Have you ever observed someone who always seems to be well-dressed and wondered how they do it?
Some people manage to look stylish with no effort, as though they can throw on anything and look good, but the real secret is that they’ve mastered the art of dressing well. Once you do this, you can be dressed with style in minutes.
Interested in displaying your own effortless style? Here are some key style tips for men:
#1. Style is a skill you can learn
Have you ever heard someone say “I’m just not naturally stylish?” That’s what many people think, but you’ll usually find that those people who appear to be “naturally” stylish have worked on it – often with help from a trusted expert with whom they have developed a relationship. They weren’t born that way!
Look back at some comparisons of well-known people from years ago until now and you’ll see many examples. Style is a skill that they cultivate over time – many people made “interesting” choices prior to their current stylish reputations!
George Clooney – Then and now
It’s a bit like a muscle that you need to train. Most people whom you’d now consider stylish will have some regrets over past clothing choices. Practice – and a trusted advisor – is the key. If you work to understand the look that you like and that suits you well, you’ll get better at looking “effortlessly” stylish yourself.
#2. Always shop for your suit in-person
There are some things that you should never buy online without being fitted, and your suit is one of them. A good suit is an investment piece. It’s a staple in the well-dressed man’s wardrobe and should be of good quality.
Being fitted properly is essential. This is why it tends to be better to head into your tailor and be fitted in-person for your suit. At the same time, your tailor can help you with your style choices, ensuring you’ve selected pieces that you’ll love for a long time. You really can’t beat consulting an expert!
#3. It’s all about fit
Here’s another “secret” of the stylish – fit matters. When you hear people say “he/she would look good in a paper bag,” it’s probably because they’ve nailed the concept of clothes that fit well.
The most basic of outfits takes on a whole new quality when it has been carefully chosen for fit and personal style. The humble jeans and t-shirt ensemble looks classically cool with the right fit, but sloppy and overly casual when the pieces are ill-fitting.
Good fit helps you look tailored. On the other hand, clothes that don’t fit well can give you odd-looking proportions. You can end up looking bigger, smaller, shorter or taller than what you really are.
A key mistake that men often make is to lean toward bigger-fitting clothes, usually with the perception that bigger means more comfortable. Clothes that are a good fit are comfortable too, and they look better!
#4. Go for high-quality key pieces
Most people have a few wardrobe staples that they always turn to. These are the pieces that can quickly get you between different dress code occasions, or that you’ll typically wear often to work.
It is worth investing in high-quality, well-fitted pieces for those wardrobe staples. Typically, you might pay a bit more for tailoring and for high-quality materials, but this pays off because you not only look stylish, but your clothes last longer.
Consider fabric choices when you look at investment pieces. When will you be wearing it and what is the weather likely to be doing? We recently wrote about fabric choices for seasonal wear – these ideas are good to consider when you’re choosing your staple pieces.
As a general rule, go for the highest quality wardrobe basics that you can afford. Also remember that in the fashion world, high price does not always mean high-quality. Your tailor can help guide you toward clothing that is well-made and worth the price.
#5. Invest in some good-quality accessories
Sometimes it’s the accessories that really polish off an outfit. It’s worth investing in some good-quality basics that will help you to look stylish for any occasion.
For example, consider that bag or briefcase that you carry to work every day. If you want to maintain a stylish look, carry a classic style in good-quality leather. Avoid carrying gym bags or totes.
Other accessories that are worth doing well include leather belts, neckties, cufflinks and watches. The most stylish men don’t tend to be ostentatious with their accessories, but usually take a “less is more” approach with a few well-chosen pieces.
#6. Go for the classics first
If you’re relatively early on your style journey, don’t feel that you have to find a look that is wholly unique to yourself. Think classic looks and techniques first. We mentioned that style is something that can be learned – it’s always easiest to start with the basics, much like you would in any profession.
A key mistake is to try to hop onto every trend that comes by. There’s a difference between style and fashion; the former tends to be more classic and timeless, while the latter is often fleeting. Style says something about the wearer and tends to include looks that will last.
For example, a classic suit in a timeless color and fabric choice will last the distance well beyond a suit made with a “trend” patterned fabric. A tip here is to keep your basic pieces in a timeless style, but dabble in trend items if you’d like to. For example, by adding a trend accessory.
#7. Pick neutral colors
As a general rule, start with classic colors and patterns, avoiding graphics or any sort of wild print. This is especially essential for key pieces; suits, jackets, shirts, t-shirts and jeans or chinos.
When you have a good base of neutral colors, you find that you can easily mix and match your wardrobe to pick a stylish outfit every time. It’s hard to match bright colors or loud patterns with anything else, whereas having options with your neutral colors can have you dressed quickly.
Neutrals to consider include: navy, grey, black, white, beige, olive, khaki and brown.
#8. Polish your appearance
Polish is a big part of dressing with style. This means looking after your clothing, having it laundered or dry cleaned according to the instructions, hanging on good quality hangers and (of course) being acquainted with an iron!
Clothing should be free of stains and loose threads. Use a lint roller to get rid of any lingering fluff or fur. Should a laundering accident shrink or stretch any favorite pieces, there are often ways to fix them up. There are a few examples to be found on Google (such as a soak in water with hair conditioner for any shirt that has shrunk), but be sure to check on the specific treatment for your fabric type.
Shoes should be kept clean and polished. Scuff marks take away from your overall appearance. Consider this on any other leather accessories too.
Your hair and facial hair should also be well-groomed. It’s important to learn what looks good on you. Some men look great with a bit of “designer” stubble, while it is not a good look on others.
#9. Dress as though you have plans
When you consider style overall, it never hurts to dress as though you have plans. Are you going to a club or restaurant? Perhaps you have no plans to right now, but dressing as though you might ensures you look stylish and that you have options.
It’s no secret that the way you look can open doors. The nicest, smartest or most competent person can miss opportunities when someone makes a judgement based on how they are dressed. It sounds terribly shallow, but it has been proven repeatedly. Dress for the opportunities that you would like.
Style is a skill that can be learned, no matter what level you are at right now. If we were to highlight any basics of style, they would be to go for fit and for classic, staple pieces.
You don’t need to have a vast wardrobe to be stylish, but you need to have a few good pieces that you wear well. Invest in quality cuts and fabrics that are best-suited to your own body type.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to take steps out of your fashion “comfort zone.” Once you’ve mastered some basics and determined your preferred style, try starting with small switches to change it up occasionally. You just might discover some new favorites.