of Valet.

The Female Perspective


On Style


For our second partnership with DonQ's LadyData, we asked women for their thoughts on men's style. Thousands of ladies answered our call. Of course, we were surprised by some of the findings (as were a few of our favorite men's bloggers). But fear not, gents. Our fashion team provides helpful "style lessons" for a few of the trickier questions.


Survey Says...

In general, do you think the average man dresses well?
This pretty much sums it all up gentleman—we have to realize that being well dressed is not only essential for your physical appearance but also your state of mind. And the minds of those around you.
Street Etiquette
- Joshua Kissi,
What kind of style do you look for in a guy?

Lady Insiders

"I like someone who knows who they are and doesn't care what people think about him, or his clothing."

- Kate B.

How to Pull Off
Casual American

It's a broad characterization for sure, but certainly a simple look to master. If you read Valet regularly, than you're likely familiar with the style of dress that we prescribe—quality, well-fitting staples with a hint of preppy, a dash of humor and finished with some personal edge.

Start with

A clean cotton shirt (knit tie, optional).

Brooks Brothers extra-slim fit shirt, $79.50 and knit tie, $15 at the Tie Bar

Paired with

Dark Denim. Levi's 501s, $37 to $98

Khakis. J.Crew's essential chino, $60

Finish with

Classic shoes.

Converse All-Stars, $45. Clarks desert boots, $95. Florsheim long wings, $225

Optional layers

Denim Jacket. $60, at Levi's

Navy Blazer. $155 at Lands' End

Vintage Sweatshirt. $40 at Alternative Apparel

A guy's jeans look best when they're ...

Lady Insiders

"I don't want the dude's pants to be too small for me."

- Marisa Z.

Worn & Faded

Of course, the best way of obtaining the perfect fade to your jeans is to buy them raw and lovingly wear them in yourself. But if you're looking for an easier path, there are plenty of handsome options out there. Even APC's making a faded style of their famed New Standards now. Those will set you back $310. Here are some more wallet-friendly options:

Levi's, $54

Gap, $64.50

J.Crew, $96

The first date spectrum: How should he dress?

Lady Insiders

"No one wants to meet a bum on their first

- Ashley H.

How can guys look better at the office?
How to Tell If It Fits

Listen up gents. There's a good chance that many of you are wearing your suits a tad too big.

Things to Avoid

(No matter how lax the office dress code)

Pleated khakis, knit polo shirts and shoes that could be worn to the gym.


The jacket's shoulders should hug your own. If they don't, the fabric will jut out and droop.

Back & Lapels

They should lay flat against the body. They shouldn't pull or bunch.


You should be able to place two finger's width in between you and your jacket. Not much more or less.


They should stop at the hinge of your wrist (allowing a quarter-inch of shirt cuff to peek through).

Bow tie:
Pro or Con?
I'm calling BS on the bow tie. Trends die. Neck ties change width and fabrication, but they never go away completely. Bow ties come and go. What women want: to pull you closer by your neck tie.
All Plaidout
- Max Wastler,
Most acceptable jewelry on a man:
Personal Style
Siren Call

We're big proponents of wearing a watch. It instantly communicates your personal style to someone (and it's also a very pragmatic solution to a basic need). Here are three classics to model your choice after, depending on your lifestyle.

The Diving Watch

Rolex Submariner,

The Driving Watch

Tag Heuer Carrera,

The Dress Watch

Cartier Tank,

A man should be carrying:
While there's an appropriate time and place for each option here, the message from women is clear: Guys overuse backpacks.
- Gavin O'Malley,
The Choosy Beggar
The trend of going sockless ... pro or con?
How to Go Sockless

First off, you can sprinkle some powder (like Gold Bond) into the shoes before wearing them. It's also good practice to give them a day to breathe and dry out in between wearings. To protect your shoes (and your feet) for the long run, simply give the illusion of going sockless by wearing a pair of loafer socks. Gold Toe makes the best version. They're treated with an antimicrobial agent to avoid smells and they feature a grippy rubber tab on the heel to keep them in place.

Gold Bond Foot Powder, $8 at Amazon

Gold Toe No Show Socks, $18 at Amazon

The fashion deal-breaker:
We're surprised so few women object to ill-fitting jeans, but I guess that's the least of their problems when their guy is wearing his team's colors to cocktails.
The Choosy Beggar
- Gavin O'Malley,






» Follow Don Q Rum on Twitter


Featured Ladies


This stylist wants a guy who's laid back and well-scrubbed.


Refinery29's editorial director on what a man's jacket says about him.


The founder of Nerd Boyfriend likes a guy in raw jeans, who dresses up at the office and, no surprise, digs a boy in a bow tie.


This fashion insider wants a man in jeans and a T-shirt, not a bow tie.