The Art of Dapper
by Teah Strandjord
Want to dash into the spring and summer seasons with the irresistible style of a self-respecting gentleman? Good, and I want to help you. Follow the tips below, and make sure to consult the style guides (whether a book, a magazine, or your sister), ensuring that your chosen attire is appropriate for the formality of your destination. Then all you'll need is a lovely lady, a mint julep and a veranda.
Enhance your wardrobe with a few timelessly elegant pieces of chic, such as:
- A seersucker jacket for a casual summer cocktail party
- A fedora, a la Matt Bomer and his “White Collar” character, the quintessential gentleman Neal Caffrey
- A devilishly dapper tie bar, and a visit to this blog where you'll learn how to sport it
- A gracious messenger bag
- A colorful pair of cotton chinos
- A chic trench coat for drizzly days, or for chasing criminals
- A light and playful pair of madras shorts
- A sophisticated pocket square (and the knowledge of how to fold it)
- A striking set of elegant cufflinks
- A perfectly tailored blazer/sport coat for the casual but polished look
- A well-made full-size black umbrella with a wood handle that can double as a walking stick, or emergency dance accessory in the spirit of Gene Kelley
- Silk pajamas
- Driving loafers and boat shoes (that will certainly be worn sans socks)
Let this post mislead you, being a gentleman is not achieved solely by sporting tweed jackets and couture watches. It's really about how you behave in your clothes, your conduct, your virtue. But coordinating your apparel with your manner is just about as gentlemanly as it gets.
Dapper on a Dime
You also needn’t spend a fortune to own sartorial swagger. If you can, by all means indulge, but gentlemanliness isn’t for sale (leave that for the ostentatious and snobby). And dapper can be done on a dime. Here are some suggestions if Hermes is not on your list of can-haves.
- Have no shame in sale hunting.
- Avoiding the revolving door of trends, invest in timeless and high-quality pieces that will last your lifetime.
- Know how to pull together a fetching collection of gentlemanly basics from the less expensive designers such as Banana Republic (shop on their website and get your blazer, fedora, messenger bag, trench coat, boat shoes, pocket squares and cuff links).
- Embrace vintage. Scour antique stores, garage sales, and 2nd hand boutiques for self-respecting accessories; then as men love to do put your hands to work and restore something worn and old.
- Make a wish list for mom, your sister or your girlfriend. Let them know that a nice pair of cufflinks would be appreciated.
- Raid your grandfather's and father's closets, if they'll let you. Not only might you find a classic piece worthy of a gentleman's wardrobe, but better yet, a hand-me-down that comes with traditional ancestral pride.
20 Things Every Gentleman Should Own →
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