Good dressing for men
(The Freeman) - February 4, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - In discussions about dressing, the men tend to be always left out. It's as if men either naturally look their best without effort or they are so hopeless that no amount of dressing up would do, so why bother? But truth is, men need some dressing up as much as women do.

When pestered about dressing up, most men beg for just the basic. Yet, actually, dressing properly means just fitting oneself well with a particular time or occasion. It means upgrading oneself a bit, in order to feel confident. Often, the man who carries himself with confidence comes across looking stylish, too.

There are a few things to remember.

1. Keep a blazer handy. A blazer helps a lot in adding a sheen of style to day-to-day outfits. It can do with or without a tie, so it is very practical. It can pass, too, in many formal occasions that call for a jacket or an overcoat.  A good choice, thus, would be a blazer that is neither too sporty nor too formal, so it can be used both ways. It can be made playful, to match the wearer's personality and gain appreciative attention, like special colors woven in and other interesting signatures. Care and good taste shall be used, though, for the piece not to go overboard.

2. Invest in a suit. Even for the man who is used to working in a business casual environment, it is still advisable to be ready with at least one good dark neutral suit that fits well. It can make him feel secure that he will look his personal best in a moment's notice to a wedding, funeral, job interview etc. The power of being properly attired cannot be underestimated - it can make the best impressions when these are most needed.

3. Get your own fit.  Dress shirts, being the so-called centerpieces of a man's professional wardrobe, should especially fit right. Professional stylists are one in saying that "a dress shirt that fits well, properly pressed and paired with the right ties, trousers and jackets, makes the wearer stands out in all the right ways."  It may not be a good idea to tell the tailor to use the "previous" measurements when ordering a new set. The "previous" measurements may no longer fit perfectly. As everyone knows, body size fluctuates frequently these days, particularly among the white-collar workers. If used to shopping ready-to-wear, it is good practice to always fit; take note of the brands that give a good fit and be loyal to those brands, to cut on shopping time.

 4. Explore colors beyond white. Speaking of dress shirts, most men - even those with quite a variety of pieces - limit the color to white. Why is that? Probably habit. But there is a whole lot of other colors to explore, for an interesting look. Colored pieces are somewhat more resistant to dirt and stains. Blue, for example, comes in a variety of shades. Other colors, like lavender, peach and yellow, to name a few, can add a fresh and appropriate amount of color to a dark neutral suit.

Moreover, on the subject of colors, men generally stick to dark neutral suits, jackets and pants. This understandably serves a practical reason:  Dark color hides wear-and-tear better than lighter colors, and are more effective in creating the illusion of slimming. Dark colors are also easier to mix and match.

But dark colors all the time can be boring - and can even be "out of place." Lighter colors, like beige, can look so refreshing in warm weather. Of course, it needs good color coordination and has to work with the wearer's skin tone. But the point is that a suit or blazer need not be limited to dark colors.

On shoes and socks, a subject that seems to be an afterthought with many men - good, well-polished shoes shall go with the winning outfit. Dark-color socks such as navy, black or brown are best. Higher socks covering the calves are preferable. A belt that matches the shoes makes for an integrated look.   (FREEMAN)

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