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It’s a long-running joke that Esquire and GQ publish the same “new rules for men’s style” every year—the sartorial equivalent of Cosmo’s “487,000 Ways to Please Your Man”—but we’ve never minded too much. The rules tend to be genuinely overlooked lessons, like that fit matters and a well-dimpled tie is never wasted. We just wish they’d stop telling us how new it is.

This time around, they called it a manifesto, as a way to match the soviet-chic of the Shepard Fairey image on the cover, but the rules inside are familiar to anyone who’s read a style magazine in the past decade.

In the intro, they’re calling for a complete revolution, a style

that requires that we dress every day as if we were going to get hired or fired or handpicked from obscurity to become a vice-presidential candidate, because, hell, that’s just the kind of world we’re living in now.”

Not a bad idea, but revolutions always get dicey when you get into details. Here’s a nice summary of the resulting rules:

1) Wear clothes that fit.
2) Don’t be sloppy.
3) Throw in something colorful.
4) Show a quarter inch of cuff.
5) Navy Blue is nice.
6) Mix patterns.
7) Tuxedos are nice.
8) Good jackets are nice.
9) Just a tiny break in those pants.

Here’s a rule of our own for the folks at Hearst: if your most daring suggestions are striped socks and a navy blue suit, you may want to reconsider whether you’re really the party of change.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom