The rules governing men’s clothing accessories are not that complicated. Clip this here, slip this through this hole, for a touch of sprezzatura, leave this nonchalantly unbuttoned, etc. For years we’ve dutifully followed the rules and they’ve worked for us. But our styles are our own and in this world of “personal brands” isn’t it time we started to break new ground, to apply some creativity to our style, to have fun with our look?
Nobody’s recommending that you break the rules for the sole purpose of breaking the rules. But there is some room for some creativity, especially when it comes to accessories. It’s the little things that define your personal style. Hacking the accessories you probably already have by repurposing and reimagining them lets you add a little panache to your presentation and define your personal style. Here’s how:
Knot What You Expected
You don’t need a flower boutonniere (a la weddings or the prom) to put something in your lapel. If your button hole is functional, put it to use. A silk knot that was intended for your cuff can work overtime as a shapely accent on a solid blazer and bring the perfect amount of contrast to a monochrome outfit.
With fall approaching our thoughts turn to dapper hats in rich browns. A feather in your cap can bring a little dash to your look, but too much feather can look like you just played a gig with an Oompah band at a Tyrolean cultural festival. Instead, try a neatly folded pocket square to bring a bit of urbane polish to your hat like the stylish gent in the photo at the top. Fold it into a triangle, slide it in to the band and you’re done. Or, for a bit more flair, puff a thin silk pocket square like you normally would, slide it into the band of your hat, spread it out a little and, voila, your look is now topped off.
Keep a Trick Up Your Sleeve
We’ve covered the value of the properly rolled sleeve last summer, but we didn’t notice the opportunity to show off a little “sleeve bling” until tie clips became de rigueur in the Black Lapel offices. Start with a Happy Hour Roll (click the link above if you need a refresher on sleeve rolls), then clip it from the top with the tie clip you removed when you loosened your tie for said Happy Hour and it’s Miller Time! (Just kidding, nobody drinks Miller.)
Put Your Working Cuffs To Work
The working or “surgeon’s” cuff (one in which the buttons on the end of your sleeve can be opened) is a hallmark of a finely made jacket but nobody notices it unless you do what most guys do and wear the last button unbuttoned. It’s a great look, but it’s a little predictable. Change things up with a cufflink that brings a little pop to your wrist even when you’re not wearing a french cuff shirt.
I’m With the Band(anna)
From biker gangs to the Bloods and Crips to N-Sync, whenever men get together to do criminally bad things bandannas are usually involved. Bring the bandanna back into society’s good graces (or show off your inner bad boy) by using a bandanna as a pocket square. The intricate patterns and range of colors make the bandanna a great way to decorate the jacket pocket whether you’re dressing your look up or down.
Step 1 – Snap a photo of yourself rocking your hacks-essory.
Step 2 – Follow Black Lapel on Instagram (instagram.com/blacklapel).
Step 3 – Upload your photo of your style hack with the tag #BLStyleHacks.