Inappropriately scaled clothing is the root cause lor the contemporary man's current lack of sartorial distinction. Obsolescence in menswear is built upon the manipulation of the classic proportions, sometimes in ways that do nor flatter, as flared bottoms, overly shouldered jackets, and square-toed shoes attest.
It is said that the quality of a chef can be judged by his consomme, l ikewise, a man's dressing skill rests on his ability to wear the simplest clothes to individual perfection. This is essentially a lesson in proportion. The first step in evolving a distinctive yet long-term dressing sty le is for each man to master the standard scheme of tailored suit, white dress shirt, solid necktie, white pocket square, with dark socks and shoes. I "his is not to suggest that he adopt such formulaic attire, although it can come in handy for certain occasions.
While this classic outfit does not constitute a study ol all possible dressing proportions, its curriculum is fundamental to moving up to the next level of sartorial sophistication. The relevance of this specific sartorial paradigm is that within it resides a series of mini portraitures. \\ hicli. when knowledgeably rendered, form a choreography of ideal dressing proportions unique to each man Once familiar w ith how best to exploit each for maximum personal advantage, one can use them as the blueprint for future fashion explorations. As stated earlier, genuine innovation has alway s taken place with an awareness, rather than an ignorance, of restraints.
Breaking down this ensemble into a corporeal map. you discover that in order to tra verse it smartly, five major intersections must be negotiated- the neck, shoulder, waist, wrist, and ankle. Each contains a network of lines and curves that when correctly connected to one another enhances the overall aesthetic. Applying the whys of its collar decor to y our face, or jacket length to your body, improves your faculty for less ritualistic raiment, such as tailored sportswear or casual attire.
fortunately, the face's shape, the neck's height, the shoulder's width, the arm's length, the torso's structure, and the loot's size remain fairly constant over time, even allowing for some weight fluctuation. Unlike fashion, which is obliged to change seasonally: learning how to dress well does nor have to be a case of stalking a constantly moving target. Confining one's fashion focus to those physical characteristics found between hat and hose will facilitate one's mastery of scale and proportion Once these rules ol classic form relating to his own unique physiognomy are understood, a man has every reason to feel confident about getting his arms around this stuff. Let's examine in more depth the architectural logic and fashion rationale at work here.
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