Imagine if every man in town dressed as well as David Gandy, or even David Beckham for that matter. Long gone are the days of dapper gents swilling cognac in classy cocktail bars, but while a baggy t-shirt may be more comfortable, we can't help feeling a little regret in saying farewell to the universally well-dressed man.
That said there are still those out there carrying the flag for buffed shoes and fitted shirts, such as the wonderful Johan Ekelund, the founder of Sharp & Dapper, a clothing accessories store for men which produces socks, braces, pocket squares and ties as well as their more famous product, the Shirt Stay. Little else quite winds Johan up like an untucked shirt. Starting off as a cocktail bartender (a very speedy one at that), Johan now supplies men on both sides of the bar and carries on his personal cursade to see pocket squares in every blazer. We asked him for some advice on dressing for cocktail hour.
"Don’t go to a date in a t-shirt. A fitted shirt, jeans and some good shoes are all you need. Good shoes will make an OK outfit look good. Bad shoes make a good outfit look awful. You want to be perceived as a man, not a boy."
Shirt Stays are his number one recomendation as a key accessory. The handy pieces of elastic attach your shirt to your socks ensuring it's never out of place while you're moving about. Next on his his list is a nice pair of socks. "I don’t like socks with too many patterns, but I love bright colours. They look great when you’re wearing an outfit of dark colours and you get that little flash between your trousers and shoes," he says.
If you're opting for a blazer Johan says a pocket square is crucial, adding finesse and changing the whole outfit. Silk pocket squares are great and drapes beautifully. They tend to be a tad more expensive then the cotton version but it's worth it. Try to go for one with hand rolled edges and at least 35x35 cm.
"Accessories bring life to an outfit. A lot of people don’t know how to pull it all together, they just look at people like David Gandy and say I want to look like that guy. It doesn’t have to be expensive to dress well though. I’d even recommend people to go to second hand shops for a good pair of shoes. As long as you look after them they last."
Sharp & Dapper are currently offering DrinkUp.London readers a discount. See our offers page for more details.