The EBONY Style team met with a prestigious panel of experts to round up this must-have list of essential tips and tricks. From a foolproof way to perfect your bow tie to secrets on growing a lush beard, we’ve got you covered.
Identify a Signature Cologne
“Find a fragrance you love. It should be strong and lasting without being overwhelming.” —Alexander Allen, international creative director Tom Ford Private Blend Tobacco Oud Eau de Parfum ($210 for 1.7 oz.; nordstrom.com)
The Camel Overcoat
You can’t go wrong with this outerwear piece, which instantly dresses up even the most casual ensembles. Clean lines and a sleek silhouette make this an essential buy. If you only invest in one coat all season long, make it this baby. Coach Men’s Crosby Chesterfield Coat in Camel ($798; coach.com)
5 Foolproof Fashion
Tips from Style Expert Julie Rath
>Your tie at its widest point should measure about the same as your jacket lapel at its widest point.
>Your belt and shoes should match; so try to buy them at the same time. When doing this, consider the blazer you’ll wear with the pieces. If the jacket has brown in it, the shoes and belt should be brown as well.
>When buying shoes, look at their construction, Pay attention to how the uppers are attached to the insoles. When the insole is sewn to the upper, they are resoleable, so when the sole wears down, the old sole can be removed and a new one attached. This will prolong the life of the shoe.
>Focus on quality, not quantity, when building a wardrobe. You’re better off with one impeccably fitting dress shirt than five not-so-well-fitting ones.
>Every man should have a basic navy suit that fits well. It can be worn for everything from a job interview to a wedding.
Julie Rath is a men’s style consultant and founder of rath andco.com
INSTANT COOL: SLEEK SHADES
Who says sunglasses are only for the summer? Complete your fall look by copping a pair with contemporary engineering for futuristic edge. Vince Camuto Champion Aviator Sunglasses ($65; vincecamuto.com)
Treat Your Shoes With Care
n MRPORTER.COM’s tutorial on reviving old shoes, Costas Xenophontos of U.K.-based Classic Shoe Repairs stresses the importance of upkeep. “I’ve always been told to use shoe trees. Put them in right after taking off your shoes, while they’re warm and before the leather relaxes. Remember to treat the leather, too.”
Trimming Down Low—Can Dudes Do It?
Celebrity groomer Merrell Hollis says, “YES!” Trimming your armpits and intimate areas reduces bacteria building up on or around hair follicles. Hollis’ clients have included Sean “Diddy” Combs and Usher Raymond.
The Privates Sector Kit by Grooming Lounge ($80; groominglounge.com)
The Plaid Shirt
Get multiples of these. You’ll get plenty of wear from this foolproof essential that transitions easily from the office to the weekend. Perry Ellis Shirts ($69; perryellis.com)
The Ultimate Investment
A good watch stands the test of time. A go-to-timepiece is Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual Air-King Watch; it’s modern yet classic and sleek.” —Brian Coats, stylist and contributing fashion editor at GQ magazine Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King Watch (price upon request; rolex.com for information)
Show Your Dogs Some Love
Treat your soles to a little R&R by getting regular pedicures. We love the guy-approved Grooming Lounge’s luxe foot treatment, done in a chic private room tricked out with gray slate tiles and sumptious wood accents—no fluffy, frilly spa experience here. Grooming Lounge Foot Treatment ($55; The Grooming Lounge in Washington, D.C., 202-466-8900)
Play With Print
Spruce up your wardrobe by tastefully experimenting with classic patterns such as checks, plaids and stripes. The key to nailing the look? Stick with complementary hues that won’t clash with differing prints.
Store Your Threads Stylishly
Organize your closet so that your clothing and accessories are neatly on display; seeing everything aligned makes the process of getting dressed a lot easier, not to mention that proper storage will also prolong the life of your goods. Check out MRPORTER.COM’s “Style Help” section for a wealth of advice and information on garment storage and maintenance.
Lay off the Logos
“We don’t need to know you’re wearing Versace. Incorporate logos subtly, if need be. Opt for a horse bit, say, on a Gucci loafer. It speaks to the brand recognition without being gauche.” —Celebrity Stylist Rosie Philidor for Style House Inc, who has worked with actor Idris Elba and rapper Nasir “Nas” Jones Gucci Horsebit Suede Loafers ($530; mrporter.com)
The 4-Step Process to Growing Your Beard, According to Craig the Barber
1 Start With Good Skin Care Try a mild face wash that cleans the skin well. If it also fights hyperpigmentation, that’s a bonus. My go-to is Anthony Logistics for Men Glycolic Facial Cleanser ($21 for 8 oz.; anthony.com)
2 Don’t Look Like You’re Trying This can be a challenge because in-between stages of growth can start to look unkempt. A weekly tidying up of the neckline, cheek line and mustache is important. So put more care into small things like these. Try Andis SlimLine Pro Trimmer ($49; andis.com)
3 Study Your Beard Try to understand how your beard grows. Learn its growth pattern, and treat it along the way. We recommend Proactive + Soothing Shave Gel ($39; proactiveplus.com)
4 Treat Ingrown Hairs Ingrown hairs don’t have to be a fact of life. Find a product that has a preventive razor bump active that will refine the beard over time. We recommend Bump Patrol Cool Shave Gel with Menthol ($4.29 for 4 oz.; bumppatrol.com)
Craig the Barber is CEO of the Grooming Concierge and owner/editor-in-chief of The MensRoom.com.