A new pair of pink and green cotton, to-the-knee dress socks that I won from Dapper Classics last spring along with a pair of recrafted Allen Edmonds wingtip brogues.
One thing that average guys can do to kick up their everyday style a few notches is to embrace color and pattern. Too often, when a guy dresses up, it's black (ugh!), charcoal, or, at best, navy blue with a white or blue shirt and some kind of tie. When that is done right, the look can be extremely elegant in its simpilcity ala Beau Brummel. But you're missing out on adding some life and dynamism to your appearance if that's all you ever wear.
So, how about broadening your attire horizons a bit? Have some fun here and experiment with color and pattern once in a while. I'm certainly not suggesting that you go over the top with color in the same way that the crazy character "Mark" did on Ugly Betty, but a few well-chosen accents can help get your overall look up on its feet. With that in mind, I submit for your consideration a photograph of the bottom part of my ensemble today:
* Girorgio Aramani pleated pants in dark grey, lightweight wool (E-bay)
* Allen Edmonds wingtips in dark brown (E-bay and then recrafted at the AE factory)
* Dapper Classics cotton, knee-length dress socks (won in a Facebook drawing last spring)
And on top:
* Georgio Armani three-button, linen sports jacket in wheat (An Affordable Wardrobe)
* Land's End straight collar shirt w/faint pink, green, and blue windowpane pattern (clearance)
* Bachrach wool necktie in forest green (thrifted)
* Italian silk pocket square in silvery gray and black paisley patterns (thrifted)
* Land's End leather belt in dark brown (clearance)
On reflection, today's collection of garments and accessories was perhaps a bit overly coordinated and matchy-matchy as far as the light green and pink went. So, I opted for a pocket square that had nothing whatsoever to do with the tie or shirt. The jacket, I suspect, dates from the late 80s or early 90s given the strong shoulders, but the socks were only visible when I sat down to have some coffee during my office hour in the student center following an 8am class, so I didn't worry about things too much.
I felt good, and, Heaven knows, I looked more presentable than most male professors or staff on my small campus this morning. However, I dress more for myself at this point than to intimidate or impress. If people like it and understand about setting, occasion, and the related appropriate attire, great. But if others think it's somehow weird, or that I'm trying t0o hard, that is their prerogative.
The point is, unless one is in a more staid occupation like banking, finance, or the legal profession, have a little fun with your wardrobe, guys, and make things a bit more colorful sometimes. Trust me. It's OK, and your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, or significant other will almost assuredly be into it. And that ain't a bad thing. Who knows? You might get the occasional compliment from someone you don't even know. It happens.