It’s All in the Details // The Patrick James Guide to Accessories

We start from the bottom to break down how to accessorize this Fall.

Dressing well is more than just putting on a nice-fitting shirt or a pair of slacks. The details are just as important as the basics—and they're what people notice when they glance in your direction. From shoes, to belts, to pocket squares, we are breaking down how to accessorize the right way.

Patrick James Accessories

Footloose

Let's start from the bottom—shoes. Every well-dressed man should have a dressy shoe, casual shoe, and some sort of in-between to allow for multiple combinations of outfits. With a go-to footwear selection, you'll never have to worry about not having a shoe for any particular occasion.

As the weather starts to heat up and shorts make their way into your wardrobe, slipping on a pair of casual sneakers or a boat shoe will complement any outfit.

When going for office-casual, we recommend the cool chukka boot, or a classic loafer. These still classify as dressy shoes, with a slightly laid-back look.

When it comes to formal wear, one should always have a pair of black dress shoes, but your collection can always be completed with a brown or tan option. You also can't go wrong with an oxford or derby-style shoe.

Heating Up

Fall is on the horizon, and with it comes cooler weather. Keep up with the temps by adding a warm knitted beanie, or a classic pair of lined gloves. Both of these are ideal while on-the-go, and can easily be paired with any transitional piece for this upcoming sweater weather.

leather gloves

Sock it to Me

Socks are a subtle, yet important piece of your accessory arsenal. Sometimes your socks should color coordinate with your outfit, sometimes they should stand out, and sometimes it should look like you aren't wearing any at all. Knowing when to wear the right socks can be difficult, so we're making it easy for you. Read on.

With shorts:

No-show socks are the way to go when you're sporting tennis shoes or other casual kicks. And if you're wearing sandals, feel free to skip the socks altogether.

With "office-casual" or "dressy" attire:

Normal-length dress socks are the go-to, and that's with or without patterns. With an outfit that isn't overly formal, you have a little freedom to show off patterns like polka dots or paisley.

With formal attire:

Go for socks that match your pants as closely as possible. When you sit, onlookers should not be able to determine where the pant ends and the sock begins. Wearing a subtle pattern such as a pinstripe works too, but the safest bet is to match with a solid.

Pocket Principles

When it comes to wear and tear, a leather wallet sliding in and out of your pocket is bound to start looking a little rough after a few years. This is one item that you use every day, multiple times a day, seen by everyone from your barista to your lunch date. Having a sharp wallet in a high-quality leather is always a good look.

Buckle Up

Rule of thumb: When wearing a standard black or brown belt, it should match your shoes as much as possible. Do your best to accurately match the two (your belt may be cognac and your shoes tan, for example) and if it's not an exact pair, don't stress—rules were made to be broken anyway.

Beyond your standard black and brown styles, there is a multitude of decorative and colored belts that can add texture or color to your look (and the shoe matching rule does not apply). Check out crocodile belts, woven belts, and even more casual nylon styles to mix things up.

Crocodile belt

It's Hip to be Square

Meet the ultimate suit accessory: the pocket square. Don't be afraid to add some color to your look with one of these classic touches. Whether you are going for a "Tie Up" or a simple "Flat Fold", a conversation-starting pocket square always elevates an outfit.

In order to determine the pattern or color of your square, look at the rest of the outfit. Choose a secondary color from your tie or shirt and find a pocket square that matches it. Although you may feel inclined to match your tie perfectly to your pocket square, resist the urge. This can take on a very "prom-like" appearance and diminish the outfit's level of sophistication. Also make sure to find the right fold for the occasion. For casual events, use the puff fold or something a little more intricate, but for formal events stick to a flat or pointed fold.

Need some tips on folding your pocket square? Here is our quick guide to folding a pocket square for beginners.

Date Published: August 20, 2019

Tags: Accessories, Fall