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The devil is in the detail - accessories and styling your outfits

This week's blog post is based on some of the things I've been talking to clients about recently. As you'll see, it's not always a major shift that needs to happen but sometimes it's just about paying attention to the finer details.

It may be adding some accessories, or perhaps it's the finishing touches of how to wear and style things. It could be that you haven't even considered these ideas before, so have a look and see if there's anything here, that will help to improve your wardrobe.....after all, sometimes the smallest steps, can make the biggest difference.

Ami mint green sweatshirt - personal shopping for men

Not only is it crucial to get the fit right when wearing tailoring, it can also alter the look of casual wear. As an example I've used this Ami sweatshirt which I bought with a client last year. I didn't realise when I took it from the rail, but once he had it on, I could see it had an exaggerated shape with broad shoulders and a boxy fit. It looked very cool, which could be the reason it was one of the things he was most excited about buying on our shopping trip!

However, f you prefer more of a classic look then take a look at the Paul Smith ones which also fit really nicely, just in a different way. The construction has set in sleeves and a side panel which gives a much neater fit. 

Proportions change in fashion and eventually trickle down to mainstream and classic menswear....it's currently moving away from the very slim looks we've seen around for so long and back to a wider, baggier look. But if you're not ready yet to go for a full on 90s oversized rave look (I don't blame you!) then think about the balance in proportions between the top and bottom half. If you're going oversized on top, then you might want to stick to a slimmer bottom half, and if you're enjoying the comfort of wearing a slightly wider leg jean, then maybe choose a more fitted sweater or a shorter style jacket for now.

'Ami de Coeur' sweatshirt - Ami - £250 (lots of other colours available)

Blue Ikat scarf - styling details for men

Okay so I know lots of guys just don't and won't ever wear a scarf (no matter how much I try to persuade them to the contrary!) but if it's something you just haven't thought about, then maybe it's time to start?

Not only do they look good, they're practical too......as my client mentioned on our shopping trip last week, it's really useful to wear a scarf with a blazer at this time of year - you don't need a coat but a scarf makes all the difference in fending off the chill in the mornings.  

So once I've managed to persuade them, the next question I usually get asked is "how do I tie it?", and this scarf tying video is what I normally send over after our shopping trip. It shows some great options, including my personal favourite - "Blazer II" which is about 1.12 mins into the video. 

My starting place to look for men's scarves is nearly always the Paul Smith sale shop, and I also really like Nick Bronson which is stocked in Liberty, as well as the & Sons one above which I found online.

Blue Ikat scarf - & Sons - £50

How to get a dimple in your tie - personal styling for men

If you thought dimples were just things that appeared in people's cheeks when they smiled, then you'd better have a look at the videos below. They show how to tie your tie with a dimple beneath the knot - it gives the tie dimension and is one of those tiny, subtle details that make you look just that bit better dressed than the next guy.

This is a quick version of how to do it from Mr Porter, but if you want a more detailed version (so you don't go round looking like a 13 year old boy - yikes!) then check out this one from The Gentlemen's Gazette

Green geometric silk tie - Eton - £85

Silver pendants - personal styling for men

Blame it on Connell from Normal People but ever since the hit TV show that everyone and his wife watched during lockdown, I seem to have been recommending more necklaces to guys, including a couple last week.

I recommended one client have a look at Alice Made This, and Le Gramme (another brand I bought recently with someone) to find something understated, which would add a little something to his outfits, and finish them off really well.

But for the other one, I felt both those brands were a little too slick and shiny, and he needed more of a rugged, masculine look, so I included the one on the right in his online shopping suggestions, because it's duller and more beaten up looking and suits his style a lot more. 

Left: Dot silver ball necklace - Alice Made This - £190
Right: Lucky sixpence necklace - & Sons - £65

How to roll your shirt sleeves - personal stylist for men

Some people do stuff like rolling up their sleeves automatically and don't need anyone to show them how, and others like to consider it a little more.......(and some like to consider it A LOT, like the US Army!)

