What Does It Mean to Dress GQ

The GQ male dresses to impress.

If you've ever asked yourself what does it mean to dress GQ? then chances are you've got some truly stylish aspirations. How does one go about becoming the epitome of a GQ male? Here's just a taste of what it takes - and how to build a magazine cover-worthy wardrobe.

About the GQ Male

The GQ male is suave, polished and timeless. His style mantra is simply to dress well. However, there's more to it than just putting together a matching outfit and calling it a day. The GQ male understands the importance of classic pieces. He may incorporate a few trends from time to time, simply to keep things fresh and ever changing. He is always dressed appropriately for every situation and occasion, and his style is impeccable. Not all men will admit to it, but some may find themselves envying the quintessential GQ male for his seemingly effortless - yet completely pulled together - approach to style.

What Does It Mean to Dress GQ

To dress GQ is to follow what the magazine itself deems the "commandments of style." These tips might be quite basic, but they're trickier to adhere to than they may seem. Most men aren't likely to follow them to the letter, but if they do they're destined to enjoy a more fashionable wardrobe and a more polished appearance.

It's important to note that they aren't "rules," per se; instead, consider them a brief outline of suggestions for presenting yourself with a bit more panache. As long as you are well put together and wearing clothes that fit well and match, chances are high that your GQ levels will shoot through the roof.

  1. Get well acquainted with a tailor. There's no sense spending a fortune on a crisp suit that doesn't fit you perfectly. There's also no harm in having that new suit altered if need be. Even suits in your exact size may need a few tweaks here and there. A suit is reliable for many occasions, so its cut and fit should be flawless.
  2. Don't resist the undershirt if you need it. There's no hard and fast rule that states you must wear one, but if your crisp dress shirt is see-through and you'd prefer a bit more modesty, it's a great solution. It's also a good idea to wear one if you perspire heavily. Opt for a crewneck style for most stylish results.
  3. Staying in line with the suit theme, your socks should match your suit - not your shoes. This creates a streamlined appearance and ensures that your suit does not "break" at your ankle. If your suit is a light color, opt for socks that are just a bit darker.
  4. Your tie should not be of the ultra-skinny, hipster variety. While the GQ male doesn't avoid trends, his look embraces a classic approach. Stick with one that is at least three inches wide.
  5. A cool, gleaming, stainless steel watch is a timeless accessory that will serve you well on a number of occasions. Don't be afraid to spend a bit more here; a good watch should last a lifetime and can even be passed down for generations in some cases.
  6. Black tie means just that: a black tie. Avoid the temptation to wear other hues, and ensure that the material matches the lapel of your tuxedo (a silk tie for a silk lapel, for example).
  7. If shoes make the man, your sneakers should be purchased with careful thought and consideration. Opt for a classic pair to wear on a more regular basis than your athletic shoes. Old school Converse sneakers (clean ones, natch) are a great choice.
  8. Your dress shoes also say a lot about you. Black is a safe, reliable bet that will never steer you down the wrong path, but brown is even better choice if style is of prime concern. They don't match everything (skip them if you're wearing a black suit, for example), but you'll find they're extremely versatile otherwise.
  9. To cuff or not to cuff your pants? That's a good question, and one that GQ males don't spend long thinking about. If your pants are crisp with a flat front, avoid cuffing them. On the other hand, cuff them just a little bit if you're wearing single-pleat pants.
  10. How many times have you dug through your wallet, searching in vain for one particular thing, only to come up with a fistful of old receipts? Wallets aren't handbags and they shouldn't be treated as such. Opt for a card holder instead; it will eliminate extra space and provide room for just a few necessities. Put cash in a money clip.

Shopping for GQ Clothes and Accessories

Now that you have some idea of what does it mean to dress GQ, you might be tempted to head out to the nearest store and get better acquainted with more sophisticated clothes and accessories. Good idea - but note that it's not necessary to blow your budget on big-ticket items. Sure, some items, like the aforementioned watch, are worth the expense. Others, though, can be found at discount retailers with a little time and effort. Try stores like Loehmann's and Filene's Basement, both of which stock impressive men's selections that run the gamut from classic to trendy.


In the end, remember that being a GQ male isn't so much about following a stock set of rules as it is knowing your own style, understanding the types of clothes that fit you best and building an enduring, tasteful and upscale wardrobe. From your winter coat to your summer chinos, all items should be chosen with these points in mind. Expect your style savvy to increase exponentially!

What Does It Mean to Dress GQ