So I'm walking through the airport the other day.
I'm traveling to Atlanta to see my buddy Aaron Marino.
I am carrying this beautiful leather bag.
I mean this thing is an eye catcher.
Heads are turning.
And two guys actually come up and talk to me about it.
One was the pilot of the plane I was flying on and another was a fellow military man.
So what's the point?
The point is that carrying a stand out accessory led to opportunity.
I would've never spoken with these guys if I just looked like I rolled out of bed to catch a flight.
When you take the time to care about your personal appearance it attracts more opportunity into your life.
Gentleman, in today's article, I am going to show you how you can become that man who always stands out.
You can lead the pack by setting an example for everyone to follow.
Here are 5 tips to be the best-dressed man in the room.
This post was brought to you by Colonel Littleton.
I LOVE their USA hand-made leather luggage, portfolios, and wallets. Col Littleton's quality leather accessories are so AWESOME you'll have random people coming up and complimenting you on how cool your luggage is (I know – happens to me all the time!)
They have a wide range of Americana leather pieces, but my personal favorites are their Full-Grain American Buffalo Luggage designs. All bags and accessories are based off classic American history designs and the Colonel's own personal tastes.
Tip # 1: Dress With Intention & Confidence
Looking sharp takes a couple of honest mistakes and revisions. Not all guys have the natural eye for mixing and matching the perfect ensemble.
Celebrities get bashed all the time by this so called “Fashion police”. They have an entourage of stylists and fashion consultants, but still, they get meanest trash talk from critics and haters alike.
And this can take a direct hit on everybody’s level of confidence.
But do not let this discourage you. With your persistence and your drive to improve and succeed, you will be surprised that dressing sharply, even on short notice, gradually becomes second-nature.
The question remains, “How can I dress up well?” We hear this question all the time, and I don’t blame you.
Here is a quick run-down practice guide.
• Look For Someone With A Good Sense of Style
Let’s face it. Like everything in life, there's always someone better, faster, stronger, or more stylish.
Learn from him. He could be a celebrity, model, athlete, actor, designer, teacher or even your next door neighbor.
If he has the “wow” factor, emulate him. Observe on how he dresses up from head to toe, then try it for yourself.
You do not have to use the same brand. It’s the style that you should be after.
Next is, ask for an honest opinion if everything blends well or not. If it does, fantastic! If not, that’s ok, try again until you get things right.
• Go For The Perfect Fit
Alterations may be needed when purchasing off the rack.
As a general overview, your pants should neither be skin tight nor baggy. It should have slim straight cut or anything similar. For the waistline, belts and suspenders should not be needed to hold up the pants.
For the upper garments, it should outline a classic V-shape torso, with an ideal “drop” or with a chest and waist dimension variance of around 10 inches.
For your footwear, the snug fit principle applies as well. Putting a little cash for premium quality dress shoes can really enhance your entire look.
• Keep The Unnecessary Inside The Closet
Graphic tees should be left in the 90's.
Visible brand logos can be distracting. Make sure to remove or cover them. If you can’t, better not wear them.
Torn jeans give a sense of ruggedness and informality. They look unkempt and disorganized.
Slippers and running shoes should be worn at the appropriate situation, such as going to the beach or marathon, not on occasions where formality and presentability are required.
• Dress For The Occasion
For formal events, there’s the usual suit jacket-trouser tandem, with tucked in collared dress shirt, a tie and a pair of highly polished, premium leather oxford shoes.
For business casual, you can go for a blazer or sports jacket, with a polo shirt or button down shirt or with a collared checkered on the inside. You can also opt for v-neck sweater as additional layers. Then pair it up either with khakis, dress pants, corduroy pants or linen pants and a good pair leather shoes for the feet.
For other casual types, again, there is the button down or polo shirt, combined with dress pants, khakis or with fine denim jeans. When you are in colder areas, a bomber jacket or a field jacket is a good option to don with. For the finishing touch, choose from loafers, two-tones, bucks, boat shoes or clean-cut boots as your footwear.
Tip # 2: Own A Stand Out Accessory
Alluding back to the intro, the best way to boost your outfit is with a statement piece such as a leather bag. But just don’t settle for any random leather bag that you can find.
