But there’s a whole world beyond button-down shirts and pressed trousers. I’m talking about accessories.
Women love to see a well-chosen watch or tie on a man. Little details like these elevate menswear from dull to exciting. Who says we ladies get to have all the fashionable fun? Here are the accessories that drive women crazy when worn by a (sharp-dressed) man.
1. Tank watch
Watches are classic and while many men gravitate toward leather band styles, there’s nothing like a gleaming tank watch paired with rolled-up sleeves. Choose a silver band for a more subtle look that goes with everything — gold is seriously attention-grabbing and harder to style. The Michael Kors “Lexington” chronograph is a great option (Nordstrom, $225).
2. Dark-frame glasses
Eyeglasses get a bad rap, but that’s all changing thanks to some really fashion-forward offerings for both sexes. Say goodbye to that geeky wire pair your wore in high school and hello to some dark designer frames. What’s hotter than a man who looks both intellectual and charming? Truly nothing (LensCrafters, $160).
3. Edgy cufflinks
A suit and tie might be pretty standard fare for formal menswear, but that’s where the details come in handy. Cufflinks are a great way to inject some personality into your basic evening wear. As a lady, I know I’d be into it if I saw a guy wearing a pair of clockwork cufflinks like these to a fancy event (Etsy.com, $42).
4. Skinny tie
This is not your father’s tie. Skinny ties might be a hipster staple, but it’s for good reason — they’re cool. A quirky pattern in a classic, go-with-anything shade (I’m partial to this chambray bicycle one from Tie Bar) is nothing like the boring old plaid that most men wear. Plus, you can still wear it with all your favorite dress shirts (The Tie Bar, $15).
A stylish briefcase says “I mean business” but indicates attention to detail and a willingness to have fun. Form and function is key, but men, be advised: You don’t want to look like someone’s grandpa. Choose something with pizzazz. The two-texture look of this canvas and leather briefcase from Jack Spade adds interest without sacrificing practicality (Jack Spade, $398).
6. Pocket square
When a man goes all GQ, women get a little wild. Pocket squares are a key component of that look, plus another awesome way to spice up a boring standby outfit by experimenting with pattern and color. My dream guy would be all over this orange and purple silk houndstooth option (Paul Stuart, $70).
7. Leather bracelet
There are very few times when jewelry is appealing on men, but the leather (or chain link, for that matter) bracelet is an exception. Paired with a casual outfit (think flannels or cotton T-shirts) the leather bracelet adds polished flair while still being masculine and, dare I say, rugged (Nordstrom, $60).
8. Aviator sunglasses
Who is cooler than the guy nonchalantly sporting aviator shades on a hot summer day, looking like he’s never dropped a bead of sweat in his life? No one, which is why all guys should get a pair ASAP and wear them with all their short-sleeved button-downs and cotton tanks (H&M, $10).