The Wit and Wisdom of Brandon: Button Downs

7:07 PM

As Southern in Love's new contributor and gentlemen's fashion expert, I am here to help with gentlemen's attire. The hope is to help those who read my posts avoid the pitfalls that I and many others have made over the years. This is to assist my fellow Southern gentlemen and those who wish to be brought from the darkness of tight T-shirts and designer jeans into the light of proper menswear. After years of observation of fashion failures and follies, I have discovered some basic rules of gentleman's dress. Through a series of posts I will address different rules that will help prevent you or the beloved men in your life from looking like they were raised in a barn (or anywhere except below the Mason Dixon line).

I will start with the classic long sleeve button down shirt, given the time of year and the need to get the basics down first. The first rule of the button down is to always make sure you button every button (chest, collar and sleeves). The only exception to this is the top collar button and sleeve buttons when one wishes to roll up their sleeves. You must however, always button the top button when wearing a tie or my preference, a bow tie. This may seem basic, but I cannot tell you how many times I have witnessed men running afoul of this rule.

The second rule is that under no circumstance do you wear a button down with an over sized logo on the chest. There is no exception to this rule because if you are wearing such a shirt you are attempting one of two things: (1) demonstrate your lack of self-confidence by attempting to increase the size of your chest or (2) you are so vain that you feel that your chest should serve as a billboard. In either case the attention you receive will not be the type you want. With logos and emblems the old adage "less is more" applies.

The third and final rule of this post is a gentleman never wears his button-down with the collar up. This is a basic rule that has been completely disregarded by many a fan of "Jersey Shore." Having personal experience with "popped collars" and their ability to throw off your balance, leading to a very bad night and a 2 day long hangover, please heed my warning. Unless you wish to be the laughing stock of your friends for years to come, abide by this rule.

Suggested makers of the classic long sleeved button down include Polo by Ralph Lauren, Southern Tide, Vineyard Vines, and my personal favorite, the Brooks Brothers Non-Iron. Gentlemen, if you've never owned a Brooks Brothers Non-Iron before, I highly suggest that you try one out.

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