When talking about architecture people often express the importance of finishes. An amazingly designed house can become clumsy if it is not finished in such a way as to compliment and express it’s overall design qualities. This is of particular importance as everyday people can notice a poorly finished product, whether that be in fashion, design, architecture, food etc. A chef can buy the best quality products he can find, however if he then serves a dish that looks like a sunday night dinner from the Brady Bunch then the once pristine produce is simply wasted.
This same idea applies to styling and fashion, in that a good outfit must be finished well in order to be great. Accessorising for men is by no means a modern concept – for centuries gentlemen have been accompanied with watches, briefcases, hats and cufflinks to compliment their attire and distinguish themselves from others. The word ‘accessorising’ has been somewhat tainted by shows like ‘Sex and the City’ and I’m the first to admit that I don’t use the word all that often. However this doesn’t deter from the fact that every man should have a parliament of diverse and interesting ‘add-ons’ for his whole wardrobe.
You wear accessories for one of two reasons: because they serve a practical purpose, like a belt that holds up your pants, or because they enhance your outfit stylistically, like a handmade leather wrist-wrap or some bespoke cufflinks. When it comes to standing out and being noticed, its the latter of the two which is most important.
Anchor Wrap by Kiel James Patrick
A tidy shoe and belt combination is perhaps most important for your own self satisfaction rather than others, the age old saying that women only notice a mans shoe if its bad holds rather true. I’m not suggesting shoes are not important (they are vitally important), but accessories can have a greater impact on a look than a shoe. For example, everyman should have a ‘great’ set of cufflinks, push the knotted cuffs aside for a moment, skim past the gold squares, and invest in something no one else has.
Bear Skin Guard Cufflink by Drake’s London
Jack Nicholson once said “With my sunglasses on, I am Jack Nicholson, without them, I am fat and 60”. This highlights how accessories can create differentiation through style, it also proves a good pair of sunglasses can do wonders for anyone. Outlined below is a simple guide to choosing and wearing accessories:
1. You can’t paint a Picasso out of mud. Even the best accessories cannot make a poor outfit look better. There needs to be base from which to work with, if in doubt, keep it clean and simple, fitted and comfortable, then let the accessory speak for itself.
2. Only purchase accessories you will wear – Don’t buy a tie clip if you never wear ties. Look for pieces that will stand the test-of-time and will get regular use in your current wardrobe. Not to say you won’t have the occasional ‘special’ piece to go with that ‘special’ outfit, but keep it realistic.
3. Trends are trendy, sentiments are forever. Having a Patek Phillipe watch is good, having a vintage Patek Phillipe is great, having a vintage Patek Phillipe watch that your grandfather gave you after surviving a war is purely awesome. These are hard to come by, but if you stumble upon a prestine family heirloom then treasure it, wear it and tell its story to everyone.
4. Price doesn’t always equal style. Closely linked to above, being inventive with accessories can create a unrivalled uniqueness, don’t go crazy with it, but you don’t have to spend big to add a little sparkle to an outfit.
5. Accessories can be personal – not everyone will like or agree with everything you wear. As long as it fits in with an overall look, and you’re not being totally outrageous then have confidence in your chosen item(s). (Disclaimer: If you’re friends say you look terrible in your new sunglasses, you probably do).
TVG will endeavour to bring to the surface some of the best accessories out there so keep updated and keep checking the site regularly.