How to Enjoy your Clothing

I think that once you hit a certain point in your tenure as a veteran Styleforum Member, it becomes perversely easy to lose sight of what attracted you to clothing, style, and fashion in the first place. This is something I’ve noticed on all corners of the forum, from our Should I or Shouldn’t I threads, to the Wedding Style thread, to the Sales Alert thread – and, well, basically every corner of our little community.

What I mean, specifically, is that members forget about the brands and styles that they like because they’re overwhelmed by the quality/value proposition and, to an extent, brand name as well. People start thinking “Why would I buy X, when Y is a better value?” when really we ought to be thinking “Why do I want this in the first place?”

There’s no right answer, of course. That said, I’d argue that the most right answer is that you love it. There are many reasons we end up loving clothes – design, construction, and the materials used are just some of the features that draw us to particular garments. However, there are also plenty of more subjective reasons to buy or covet a piece of clothing, and they’re no less valid.

For example, you may discover a character in a movie that you admire, and you may be attracted to their wardrobe – both because of how it looks, as well as what it represents. Similarly, you may find that a garment you’ve seen reminds you of your favorite book, or your favorite song, whether by description or due to a reason you can’t quite put into words – yes, I speak from experience. And sometimes, the garment you’re immediately smitten with isn’t – *gasp* – the best value on the market. Maybe it’s some cheap thing you walked past in the mall. Maybe it’s an obscenely expensive experimental knit. My point is that it doesn’t matter: somehow, men have managed to demonize buying what we like in favor of buying garments that we can point to as objectively good or utilitarian, as though we’re still trying to pretend our interest in clothing is different and more fulfilling than other people’s (read: women). It’s too simple. It doesn’t show how worldly we are. We could be doing better.


That – looking purely at the “quality” (intangible at the best of times), “value” (more or less completely invented), and “utility” (nonsensical) of your clothing – is a great way to end up with a wardrobe full of garments that do nothing for you. The same goes for garments you think you should be wearing, either because they’re ‘basics that every man should own’ or things you’ve seen on cool Instagram accounts that nevertheless don’t inspire an emotional response other than the animal urge to find the item in question and click ‘buy.’

I once had an elderly British soccer coach who used to tell his players that they ought to be running around at half-mast all game, just because they were so goddamn excited to be out on the field. Notwithstanding potential injury, it’s a not-terrible metaphor for how you ought to feel when building a wardrobe. Maybe a take a minute to stop researching the ins and outs of every purchase. Maybe let yourself like the things you like, for no other reason than that you like them. That shirt you like doesn’t have to be hand-made by arthritic Italian men in order to have value. Your shoes don’t have to be the pinnacle of construction in order to be wearable or worthy of your love. It doesn’t matter if you could have gotten a different thing that’s better for less money. It doesn’t even matter if you’re treating your wardrobe solely as a tool for social interactions.

What matters is that enjoy your clothing – and more specifically, what matters is that you give a garment value through your enjoyment of it.

5 Member Tips for Great Men’s Style

Styleforum’s members have built a reputation for offering fantastic, if highly opinionated, tips for great men’s style. They range from simple suggestions to take to your tailor, to complete philosophies encompassing life, the universe, and everything.

Are you looking for rules? Guidelines? Confirmation that your own way is the best way? Here, some of Styleforum’s best-regarded members give their take on how you can look great.

1. Dr. Nemo on the topic of learning how to dress:

“Fact is, we are all winging it. What matters is the fit with who you are. I’m a research engineer who is also a bassist in a jazz ensemble. No rules for that other than try what seems right and see how it feels. I’m fortunate to know Terell Stafford and Tim Warfield. Both have a great sense of style on and offstage. I just used Google Images and found a lot of shots of them in higher style and more casual clothes.”

2. @Ramuman, on the topic of what to buy:

“First, the fit of the clothes is the most important thing that people notice. When they compliment an outfit, the first thing they are likely to have notice is the fit (assuming you’re not wearing some ugly color or design). A properly tailored middle of the road shirt will look better than an off the shelf expensive shirt. Second, there are certain things worth spending more money on because they’ll stay with you. Shoes, I think fall into this category. Suits too, but it doesn’t seem you’re going that route. Third, get cloths that are still you. Just because you hear ten people here say that Levi’s Vintage Classic jeans are the best doesn’t mean they’re what you want. The same goes for looks as a whole. If you don’t feel like you can pull off a lavender shirt or a scarf, don’t go for it. A big part of this whole thing is the confidence you gain.”

