In regard to metal buttons, must cufflinks match with double-breasted blazer buttons? What about the other metal parts of the outfit (watch dial, belt loop, shoe buckle i.e. on monks)?
Thanks a lot.
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To answer your question, I’ll revert to my own basic principles of male elegance:
1) When part of the whole draws too much attention to itself, it is no longer elegant.
2) Matching all of your accessories looks contrived, therefore not elegant (e.g., every menswear guide advises against matching your tie and pocket square, for this very reason).
3) Sprezzatura is about making elements look effortless – sometimes even almost out of place, in a baroque way – with a studied grace that actually takes more effort to get right, rather than just matching like-fabrics, which anybody can do.
4) Beau Brummell famously said, “I’ll spend an hour tying this knot, just to make it look like it was tied in a second”.
Always ask yourself three questions: how do I ensure that I’m not matching items mechanically, how do I create harmony, complementarity, and how do I balance in the whole?
To me, that’s the reason why the daily style battle never gets old: it’s akin to the ancient Japanese art of floral arrangement, ikebana, which is about mastering subtle details to create harmony, or simplicity within complexity.
Each morning it’s a whole new game, a new challenge and a new frontier being pushed, to find new and subtle expressions of complexity and diversity.
Some days you know you pushed it too far, and it’s time to scale back. Other days, you didn’t push the envelope enough, it was too safe and too boring.
I never thought getting dressed in the morning could be so much fun, nor such a momentous decision, but once you learn all the rules and then how to break them with grace, it’s the best game in town.
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