As a personal stylist, I apply some of the same principles to men but there are several key areas of focus to really nail menswear and get the most out of your closet.
No wardrobe “tips” are one size fits all and knowing your own aesthetic, preferences and lifestyle needs are super important. Below is a quick guide to make dressing overall simplified and you looking good, feeling good, doing good.
FIT & PROPORTION IS EVERYTHING – Know how to dress for your body type and get correct sizing. You may be able to shop off the rack with ease or you might find custom is the way to go. Either way, in most cases you should be opting for slim fit cuts which are more flattering and naturally more tailored to the body. Find shirts that are specifically made to be left untucked for those less formal occasions and always tuck your dress shirts. This will make the proportions of your torso and legs more balanced and your look a lot more polished. Oh and invest in a tailor. Making sure your hemlines hit at the right spot is key.
LEARN TO LAYER – An outfit is instantly more visually interesting when there is a third piece added and for men this is often a layering piece. There are so many more options today for men besides the formal suit jacket. More casual styles like the bomber, shawl collar sweater, utility & leather jackets and even vests are great for adding over t-shirts and jeans for everyday looks. Reach for blazers, sport coats and dinner jackets for more dressed up looks and try to have some variety in fabrics and color depending on the time of year and formality of the occasion. And living in New England, don’t overlook outerwear for the colder months.
BUILD A BASE OF CLASSICS & NEUTRALS – Guys, you’ll want to build a capsule as a foundation to your wardrobe. Think about a classic black tux, suiting in shades of navy/grey/beige, classic white and light blue button downs, more casual slacks and denim, jackets and quality t-shirts. This also includes a good base of accessories and footwear we’ve outlined above. In the long run, this will make dressing more simplified and allow you to have more versatility in the pieces you invest in.
PLAY WITH COLOR & PATTERNS – Once you have a foundational wardrobe, think about adding color and patterns in. The key is to have colors and patterns complement each other, but never look too matchy. Some colors that tend to look universally flattering on most are steel blue, olive green, evergreen and burgundy. Play around with solids in these colors or patterned variations to bring a pop of color to an accessory. Also look for classic check prints, plaids, etc. in classic colors. Smaller, neutral patterns are easier to pull off.
BE SMART WITH ACCESSORIES & SHOES – Adding the finishing touches will pull it all together. The watch, sunglasses, belt, pocket square etc. are often things guys can forget about but make a big difference. And make sure you have a variety of options, especially footwear, to compliment the styles of outfits you wear. Often this includes dress shoes in black, tan/brown, a classic white sneaker, loafers etc. And make sure your accessories are quality, you want them to last and not scream cheap.
My last piece of advice? When in doubt, dress it up. There is nothing wrong with being overdressed for an event or occasion. You’ll start to command attention and authority in the best way possible.
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