x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Top 10 unsung essentials for the fashionable man

The invisible accessories and attention to detail that keep the male on top of his style form.

There are well-known accoutrements with which every fashionable man is familiar, but what of the lesser-known but equally important accessories that most of us take for granted?

Men know about quality materials and well-made shirts and silk neckties and properly pressed wool suits, but these obvious items would not shine as bright if the less attention-grabbing essentials were not around to give a man his supporting cast.

Here, then, are the top 10 unsung, can't-do-without items in men's fashion:

10 The back loop on the tie

Smooth lines are strongly desired and no look is smooth if the short end of the necktie is peeking out from behind the fat end.

9 The tie clip

A classic piece of utilitarian, craftsmanship at its finest. It is fashion at its most dignified Mad Men best.

8 The collar stays

The true hero of a quality shirt is not that it has French cuffs or even that it is made of 100 per cent cotton. The real reason a shirt looks good is because of the collar stays, which are the short, plastic tabs that should always be placed in the tips of the collar. These stays are what keep a collar stiff, which is a tough thing to maintain during the life of a dress shirt.

7 Polished dress shoes (and laces)

This is the most basic of fashion requirements. All men have dress shoes and all men must take the time to care for them. I'm suggesting 10 minutes every two weeks.

6 Pocket square

Talk about an item that can set you off from the rest of the crowd. A white pocket square that shows itself just a half-inch above the jacket breast pocket is elegant.

5 The bow tie

Granted, not everyone can pull off the dickey bow. But for the gentleman who can (think Jason Robards as Ben Bradlee in All the President's Men or Winston Churchill), the bow tie is another weapon in a man's arsenal in his fight against mediocrity.

4 The handkerchief

Pull out a clean one of these when a woman is in distress and watch your world change.

3 Cuff links

Nothing else says more about a man's personality than the cufflinks he wears.

2 Dry cleaning and pressing

Having your suit cleaned and pressed so it looks and smells fresh is important to keep you at your best.

1 Top shirt button

And the number one unsung, can't-do-without item in men's fashion is a top button on your shirt - so you can do it up when you're wearing a necktie. We cannot all look like Robert Downey Jr since he has become Ironman. He has perfected the rakish look and it suits him. But for the non-superheroes among us, we must wear our own suits properly.

Michael Jabri-Pickett is the news editor at The National. Contact him at mjp@thenational.ae