7 Rules for Clothing

A conversation starter about how we consume clothing, what we wear, and why.

7 Rules is a practical example of a clothing plan. The rules are designed to get us thinking about what we like to wear, and why. Think about rules you’d create for yourself. Defining rules is the first step towards more responsible shopping.

Pants should be darker than shirts.

Build something tall, and the heaviest layers are at the bottom. Look at a landscape or painting, the darker colors are at the bottom. These structural and visual principles support Rule 1.

Wear solid colors only.

As menswear dress codes become more casual, patterns have become increasingly popular, making solids seem too simple. But patterns can be hard to match. Solids are modern, versatile, and don't go out of style.

Wear normal colors.

A narrow range of colors is required to build a balanced wardrobe. The more colors in your closet, the less cohesive your style will be. 'Normal' is what's normal for you. Identify your normal and commit to it, getting dressed will be easier.

Pant length should stop at the top of the shoe.

A common style mistake is wearing pants that are too long. It can look careless. To eliminate fabric bunching around the ankle, pant leg should stop at the top of the shoe. This helps keep pant lines clean.

Don’t wear socks that draw attention.

Fun socks are a popular way to show personal flare. But there's risk in wearing fun socks. They can draw the eye and break clean visual lines. Wear socks in low contrast to your pants.

Stop multi-brand contamination in your closet.

Mixing brands in your closet results in inconsistent fitting clothing; leaving your wardrobe out of balance. Identify a brand that matches your fit and aesthetic and try to stick with it.

Don't dress to impress.

There can be risk in over-dressing. Overly thought out outfits can be misinterpreted as trying to elevate or separate yourself. You can dress well without over-dressing. Dress to be relatable and put people at ease.

How to Use 7 Rules for Clothing

7 Rules is designed as an example of a clothing plan, use it as a framework to create your own set of rules. What’s important, is to think about what you like to wear, and why you like to wear it. Rules can identify your favorite colors, fabrics, and fits - helping you dress each day in the way you feel most confident.

  • Pants should be darker than shirts.
  • Wear solid colors only.
  • Wear normal colors.
  • Pant length should stop at the top of the shoe.
  • Don’t wear socks that draw attention.
  • Stop multi-brand contamination in your closet.
  • Don’t dress to impress.

Build a consistent wardrobe.

Start with one product

Todd Shelton's Supporting Materials

We write articles to better understand clothing and the industry behind it. Things are always changing in clothing and fashion. We’ll share our thoughts here.

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