7 Timeless Fashion Tips for Young Men | Classic Style Advice For Any Man

32-likes-you-tube-comment-tI was in the YouTube comments the other day, answering people’s questions and checking in to see what people wanted to see me create.

One comment grabbed my attention.

“Can you do a video for young men age 18-25 on how to dress with style but still classy? I don’t want to follow this swaggy trend.”

Written by TheColonelAngel, I at first wanted to resist promising a video as:

1) I’m 38 and a few years removed from style for this age group

2) I’ve actually created content on this before – see my young man style video here and 9 fashion tips article here.

However – I apparently wasn’t putting out enough as these men wanted more.

Within a few days this comment had received over 30 likes.

So as there is a need – and to show that I LOVE my audience and their support…..here we go!

 

Want to watch this video on You Tube?

Click on the link below!

7 Timeless Fashion Tips For Young Men – Classic Style Advice For Any Man – How To Dress Better

 

keep-it-simple-1. Keep Your Style Simple

Keep it simple young man.

A lot of young men, when they first decide to start dressing well, go out and invest in fancy, expensive items that are much nicer and much more formal than everything else in their outfits.

That’s not a good way to start!

You spend a lot of money, and you end up with an awkward mish-mash of high fashion and low fashion; of business formality and casual street wear.

Take your cues from your environment and from what you already own. Unless you’ve been totally clueless all your life, odds are that your current wardrobe is at least practical for your surroundings.

Your task is to upgrade, not to replace. Look for basic, sturdy pieces of clothing at a slightly higher standard of dress than the ones you’re currently wearing.

Avoid items that look like nothing you’ve ever worn before. And definitely avoid mixing business and formal clothing with casual garments!

Finally, be realistic about your environment.

A three-piece wool suit is a nice outfit, but if you’re wearing it in Texas in the summer, you’re not going to look sharp. You’re going to look flushed, sweaty, and uncomfortable.

Don’t let fashion eclipse your body’s needs — because your body certainly won’t.

 

thrift-store-man-well-dressed2. Shop At Thrift Stores

This is basic, practical advice for your wallet.

Thrift stores are an amazing place to start building a wardrobe for a fraction of the cost that you’d spend buying new.

But getting to know your local consignment and charity stores is also educational. You’ll be dealing with a mixed bag of styles. Some will be simple and timeless; others will be last decade’s fleeting trends. Sorting the presentable from the comical is excellent practice for building your own unique style.

Not everything old and out-of-date is necessarily unwearable.

A good, simple outfit of timeless clothing with one funky period piece thrown in there is fun. It shows people that you know what the rules are, but also that you’re not afraid to break them when it looks good.

Just take it easy, and focus first on buying clean, simple looks you can mix and match easily. And get used to it taking a while — not every trip to the thrift store yields results. If you need something that looks good fast, you’ll probably have to buy new. But when you’ve got time to kill, the thrift store (or relatives’ closets, with their permission) is the way to go.

3. Study History & The Role Of Clothing

There’s a pretty cool story behind most your clothing.

Most details on contemporary garments are there for a reason.

In high fashion the reasons get somewhat arbitrary, but in basic, everyday menswear, the history is easy — and fun — to trace.

For example, the high-up pocket placement on the breast of dress shirts and work shirts? That’s a tweak that goes all the way back to the days of hand-loaded, shoulder-fired muskets, when a pouch high up on the chest reduced the time it took to reload. The high breast pocket has been an American man’s look since the days of the Revolutionary War (actually – even farther back if you look!).

Not all the historical details are military. Blue denim and blue chambray workshirts are classic colors because the indigo dye used to produce them was cheaper than bleach in the early 20th century, making it easier to re-dye blue clothes with work stains than to clean white ones.

These are just examples. There’s a reason for most things in men’s style. Knowing them is fun, and it’s also an effective counter when someone gives you a hard time about your clothing choices.

Antonio & Aaron At VidCon 2014

Antonio & Aaron At VidCon 2014

4. Find a Style Mentor

Locate someone who dresses well, and who is willing to give you a few tips. If they’re local, or a family member, that’s ideal, though in the age of the internet it’s not strictly necessary anymore.

Performers and public figures, from rock stars on down to local politicians and teachers, are often more aware of their appearances and the clothing choices they’re making than the average man. Ask around. See who’s just throwing things on in the morning, and who’s making conscious choices.

Tired of listening to me speak? Well I give you a list of over 400 other men’s style bloggers here – ranked!

5. Visit the Best Menswear Store Available

Forget about your budget for a minute. Hit up the best store in town, or at least the best that will let you in the door. (If you live somewhere like New York or London, then yeah, there are going to be high street designers who literally don’t let shoppers come in off the street and try things on. Go a step more mainstream than that.)

Spend some time looking around a really nice store. Browse through the racks. Handle the clothing. Try on a couple outfits (full outfits, not just individual pieces) that you like the look of.

And then put it all back. Don’t break the budget.

The point is to get a sense for what true quality looks and feels like. In the same way that aspiring artists visit museums to see the works of the old masters, you’re looking to see how men with much more experience and money dress well.

It gives you an idea of what to look for when shopping in cheaper stores and thrift stores. You learn what good fabric should feel like against your hand, what a quality cut looks like, and so on. That way, you’ll spot those rare, fantastic deals when you spot them.

Just for example, a $400 suit may not sound like a cheap price to a casual shopper, especially one on a budget. But if you recognize that the suit’s made from an extremely fine and expensive tropical weight wool that usually retails for thousands of dollars, and that it’s being made to measure in your size by a talented tailor, and that it will fill a need in your wardrobe for the next decade or so — suddenly it becomes a pretty good bargain, even if it means being a little tight on cash for a month or two.

