Photo by Kevin N. Murphy.
Interestingly “up to speed” in regard to men’s fashion largely means being aware of fashion trends that have existed for hundreds of years or longer. Over at productivity blog Stepcase Lifehack, they’ve put together a basic but comprehensive guide to fashion tips and tricks every man should be aware of, many of which fall into the “have existed for centuries” category. Regarding dress suits:
You never button the bottom button. Apparently, Edward VII got fat and couldn’t button his vest over his belly, so now nobody does. On a three-button jacket, you button the middle; the top button is optional. If you have a jacket with 4 or more [buttons], you obviously know what you’re doing already.
Shirts with button-down collars are not dress shirts. They’re sports shirts, so wear them with a sports coat. Polo players used to button their collars down so they wouldn’t flap up in their face while they played. (Are you beginning to sense a theme here? Fashion rules are largely dictated by what English gentleman and nobility did generations or even centuries ago. Sports coats? You wore them during sport, i.e. hunting. Regimental stripes on ties? They indicated your regiment in the British military. And so on.)
The list covers shirts to shoes and everything in between. If you’ve largely just been imitating—or not imitating at all—the fashions of your workplace, reading the guide is a great way to see where you’ve been going wrong and why we do the things we do in regard to fashion.
The post at Stepcase Lifehack focuses exclusively on shoring up the lacking fashion sense of men, if you’ve got a great resource for women looking to increase their knowledge about fashion—business settings or otherwise—let’s hear about it in the comments.