Rules of Style: Perry Ellis Creative Director Michael Maccari on What Modern Style Means

"A man has real style when he's true to himself and doesn't try to look like anyone else."

Image courtesy of Perry Ellis.

Michael Maccari is no stranger to menswear design. The newly appointed creative director of Perry Ellis, Maccari has worked everywhere from Giorgio Armani and Polo Ralph Lauren to Calvin Klein and J.Crew. He'll be unveiling his debut collection at New York Fashion Week this September, when Perry Ellis will make its return to the tents.

So we couldn't think of anyone better to dispense this week's style rules. Here, Maccari tells us what trend he's most excited about, what every man should invest in, and where he goes to get away from it all.

1. Modern style means dressing with confidence. Today, a man can reference celebrities, blogs, or his favorite brand, but his confidence comes through in a well-cultivated personal style. A man has real style when he's true to himself and doesn't try to look like anyone else.

2. Invest in good quality shoes rather than trendy ones. A well constructed shoe gets better with age, gives hours of comfort, and is worth repairing when too worn. Get a neutral "season-less" suit and invest in proper tailoring to make it your own. And an all-purpose outerwear piece can take you anywhere, perfect for traveling or stowing away in your day bag for when it might rain.

3. Accessorize personally: a family ring, a heritage piece, and a meaningful gift make the best accessories and usually work when layered with seasonal items. However, don't do it if looks forced and doesn't feel natural. Own it or go without—you decide.

4. My weekend getaway of choice is Shelter Island. It's the perfect blend of an small upstate New York town, but located at the beach. Getting on that ferry is indescribably—and automatically—relaxing. Whether it's two days or two weeks, the island is magic.

5. Whatever the season, consider layering. Always have a piece of lightweight, technical outerwear on hand in early spring and early fall to layer over or under your look for protection from the elements.

6. Treat yourself to a beard trim from a barber on a regular basis. It's relaxing and keeps the look fresh and professional. On a daily basis, make sure the beard is as clean and conditioned as the hair on your head. Apply Murdock Beard Moisturizer fresh from the shower. If your beard is on the fuller, longer side, a few dabs of beard oil keep it from appearing dry. I recommend Blackbird beard oil.

7. I'm most excited for the activewear trend influencing fashion, either by mixing active layers into your daily look or by incorporating design elements in basic sportswear items. I believe it's the perfect, modern way of dressing for function and style. It's more of a playful statement in womenswear, but it's a very comfortable and practical way for men to dress. It also adds that dash of personal expression depending on the color and pattern you choose to highlight.

8. My go-to bag is a backpack. It keeps my shoulders in balance and looks great with any outfit from a suit to a hoodie.

9. My philosophy is don't be afraid to take a risk, but always be honest about whether it works for you, and confident enough to either adopt it or leave it behind for someone else. At the end of the day, it's just clothing;don't underestimate its influence, but don't take it—or yourself—too seriously.

10. Men should be thinking about versatile alternatives to suiting. Wear a cardigan over a vest and trousers with a shirt and tie. Experiment with layers under or over jackets for warmth and function. Today, It's all about ease and versatility to expand on wardrobe options, think outside the prescribed box.

—Andrew Villagomez is a men's lifestyle and travel writer and a Details Network contributor. Follow him at @VeeTravels.

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