A Gentleman´s Guide
Dan Trepanier, Creative Director of Articles of Style, discusses the alchemy by which the finer touches of anensemble transform a man into a gentleman.
Do the clothes make the man, or does the man make the clothes? It’s an age-old argument. On one hand, well-tailored clothing can provide a man with a very real sense of confidence and purpose. On the other hand, a man’s internal passion and charisma can make just about anyone overlook his appearance.
Every time I hear this existential debate, I can’t help but think: shouldn’t he take advantage of the power of appearance anyway? Surely that charismatic guy would be more effective if he put a little more effort into looking smart, presentable, professional, trustworthy, etc. The best leaders in the world have all been great speakers who passionately believed in a cause that was greater than themselves - but they also understood the importance of their physical appearance and the effect that this would have on their ability to influence people.
So it’s not just a question of clothes. It’s about attention to detail. It’s about the psychology of dressing. It’s about having control over the judgment calls that people make about you every day (whether they admit it or not) as a subconscious and necessary means to navigate their day to-day lives. The clothes don’t “make” anything happen without the proper attention to detail. As a custom clothier, I’m talking about tailoring and fit, of course, but I’m also talking about the finishing touches, like accessories.
Accessories are to clothing what grammar is to writing. They’re used to tell the story properly, and when you find styles that you love, you tend to stick with them for a very long time. In many cases, it’s a life-long relationship.
With that said, here are some timeless accessories that should be considered not only an investment in your long-term wardrobe but an investment in your first impressions.
A man’s timepiece, like his shoes, says a lot about him; his style, his taste, his confidence, his salary, his aspirations, and so on. A watch is worth a thousand words, and you’re telling a story, whether you know it or not.
Cufflinks are a hidden gem in menswear - literally and figuratively. They’re very personal, only peek out during certain actions, and are only noticed by those who are interested in the fine details of your story.
In an age of smartphone dependency and screen addiction, pulling out a precious writing instrument is more powerful than ever. Let’s bring it back, gentlemen.
A slim, minimal briefcase is elegant, understated and functional. This is the type of leather bag that, as a gentleman, gets better with age and looks more refined with a little character.
A slim belt in medium brown leather with a neutral buckle can slide between dress and casual, making it a versatile purchase that can stand the test of time.