Men are becoming increasingly image conscious as social media ensures their photographs keep appearing everywhere and as society becomes more fixated on male as well as female appearance. But how do you make sure that your personal style is suitable for every occasion? There are no absolute rules as your style will vary depending on the culture you are in, the environment you will be appearing in and the situation itself. However, here are some timeless fashion tips for men that should help you get pointed in the right direction:
Care About Your Style
It might sound obvious but it really isn’t. It’s going to be impossible to look good unless you’re aiming to look good. We’ve all seen the guy in the multi-thousand dollar suit who looks like an awkward teenager putting on dress clothes for the first time.
Caring about your style means you’ll want to think about the things you care about and how you want to portray yourself to work for those things. Your personal values (family, business, friends, societies, etc.) will help inform what you should and shouldn’t wear
Get Some Background
If you want to get the best from clothes and materials you ought to know where they come from. Denim, for example, was created as a hard wearing material for French laborers. It’s indelibly associated with working class lifestyles. Sure, there’s “high fashion” denim but it doesn’t make it right for that all important board meeting either.
The more you know about your clothing, the more you can make the important decision of “is this item right for this specific occasion?”
Don’t Sweat Being the Best Dressed Person Present
There is no such thing as “overdressed”. For the vast majority of occasions being dressed better than other people present just means that you get noticed and admired for having made the effort when other people haven’t.
In particular a guy who wears a great suit with the right accompaniments is often assumed to be important and will be treated that way.
Know Why Fashion Is as It Is
There was a brief moment in the 1980s when Miami Vice was popular that wearing a suit jacket with a jeans and t-shirt combination was fashionable. Yet, for the most part – suit jackets belong with suits and not with casual clothes.
That’s because they’re clearly supposed to be part of a suit. When you create a sartorially confusing picture for people – they don’t know where to place you. You begin by following the rules of fashion and once you’ve established yourself as fashionable; then you can break them.
Know How Clothing Should Fit
Clothes are supposed to fit your body and they’re supposed to do it in a way that makes you look good. Before you rush out to buy clothes; you should know what looks good and what doesn’t. Double breasted suits, for example, only work on certain body frames. They’re designed to be worn fully buttoned up – whereas a single breasted suit is not. If you don’t know what you should be wearing; you can always go and see a tailor and talk it through. You might want to get measured there too.
Invest in the Future
There are certain looks which are clearly destined to be “here today and gone tomorrow”. Don’t be the guy who has to replace his entire wardrobe every year. Instead buy clothing that is timeless. Aim for classic looks and focus on suits, blazers, trousers and shoes for this. Shirts don’t matter as much as they’re worn a few times and then quickly replaced. If you don’t think you can imagine your grandchildren wearing something you buy – don’t buy it.
Pay for The Best Quality
That doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune. You’ll find plenty of thrift stores with some seriously nice numbers on the peg which have been donated by executives who have grown out of them. It does mean that you should use your budget to buy the best quality possible. If you buy cheap clothes – they’ll quickly stretch and fade and need replacing. Build your wardrobe to last as long as possible and as long as you do this with our last tip, invest in the future, in mind then you’ll be looking good all the time.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you’ve never worn a suit then you’re going to feel a little uncomfortable in it the first time around. The right place to get comfortable is not in a job interview or giving a presentation – it’s in the run up to these things. You can wear them to church, to the supermarket, to the mall and get a feel for the garment. Nobody is going to give you a hard time for this; there are no “fashion police” out to stop smartly dressed men in places that men are normally scruffiest.
Dress to Fit In When it Matters
Don’t go to a biker bar in an Armani suit. Similarly don’t go to the board meeting in ripped leathers and a heavy metal t-shirt. There’s a time and place for everything and while it’s OK to practice wearing a suit in the supermarket – it’s best not to do so in the middle of a Biker gang. You also want to think about making sure the clothes are appropriate for the time of year (lighter clothes in Summers, heavier in Winter) to get the most out of looking good. Sweaty or freezing is never great.
Ensure Your Wardrobe Can Mix and Match
You don’t want to spend too much time working out what to wear either. Choose simple and solid color schemes for all your clothes and ensure that they can be mixed and matched at will. Then all you need to do is reach into the wardrobe and quickly grab what you need when you’re in a hurry. If everything matches in a harmonious way – you simply can’t make a terrible selection. This is also the best way to make your budget stretch; when everything goes with everything else – you can keep a simpler selection of shoes, belts, watches, etc. to match.