How-To-Sew-On-A-Button-Infographic-Lee-Jeans-8006. Learn to Sew

Seriously, spend some time with a needle and thread.

Get over any issues you have with the “masculinity” of it. Most of the master tailors in the world right now are men.

More importantly, it’s a real time and money saver. If you don’t have even the most basic skills, you’re looking at ten bucks to sew a button on your shirt; twenty-five to get your pants hemmed.

In terms of labor costs, that’s on a par with doctors and specialized mechanics. Save yourself the money by learning to do it yourself. It’s not hard — and, if you’re a younger man in college or a large house with lots of other guys, you can start charging those ten bucks here, twenty bucks there, sorts of rates to fix you buddies’ clothing up.

It’s good practice for you, money in your pocket, and the comforting knowledge that you’ll never be dependent on finding a tailor for some quick repairs when you travel.

7. Teach Others

A final tip for young men: teach other young men!

That doesn’t have to be formal. Just talk about clothes, go thrift shopping with other guys, or spend some time answering questions on a menswear web forum.

The more you think about how to advice other people, the more you’re thinking about advice that holds true for you, too.

It’s widely acknowledged that to demonstrate mastery in a skill, the practitioner has to be able to effectively instruct someone else in the skill. If you’re not there yet with fashion and wardrobe-building, don’t sweat it — but do aim for it.

You’ll know you’re a sharp dresser when other guys are coming to you for help, and you’re providing it without even thinking hard.

 

What do you think?

Did I miss anything?

Let me know in the comments!

  • Juan Luis Bravo

    What about the styles of clothing? This is one of the most important ideas in the world of clothing.

  • GetItGoing

    Good ideas. :)

  • Francisco

    I’ve been shopping at the local Salvation Army and Goodwill for years. Aside from fantastic bargains on books, I have acquired the following: Harris Tweed jackets, Cashmere and camel sport coats, an Armani suit, two Burberrys suits, a Burberrys trench coat, Hermes ties, Ermenegildo Zenga slacks, numerous cashmere sweaters, all for pennies on the dollar. Does it bother me that their former owners probably died? No. Plus I’m supporting a good cause.

  • Jack Daley

    Antonio, I wanted to let you know that I really liked this article. As a younger man working in recreation its hard to present my self in more then just well gym clothes. I use your style tips and tricks when ever I’m in a meeting or planning programs with coworkers. Articles like this one are great to refresh my young brain on important points when buy clothes

  • George Debs

    Awesome article, Antonio! You always give the clearest and most valuable advice! Great job!!!

  • John Leitaker

    good advice: A few years ago I was going on a cruise. I really like to do formal dinners. In my real world I don’t do this often but on a cruise its every night. As it turns out some short guy had a tux tailored to perfectly fit me and it was on sale at a thrift shop for $16.00. Now I own a nice tux. You should see it. You can’t rent one for that much money. A couple dinner jackets and I was set.

  • menstyle

    Wow! That sounds like a good find! :)

  • menstyle

    Thank you, George!

  • T. Michael Salter

    Outstanding advice all around. I certainly have benefitted from each of the seven tips. All are important and I probably could not pick one over any other. However, perhaps a corollary to #1 and #4 would be “Observe Others Around You”. For example, watch what the local news anchors are wearing. They are often a good barometer of local style, in addition to business leaders in the area. Watch for newspaper photos, especially in specialty publications that cater to the local business community. You probably won’t see much that is cutting edge fashion, but you will see clothing styles that will help you fit in. These types of observations will also help you learn what “style rules” can be bent or adapted within your community.

  • Blake Alexander Hammerton

    Excellent tips. One additional piece I would recommend is to acknowledge that you (the original commenter asking for this topic) already know you DON’T want to embrace the ‘swaggy trend’ these days. Kudos to you. Knowing the difference between class and style, and ‘swag’ makes a huge difference. You’re already ahead of the curve.

    Get on Pinterest and look up some men’s fashion boards. Here is one of mine: http://www.pinterest.com/blakehammerton/the-sharp-gentleman

    Look around at what YOU find the most attractive and stylish. Just because you’re in the younger crowd, doesn’t mean you have to wear only age appropriate threads. If we’re being honest, ‘age appropriate’ really means, ‘the younger you are, the worse it will fit.’ 20 year olds in suits are usually wearing a jacket 2+” too big, cut incorrectly, and slacks that aren’t tailored. If you want to change the game, get a professional fitting so what you wear actually fits you… regardless of whether it was $16 or $1600. Fit makes all the difference.

  • menstyle

    There are different styles of clothing based on the event and venue that you are going to. Which one are you pertaining to, Juan?

  • menstyle

    That is true, Michael!

  • menstyle

    Wow! So glad to hear that, Jack! :)

  • menstyle

    I totally agree! :)

  • Shailja kapoor

    Hi, thanks for your advice. I read your blog and you gave me knowledge about fashion tips for Young Men. I read many thing about men fashion from your article like Keep Your Style Simple, Shop At Thrift Stores, Study History & The Role Of Clothing, Find a Style Mentor, Visit the Best Menswear Store Available, Learn to Sew and Teach Others.You gave me great information about study history and the role of clothing in your life. This is a great idea for young men how to choose clothes. I have read another article. Please check the mentioned link and if you like this blog then reply to our website…http://bit.ly/1mlmp3y

  • TANVEER

    really good tips for young men…thank you…

  • menstyle

    You are welcome, Tanveer.

  • Camilo

    Antonio,
    I totally agree with what you said about these tips being worth for everyone, not just for young men.

  • menstyle

    Glad to know! Thanks :)