3. @Berlin Report’s #1 Style Tip:

“Never try to find a substitute for something you think is financially out of your reach. You might end up buying several cheaper things in the hope of satisfying the need for that expensive one but you’ll probably end up spending the same amount and not [be] one bit happier. If I can’t buy it, I don’t have it. Less is more.”

4. @Veremund, on when to match your date’s outfit:

“Repeat after me: ‘I am not a handbag. I am not a woman’s fashion accessory. I will not coordinate my outfit with my dates attire. Ever.'”

5. @fuuma, on how to not look too put together:
“-I almost never press my jackets so they wrinkle at the elbows and often are somewhat rumpled all over. I also throw them pretty much anywhere at my place or wherever I am.

-I’m lazy so I often take months/years to do repairs most make within the week; from small rips to lost buttons.

-I don’t change to go out or do whatever so I sometimes get spills or worse on my clothes, I usually don’t get them cleaned very soon (see above).

-I scuff my shoes ‘cause they’re just shoes, I also don’t dress according to weather so often end up soaked or messy in a variety of ways.

-If I feel like wearing the same jacket three days in a row I do, remember; no pressing afterwards.

-I don’t polish my shoes often although I don’t dislike doing it. Mirror shines are for Nazis.

-I don’t have 65 jackets and 34 pair of pants, they wear in more quickly.

-Never clean up white shoes or sneakers, they look better dirty.

-I only shave once or twice a week.

-Longer hair, messier hair.

-I smoke and often spill ash on my clothes, I don’t clean up because I’m lazy and I’m going to dirty them again anyway.

-No colourful socks; you look like an anal-retentive child molester.

-Stop doing pocket square origami, just shove it in.

-A nice suit, dress shirt, shoes with a tie is being dressed appropriately, without the tie it’s luxury.

-I’ve been periodically thinking about replacing my wallet for years but always forget, it really does look trashed.

-I almost never button my shirt sleeves.

So basically be a disgusting slob and you should be ok.”

Wise words, don’t you think? If that doesn’t sate your appetite for style tips, check out Styleforum’s “What are you wearing today” threads. If you’re looking for tailored inspiration, try the Classic Menswear edition.

If you’re after the best of designer and street fashion, check out the Streetwear and Denim version of the discussion.

Below, check out some great examples from Styleforum members.

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Holiday Parties With House of Kydos

Dear Friends,

With festivities already underway, have you decided yet on what to wear during the holiday events? Paris, the family’s voice behind necktie maker the House of ΚΥΔΟΣ (that’s “Kydos”), has prepared an outfit for each event using his personal wardrobe and selected ties and accessories from our AW’16 collection.

Styleforum members can use code sf2016 for a 15% discount on all items until the 18th of December.  Tax Free prices (that is 24% less) are always available for all non-EU shipments.

Family Dinner

Family dinner has always been our family’s highlight moment of the year. It is the time when we all gather together around the fireplace, relaxing and contemplating the events of the year, making plans and discussing dreams for the year to come. The men always wear casual jacket or a cardigan, so here is a combination that I am contemplating for this year’s dinner: a brown herringbone jacket with white shirt, a blue silk tweed tie, a blue silk pocket square with a traditional Greek pattern, and a lapel pin in colors which can be found both in the tie’s weave and in the pocket square’s design.

kydos styleforum holiday office party silk tweed tie


The KYDOS unlined, 8-fold necktie used has been created solely by hand sewing, using the same knowledge and skill our great grandfather used over a century ago. The silk – with a small quantity of wool, viscose and linen – has been spun at Como, and as per custom, only 33 ties of this design and color have been created.

In Greece there is a long tradition of embroidery, with designs varying among regions, local traditions and social or economic status. This specific pocket square has been designed in-house based on our family’s inherited embroidery. The design, which symbolizes fertility (hoopoe), the passage of life (ship) and youth (flowers), originates from the island of Skyros, where the ruling class’ families created such designs for adornment, but in secrecy both to avoid copying and to preserve them over the passage of time. Using silk spun at the Greek silk village of Soufli, we created two more color variations in burgundy and in green. Then, our seamstress hand-rolled their edges for an elegant finish.

Office Party

Office parties have already started, with lawyers and bankers leading the way.  A classic, deep blue single button suit looks proper to blend in with the crowd. A burgundy necktie is an ideal choice for a touch of elegance. A personalized, hand-embroidered white pocket square, folded in a “sails” shape, can add a playful note.

kydos styleforum holiday office party burgundy silk tie

 The burgundy tie is – as are all Kydos’ premium ties – totally unlined, 8-fold, and 100% hand sewn in house, in a process that can take up to 4 hours for each necktie to be completed. All edged have been hand rolled with an invincible seam so meticulous that the points of the blades are perfectly shaped, and with the aid of a silk monk’s stitch the tie’s layers join together creating perfectly balanced folds.

