If American women emulate their French counterparts, who do well-dressed American men look to? The Brits, of course. No one carries off cool elegance like an Englishman. And though it would be difficult (and foolish) for an American to adopt a posh British accent, a dash of English style adds sophistication to any man’s wardrobe. Those wishing to embrace British style should consider the following suggestions:

Make your suit a three-piece with the addition of a waistcoat. Note that the Brits do not call this garment a vest. A vest is an undershirt.

three piece suit

If you choose to forego a waistcoat, wear braces. These are not the apparatus worn on the teeth of teenagers, but are commonly called suspenders in America. In Britain, do not say you are wearing suspenders unless you are wearing garters.

Trousers or slacks should fit snugly, but not tightly. British men do not wear their pants in public, as pants are synonymous with underwear.

Make sure your clothes are properly tailored, including your waistcoat.

Wear plaid, especially Glenplaid or Prince of Wales. If your heavy shirt is plaid, don’t call it flannel. That’s a facecloth.

Do not wear trainers (tennis shoes or sneakers to Americans), or God forbid, flip-flops.

DJones-Ervay 2111

Always wear a jacket, whether you’re dining at the club or at a pub. Houndstooth is a well-deservedly popular fabric for a sport coat. Looking for a spring jacket? Though you’re unlikely to find a lightweight off-the-rack jacket, custom jackets can be made in fabrics perfect for warmer weather.

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