Sartorialists usually think rules ought to be either followed or broken, depending on one’s rebellious inclinations. The in-betweens are sometimes referred to as ‘a twist’, which still implies the bending of a fundamental rule.
However, we should only call those instructions that we are compelled to follow for social reasons by the term ‘rules’; these might apply to uniforms, black tie, and other functional outfits that are collectively mandatory–you wouldn’t think of setting foot on a judo mat with a silk paisley belt, would you?
Sartorial tips fall under the umbrella of recommendations rather than rules: they’re mere guidelines to make your life easier. For instance, the Italian background, is arguably the most useful sartorial tip ever, especially if you have a taste for bold-coloured or patterned jackets.
The ingredients are very simple: light blue shirt and navy tie.
Back in the glory days of StyleForum a self-proclaimed n00b started a thread for an urgent matter: he had a formal party to attend and had no time to buy a tuxedo. All he had was a black suit and a pair of black shoes, and although he knew he had a long way to go before he had decent formal attire, he only had time for a quick upgrade before the party.
From what I’ve read, I need to get a “Formal Dress Shirt” and a black satin tie. Am I close?
Black and menswear have an interesting relationship. For a start, black is necessary for conservative and formal dress: menswear experts will tell you that you need a black pair of oxfords for business suits, your tuxedo, bowtie (which must be black as well), and so on. They will also say to avoid other black pieces like the plague. Black dress shirts look cheap, black suits are never appropriate (except at a funeral), black odd trousers don’t go with anything, and I’ve even heard that black loafers are antithetical to the concept of black or loafers (as in loafers are casual, but black is formal). As a result, for the longest time guys avoided incorporating black into their outfits. However, that seems to be changing.