First thing's first: The word "sartorialist" may or may not be a "real" word. Yes, people use it, but WE haven't verified its authenticity. We'll get back to you on that. Just know that when we use the word, we're talking about a person who has a strong interest in tailored clothing and fashion. We're talking about YOU. Yes, you're a sartorialist. Embrace it.
Now to the point...
If you're looking to add some dimension, and perhaps, personality, to your look, consider investing in a few classic accessories:
1) A Pair of Cufflinks
Sure, you might not wear a French cuff shirt very often, but when you do, you'll need some cufflinks to clasp the ends of your shirt cuffs. Most people think that cufflinks are a luxury item, and while they definitely can be, you don't have to break the bank. Most department stores and some online retailers carry reasonably priced, quality cufflinks. Of course, jewelry stores will carry them, as well. Opt for a gold- or silver-toned pair--something that can be worn with any color suit or tuxedo. If you're lucky enough to find a pair of vintage cufflinks, it's worth the splurge. Etsy is a great resource for vintage accessories!
2) Pocket Squares
Wanna add a "pop" of color without being "over-the-top?" This is where the pocket square comes in! Choose five different squares of various patterns, fabrics, and colors. When you feel that your ensemble needs a little "umph," pop in a square! Try not to worry about being too "matchy-matchy." Your square should complement the other components of your ensemble. So, choose something you like, something you'd feel comfortable wearing.
3) Tie Bars
Think Mad Men. Now, sharkskin suits may go in and out of style, but the tie bar is a classic. And on a very windy day when you're walking from your office to the courtroom, you're gonna be glad you wore your tie bar. Just like cufflinks, you can find reasonably-priced tie bars at plenty of department stores and online retailers. Again, opt for a muted option (gold, silver, pewter) so that you can wear it with any suit.
4) Lapel Pins
Believe it or not, the lapel pin is a classic clothing accessory, derived from the collar pin and cousin to the brooch and boutonniere. Within the last few years, the lapel pin has grown increasingly popular. From simple and small to oversized and ornate, a lapel pin can add some "zest" to your suit and be a creative way to let a bit of your personality shine. We've seen lapel pins popping up at lots of department stores. Some of the best selections have come from online retailers like The Dapperdude Collection.
Stock Image; W&L Image
Of course, in professional men's dress, the belt (or suspenders (to be addressed in a different blog)) is a requirement. Not only do they hold your pants up, but they provide a finished look, especially if you decide to remove your coat. You probably have two belts--brown and black--at least. Great! Now, here's the game changer: your belt and your shoes don't have to match, although they should complement each other; AND, you can get away with belts that aren't just brown or black or shiny leather. Trust us.
We've witnessed great examples: a charcoal grey suit, white shirt, a deep suede blue belt, and brown shoes; or a brown charcoal suit, traditional blue oxford shirt, a two-toned (blue and distressed brown) belt and brown shoes. Just like the aforementioned accessories, a belt can enliven your look, but in a way that is translatable in both professional and casual spaces. Of course, you can find belts at department stores. If you're thinking about donning a more "unconventional" color, search for some online retailers.
At W&L, we believe that your clothing should be an outward expression of who you are. In some small way, incorporating one or more of these accessories into your daily look ensures that the world gets to see who you are. Now, go forth and shine.
Take risks. Tackle life. Wear William & Lauren.
Suggested Retailers for Accessories:
- Dapperdude Collection
- Nordstrom Rack
- Men's Wearhouse