Janie Bryant, style sage of Mad Men, swung by to dispense some sartorial wisdom. The key? Balance, tailoring and knowing when to try new things.
Make it a strong silhouette
“Well-cut clothes create a powerful and elegant line,” says Bryant. “It all comes down to fit.” An ill-fitting sport jacket with sleeves too long or shoulders too big can make you look smaller. Similarly, a rumpled jacket or trousers that puddle at the bottom send a sloppy message, she advises.
“My mother always says that every man should own a TUXEDO”
Details, not surprisingly, do make the difference, she says. Break out your socks, pocket squares and ties—details that allow for “expressing yourself through pattern and color—especially if a suit is more conservative.” Of course, collar-bars, tie tacks and cufflinks add a confident sartorial wink too.
Know thy tailor
“Even the best suits call for a little nip and tuck,” says Bryant, who urges that you find a trusted tailor and submit to his tape measure. Jot down your “lucky numbers” and refer to them with you when you shop.
Get a tux
Formal occasions are a guarantee. But borrowing a tux that fits isn’t. “My mother always says that every man should own a tuxedo,” says Bryant, who’s partial to a shawl collar or peak-lapel, one-button style. “The classic white dinner jacket always stands out in a crowd, but make sure it’s worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day.”
Broaden your hue
“A navy suit looks amazing on every man, but I love to see a chalk stripe or Glen plaid or herringbone,” says Bryant. “Even a subtle pattern makes a difference in a suit.”