Welcome to the fifth and final installment of the "Rules of Style" by Ralph Lauren. To give you some context in case you haven't seen my previous posts, a while back, I found some really great images that Ralph Lauren put out, going over what he considers some fundamental rules of menswear. I also wanted to write down my thoughts on these said rules as there are some I wholeheartedly agree with, and others that I'm a bit skeptical of. Here they are below:
True to an extent. Having more than one attention-grabbing piece can make your outfit look like an eyesore, or even worse, you look like a pretentious douche. For that reason, adding just one of an eskimo-esque coat, or colorful pair of chinos to a relatively conservative outfit is probably your best bet.
However, if you saw my dandy dapper post last week, you'll notice that the outfit worn has a couple attention-grabbing pieces working together. In cases where you're really trying to stand out and bring forth a somewhat extravagant look, it's okay to wear several poppy pieces, just as long as they work together in harmony. Yes, it becomes much more difficult to coordinate than using plain grays and navys, but it can certainly be done.
Yes. So true that I feel like I don't need to say anything more.
For the sake of preservation, it's always best to wash denim sparsely. As far as I'm concerned, if they don't stink, don't wash 'em. This rule is especially true with regards to raw denim, where the jeans have never been washed before, giving them a very clean and unadulterated look. By washing, you're essentially removing parts of the indigo dye on your jeans, and thus decreasing the lifespan.
Instead, wear them as much as you can and only wash when truly necessary. To encourage this behavior, let me say that you wouldn't be alone in wearing jeans that haven't been washed for three months. Recently, a kind of subculture has formed around this phenomenon of "individualizing" your denim. This process where you wear your denim in so hard between washes, that you ultimately show creases, lines, tears, and discoloration based purely on your unique lifestyle. The cell phone crease on the left pocket, the outline of your wallet on the right back pocket, the whiskers from your constant sitting at the office. "Individualize" your jeans, and you just might feel better in them!
Texture is indeed your friend. Nothing more amazing to look at than a piece of clothing made of unique, highly textured fabrics.
However, don't take his tip on mixing refined and rough textures too liberally. Truth is, there is a rhyme and reason to why certain fabrics are rough or refined in texture, and it's not smart to mindlessly mix the two whenever you feel like it.
So yes, putting a course shetland sweater (rough) over a fine broadcloth shirt (refined) is okay, and even encouraged. However, not all fabrics are meant to go together. Denim or chambray shirts with rougher textures don't match too well with worsted wool suits made with fine texture. Though it's okay to do, something like a poplin shirt will be a better alternative.
Just remember that certain fabrics are used to indicate the formality of a particular piece of clothing, and it's smart to keep that in mind when building a cohesive outfit.
Voila, the final wrap up of the Rules of Style by Ralph Lauren; hope you enjoyed them.
Once again though, remember that these are merely guidelines that you should consider, not hard and fast rules for you to follow blindly. Develop your own personal style, and just keep the rules in your back pocket so you always have a safety net to catch you when things might go haywire.
Images sourced from RalphLauren.com