated when they wear it. Stay up to date with changing suit styles—it’s usually the small details that make a big difference.” —Wendi and Nicole Ferreira
“The key to dressing well is knowing how to style with restraint and edit as you go. When you’re shopping, tune out the salesperson’s voice and trust your instincts. If you aren’t 100% comfortable in the look, it will show when you end up wearing it. I see it in every fitting I do. If the person isn’t completely comfortable with all of the pieces, you can see them fade into the clothes. Conversely, when you put them in the right look they suddenly perk up, standing taller with their chest out. Taking chances is a good thing, but you can’t force it either.” —Avo Yermagyan
2. Every Piece Has to Fit Properly
“The biggest styling mistake that makes me cringe is when I see a dress-shirt sleeves haven’t been shortened under the blazer. I would rather see no shirt sleeve cuff than too much. These little details to make a formal look go from good to worthy of being on GQ’s 10 Best-Dressed of the Week list.” —Jeff K Kim
“Pants that are too long or too wide at the bottom are a common mistake. A good tailor can fix this! Every guy has a different length preference. Sometimes it’s a “look” to have your pants a bit on the short side (very European, I like this). Some guys just prefer their pants longer, which is okay too, but it’s important not to have too much break. I think the most flattering shape is a not-too tight but slim-fit leg that tapers down to the ankle. This silhouette makes your legs look longer and is more flattering.” —Samantha McMillen
“In addition to pent-length issues, I see a lot of shoulders and arms that are far too big. One solution would be to go a size down. If a suit doesn’t fit you in the shoulders to begin with, it’s probably the wrong size.” —Evet Sanchez
3. Keep The Entire Look In Mind
“Don’t over consider your accessories. You don’t need to wear a tie bar, pocket square, and several pieces of jewelry at the same time. I think it’s important to look effortless rather than looking like you are trying too hard.” —Michael Fisher
“When putting together an outfit, think about proportions. The size of your lapels need to be in proportion to the size of your tie and the the size of your shirt collar and even the width of your pant hem and shoes. In other words, skinny lapel = skinny tie, slim shirt collar, slim tapered leg, and slim shoe/toe while wider lapel = slightly wider everything else.” —Ilaria Urbinati