No one likes a poser. Or a bloke who is trying to be someone that he’s not.
But there’s no reason why you can’t ‘better’ yourself when it comes to personal style. It’s all about gleaning foolproof tips from stylish gents who actually know what’s going on. After a bit of shopping and a little tweaking, you’ll be that guy; having instantly lifted your style-factor from a two-out-of-ten to a twelve.
Here are five tips to make everyone think you’re more stylish than you really are. But a little trickery is required.
#1 Tastefully-Ripped Jeans
While distressed jeans featured as one of our 9 things in your wardrobe you need to burn immediately, the anything-goes attitude of a tastefully-ripped pair adds solid street cred to an off-duty look. It’s all linked to the return of the better style feats of the Nineties (think sneakers, flannels and kept long hair for men). Ripped jeans reigned supreme in this decade until the Noughties saw the trend turn LA-tacky, with F-grade celebrities pairing the jeans with snap-buttoned western plaids and Cuban-heeled boots.
Not to state the obvious, ripped jeans are purely street/casual. Go black for a grunge-inspired look with leather jacket or opt for super light, faded wash with an organic loose tee that feels beach-y. Next, secure the right fit. That means selecting a slim, skinny or straight cut only. Finally, the rips themselves need to be on the knee cap or slightly above or below and shouldn’t look like a gaping mess where one could shoot hoops with your leg.
#2 Jacked-Up Jewellery
Before thoughts of Pirates of the Caribbean‘s Jack Sparrow enter your mind, jacking-up the jewellery refers expanding beyond the typical wedding band or watch. The list is simple: rings, neck chains, and bracelets. Look to leather and beads for bracelets; brassy and silver tones for chains (a little aged or dull looking is good) and signet rings or plain bands.
Leather or beaded bracelets will bring a little texture to your outfit without overpowering your look; the animal skin adding some ruggedness, while the latter brings a little seafaring subtlety. Necklaces carry the most risk. Go for slim width chains in common hues such as silver, brass and gold. Then, layer two or three and change up even the metals.
Leather is another neck option but go easy on the beads to avoid looking like a pirate. Rings, like the necklace, need to be kept to simple metals. Experiment with chunkiness and the addition of gems or engravings. Jewellery is a reflection of personal style so be comfortable in your additions, not trend-pressured.
#3 Rolled Cuffs
You’ve seen it done in the street, in the bar and on the catwalk, but haven’t actually gone there yourself. I’m talking about rolled trouser cuffs. Now, first things first – this is not at all applicable to suits or trouser separates, in the sense of taking your regular length pants and giving them a tuck.
Keep the technique for chinos or denim jeans. For straight cut varieties, take the bottom of the leg and casually folding the hem once or twice over, taking it to a height that best suits your needs (think one or two inches). For slim fit jeans, make the fold more of a roll, aligning with the casual messiness of the style. Enhance the look by wearing no socks with sneakers or a pair of bold-coloured socks with brogues for a fresh, summery look.
#4 Selective Sneakers
There’s no better feeling than having sneaker freakers in the street stop you mid-stride and ask where your kicks are from. And there’s no worse feeling than wearing a pair of say, camouflaged panel, mulberry-hued Valentinos, and then seeing three other dudes out-and-about in the exact same pair. One of the joys of travelling abroad is the shopping; picking up special editions of your favourite retro or sports sneakers in colourways unique to that part of the world.
Then, there are the super-yacht sneakers; those carved from one-off, architectural blueprints in exotic skins such as ostrich, python and crocodile. Scarcely available on the shop floor, try shopping the internet for these standout types, having the luxury of London, Paris and New York arrive in the mail toute de suite. Then, you’ll definitely be a step above your mates.
#5 Unstructured Blazer
As men’s wear becomes a hybrid of style contradictions and an intermixing of occasion-appropriate dress, mastering the art of the unstructured blazer is crucial. Designed for smart casual looks, the unstructured blazer is the rebel brother to the structured one.
This type has less shape to it, isn’t so square on the shoulder or slim-fitting and comes without all those inner ‘structures’ like linings and padding – making it softer and more chilled.
Features such as patch pockets, off-beat checks, and exposed seams add interest to the look, and today’s choice of incredible casual fabrics (think linen, wool or denim) make this once formal piece something for everyday wear.
Try pairing the unstructured jacket over tapered jeans and a crisp shirt; replacing the casual jacket or bomber – which do still look good – but don’t carry the certain dapper-factor, like the blazer does.
The ‘tip’ is directional and its goal is to point you in the right direction. When used in conjunction with style, tips should never be taken as gospel; ensuring that the adjustments made by someone else’s advice are an evolution of your personal style. Always look for ways to improve your daily look, but never over think it. And remember, self-confidence is everything.