Stick With Basic Cuts & Colors For Best Long-Term Results

Image by: Financial Times photos
By Phillip K. Issa

Like lapel sizes, color trends come and go, leaving the riskier among us with a few too many garments in our closet filed under “what were you thinking?” Yeah, that awful intestinal fluid mustard blazer was hot in the summer of ’79, but it won’t be back in style until 2023.

And that’s still a maybe. By then you’ll be too fat to wear them, anyway. Just keeping it real.

And those liberty bell bottoms? Only on disco night, my friend. Or if you have a time machine, that would also work.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can avoid wasting money and filling your closet with bad decisions by sticking with the basics, when it comes to cut and color.

The Cut

The cut will basically give away the year the garment was made. Look at the movies – one of the ways they define a period is by the cut of the clothes.

The secret to getting longevity out of a jacket or shirt is making sure the collars or lapels aren’t extra wide or extra tall. Always go middle of the road and no crazy angles either. And if you see a certain cut or flair and say to yourself, “that’s interesting and new” – stay away.

As for trousers, stay away from extreme flares, wide demonstrative hems, or pockets that look like they just came off a robot. Be conservative in your pants choice now and thank yourself in 5 years.

The Color

When it comes to color, there are time-tested hues that look just as good today as they did back in 1997. For suits, you should stick with dark blue, navy blue and black. For shirts, white and light blue are the most versatile and never go out of style.

As for belts and shoes, all you need to know is three things: Brown, black and animal skin (also preferably in brown or black, although a light touch of dark green or burnt orange in the skin can work).