12 things you need to know about menswear and fashion

12 things you need to know about menswear“. Indeed. I was looking through the trite articles on offer on a Norwegian fashion news site this afternoon and almost every title was click-bait offering to reveal some number of somethings you desperately need to know to know about making an outfit faux pas, or not making the impression you should be making, or generally avoiding living a meaningless, miserable life. So here are the vital and unmissable twelve rules of menswear and men’s fashion, according to me.

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 08.18.52

So I thought I’d leap onto the bandwagon and come up with my own list. A list of things to keep in mind if you’re into menswear or fashion. My list might even contain a few nuggets of truth. I wanted to say wisdom or valuable insights, but I’m not that full of myself.

So here goes, 12 rules of menswear you desperately need to know:

  • If you’re buying clothes, buy what you like, not what you think others like. Or what will gain kudos from “the guys on the forum”.
  • Clothes companies are not producing garments as gifts to you, they are a business and if you buy everything they make it means their business model is doing great. And you’re a total sucker.
  • If you buy quality garments you can use them a long time or pass them on to someone else. If you buy rubbish it will quickly find it’s way into the garbage.
  • If you’re wearing what everyone else is wearing you’ll earn recognition from other followers of this individual style.

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 08.17.36

  • There is a reason things are on sale. There is no element of this being a blessing of any sort.
  • On the other hand, if something you have had your eye on finally goes on sale and is sold out in your size, that is because you are cursed.
  • Do you seek the approval of fellow garment enthusiasts online when you have scored a new piece? This is the sort of promotion companies would pay lots of money for, yet they get it for free.
  • Quality shoes will last a long time, can then be resoled and will last even longer. Cheap shoes will be thrash in months. And then you’ll buy another pair. And another pair.
  • Brand names command a premium price that is usually not reflected in the quality you actually get.

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 08.18.22

  • Expensive items made in low-cost countries mean it’s not only the garment that’s been taken for a ride. Always check the tags!
  • Beware of blogs that re-post and hype PR mail-outs. They are part of the industry.
  • 50% is the beer googles of menswear (thanks to someone on Twitter).
  • And finally: As long as your clothes are relatively clean and undamaged, no one really gives a shit about what you’re wearing.

So, how did I do? Did I miss any vital rules of menswear? (And yes, I realise there are in fact 13 points 😉 )

(The photos here are random photos thrown up by Google when searching “mens fashion tips”.)


  • Brandon 13/02/2016 at 04:23

    Great list, WDD. Especially the last one.

  • Philip 15/02/2016 at 11:51

    The last one causes a bit of a paradox. While, in theory, you can turn up in anything ‘clean and undamaged’, we don’t buy with this in mind. If we were only concerned with the clean and undamaged, we might wear a white suit with a red woolen jumper, orange shoes, a grey polo shirt, with a black kipper tie. Clean and undamaged but not what a lot of us would buy. People might also give a shit about what you are wearing, in these circumstances! A great list, though and a great site. Thank you.

    • Well Dressed Dad 15/02/2016 at 11:56

      The last one is the really big one, and yes, I could have been very much more specific about things matching and not being hideous and so forth, but the crucial point is that we all imagine that we’re being observed and judged very much more than is the actual case (in the real world, not some super-elite place where men are tallying scored on each others outfits continously…). So really, if we are dressing up to please others, it’s a losing game… Thanks for your kind feedback, much appreciated!

  • Philip 15/02/2016 at 16:51

    I agree with you completely about the fallacy that we are being looked at – even admired – by other people. It is one thing to parade around in your pair of expensive and stylish shoes and quite another to imagine that people are staring at them and craving for their own pair!

    Thanks, again, for all the work on your site.

  • Trousers 01/03/2016 at 14:18

    I’d add, never be afraid to check out charity shops.

    And just because it doesn’t have a brand label and is reasonably priced doesn’t mean it is poorly made.

  • chris 06/10/2017 at 11:45

    I take the point about clean and undamaged but you are ignoring the whole ” visible mending” ethos surely. Toffs have been wearing obvious hand me downs for years.

    • nick 06/10/2017 at 11:47

      Surely by mending the damage had been undone? 🙂 Or maybe «made good» is a better term.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.