I've definitely been asked how to roll up shirt sleeves before, so if you're in the latter camp, here's a video explaining some options, including how not to do it, and tips on the best way if you're a smaller, shorter guy.

'Arne' checked cotton flannel shirt - NN07 at Mr Porter - £95

Webbing and canvas belts - style advice for men

Wanna know something that makes me cry?? Hearing that you only have one lonely little belt in your entire wardrobe! If that's you, I'm here to suggest some alternatives and help you find some friends for the one you have.

Woven and webbing belts like these ones are just so useful - they add a bit of interest to your outfit, plus a touch of colour and a whole lot of style. I got the green one (at the bottom of the picture above) on a shopping trip last summer with a client, and it had to be one of our favourite purchases of the day! That colour is no longer available but click the link below, and you'll seen an orange arrow one which is also very cool......it just didn't fit in with my colour scheme for this blog post!

Anderson's were the original woven belt brand I came across, but if you'd like some less expensive options then have a look at Swole Panda or Tyler & Tyler. And John Lewis also has this one which is useful in blue & black tones or this Barbour one which is multi coloured and casual.

And if you're guilty of wearing a black belt with brown shoes, or vice versa then make sure you get a belt in the colour or your shoes or have a look at this blog post for some alternative belts that will tone rather than match.

Top: Green and blue woven belt - Swole Panda - £34.95
Bottom: Green webbing belt - Folk Clothing - £50

 How to roll up your jeans - personal style advice for men

A discussion I've been having very recently with a client, is how to do turn-ups (or cuffs) on your jeans. He found this video about different ways of doing it and asked which I thought was best. I tend to like a single turn up on dark jeans, especially if they're selvedge, and a double one on lighter jeans. The pin roll one can be useful if you're not used to wearing jeans with a wider hemline and want to narrow it a little for a more tapered effect.

Other than that, I'd take into consideration, the length of the jeans to start with, what shoes/boots you're wearing them with and the length of your legs. If you have short legs, then go for a narrow turn-up, and if you have long legs then you can afford to have a wider one.

If you want to watch a more detailed video than the one above on how to cuff your jeans, then have a look at this one, or this one for some alternative ways of doing it.

Left: Kurt slim fit jeans - Officine Generale at Mr Porter - £155
Right: Bleach wash selvedge jeans - Drakes - £295 

Anonymous Ism socks - personal shopper for men

And finally, if you're going to be turning up your jeans (and even if you're not, they'll show when you sit down), you're going to need some great socks.

Think about thicker cotton textures and patterns for casual wear and to wear with boots and trainers, and finer sleeker ones for work and to wear with Oxfords, brogues and monkstraps.

For casual, I like these ones above which are from Anonymous Ism and I love some of the Folk ones and Rototo ones too.

And for smarter styles, look at Pantherella - I like the shadow stripe ones or The London Sock Company have an elegant selection.

5 colour mix crew socks - Anonymous Ism at Peggs & Son - £25

And if after reading this, you're not quite sure how you could adapt this to your wardrobe, and you'd like some one-to-one help to pinpoint the specific details that are right for you, then get in touch:

Contact Sarah for a chat 

"Highly recommend working with Sarah. During my wardrobe edit, she showed up ready to go, spending 6-7 hours going through everything and putting together different options with me. She honed in on what I wanted quite quickly, even though I hadn't described it very well and didn't realise that I needed help with dressing casually, while still looking cool & smart.

I now feel like I have a much better sense of the above, and have had a lot more fun getting dressed in the mornings. I was also really impressed by the quick follow-up, the many ideas & suggestions she made for items to purchase, and the in-depth way she thought about the interplay of colours, textures and weights.

If you are looking to refresh your look or wardrobe for this new pandemic era of work dressing, I could not recommend Sarah more highly. I wish I'd done it sooner!"

If you enjoyed reading this post, you might like these too:

What happens during a wardrobe edit for men

How does a wardrobe edit for men work?

How to put together smart casual looks for men

5 x Tips on how to put together a smart casual wardrobe