This post is an excerpt from an interview with Articles of Style. Here we cover Alan’s tips for dressing better, but there’s more over there including the state of menswear, and Alan’s personal style. Click through and take a look!
1. Take total personal responsibility for the buying of your clothes and the development of your style-learning curve.
2. Read every Apparel Arts, pre-1945 Esquire Magazine, and 1930’s, 40s, and 50s Adam Magazine that you can get your hands on.
3. Do not buy anything that you cannot envision yourself wearing in ten years.
4. Learn what proportion of clothes fits your body and why; what colors flatter your individual complexion and why. Did I mention why – that’s the essential part of the equation. As an example, which collar shape most flatters your face and why? What’s the ideal jacket length for your body and why, and so on.
5. Fashion means those clothes that are deemed important and stylish at a particular moment in time. As time changes, so does fashion. You must learn to separate fashion from style, the first is tied to time, and the latter is not. Whether a particular look is right for you, for your complexion or for your build is not a question of fashion, but of anchoring long term style based on its two benchmarks – your personal architecture and complexion. They should drive each and every fashion or style decision.
6. Dressing well is much less complicated and difficult than generally thought to be, the challenge is getting the right information for you and you alone.
7. Learning how to dress well is an art form, okay a minor one. Before you can bend or even break the rules, you need to know what they are and how they relate to your own physique and complexion. These rules speak to how’s and why’s of sartorial correctness. After getting to know them better, then, and only then, should you try pushing against them to begin building an enduring, long term, and personalized dressing style – the ultimate goal. There are no shortcuts here. Should anyone doubt the value of knowing about sartorial correctness relative to holding fashion’s excesses at bay, a quick look at any Oscar Awards from the past thirty years will confirm just how far afield the uninitiated lad can be led. Armed with the new-age encyclical of “doing your own thing,” tradition-emancipated men wander about looking like victims of some failed fashion Ponzi scheme.