This is a guest article from Derek John.
Were you a Mad Men fan?
It’s pretty obvious, but much has changed since the 1960s. The way our suits are constructed, how we wear our hair, and many other fashion ideals. One thing that remains today is the idea that “Classic never dies.”
The widespread popularity of AMC’s Mad Men has redefined what it means to be dapper.
The show has not only brought back to life the value of a great suit, but also influenced a new interest in the art of being a gentleman.
What is the art of being a gentleman? It’s simplicity. It’s keeping neat, trim, clean in appearance, and handling yourself with good conduct.
Here are seven simple ways to be as dapper a gent as the characters of Mad Men.
1. Redefine your casual wear
In Mad Men, the dress code is slightly different than modern day. In the 60s, if you were going out in public, you’d be dressed to the nth degree.
Yoga pants weren’t considered casual. Interestingly, what would be considered casual today was only to be worn around the house back then.
Push your idea of casual further than shorts and a t-shirt. You can make your outfits more exciting by utilizing staples like a sports coat, crew or V-neck sweaters, and a good pair of chinos.
Editor’s note: On Effortless Gent, great casual options are part of a Lean Wardrobe. Learn how to easily build one here.
2. Understand the power of a tailored suit
Like I said before, the way our suits are constructed these days is different. Don’t worry; you don’t need to go out and by suits with higher waistbands and shorter jackets.
Whether you’re suiting up once or every day of the week, it’s important to have one well-fitted suit in your wardrobe.
You should invest in a grey or navy suit. These colors are the most versatile and are widely accepted business attire.
Complete that with a nice white dress shirt and a tie and all of a sudden you’re channeling the Creative Director of Manhattan advertising firm, Sterling Cooper.
3. Get a sharp haircut
Find a good hair stylist and get yourself a sharp haircut. You can probably walk into any barbershop and ask for the Don Draper, and they’ll know exactly what you’re asking for: short on the sides and back, longer on top.
This is a very classic haircut it’s back in style and here to stay. It’s a clean, versatile look that can be styled via the Don Draper side part or slicked straight back. Either way this is a trademark of dapper men.
If you’d prefer a more modern look, ask your stylist for a “disconnected undercut“. This is essentially the same cut, but the sides and back are clearly cut shorter than the top, with less blending between the two areas.
4. No empty pockets
If you pay attention, you’ll notice Don Draper and his associates are rarely without a pocket square. Each of them subscribing to a different fold, color, and style.
Don prefers the horizontal fold. Ron is partial to the Three Point Fold, and Bert Cooper (not pictured) likes the Four Corners Up.
It’s second nature to these gentlemen. You wouldn’t suit up without your pocket square like you wouldn’t leave the house without your phone. You’re naked without it.
You can find out how to wear your pocket squares here.
5. Don’t neglect your footwear
While you might not be as obsessed with shoes as I am, you’ll need one or two great pairs of dress shoes.
The boys up top are wearing oxfords or monk straps. Both shoes can be worn formally or casually, and can be found in a variety of different styles.
If you haven’t already, I would invest in black or brown oxford shoes (Editor’s note: …in addition to the four other pairs of shoes you should own.) If your lifestyle calls for formal attire, go with black. Is your wardrobe more business casual? You’ll be better off with brown.
6. Have your “usual”
Never sure what to order at the bar? Stuck staring at the menu, or simply defaulting to beer?
It’s good to have your set of usuals; the same 2-3 cocktails you can order no matter the bar you’re in. Typically, these are classic cocktails. You can fish around for ideas, or simply start with the Old Fashioned.
The Old Fashioned is a staple amongst Don Draper, the rest of the cast, and dapper men alike. It’s my personal favorite!
It’s a classy cocktail that’s made with bitters, sugar, whiskey, and a citrus rind. Throw in a few ice cubes and you have yourself a very masculine drink that is both timeless and refreshing.
7. Stay in shape
I’m not talking about going out and adopting a whole new exercise routine, just be slightly more active than you are right now. Back in Mad Men times, people were much more active and obesity wasn’t as prevalent as it is today, which probably also has a lot to do with diet and the types of food that were available.
The point is, if you’re behind a desk most of the day, then get out and get social. Do things that are fun. Move.
Go for a walk.
Walk to work.
Ride a bike.
If you like structure, find a challenging beginner workout you can stick to.
These little things add up over the course of the day.
Are you a dapper Man?
What are some ways you stay dapper? Let us know in the comments below.