"The laws of a gentleman, like most, are at times meant to be broken and in varying degrees."
Soccer has seventeen rules, or “laws;” one of them instructs that outfield players cannot use their hands. Nevertheless, the breaking of this rule in the 1982 World Cup by Diego Maradona won the game for his country, crushed the lives of many Englishmen and eventually catapulted Argentina to cup glory. This rule breaking has been celebrated the world over, and Maradona dubbed the handball in the goal area as “the hand of God.”
Dressing well is also governed by laws. There are innumerable “rules” about what is the correct way to wear garments, matching of color, etc. And, like the hand of God, at times the conscious breaking of the rules becomes the stuff of legend. Take for instance the wide lapels on almost all of Tom Ford’s men’s suit jackets; they are large and out of proportion with the rest of the garment, and likely with its eventual wearer’s body. Yet, this breaking of the rule is Tom Ford’s celebrated and lucrative “style.” So much for adhering to rules.
In the coming weeks and months, I will be your humble referee on the “Laws of the Game” – essentially outlining what you should know to dress your best … and I want to emphasize “your” best. The goal of this column is to help you understand convention and how to circumvent it to develop your own style. I will also delve into areas of style other than clothing, including cars, travel and women. The laws of a gentleman, like most, are at times meant to be broken and in varying degrees.
Let the games begin.
*Note: A few years ago, Paradigm Magazine approached me to write a column. Thus began the style advice series titled, The Laws of the Game. Only three articles were written. Through the encouragement of many, I'd like to resurrect the column.
I'll begin with re-posting them over the next few weeks, followed by new articles that I hope to produce regularly. The above article was originally published on May 17, 2012.