'Etiquette' and 'dress codes' are generally two terms I squirm to hear in the same sentence as 'style'. Fashion at its most fundamental is an accessible form of self expression which enables the wearer to - variously - make a political statement, convey their emotional state be it conflicted or carefree, put on show aspects of their personality that would otherwise remain unseen, etc. The concept of personal style (well, my own at least...) is at odds with sartorial rules and regulations.
^ Jeremy Hackett looking suitably suave.
That said, formalities of dress do have their place in the contemporary world and tradition often heavily informs our respective personal styles. Jeremy Hackett, successful business executive and author of "Mr Classic" - an anecdotal, incisive, critique of men's style, is someone who's not got much blue blood flowing in his veins (as far as I'm aware) but is entirely aware of the importance of preserving the classical nuances of menswear. And did you know he has a blog?
Entitled "Jeremy Hackett - The Mr Classic Blog", this rather basic but still quite brilliant blog informs its reader of everything from the correct manner in which to tie a bow-tie to what summer staples you'll need on holiday. Less interesting are, of course, posts on the seemingly weighty consequences of undoing a shirt button - I mean, really? In typically British fashion Hackett makes this conservative statement:
"My own personal preference is to undo just the top button. I find this more than sufficient in the heat of a British summer [...] Besides, I find that more than one button gives off a faintly 'gigolo-esque' impression"
By those standards I'm the whoriest rent-boy in town wearing a t-shirt.
But, on a more serious note, it's definitely worth your while checking out. Posts like this one on the politics of tie colours make for rather an interesting read.