DON'T listen to size labels. How many times have you seen 'Take half a size up' in online blurb? It’s absolute nonsense. If it doesn’t fit true to size, they've made it wrong. In my perfect fashion dictatorship, clothing would be made to whatever size is on the label. If it's a size 34, it'll measure 34". But I digress – size is ultimately just a number. Put ego aside and wear whatever fits you best.
DO buy from the right places. As someone who works in fashion, it's very easy for me to say you should screw the high street and invest in luxury brands. The reality is that even luxury fashion brands are guilty of selling overpriced tat. Research the brands you're buying from. If a brand avoids sales they will offer better value, as they don't need to account for the discounts in their RRP. Buying from a UK-made brand means you aren't paying for global shipping. Small things make a difference.
DO invest in shoes. They touch the ground for two thirds of the day. If your shoes are well made – and that doesn’t just mean expensive – they will be better for your overall health long term. Your body will thank you. If you throw your 'call centre shoes' out, I will also thank you.
DON'T tie Windsor knots. This is a personal one. I'm not a fan of enormous tie knots, favouring the 'four in hand' knot at all times (yes, even with cutaway collars). I don't feel that shirt collars these days offer the space required for a Windsor.
DO dress for yourself. I'm pretty sure some of my friends think I wear outrageous outfits. But who cares? Life is too short to worry about what someone thinks about your purple Kit Blake trousers, white flannel cowboy shirt or green Fresco suit. (All items I own and love to wear.)
DO think about your wardrobe as a whole. Resist buying that one cool piece because you can't live without it. I'm not as militant as to champion a full capsule wardrobe, but you should find at least two outfits that work with a new piece before you allow yourself to buy it.
DON'T dry clean your clothes. Not too much anyway. If your suit is pure wool, congratulations, it's virtually self-cleaning. People refer to wool as antibacterial, but it's actually oleophobic – it will repel your skin oils, unlike synthetic fibres which absorb these oils and make the garment smell. The only time I'll dry clean a suit is if I have a physical stain on it – the last one was an entire pint of Guinness that had been accidentally tipped into my lap. Not my finest hour, and a criminal waste of the black stuff.
DO buy some white trousers. Be it a pair of Levi 501s, cotton chinos or wool trousers – white or off-white looks great at any time of the year. This tip also doubles up as DO buy white underwear. Because nobody needs to see your black Calvin Kleins underneath. Women are way ahead of us in this department – they will wear the right underwear for the right outfit, and you should too.
DO pull your socks up. Nobody wants to see a stripe of leg hair when you're sitting down. Unless you're wearing shorts, in which case please wear the 'no show' socks.
DON'T upstage the groom. Aim for the bride! Kidding, but pop a single flower in your buttonhole to automatically gain style points at any wedding. And for God's sake polish your shoes.
Shop Mike's Top Picks
DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at [email protected].