The Art of Utilizing Accessories for the Modern Man

May 15, 2019

One thing that can help a man take his style to the next level is knowing how to utilize accessories to complement his wardrobe. Choosing accessories is an art, especially when given the proper time and attention. The right accessories can give your look an extra edge, and it will also help others to recognize your own unique style and personality.

So, what are the rules of utilizing accessories on a daily basis for the modern man? What’s too much? And, how do you find the right accessories that match your unique style? I always tell clients that the beauty of men’s fashion is that if you know the rules, you can break them. The key thing to remember is that if it fits well and you have the confidence to wear it, go for it.

Accessories and the Modern Man

The art of utilizing accessories on a daily basis requires identifying a few pieces that showcase your unique style without distracting from your overall look. A well-placed accessory can transform an outfit.

Here are a few important tips when considering how to add that extra touch to your outfit:

1. Focus on accessories that compliment your clothing.
Your accessories should work in harmony with your overall outfit. Most likely, there’s some common element or theme between the accessory and the outfit—it could be color, perceived weight, texture, or some other style or design element. Making sure the accessories you choose are coordinated with your overall look is essential for creating a look that is distinguished rather than distracting.

2. Consider your surroundings when choosing accessories.
One of the best tips I can offer clients when it comes to choosing the right accessories is to consider your daily surroundings. Whether you’re headed to a formal versys non-formal occasion or meeting someone for business versus a casual gathering, your accessories will often be determined by who you’re meeting and where you’re going. A good rule to live by is to mimic or mirror your surroundings and enhance it one step further.

3. Combine tried-and-true staples with modern trends.
There are certain aspects to the art of accessorizing that have always been true: a sharp tie, a complementary pocket square, a well-made watch—these have been and always will be important accessories for men.But, there are also trends that shape what’s considered fashionable today. For example—many modern men have ditched the belt and socks to step up their look. Bracelets can also add a pop of color or warmth to your outfit.

Essential Accessorizing Staples for Your Closet

Now that we’ve reviewed a few of the basic principles for utilizing accessories, let’s discuss some staples every man should consider adding to his closet:

  • Pocket squares to complement your wardrobe—Though I’ve found that most guys can be a bit intimidated by pocket squares, they can be one of the easiest accessories to make a suit or sport coat stand out. I like to provide clients with pocket squares that match the lining of their jackets, but when in doubt, you’ll never go wrong with a white pocket square, as it will complement most any jacket, shirt, or tie. There’s also an art to how you fold pocket squares so that it doesn’t look the same way with every outfit. The key thing to remember with pocket squares is to let them complement the other garments you’re wearing, whether it be a specific color, fold, or pattern.
  • Eyewear that fits your style and face shape—The importance of finding a good pair of sunglasses can’t be stressed enough. Finding the right pair of frames for your face can completely transform your look. If you’re looking for options, a pair of aviators and wayfarers will be a good buy to start your collection. I suggest either going with a pair of Ray-Ban’s or Warby Parker’s.
    • Bonus Tip: Wondering what color of frames to go with? I have several pairs of sunglasses in both black and different shades of brown, but I think it’s pivotal to have one pair of black frames and one pair of brown frames. This way, if you’re wearing predominantly brown accessories, such as a watch band, shoes, or pocket square, go with brown frames. This also applies for eyeglasses. Having a pair of glasses with tortoise shell frames can completely transform your look in a great way. Warby Parker is a bespoke eyewear company that has many great styles to choose from.
  • A bag or briefcase that fits your lifestyle—I’m constantly asked about whether or not a backpack or briefcase is more stylish. I tell guys that it all depends on what you’re wearing. If you’re going with a more casual look, such as jeans and a t-shirt, I recommend sporting a stylish backpack from local Nashville company “Loyal Stricklin” (not your Jansport backpack from high school). If your work requires a more business formal look, such as a suit or sport coat, I recommend utilizing a leather briefcase/handbag. Nothing looks more strange than a man wearing a well-tailored suit with a backpack draped over his shoulder. Want to meet in the middle between a leather briefcase and a casual backpack? We suggest going with this twill briefcase by Filson.
    • Bonus Tip: Ditch the shoulder strap on the briefcase and carry it by the handles.
  • Wristwear (a watch or bracelet) that fits your personality—Wristwear is a very subtle, yet prominent aspect to showcasing your style.
    • I first recommend having a go-to watch that can be used for any occasion. I’ve recently become a fan of Daniel Wellington watches. The reason is because they have timeless (no pun) watch faces that you can pair with interchangeable watch bands to accommodate any type of style. Use the leather band for more formal occasions or switch it out for the fabric band to keep it sporty. I have the Classic Bayswater in a silver 40mm frame and have the Classic York interchangeable watch band. I use the Baywater band for a more casual look and will use the York band if I want the watch to look a little more formal.
    • Bracelets for men have become more and more popular over the past year. They’re a great way to step up your accessory game and add a little touch to your everyday outfit. Whether they’re worn with a suit or casually with jeans, they’ve become a staple in my wardrobe. I’ll wear multiples of 2-3 at a time and I’ll usually match them with color of my suit or overall theme of my outfit. I buy mine from a close, personal friend out of Atlanta but they can also be found at most clothing stores.
    • Bonus Tip: If you’ve seen any of our recent Instagram posts, you’ll notice I’m almost always wearing some combination of bracelets on the opposite wrist of my watch. I personally don’t wear bracelets on my watch wrist because my watch face is very thin and it looks funny. If you have a bigger watch face, I like the look of wearing bracelets above the watch away from the wrist. All in all, bracelets are very popular right now in men’s fashion and can complement your wardrobe for any occasion.

Let Richards Bespoke Help You Find the Right Look

Choosing the right accessories is a simple way to take your look from noticeable to unforgettable. At Richards Bespoke, I often discuss various accessories that our clients can use to create their distinguished look. Contact our team to schedule an appointment and discuss your wardrobe needs today.

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