"Every man's work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself," wrote Samuel Butler.
In the same vein, it's no secret that the right accessories on a man are details on his portrait and can make all the difference between distinguished and dismissible in the fashion world.
Be it in the office or out in the social sphere, men are increasingly being judged and judging their peers based on the quality of the accessories they sport on their person. It is no longer enough to get the "shirt-tie-trouser-jacket" coordinates right. A whole other ball game is to allow your accessories to do the subliminal talking.
As the 21st century man spends most of his time in an office or stalled in traffic, it is essential that he sports stylish accessories that conjure up the exotic images and energy of the life he aspires to lead. It's about what enthuses and excites a man personally, that can be used to add an air of sophisticated mystique to his persona.
With accessories making it all so simple, it's mainly about acquiring the key ones and combining them right for suitable final impact.
Let me illustrate this, so the next time you're stuck in that boring meeting you can read the person across the table by the accessories they've chosen to wear or leave out.
By that yardstick, a designer watch is not merely an instrument that tells time. Far from it, a watch tells whether chrome and steel fire your belly, indicating the industrial age is where your heart lies, or whether you're an aqua racer aspiring to ride the high seas in your yacht or avid explorer who's about to set sail to distant shores. On the contrary, a diamond-encased timepiece, tells an onlooker that your thrills lie in the high life among the jet set. And if sporting a chronograph is more your style, it's evident that under that suit beats the heart of a die-hard Formula One enthusiast, whose watch is capable of timing the laps at the Grand Prix with extreme precision, even though he's usually trapped in a boardroom in back-to-back meetings that seemingly have no beginning or end.
Sunglasses are very useful accessories while it enhances style as well. They protect the eyes from harmful UV-rays while adding just the right hint of chic to one's style when chosen appropriately. Sun shades come in a wide variety of colours and styles, and choosing one that flatters one's face can be tricky. However, I'd suggest you don't let that hold you back and instead set out and explore the options, because after a couple of misses, you are sure to hit the right note.
The classic aviator sunglasses, for instance, look best on a chiseled jaw. Slip on a pair, leaving the jaw slightly stubbly and get set to be a reflection of the dune-bashing desert traveler or the high-flying aviation aficionado. Combine these with a rugged canvas satchel or backpack, a braided leather strap watch, short-sleeved shirt or tunic, cargo calf-length pants or shorts and leather sandals or loafers and you have the contemporary adventurer, explorer, world traveller look. Or clean it up with a polo neck tee and shorts and you have the "just stepped out of my jet and headed to the golf green" look.
Leather items and bag
Crocodile leather [faux or real, as it suits you] which is a current international must-have, shown off as a wallet, watch strap, belt, key case or shoes and made somber with a solid colour shirt and a pin-striped suit gives the powerful image of a Wall Street stockbroker or investment banker, someone who controls money. Throw in a monogrammed handkerchief and paint the aura of a man who loves personalisation and doesn't shy away from putting his name on the objects he owns.
For those aspiring to great heights, a money clip is a more chic alternative to the wallet and is the preferred choice of most CEOs and celebrities. It suggests an old-world charm of one who doesn't count the pennies but takes care of the pounds as it were.
Be it a briefcase or messenger bag, backpack or laptop carry case, the bag you clutch tells as much about you as your words. Of course, function determines form in this case, but colour, style and pattern are the elements on your palette.
Shoes and socks
The humble but most essential socks need to always be matched or toned to your pants, the exception of course being gym socks. Monogrammed socks have the same effect as their handkerchief counterparts, spelling money. Argyle-checked socks imply a mature mode while dots or stripes point to a younger style statement.
The occasion asserts the style of shoes we sport. Golf shoes for the greens, sneakers for gym, square-toe Oxfords for the office and sandals or loafers while out on holiday.
Cell phone, cologne
The all-essential cell phone possibly is the most revealing modern-day style point. Its colour, styling and functionality, all reveal what's of import to you. A simple unfussy blackberry tells that you're all about the practicality of getting things done, all business. A metallic slider phone tells you're more about music and photography. A clam shell phone spells an elegant and classic style.
Cologne is an element which announces one's presence, and can be used to effectively project an image of the wearer. A whiff of Italian cologne for instance takes one away into the streets of Roma, adding that romantic charm to your persona.
Now that you have a clue as to the language of accessories, isn't it fascinating to be able to start expressing yourself in greater detail without needing to utter a word?
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