1 | Don't Ignore Your Shirt Collar (above)
It's great to make do and mend, but only to a point. Your work shirt from summer 2008 may look white from the outside but be sure to inspect the inside of your collar for yellowing and the edges for fraying. Even the slightest hint of wear will make you look unkempt. The same goes for creases. Iron them out, no matter how hungover you are.
2 | Wear The Right Underwear
The VBL (visible boxer line) pandemic is gathering momentum across the UK. If you're into looser, more traditional boxer short styles, ensure that your trousers are equally free flowing to avoid the hem of your shorts and the resulting gathered fabric from becoming visible externally. A good option – particularly if you're wearing tighter jeans or a slim suit – is to opt for a slim cut trunk in a dark shade.
3 | Don't Use Your Pockets
There's a reason why tailors sew up suit pockets before they sell them. If you stuff your suit with keys, wallets, phones and packets of chewing gum you will totally ruin the line he's worked so hard to perfect. This applies as much to your jacket as it does to your trousers. Carry your essentials in your hands or in a bag to ensure that you look uncrumpled and elegant by the end of your commute.
4 | Buy a Belt That Fits You
That flappy bit of leather that you've punched a few extra holes into with the kitchen scissors may not be bothering you, but you can rest assured it's upsetting everyone else. Buying a belt that fits your waist size will ensure that there's no excess material swinging about and that the bulk beneath your jacket or jumper is minimised. This will both create the illusion of a slimmer silhouette and make you look like you care.
5 | Pay Attention To Trouser Length
Try and avoid trousers which puddle over your shoes or flap around your ankles. This doesn't mean you have to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. Take them instead to your tailor and get the hems turned up, or if they're too long, taken down (providing that there's enough fabric to work with). If in doubt aim to have the hem skimming the top of your shoes.
6 | Don't Expect It To Fit Off The Peg
Whether you buy your suit, blazer or jeans from Savile Row or the high street, the likelihood that it will fit you straight away is low. Find a good alterations tailor (we'd recommend Mr Mandalia on London's South Molton Street) and take everything you buy to him. That way no matter how much you spend, you'll always look good.
7 | Don’t Over-Accesorise
The rule when accessorising is to opt for no more than two wearable accessories (at a push) and one carry-able accessory at a time. A knitted tie with a pocket square and a briefcase, for instance. Or a light scarf and cufflinks with a portfolio. Less is definitely more. And unless you know exactly what you're doing (and even then) avoid jewellery at all costs. A watch is great, but a pile of man bangles to compliment it is probably a step too far.
8 | Pull Your Trousers Up When You Sit Down
Certain fabrics – wool and flannel in particular – are very quick to 'knee' (sag and pull around the knee area) once you've sat down a couple of times. One way to avoid this is to pull your trousers up a bit every time you sit down. This will avoid the fabric stretching and the unsightly jodhpur-esque trouser shape which ensues. Just make sure your socks are good enough to show off (see point 9).
9 | Pick The Right Socks
Just like your underpants, if your socks are on show, they should add to, rather than detract from your outfit. If you're wearing a suit ensure that the socks are thin (silk or cotton) and long enough so that no bare ankle is visible beneath the hem of your trousers – even when you sit down. If in doubt, opt for a sock in a dark shade – particularly if you're wearing dark colours – or alternatively opt for a sock in a muted shade which compliments the colours you're wearing. A burgundy sock with blue jeans and white sneakers for instance, or a charcoal sock with a navy chino and brown brogue.
10 | | Choose Crew-necks Over V-necks
Very few people look good in v-neck style jumpers and t-shirts. Unless layered correctly – to avoid too much flesh being on show – a v-neck can't help but look a bit slovenly. Also, if you're carrying a little extra weight the style will draw attention to your stomach, so it's definitely one to avoid.
11 | Spray Sparingly
When wearing aftershave spray once on the wrist, dab against the other wrist and then dab behind each ear. If you're wearing an eau de parfum or eau de toilette this should more than suffice. If you're wearing a lighter cologne, splash on a little more as the fragrance won't last as long.