2012 January 4

Two nations divided by a common language – and by clothing. As part of our New Year’s Resolutions many of us decide to smarten up and Esquire had a clothing guide for men that made us laugh, cheer and scratch our heads.

Some of the items on their list we had no argument with:

7. A rugby shirt is the most masculine thing a man can wear.

For sure. And a rugby shirt is always acceptable socially.

And then there’s:

22. Always tuck: polo and dress shirts that hang below your hip. Never tuck: sweaters and turtlenecks. Everything else is negotiable.

Really? I don’t see many British men tucking in their polo shirts these days – and do you know what? I wouldn’t want to. It’s a shirt that’s made to drape, at least in this nation’s eyes, and drape is what we let it do.

Of course the Americans have Texas to contend with, and it comes up more than once on their clothing list – so a ten gallon hat and cowboy boots are okay, but a hoodie is only acceptable occasionally? Somebody should tell those boys William and Harry – you know the ones, the heirs to the British throne … the ones who actually play polo, not just wear the shirts?

So maybe the rules are slightly different depending on your accent, but the basic guideline is the same – high fashion only works if you really work it, and most of us don’t have the budget or the body. Stick to the classics, buy good casual clothing and keep it clean and neat and you’ll get by.

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