There are two things that define the right men’s clothing for an occasion. The first is the occasion itself. The second is you.

There are, for example, some occasions that specifically require a certain style of clothing. A wedding needs full formal gear. Some clubs will specify that you wear a tie and shoes. Others will ask for less formal wear. So the clothes you choose for your occasion must always be dictated by both custom and requirement.

Once you have identified the right kind of clothing for the place and occasion, you must think about what examples of that kind of clothing work best with your personality, your body shape and your overall appearance. A double breasted suit, for example, doesn’t look good on a shorter man because the wide breast fixtures make you look as though you have been squashed.

Fabric colour and detail may play a role in your decision too. Darker fabric colours are suitable for sombre of severely formal occasions, while more light hearted occasions will permit the wearer of even the most formal clothes to add a dash of individuality. You can wear brighter fabrics, even silver fabrics, to a festive party – whereas a funeral or a business meeting require something much less overstated.

In some industries, a man may wear reasonably loud or informal suits and shirts – or he may choose to accent a more formal colour and cut with bright coloured stitching. The media industries are a case in point – here it is perfectly acceptable to wear loud coloured suits, open necked shirts and trainers, a look that would have a top lawyer barred from his club!

What you wear says a lot about who you are. You can express the fun side of your personality by adding a colourful twist to a recognised fashion combination. You can express a more rugged side by wearing an open necked, tight cut shirt (only if you have the figure to do so, of course). If you want to associate yourself with more cerebral things and go for the geek chic look, you can either supplant the suit jacket for a trendy cardigan, or you can even wear a cardigan beneath a suit jacket as a replacement for a waistcoat.

Tailoring and cut are extremely important for male fashion, which relies more on the line of the clothing than its decoration. Indeed, in almost all cases male fashion is monotone or duotone, with only minimal patterning – and that normally on shirts or t shirts. The cut of your suit says a lot more about you than the colour of your tie – a slim cut is for the fashionable and the celebrity; a more traditional cut is suited to business rather than play; and a truly formal cut is still the only acceptable suit or shirt style for an evening occasion or special festivity.

Of course suits aren’t the only kind of clothes. Jeans and t shirts come into play too – as do different styles of shoes. In further entries, we’ll talk about those.