As you may have noticed, the white cotton pocket square is not simply hand rolled. Its edges have been hand embroidered by our seamstress for a very unique and elegant finis,h and in this case my monogram has been hand embroidered as well to make the pocket square even more personal.

New Year’s Eve

kydos styleforum holiday office party black velvet bow tie

New Year’s Eve is usually the most glamorous night of the three. Our plans though are different this year, as we will host a house party without a defined dress code, so the tuxedo will have to wait for now. Being the host, a navy jacket with some texture will be combined with a black silk velvet bow tie and a formally-folded white Egyptian cotton pocket square.

This pre-tied bow tie, which is also 100% hand sewn, has been created using the finest silk velvet and silk satin. The intention has been to create a visual effect by combining two different weaves, the velvet for the front bow and the satin for the back bow.

The white Egyptian cotton pocket square can be either hand rolled or can be hand embroidered and personalized. Here it has been hand embroidered using blue thread both for the edges and the monogram.

Wishing Happy Holidays to all of you and your families from sunny Greece!

 – Paris Anastopolous, House of ΚΥΔΟΣ

The Tie (and How to Tie It)

I remember asking my dad when I could wear a regular tie.  A real one, like his; not the clip-on kind I’d been wearing since diapers.  I grew up going to religious meetings, and although my two brothers were content with the ease of a clip-on to satisfy decorum, I wanted to dress like my dad.  With a real tie.  So one evening, when we were getting dressed for the meeting, I asked him.

“Do you know how to tie a tie?”

The look of stupefaction across my face elicited a smile from his, and he motioned for me to step in front of him as he was facing the mirror.  Popping my collar up, he took one of his ties, draped it on my neck, and adjusted the blades a bit before giving instructions.

“OK, ready?  Over, under, over, through.”  

In less than ten seconds, I was wearing a tie.  His hands moved like a blur.  It could have been pure wizardry and I wouldn’t have been more amazed.  It just seemed so…complicated. 


“Want me to show you again?”  Then slowly, “Over, under, over, and through.”

This time the sequence seemed more deliberate, and I was able to memorize the words, if not the steps themselves.  So he left me in front of the mirror for a few minutes and finished getting the rest of the family ready while I repeated the words again and again.  When he came back, I think I had a knot, but it looked more like the knot I used for my shoes.

“Let’s go.  Put on your other tie, and I’ll show you again after the meeting.”

I don’t remember anything at that meeting, but I do remember looking at my dad on the stage that night, and I remember his solid brown tie, because I thought a black leather one would be pretty dope, or maybe a green square knit.  All the clip-on ties I had were equilateral triangles and weirdly bulbous, but grown-up ties had organic shapes and that puckering at the bottom.  Clip-on ties seemed like drawn-on mustaches, and they never fooled anybody.

One thing I did remember was ties generally seemed to stop just below the belt line, and there was some coherence between lapel width and tie.  Even though this was the early 80’s when fat ties were still around, the balance was more or less what you see today.  Speaking of today and recent trends: you never saw the back blade longer than the front.  Never.  EVER.  That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.  In fact it did – all the time, due to our short stature as kids.  But we tucked it in our pants, and even had a name for it:  the “peepee napkin.”

Later that night at home, before I took off my meeting clothes, I reminded my dad that he would show me how to tie a tie.  So he got out another one, took off my clip-on, and went through the steps again.

“Over, under, over, and through.  Got it?”  I didn’t.

“That’s OK.  We’ll do it again for the next meeting.”  He loosened the tie, took it off my neck, tugged both ends, and just like THAT…  The knot was gone!  My dad had more style than Michael Jackson, even if he looked like Treat Williams.

I don’t remember exactly when I tied my first tie successfully, but I’ve never wondered when I needed to wear one.  You just know.  And I’m glad I know how.  I guess I can thank my parents for that.  Now that I’m older, #menswear has evolved into a fashion-y, mercurial soup of peacocking posing as creativity, but classic tailored clothing – or “meeting clothes”, as I came to call them – will always be cool to me.  And more than anything else, the tie – tied correctly – makes the difference.  So when the situation calls for it, do it.  Do it well.  Because who wants to keep dressing like a kid, when you can look like a grown-up?

Video: The Armoury