There is always room for some asymmetry

27.7. 2020, Daniel Rufer
There is always room for some asymmetry

There is no reason to be completely symmetrical. Some find this thought to be of a heretical nature, at least judging by the reactions I sometimes get when I use the simple Four-in-hand tie knot. But I still think there is beauty to a certain level of asymmetry. Now, I will try to explain why.

Sure, symmetry is nice

Symmetry is the cornerstone of fashion, there's no point denying that. Both trouser legs have the same length, a jacket has two symmetrical lapels, a shirt has a symmetrical collar. It is nice, it is balanced, is pleasing to the eye.

But too much of anything is not good, really, and this applies to symmetry as well. Do you also have this annoying perfect guy around you? The pitch-perfect fella who gets on your nerve? This dandified style sends, among others, one very important and not overly pleasant message: I try so, so hard and I want all of you to see it.

But too much is just too much

Just think about it - being imperfect is a typical attribute of every person, alive and death. That is why, at least according to me, one should also incorporate features in his outfit that break this annoying smoothness, a tie or a pocket square for instance. It is what tie is there for, after all, a fashion statement of sorts, something that directs the attention towards your face and more importantly: something that shows how big a confidence you have.

There is just some value to asymmetrical imperfection. Even though it doesn't look like it at first, even our bodies are a little asymmetrical. And some parts of our clothes too - there is only one breast pocket on every suit jacket. Yes, there is a minority of these features, but they play an important part - that is to break and balance the tiring symmetry.

German or Italian?

One can put the question differently - do you prefer a smooth and ironed elegance, or would you rather go with something more flamboyant? Germans are indeed like this sometimes, too perfect, too 'präzis', so much it sometimes gets a bit annoying. Italians, on the other hand, they are a whole different story. They tend to be lively, loud, scruffy and purposefully imperfect. Yet they are the best dressers of all, at least that's how the stereotype goes.

It of course all boils down to what kind of an air you want to give off. If you feel like an uncompromising professional, just stick with symmetry - that is a Half-Windsor knot on your tie and a broadcaster-style pocket square. If you want your outfit to scream 'I am good at what I do, but I am also fun to hang around with', just go for Four-in-hand, be sure not to use the tie's loop and never fold your pocket square for more than three seconds.

It is this very moment that a well-dressed man's and a perfectly-dress man's paths diverge. They might both have a nice suit, but just one of them is a king of these little nuances.

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Daniel Rufer


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