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Mr Porter's Glossary of Men's Style

Belgian designer Mr Raf Simons launched his menswear line from Antwerp in 1992, and has kept critics enthralled ever since with his collections, which deftly combine faultless tailoring and construction with powerful messages inspired by music, art and youth subcultures. Read more about Raf Simons

Rag & Bone

New York brand rag & bone was founded by the British duo Mr Marcus Wainwright and Mr David Neville in 2002. Mr Wainwright was a telecoms consultant and Mr Neville a banker before the pair established their label, with the simple goal of producing well-made, understated clothes that the designers themselves and their friends would want to wear. Although Mr Wainwright and Mr Neville had no formal fashion training, they quickly became experts in producing functional, workwear-inspired clothes with a strong emphasis on quality and fit, thanks to the time the pair spent in Kentucky - where they learnt directly from the traditional workwear and denim manufactures in the area. Indeed, it was a quest for the perfect pair of jeans which initially spurred Mr Wainwright into action, after he moved to New York in 2001 with his American girlfriend. Since the first men's collection was launched in 2004, rag & bone has gone from strength to strength, with the designers winning numerous awards and accolades, including the prestigious Menswear Designer of the Year award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America last year.

Mr Wainwright and Mr Neville talk about smart yet informal dressing

A topcoat with full sleeves that extend at an angle from each armhole to the collar. Like the cardigan, this is another style term that traces its origin to the Crimean War: the name comes from Lord Raglan, an English general. Depending upon who you ask, the coat came into being because a) Lord Raglan had his troops cut sleeve holes into their blankets to wear as coats or b) Lord Raglan had his tailor design a topcoat to disguise a battle injury - the loss of one of his arms.

Ray Ban

The original Ray-Ban Aviators were developed in 1937 for US Air Force pilots. Its original aviator style (famously worn in the film Top Gun), along with the wayfarer, introduced in 1952, are recognised globally. Countless illustrious figures, from army generals to movie stars, have worn Ray-Ban shades - perhaps one of the ultimate male wardrobe staples.

Red Ear is Sir Paul Smith's premium, selvedge denim line, which sits alongside the acclaimed British designer's other brands and is limited in its distribution. As well as the jeans, which are constructed from denim woven on traditional shuttle looms in Japan, don't miss the workwear-inspired clothing.

Since the turn of the 19th century this firm, named after the city in Minnesota where it was founded, has specialised in high-quality, rugged boots that are built to last. Recently the boots have found favour with style aficionados for their practicality and vintage workwear look.

Specialising in exclusive publications about the entertainment industry during the classic decades of the late 20th century, Reel Art Press' beautifully-bound tomes look great on the coffee table, and also make good gifts. Don't miss the volume documenting President Kennedy's style.

Richard James

Modern Savile Row tailor Mr Richard James launched his label in 1995, and since then he has made his name as one of the Row's leading designers. James' tailoring is unmistakably luxurious and modern, but still utterly classic. Silhouettes are clean and slim, and jackets are exclusively single-breasted with one or two buttons. It goes without saying that we appreciate the tailoring, but the shirts, ties, pocket handkerchiefs and wallets - with their bright flashes of colour - are also brilliant for constructing a formal, contemporary-classic wardrobe. Read more about Richard James

Mr Richard James talks about the classic blazer
Rick Owens

Paris-based Californian designer Mr Rick Owens makes some of the best leather jackets in the world, cut to perfection and conveying his signature rebellious aesthetic. Mr Owens has been on the fashion radar since 2002, when he showed his first collection in New York and instantly won a following for his minimal, "stylish grunge" take on fashion.

The distance from the crotch to the top of a trouser's waistband. It's the variation in rise that makes for high-, medium- or low-waisted trousers.


The perfect summer shoe - great for lounging by the pool, wearing on deck, or for adding an element of 1950s style to your off-duty look. Constructed from canvas and cotton mesh, with leather-lined soles, Rivieras are elegant and hard-wearing.

Robinson Les Bains specialises in retro-inspired swimwear, updated with a distinctly French sensibility. The cropped shorts, which bring to mind 1970s Côte d'Azur style, are trim and neat, without being overly revealing.

Robinson Les Bains' founder, Mr Christophe Vérot, on choosing the perfect swimwear

A term used to describe a school of dressing that appropriates the denim, leather, T-shirts, boots and the odd suit jacket worn by real-life rock stars as an everyday aesthetic. Certain designers, such as John Varvatos, who are heavily influenced by rock-star style, design sharp men's clothes that embody this look.

An excellent Hitchcock film, a perfect album by The Clash (Give 'Em Enough...), and the bit of rise where a jacket's sleeve meets the shoulder. On a natural shoulder, you'll see very little. On a Neapolitan suit, you'll see more. A dandy detail. A little goes a long way with roped shoulders. The opposite is the spalla camicia, which is Italian for shirt shoulder - the softest way to construct a sleeve head.