Men On Style: Essential Quotes On How To Dress Well

Famous men, from Oscar Wilde to Cary Grant, proclaim what it means to be in style.
IMAGE Unsplash/ Manuel Pena

Do you have style? Do you know how to dress well? If you find the wearing of clothes a joyless act or if you find yourself lost in that sea of choices that is your closet, let these notable men from all walks of life school you on the finer points of being in style. 

Why a Man Should be Well-Dressed

Dressing well is not a superfluous virtue that should be ignored or a soft value best left to women. It is important for men because it bestows confidence, is a means for self-expression, and just feels damn good. And the trick to mastering being well-dressed is never overdoing it. It should feel easy.

On The Merits of Dressing Well

“Being perfectly well-dressed gives one a tranquillity that no religion can bestow.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet 


“Clothes and manners do not make the man; but when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.” —Arthur Ashe, tennis player 

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” —Orson Welles, director 

“The boor covers himself, the rich man or the fool adorns himself, and the elegant man gets dressed.” —Honoré de Balzac, author 

On How To Dress Even Better

“To achieve the nonchalance, which is absolutely necessary for a man, one article at least must not match.” —Hardy Amies, designer 

IMAGE: By Grant,_Cary_(Suspicion)_01.jpg: RKO publicity photographer.derivative work: Crisco 1492 (talk) - This file was derived from: Grant, Cary (Suspicion) 01.jpg:, Public Domain,

“All it takes are a few simple outfits. And there’s one secret—the simpler the better.” —Cary Grant, actor 

“I often take a brand-new suit or hat and throw it up against the wall a few times to get that stiff, square newness out of it.” —Fred Astaire, actor 

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“Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy—but mysterious. But above all black says this: ‘I don’t bother you— don’t bother me.’” —Yohji Yamamoto, designer 

“If people turn to look at you on the street, you are not well dressed, but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable.” —Beau Brummel, dandy 

On Very Good Clothes

Putting on a beautifully designed suit elevates my spirit, extols my sense of self, and helps define me as a man to whom details matter.” —Gay Talese, writer 

IMAGE: By Napoleon Sarony - Library of Congress, Public Domain,

“A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.” —Oscar Wilde, author 

“I can go all over the world with just three outfits: a blue blazer and gray flannel pants, a gray flannel suit, and black tie.” —Pierre Cardin, designer

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