A New Outlook on Men’s Fashion

Clothes maketh neither the man nor the gentleman; but they certainly maketh each more appealing to the eye, for rare is the man who looks better unclothed than clothed. So for most men, knowing how to dress—and when to dress—is essential. But in spite of the importance of dressing correctly, the aim of the modern gentleman should be to own as few items of clothing as possible—a new-age, radical, out-the-box concept not typically associated with gentlemanly comportment or offered as guidance in books on men’s manners. But long gone are the days when a man of refinement and leisure was expected to change several times per day, culminating with “dressing for dinner.” And long gone are the days when the esteem of a traveling gentleman could be reasonably estimated by the quantity of his luggage. Today, the smart traveler travels with one bag, it preferably being a carry-on. And if the length of his journey renders the amount of fresh changes contained in his bag insufficient, he launders (by hand, if he is the capable-type) as needed. His closet at home should be correspondingly sparse. The modern wisdom is to have a wardrobe built around a few neutral-colored garments of good quality; wear them as often as possible so as to get one’s money’s worth—and then some—out of them; take good care of them (hand-laundering them whenever possible, for example) so as to extend their lifespan; then gladly discard them years later when they have fully served their purpose, as evidenced by their threadbare condition. Having a closet filled with garments that rarely get worn, only for them to eventually fade from the forefront of fashion; be tucked away and forgotten about in drawers and atop hard-to-reach shelves; or simply get outgrown, makes absolutely no sense and is a colossal waste of money. After all, there are children going barefoot and shirtless in many regions of the world…. The 21st -century gentleman’s fashion motto should be: “Don’t hardly wear them; wear them hard!” Besides, spending less money on unnecessary and duplicitous clothing means having more money to spend on the gentlemanly pursuits of travel, fine dining, overall erudition, donating to worthy causes, and making the world a better place.

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