G. Bruce Boyer has some advice for men who wear business attire every day: keep it balanced.
The menswear expert included in his book “True Style: The History and Principles of Classic Menswear” what he calls the four “big mistakes” that men make when dressing for work.
It’s important to strike a balance between being too boring and too loud when dressing for work. You don’t want to stand out too much at the office, but you don’t want to fade into obscurity either.
Being too studied.
Take care not to make everything too perfect, Boyer writes. Wearing an identical suit to the same event can emphasize the fact that business dress is a uniform.
“Everything all matched up makes the uniform obvious, overly fastidious, and blatantly narcissistic,” Boyer writes.
Think Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho” — now head toward the opposite of that.
Adding too many accessories.
Be careful not to overdo it, however, with the individuality. Too many accessories can be both distracting and a detriment to the image you’re trying to portray.
“Like putting all the China on the table at the same time, it’s too busy and signals insecurity,” Boyer writes.
The key to style is refusal, and what you put on is just as important as what you don’t. Most men should be seen with only three main accessories decorating their appendages: a nice watch, a good pair of cuff links, and, if they’re married, a simple wedding band.
Wearing too many patterns at once.
Patterns are great. Too many patterns: not so much.
“Like an overloaded electrical circuit, the outfit quickly burns out and calls attention to itself,” Boyer writes.
Too many patterns can confuse an observer, and they might elicit compliments people don’t mean to give when you catch them staring at the garishness. Beyond that, combining patterns at all is absurdly difficult to do in the first place. Just keep it simple.