When it comes to fashion, men don’t have it so easy. While there are thousands of magazines, TV shows and blogs telling women what they should and should not wear, men are left relying on instinct and what happens to be in the shops as they're walking past.
But if you know the basics, you can't go far wrong with men's fashion. Just remember, trends may come and go, but certain style rules should never be broken. Here are a few of the essential dos and don’ts for the modern man...
Rule #1 Know your measurements
This is a bit more complicated than ‘S, M or L’. Every man should know the following measurements: neck (for shirt collars); arm length (for shirts and jackets); chest (shirts again); inseam (for trouser length); and waist (for trousers).
Once you know these, you should only consider buying clothes that are a perfect fit for you. Well-fitting clothes actually have a slimming effect, and can look a lot more expensive than they really are!
Rule #2 Invest in quality
This should go without saying, but many men balk at the idea of spending three figures on a cashmere sweater, or a pair of Italian leather shoes. Quality lasts, so use the ‘cost per wear’ equation.
A cheap jumper will look shabby after a few wears, but fine wool or cashmere will last a lifetime if you wash it properly. Over time, that £££-rated sweater could end up costing you a lot less per wear than all your budget jumpers put together.
Rule #3 Don’t do double denim if you’re OVER 30
Unless you’re a sub-30 trendsetter, this is NOT a good look. Denim shirts and jeans are wardrobe classics, but only when worn separately – in fact, you can wear just about anything with jeans other than a denim shirt. And don’t even think about adding a denim jacket into the mix – triple denim is a triple no-no.
Rule #4 Don’t pattern-clash
A checked jacket with a stripy shirt? That’s a migraine waiting to happen. A stripy tie with a paisley print shirt? Better hand out sunglasses to your nearest and dearest.
Patterns can look great on a man, if used sparingly. Limit yourself to one patterned item per outfit, and keep the rest of your look sleek by picking out one or two (no more) colours out from the pattern and building your outfit around them.
Rule #5 Iron your shirts (but not your jeans)
Every man should know how to iron a shirt to perfection – and it's really not that difficult once you get the hang of it! Start with the collar and the cuffs, then smooth out the sleeves and iron them, then the front, then the back – voila!
You’ll have a perfectly-pressed shirt that will make you look a lot more put-together than you might feel. One thing you should never iron? Your jeans. Let’s face it - if you feel compelled to iron them, you probably shouldn’t be wearing them.
Rule #6 Last but not least – Never EVER wear socks with sandals
Don’t be fooled – every couple of years some maverick designer tries (and fails) to make this a ‘thing’. Socks and sandals simply do not work together.
For a start, if it’s hot enough to be wearing sandals, it’s too hot to be wearing socks. And if you’re just self-conscious about your feet, cladding them in socks and sandals will only draw attention to them... Choose boat shoes or plimsolls instead.