Rules of Style: Bonobos' VP of Design Dwight Fenton

We spoke to Fenton about the new rules of tailoring, the impact of music on his designs, and why you'll never catch him in a puffy coat.

Image courtesy of Bonobos

The J.Crew alum has helped Bonobos, the pants e-tailor known for impeccable fit expand into a full-on fashion label, thanks to his eye for fresh prints and casual-cool suiting.

We spoke to Fenton about the new rules of tailoring, the surprising item he'd save form his wardrobe in case of a fire, and why you'll never catch him in a puffy coat.

1. Think of a chambray dress shirt as a blank slate or neutral piece—it'll go with any tie.

2. The rules of tailoring are a little more ambiguous these days, but the waist and shoulders of a suit should always fit you perfectly.

3. Embrace the casual tuxedo jacket. You can lose the tie and pair it with sneakers, jeans, or even a T-shirt during the daytime.

4. I never reach for a puffy down jacket in the winter. I just wear the same Fenimore wax cotton coat and pile on the layers underneath.

5. Think of fashion as a sliding scale. If the blazer is bright, go easy on the tie. If your shirt's neutral, add a pop of color somewhere else.

6. Menswear should never feel precious—embrace the casual elements that are being infused into the more recent lines.

7. Music inspires most of my designs. The spring line started with a song from the Dum Dum Girls and from there I filled in the blanks. The Fall line has some very early Mick Jagger influences.

8. Don't shy away from printed shirts. Bold prints can be the focus of your entire outfit, or subtle prints, like a navy shirt with blue dots, can work as a non-solid solid.

9. I hate carrying bags. If I have to carry something to work it's going in a shopping bag that I can leave at work. I'd rather use my pockets.

10. If my house were on fire I'd grab my threadbare T-shirts from college and leave the rest. Everything else is replaceable.

—Kristen Dold. Follow her on Twitter at @KristenDold.

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