I have written about many of the pieces that make up traditional American style, but there is one very important piece that I have not covered; it’s not clothing related, but it is very visual: the haircut. A clean shave and a well-kempt haircut have always been a big a part of the “look.” Although, there is no one “look.”
So, what is this haircut? There are lots of acceptable versions, but the rule of thumb is short and neat. It is a little longer on top than the sides, tapered back, tapered sides, short sideburns, and of course a side part (generally on the left). Below are a few acceptable styles from the movie “The Man Who Wasn’t There.”
More important than the specific style is the upkeep. I get my haircut every two weeks which allows for me to keep my hair looking pretty consistent. I know this primarily because people rarely, if ever, notice when I get a haircut, which I take as a compliment. I also go to the same barber time and time again. This is crucial, because it may take a few haircuts for you to achieve the cut you want. The last thing that you want to do is to go to a new barber every time that you get your haircut.
Selecting a hairstyle is just as important as selecting your wardrobe. Find a style that flatters your face and a barber that can cut it. Next, remember to visit him regularly and to treat him well. You can have on the nicest suit, most beautiful tie, and cordovan shoes that shine like a mirror, but a bad haircut will overshadow it all.