French fashion illustrator Jean-Philippe Delhomme and the journalist Gonzague Dupleix address common fashion questions for men (with a great sense of humor) in their new book Suave in Every Situation: A Rakish Style Guide for Men, out April 11 from Flammarion. How should a man mix prints? Is there a right way to wear a gray suit? How do you wear a kilt and keep your socks up?
The book’s wry, highly specific advice applies to both fashionable guys and anyone who’s just stylishly curious, like how to wear white jeans or a snorkeling mask. Other tips: what to wear to a voting booth, how to freshen up your clothes after a cheese fondue, and a stance on hoverboards. Colorful illustrations from the book appear in the slideshow ahead.
When did the first patterned socks appear?
“Prior to the 1940s, socks had to be held up with garters, which often failed, leaving men to yank them up, unwittingly revealing their socks. It was only logical that fancy patterns and artificial colors should follow.”
How should you mix prints?
“If you’re wearing a pin-striped jacket with a polka-dot or paisley necktie, then stick to a solid-color shirt. A pin-striped jacket and Hawaiian shirt require either a solid tie or one that doesn’t stand out.”
How can you make an impact without even trying?
“Wearing a massive parka with the hood down in a small public space will give you instant heft.”
Should you button up your naval sweater?
“The question of buttoning doesn’t seem all that fundamental to us, so we accept two opposing scenarios — totally buttoned or totally unbuttoned.”
Hip or hipster: Can you spot the difference?
“To the naked eye, a hip person out and about has visibly wilder body hair than the hipster, who looks disciplined and openly well-groomed in terms of what he snips, smooths, and coifs.”
How can you avoid getting lost in the sartorial woods in the winter?
“Wear a plaid flannel shirt, mainly red. Hiking boots. Long johns. Carry a thermos of coffee.”