I think one of the drawbacks to developing your own personal style is that eventually you feel like you’re just putting on a uniform every day. Nothing wrong with that, and if you crave simplicity in your life you could do a lot worse stylistically than guys like Tom Ford and Michael Kors. Unlike these guys who wear almost the same thing every day, I’ve got a few “uniforms” that I wear depending on the situation. Hell, even The Marines switch between their Service Uniform and their Dress Blues. However, unlike The Marines, I don’t want to look exactly like everyone else. You could differentiate yourself with extravagant fabrics, pricey labels, or even insanely bold colors, but for most of us we don’t have the finances or the space to build out a wildly extensive wardrobe (as much as I would like to). So now you’re left feeling as if you’re dressing just like every other Joe Schmo out there. Well, the style is in the details, my friends. How many guys out there do you think own a blue Brooks Brothers suit? I’m ballparking somewhere in the tens of thousands. That doesn’t mean every guy wearing a blue suit looks the same. A few well-designed accessories can make all the difference, without breaking the bank either.
Personally, I only wear French cuffs when I’m wearing a jacket or blazer. However, that doesn’t mean I hide my links. I love cufflinks with a little color, and I love links that stand out and get noticed without me having to show them off. If you want a pair of links with incredible style and crafted with a high attention to detail, check out Auburn Jewelry. The founder Samantha Levine makes every piece by hand. My personal favorites are Skull and Crossbones and Cupid’s Arrow. However, one of the coolest experiences they offer is their Custom Order Program. Auburn will work with you directly to turn an idea into a pair of cufflinks that are uniquely yours. That’s what I call developing personal style!
Yes, collar stays. You might not think much of them, but they do a lot for you. Obviously, they keep your collar points looking crisp and sharp. But they also help to structure your unbuttoned shirt when you’re not sporting a tie. Having a structured shirt opening helps frame your face while showing off just the right amount of skin. I would like to recommend two ways of grabbing a couple sets for yourself. First off, both Charles Tyrwhitt and Twillory offer a free pair of metal stays with every dress shirt. If you’re going to get a new dress shirt, why not get one that already comes with some quality collar stays. And let’s be honest, plastic stays just aren’t going to cut it. If you aren’t in the market for a new dress shirt, but just want to grab some collar stays instead, pick up a set from Würkin Stiffs. These metal stays are made from an airport-friendly alloy and include three sets of magnets to hold your collar in place exactly when you want it to be.
A Simple, Elegant Watch
One of the things that drives me nuts when I’m wearing a suit is when my shirt cuff and my watch aren’t working well together, like when the cuff is too tight that my watch won’t fit underneath or when my watch keeps getting snagged on my shirt. I find both of these things to be so irritating that I had to make a change. Last week I bought a new watch from Daniel Wellington. These thin, simple, and elegant watches come with a variety of interchangeable leather and nylons bands that are appropriate for every occasion. I personally went with the Classic St. Mawes in silver, but I’ll be acquiring a few of their nylon straps for summer too.
As I said, all it takes is a few well-designed accessories to inject a sense of personal style into your daily “uniforms”. I think the examples mentioned above would work well for anyone (including myself).