Add Finishing Touches
The clothes may make the man, but the accessories make him stand out from the crowd. Attention to detail is the difference between getting dressed and dressing well. Finishing school is now in session.
Choose shoes that match the tone of your outfit. Low-slung Italian slip-ons will clash with a traditional business suit. Wingtips will clash with everything but a traditional business suit.
Shoes should always be polished, scuff-free, and in good repair. If you detail your car more often than you polish your shoes, you're in trouble (especially if you drive a Yugo.) To get the most out of your shoes, polish 'em after three or four wearings.
The right brown shoes will go just fine with blue pants. Your water sandals will go just fine at the beach. And nowhere else.
Ultra-hip, fashion conscious men will mix and match the color of the metal they wear. If you don't fit into this category, play it safe. Color coordinate everything, including your belt buckle, cuff links, tie chain, watch, suspender keepers (those little doo-dads that allow you to adjust for size), rings, metal buttons and buckles on clothing or shoes. The one common exception is your wedding ring. No one expects you to switch to a platinum ring just to match your silver cuff links.
How much is too much? That depends on your comfort level? Unless you have a secret desire to make a guest appearance on The Sopranos, one ring per hand and one item per wrist (a watch on one, an ID bracelet on the other) should suffice.
If you like to wear a necklace, fine. One is generally enough. Unless, of course, you're Mr. T. Then you can wear dozens.
Belts and Braces
Don't EVER wear both. They do the same job. Pick one and leave it at that.
Braces are fancy suspenders; they button to the inside of your pants rather than clip on to the waistband. Clip-ons are fine for holding up workpants but are completely inappropriate for anything dressier than that. If your pants lack buttons on the inside of the waistband, any tailor can install them in about ten minutes.
Coordinate braces or a belt with the rest of your outfit. The leather should match your shoes in color. Any metal should match all other metal in your ensemble. The color of silk braces does not need to match, but it should enhance your outfit.
The Pocket Square
The absolute final touch is the pocket square. Taste on this can run from the shove-it-in-your-pocket-as-an-afterthought school, to the fold-it-six-ways-to-Sunday school. We like it both ways and everything in between.
Colored silk squares should compliment the rest of the outfit. Echo a hue in the tie or the shirt. Avoid perfect matches unless you're unsure.
Never wear a white square with an ecru shirt, or vice versa. It makes you look colorblind, or inept, or both.
Congratulations. You've just been detailed