Anyone can dress themselves, but there’s more to styling than simply knowing which jeans are the best fit for you. So listen up class, today we are going to learn how to develop personal style that speaks to the man you are.
Size Yourself Up
Men represent all body types. Large, thin, short or buff. Whatever the stature, you are physically unique. And your approach to personal style needs to reflect that; enhancing your genetics (as well as working with that belly that McDonald’s has blessed you with).
Take a good, hard look in the mirror and make an honest decision as to what body type you are. Then, take a read of our dressing for your body type guides: the larger gent, the skinny guy and the short guy. Or maybe you’ve crafted a more bodybuilder physique? Categorising allows you to lay a foundation for how to develop personal style. Made just for you.
Know Your Lifestyle & Apply Accordingly
Your professional and social environment is another personal style cornerstone. You banker boys will have different personal style needs (with traditional suits, leather lace-up and a hefty collection of silk ties), compared to the agency creative who can rock tailored denim jeans, a button shirt and sockless brogues to a work meeting (as well as to dinner on the weekend).
Then there’s geographic location. Australian suit wearers should to look to cotton and lighter wools and need to in invest in a few solid pairs of tailored chino shorts and basic tees for Summer weekends. This is compared to Brits, who will look to tweed jackets and woollen trousers in Winter, as a way to look good and survive the chill.
Essentially, when it comes to how to develop personal style, it needs to be practical, first and foremost. And, now we can have some fun.
Always Invest In Staples To Save Time & Money
Not having men’s fashion staples is like trying to drive a vehicle with the handbrake on. Read our article on men’s fashion items that will never go out of style for some start-up ideas. Once you’ve got the basics down, add to that list: a knitted sweater, neutral-hued chinos, a plain white tee, an Oxford button-up shirt and a few decent pairs of jocks and socks. While there remain other pieces to bulk up your style canon, start with these essentials.
Next, keep colours neutral (navy, brown, black, white, grey) and opt for darker yellows, reds, greens or pastels for lighter, Spring-time looks. But don’t overdo colour. Let one piece of clothing be the feature. The key is to colour block; stacking full, patternless shades of colour into one outfit. For instance, a plain black tee under a navy blazer, paired with white chinos is solid, vibrant and instantly stylish.
Add Another Dimension With Accessories
Now, it’s time to play. Adding different textures and patterns lends that individual touch to classic items as does mastering the art of accessorising. It’s purely a matter of personal taste. Let’s take the dinner jacket, as an example.
A velvet jacket with metallic-gem lapel pin matches your musician mood – so rock it. Identify as the timeless gent? Stick to a black jacket with satin lapel. Or perhaps you’re the modern dandy (down to your powder blue suede shoes)? Then opt for a dinner jacket in jacquard weave that looks good enough to stroke.
When you get that overwhelming ‘yes, I need that‘ stomach rush – buy it. This kind of intuition cannot be ignored.
Look To Your Favourite Style Icons
While your girl follows celebs for their dramatic love lives, it helps to check in with the rich and famous for tapping into their approach to style. I’m talking about those seriously stylish actors, only the most fashionable sportsmen and that handful of luxury designers.
Pick one or two celebrity gents (with a similar physical look or taste to you) and start to draw inspiration. The idea is not to copy, as this will lead to frustration. Instead, reinterpret the way the actor styles his night-time suit versus his daytime blazer and chinos. And, what does he wear off-duty when he’s chilling – be it, at the airport or a local LA bar?
You’ll find the best-dressed celebrities keep their clothing simple, well-fitted and in-the-moment. The biggest personal style mistake is to overthink it. So don’t.
Wear It Because You Love It
Nothing is stylish about a guy wearing an outfit chosen for him, not by him. It’s normally a case of the clothes wearing the man, instead of the way around. Give yourself a break. Yes, being fashionable does come from looking to others – be it, models in magazines or other gents in street.
But don’t start wearing say, bow ties with a blazer, simply because your mates are, especially if you don’t love it and feel ridiculous. Your awkwardness will show, regardless of how dapper you’re trying to look. And honestly, a great outfit will never be truly stylish without complete confidence in your choices.