Good style is timeless. Look at any grainy old black and white photo, and you’ll know what we’re talking about—that golden era of men’s style where things were simple, colors were neutral, and times were better. We try to incorporate those style elements in our everyday lives because we truly believe that less is more and simple is better. Here are fashion tips we stole from our grandfathers:
Keep Your Shirts Pressed and Your Shoes Shined
Grandpa was disciplined. He woke up every morning at the crack of dawn, tossed two eggs in a pan with some buttered toast, and then pressed his shirts and shined his shoes for the work week. To him, these things were as necessary a part of life as breathing. Keep your clothing clean and free of wrinkles, and always keep your shoes looking spotless. The devil is in the details, and these two items are no exception.
Keep It Simple, Stupid
Try to leave the unnecessary pomp and flash behind. Everybody understands simple, and when done well—a simple wristwatch, no flashy jewelry, no wildly obnoxious shoes or other attention-seeking accessories—you’re guaranteed to turn heads. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t accessorize, we’re saying keep it to the basics and the classics and you’ll never go wrong.
See Your Barber Every Two Weeks—No Exceptions
In every candid, portrait, or even mugshot you see from back in the day, you’ll notice one commonality among them: everyone’s hair is always top shelf. That’s because seeing your barber consistently wasn’t just a grooming thing, it was therapeutic. Barbershops are momentary reprieves from our everyday lives, where men can still go to shoot the shit, talk politics, tell stories, and get a shape up. Plus—and if you don’t believe us, please go find out for yourself—there is no better feeling than stepping fresh out of the barbershop with a clean, perfect cut.
Stay Away From Loud Colors
Listen, fellas… There is a time and place for wardrobe experimentation. Don’t get us wrong, we love a risky ensemble from time to time, but for everyday dress, stick to the basics: blues, greys, blacks, whites, and browns. These closet staples go well with anything, and will make you stand out just as much as the idiot with the hot pink joggers, but without looking like a total asshole.
When In Doubt, Go With A Plain White Shirt
What else can we say, here? No matter what you’re wearing—brown, black, hot pink, orange, puke green—toss a white shirt on and it’s guaranteed to be a hit. Although, it should be noted that things weren’t always this way. The plain white t-shirt wasn’t popularized until the 1940s and ‘50s, when movie stars like Marlon Brando and James Dean debuted them on the silver screen.
No deep V’s, no weird cut-off sleeves, and definitely no three-sizes-too-big-for-no-reason bull shit. A clean, crisp, classic white t-shirt will bring any outfit together without going too far, or not going far enough. Wear it with black jeans and brown loafers, blue jeans and sneakers, or swim trunks and flip-flops—the classic white tee is never out of style.
It’s Always Better to Overdress Than Under Dress
Ok, now say this one with us: “It is better to overdress than to under dress.” Whether it be for a first date, a job interview, a business meeting, or whatever else, it is always better to over dress. You’ll have your entire life to be lazy and not worry about formality, but for a first meeting, always go above and beyond to impress. Your grandpa never left the house without a tie, so what the hell makes you think you can show up to a job interview in a wrinkled button-down? When in doubt, dress it out
Match Your Belt With Your Shoes
This one is a basic style element that so many men can’t seem to grasp, but our grand papis perfected. Worry less about the conventions of bland color matching, and instead focus on matching your accessories. If you’re going to get down with some light brown loafers, make sure you have the watch and the belt to go with it. No substitutions, no excuses. If you’re going to do it, do it right.
Never Leave Home Without Your Wristwatch
Speaking of watches, every good man should keep a timepiece at the ready. Regardless of the digital display on his phone, wristwatches are classic, always in style, and add a sense of dashing elegance to anything they’re worn with. Seriously, anything. Try not to be too flashy or show too much pomp, and just keep things basic—leather straps, a normal-sized face that’s easy to read, and nothing blingy or clanky. Simple, classic, and classy.
Report by Maxwell Barna for coolmaterial