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MENSWEAR DIARIES: RULES FOR ACCESSORISING TAILORING

19.10.15

When it comes to tailoring a man is never fully dressed without all of the right accessories. While this is certainly a widely accepted sartorial truth, the specifics of when particular accessories constitute as right and proper isn't so straightforward. Which colour shoes with which colour trousers? How best to match a tie, shirt and pocket square? What is the protocol for mixing pattern? The task of dressing up tailoring is a minefield, and you'll need more than a well cut two-piece to cut it. That's where we come in. To remedy the pitfalls of putting together a tailored look, this week's Menswear Diaries compiles the rules for accessorising tailoring effectively.

CHOOSE A TIE THAT'S DARKER THAN YOUR SHIRT

Ever seen a case of a white tie perfectly complementing a black shirt? Us neither. There are many different considerations to juggle when wearing a shirt, tie and suit, but there's one rule that always holds fast.

Your tie should always be a darker colour than your shirt, make no exceptions and you can't go wrong.

WEAR THE RIGHT SHOES

When wearing a suit it's of paramount importance to wear the right shoes or run the risk of instantly undoing all of the very best intentions. The good news? It's not rocket science. The even better news? Seasonality will have no bearing on the appropriateness of suit and shoe pairings.

So then, how to go about pairing shoes and suits correctly? Make sure that you always remember the following advice:

1. If in doubt, go for black shoes. They'll go with absolutely everything.

2. Tan/brown shoes work best with navy tailoring.

3. Ox blood shoes can be comfortably worn with black, navy, grey or blue tailoring.

DON'T DOUBLE UP ON PATTERN

Yes, adding a patterned shirt or tie to your workwear repertoire may seem like brilliantly bold move, but get it wrong and your outfit will veer hopelessly off course. Luckily, as far as patterns are concerned, styling rules are straightforward.

What to you need to know? When wearing a patterned shirt always opt for a tie in a solid colour (no patterns, frills, texture or fuss). Similarly, a patterned tie will work best with a plain shirt. It really is that simple.

DON'T MATCH YOUR TIE WITH YOUR POCKET SQUARE

So, we've established that your shirt should be darker than your tie and doubling up on patterns for your shirt and tie is calamitous territory. But, add a pocket square to proceedings and you'll need to exercise even more caution.

Wearing a pocket square is a fine art, and there are countless (far too many to list) ways in which a pocket square can be worn correctly or incorrectly. A good place to start? Ensure that your pocket square and tie don't match, that is to say colours should contrast and stick to either a patterned shirt or accessory.