This outfit is what happens when people watch too much television. Or substitute fashion for style. Everything save this gentleman’s shoes is two sizes too small—and on purpose! It looks like the suit his mother bought him for high school graduation dug out of the closet for his first job interview after college. We know it is an interview because he clearly has no job otherwise he could afford to buy socks. The shoes he evidently had to borrow from his Old Man.
Never, unless you are doing a guest stint with the Blues Brothers or are wearing a tuxedo, have black in your tie. Purple neither. If you must have black, have all black. Black in a tie is depressing, not to mention ugly and cheap looking.
The flat, rectangular belt buckle is also from high school, perhaps left over from his Boy Scout days. Not much wrong with the shirt, except that for a man with a neck like a giraffe, it should have a taller collar. The beard is either Hipster Chic or pure laziness. Either grow the damn thing out and trim it properly or learn to shave!
And did you notice his right hand is missing? Photoshopped into oblivion. It was supposed to be nonchalantly resting in his trouser pocket, but his pants were so tight he couldn’t squeeze it in.
From J. Crew, The “Ludlow Suit” in wool flannel.
This an instance of facial hair done properly. This look is not for every man, because not all of us can grow a moustache as luxuriantly thick. But on this young man it is particularly apt, especially since he, too, is obviously on his way to an interview and the moustache gives an air of maturity instead of frivolity as in the example above.
Which man will get the job? If the position is as a staff writer for the New York Times on the Tech beat, of course it is man number one. Another victory of style over fashion (the second man gives the air of not needing a job, and so it likely to secure a better one).
The suit here is classic and never out of place. Adding that “extra breast” turns an ordinary jacket into something twice as dressy. The lapels might, just might, be an inch wider, and the sleeves removed of a shade of extra material: but these trivial “flaws” are a matter of opinion after all. Notice the soft but still structured shoulder, and the—finally!—cinching at the waist. For too long have men been unthinking slaves to the sack suit. Time for a return to shape!
Whenever you see a plain tie, like this one, snap it up. They are surprisingly difficult to find. They are the easiest to match and are a reminder that ties are decorations for our necks and not for our bellies or crotches. Modern ties are long because men often (inexplicably) go jacketless.
Hands in the pockets again, but this time they have been spared the knife. The pocket square is a better match here too.
From Bergdorf Goodman.
1These images appeared as advertisements in the Wall Street Journal; I haven’t a scanner, so I photographed them.