The clothes don't make the man and, if we're to be honest, they don't even make the man stylish. The way the man wears the clothes: That's what matters.
In the interest of making the most of our wardrobe, we reached out to the men who designed (or inspired the designers who designed) most of the clothes in our wardrobe and asked them how to pull them off. Ever humble, these five well-known men's wear mavens were mostly eager to tell us how to make a more casual look work. They talked. We listened. Here's what we learned.
Billy Reid on stress-free eveningwear
In an era when an evening suit can be anything from a J.Crew Ludlow worn with Jack Purcells to a broad-lapeled statement piece, it's refreshing to know that there are options that look both casual and elegant.
"Mixing more casual elements into evening is an interesting and inwardly comfortable approach," says Billy Reid, the Alabama-based American designer who won the Council of Fashion Designers of America's coveted Menswear Designer of the Year Award in 2012. "A knit – like a turtleneck or even a striped crew – takes the edge off [a day look] and can look chic when done right. A more casual shirt, if appropriate with no tie, can be nice as well."
Even a simple white shirt with no tie paired with a great fitting suit can work to stunning effect provided you follow Reid's one hard-and-fast rule: When standing, always, always button that jacket. Aside from wearing a suit vest, there's no quicker way to instantly create a more slimmed-down silhouette.
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