Knowing how to dress well is one trait that separates the men from the boys. The way you learn to dress can have major effects on life opportunities going forward, especially in your romantic and professional life. Luckily, dressing well isn’t necessarily hard. All you need is the right knowledge and a bit of intuition. Here are a few helpful suggestions.
1. FIND WHAT SUITS YOU
Knowing who you are as a person and how you plan to appear to others is one of the central aspects of good style. Everyone who pays attention to their own looks knows that there are certain colors and styles that look great on them where they might be mediocre on another person, and vice versa. The best way to refine your sense of style is to spend some time experimenting with different looks to find the look that fits you best. Don't be afraid to take inspiration from others around you while you find your own style.
2. CONTEXT IS KEY
As much as we might not like it, our setting always affects how people perceive our dress. The way that you dress on a business trip will be different from the way you dress at an office party, and the way you dress in the office will be different from how you dress around friends. All of these situations require different approaches, even though the differences might be subtle. In the business world particularly, it can be vital to pay close attention and figure out what is expected of you from bosses and co-workers in order to make a strong impression.
3. LESS IS MORE
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that dressing well or dressing fancy means putting on a lot of layers or putting in a lot of effort. While in some cases this is more or less true, most of the time simplicity is your best friend. This is especially true when it comes to undergarments, shirts, socks, etc. An overly busy outfit can be interesting, but it may not be sexy or serious in the same way as a simpler, sleeker one is. Focus on finding basic garments that fit you well, or have basic items like pants and tees tailored to fit you better.
4. MAKE IT POP
This may seem counter-intuitive given the previous point, but it is worth noting that a splash of color can really light up an outfit. Some men with an otherwise impeccable sense of style make the mistake of shying away from color in favor of more neutral grays, blacks, and navy blues. However, just one colorful accessory or item of clothing on a neutral outfit can give you the kind of pop you need to make a strong impression, whether at a cocktail party or on a date. In formal wear, this is one place where a tastefully colorful tie or a nice watch can do wonders.
5. BE COMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SHOES
No, literally. Having a pair of shoes that match your style is essential, yet for some reason this seems to be one of the most overlooked aspects of many men’s wardrobes. This means that you need to know what kind of shoes suit you, and what kind of outfit goes with what kind of shoe. It also means not being afraid to spend a bit more on shoes, even though that might seem frivolous. Trust us—shoes are just as important as any other part of your getup.
6. HYGIENE AND GROOMING
Not to state the obvious, but what you wear is only part of the equation. Even the most well-ordered outfit can be ruined by poor grooming. Some of the elements of good grooming are obvious: keep your hair and beard neat, shower regularly, etc. However, men often forget important details like their skin. If you are really looking to shine in any outfit, making sure that the body in it looks good is the first step.
7. DON'T BE AFRAID TO SPEND
We get it. You have a lot of wants and not necessarily a whole lot of money. However, it is important to keep in mind that spending more money is sometimes the more economical thing to do. Better made clothing tends to hold up better over time, particularly when it comes to high-wear items like pants and shoes. Not only can a little bit of investment help you look better, but it can save you money in the long run by not forcing you to buy new clothes every few months.
8. BE BOLD
Last but not least, it is important to know when to break the rules. In workplace settings, it is almost always better to follow guidelines than to ignore them. However, this isn’t always true in your private life. When the stakes are not so high, it can be fun and rewarding to step a bit out of your comfort zone or make a bold statement. In fact, it is the only way to develop your personal style to its full potential. So get out there and try something new!