Every man, at some point in his life, must have wished that there was an instruction manual on how to dress to impress. Good men's style can be hard to achieve as it's not just about the clothes and accessories you wear but the way you put them together that makes you stand out from the crowd. Personal style is more than a closet filled with the right clothing items -- it’s identity -- which is a combination of personality, confidence, and self-esteem.
Style is something that has been perfected across generations and is made up of factors that have always been the most important in dress sense – good fit, understatement, high quality, and a classic color palette. Although it takes a lot of work to look effortlessly put together, there are a few tips to help those of us that don’t know our twill from our tweed look like our sense of style is innate.
Looking as though your outfit has been selected straight from the pages of a men's fashion magazine will never make you appear stylish. Your clothing should convey a sense of your personality and individual taste and not look as though it's taken from a page in somebody else’s stylebook.
There are, of course, limits to this take on styling. Throwing out the rule book and putting on any garment in any combination that takes your fancy won’t see you scoring very high in the style stakes. Style happens when your clothing begins to become an extension of yourself and not something you put on like a costume for a fancy dress party.
Keep It Simple
When you have the men's style fundamentals down you can begin to experiment and add your own flair and personalized items. What you choose can be anything from an inherited watch, a vintage scarf, or quirky socks. Don’t overdo it, though. Choosing the simplest items as accessories is always the right choice. One individualized item is usually enough to create the right level of interest in an outfit, as long as you keep the rest of your clothing simple.
Great style isn’t so much the result of physical factors or slavishly following men's fashion magazines. It's more about feeling confident in yourself and in what you’re wearing -- which in turn influences the way you come across to others. There is no body type that makes it easier to convey confidence or carry yourself with style and grace. Confidence comes from being authentically yourself, whatever your body shape. It's assisted by selecting clothing that best fits your body type and personality.
Dressing confidently will influence how others see and treat you, making you behave more confidently, which in turn will increase your motivation to dress more stylishly.
Tips for Developing the Best Men's Style
Choose Clothing that’s Classic and Timeless. These pieces suit everyone and translate to most lifestyles. Compile a list of the clothing items that will make the biggest positive impact on your look. Referring to the list whenever you feel the need to buy clothing will prevent you from impulse buying the wrong items.
Fit is Everything. When clothing doesn’t fit well, you can have spent a fortune and still look as though you're wearing someone else’s clothes. Clothes that fit correctly will enhance any body type and any proportions. Ill-fitting clothing will, conversely, make your body appear shorter, wider, longer, or slouchier than it actually is.
Select Neutral and Interchangeable Colors. Clothing that matches the greatest number of items in your closet is always best to buy. Plain colors and basic cuts aren’t the most eye-catching of clothes but when paired with other interesting items and accessories, they can make a real statement. Navy, black, white, gray, and khaki are stylish colors with the added benefit that they can be combined endlessly and will always work together.
Buy the Best Quality Clothing Your Budget Will Allow. Choose clothing that has the best fit and that is made of the highest quality fabrics. These pieces will help you to create your signature look, while their construction will create a sleek silhouette that cannot be achieved with cheaper items of clothing.
Experiment. Once you have a few signature pieces, you can start experimenting with color and finding your unique personal style. Buy a few pieces that are bolder in color or pattern than your normal range and you will begin to find ways to combine them with your classic pieces to develop your own unique style.
How to Dress:
Dressing for work has never been a more casual affair. However, standing out amongst the rest of the workforce for all the right reasons still requires some know-how. Here are tips for successfully navigating the work dress code.
Work jackets should be slim cut on the sides, fitting across the shoulders, and should end just below the rear. Jacket sleeves should end a couple of inches above the beginning of the thumb joint to allow the shirt cuff to peek through. If your jacket’s dimensions are off, a tailor can easily correct all of these issues for you.
Shirts should veer towards being more formal than casual. Pick shirts with collars that can stand up without needing to add a tie. Go with plain colors: white, light blue and gray, which are easy to match with most outfits.
Opt for a slim cut and stay away from skinny cuts. Pants in classic colors like navy, black and camel will make the task of outfit selection a much simpler process.
A dress shoe is always the safest option and will appear smart with any office wear, as well as complementing all of the above-mentioned clothing items.
As always, the best advice is to keep it simple. Dressing casually presents many more opportunities and options for adding personal style and layering, as well as pairing casual garments with smarter ones. The long-sleeve button-down shirt is still the best option for this style of dress but ties can be left off and the shirt’s top button left undone. The addition of a wool sweater, cardigan or blazer will complete the look for cooler weather days. Personality and flair can be added with the addition of simple patterns and textures but these should be kept to a minimum.
Chinos, dark denim and wool pants are go-to items for stylish casual outfits, while footwear can range anywhere from sneakers and Chelsea boots to derbies.
Once the object of your affection has agreed to go on a date with you, half the battle is won. Keep that momentum going by impressing her with your dress sense as well. Your outfit should be based on the venue that you’re meeting at. As always, choose clothing that fits well, as loose, baggy clothing will never make a good impression, no matter what your body type.
Choose dark or neutral colors for a more sophisticated look that is universally flattering and that will easily pair with a variety of shirts, sweaters, and jackets. If the date is in a casual setting, you can’t go wrong with dark-wash, straight-legged denim. Add interest to your outfit by layering -- choose a high-end bomber jacket, a zipped sweater, or a sports coat. A semi-formal shoe is always a better option, even if the date is casual – a Chelsea boot or a derby shoe will always pair well with dark denim.
Jewelry and accessories should be kept to a minimum as simpler looks always make the best first impressions. However, you can never go wrong with a stylish watch. A timeless timepiece will pull your entire look together and give it just the right level of sophistication.
As with all elements of style – less is more. Your daily grooming routine should be simple and straightforward and veer away from seeming like a lot of time and effort has gone into creating your appearance.
- Trim your eyebrows. Clean the area below your eyebrows to open up your eyes – just don’t have them shaped. A pair of seemingly painted brows will take your look from effortless to high-maintenance and superficial.
- Have the hairs in your ears and neck cleaned. Your barber can deliver this service once a month to keep you looking neat and well-groomed.
Keep nails clean and short. Having your nails buffed will also keep the nails healthy-looking without the appearance of being too polished.
Trim nose hairs. You may not have noticed the stray hair peeking out of your nostril but just believe that your date certainly will.
Wash your face regularly with facial soap. Don’t use your regular body soap as facial skin is thinner and far more sensitive than the skin on your body.
Add scent. A hint of fragrance is always good but remember that less fragrance is more. You don’t want to smell as though you’ve doused yourself with perfume.
Sometimes, the amount you have to learn about good style can seem daunting, when it's actually very simple. After all, looking better put together than most of the guys that you are surrounded by only requires mastering a few basic techniques.
Finding your own personal style is a journey but adopting timeless guidelines for good style will always stand you in good stead. Classic style will also benefit your budget as these clothes won’t need to be replaced after just a few seasons. Invest in a wardrobe that you’ll feel comfortable in for many years to come and the style and financial rewards will be yours to reap.