You have to be very picky when choosing the one that’s worth every dollar you paid for.
I know that many guys fall for the temptation of buying something cheaper and more affordable. Everybody is on a budget, right?
But learn to think beyond the low price and the passing sense of joy that buying an underrated leather bag can bring.
This feel good moment, sadly, does not last long. All good things must come to an end as they say. This is true with bags made from leather of questionable quality and poor workmanship.
Every disappointed owner will surely tell you to look for the best leather bag available on the market.
Once you start to notice that it lasts longer, can hold your heavy items, as well as the compliments you receive, you can give yourself a pat on the back and say it’s all worth it.
The question is, what are some of the characteristics to look for in a top quality leather bag?
• Durability – The longer it stands the test of time and continuous use without breaking apart, the better.
• Carry capacity – Depends on your needs. It can be a navigator briefcase, travel bag, tote, work bag, satchel, duffel, leather book bag or anything that meets your specifications.
• Intricate craftsmanship – Focuses on the quality of work made into its overall design and finish. The way it was cut, sewn and how the bits and pieces were placed together speaks volumes about its sturdiness.
• Type of leather – There are many premium types of leather out there but one of the most notable is your full grain American Buffalo hides. Leather that tells a story. Look for leather that has not been corrected, but is unique to each bag. Each hide tells a beautiful story and no one bag will be identical.
Another great thing about leather bags is they heighten up the look of your outfit.
They add up to the spice and aesthetic appeal, thus making you sharper and more elegant.
Leather bags are so versatile that they blend perfectly with any garments such as suits, blazers, sports coat, field jacket, bomber jacket, trench coat, polo shirts, button-up shirts and many others, on any occasion and any season.
Tip # 3: Get The Fit Perfect
Seeking the services of a tailor is often underappreciated by many.
People tend to buy first off the rack from boutiques, department stores, and online shops.
There is nothing wrong with that, but these garments are made for general fit. Meaning, they fit snugly to most people on a particular size.
The problem lies when the appropriate size you bought off the rack looks too big and sloppy.
If you need to modify a suit or trouser to fit your frame, here are some common alterations that you can ask from your tailor.
Suit Jacket and Dress Shirt
• Shoulder alteration = EXPENSIVE
This should be avoided because it is the most expensive to alter. It's best to shop for your shoulders and save the alterations for the less expensive areas.
• Jacket Length
A good rule of thumb is that the length should end at your behind and not below it. Another way to measure is to end just at the knuckles.
• Jacket Mid-section
If it is too wide, have it tapered. It should be snug and not too tight. Tailor needs to put pin or darts at the back to find out the right dimension.
You may need to do a “hug test” by putting your arms across like hugging somebody. If you feel a resistance, then it is tight.
• Sleeve Length
The jacket sleeves should not engulf the shirt cuff. About 1/4” or ½” of the cuff should be visible to show off the contrasting blend of the sleeve and shirt cuff.
Pants or Trousers
It needs to be snug where you do not need a belt to make it stay in place. The waistline should not fall down when you move or walk. The waist should have enough space to tuck in your shirt without having to unbutton or unzip, or without the pants sliding down. One good test though is to place a finger easily inside the waist. If it does, then it is the right size.
If your trouser looks too roomy, it needs to be tapered. Your tailor will place darts and pins from the upper part of the thigh going down to the leg opening. This serves as a guide on the extent of the tapering needed.
If the whole leg does not need any tapering, only the bottom needs one.
• Trouser Break
In case if you are wondering, break simply means the number of horizontal creases that you see when the bottom of your pants rests on the shoe.
It tells you how long or short your trouser is.
They are several types of breaks:
• Full Break
a. Has two or more folds or creases on top of the shoe.
b. The back part of your trouser can be stepped on when walking.
c. The trouser cuffs look shredded.
d. It means that your pants are too lengthy.
• Medium Break
a. Has only one crease fold.
b. The ideal or traditional break.
c. The cuff rests at the middle of the heel counter.
• No Break
a. The cuff narrowly touches the top of the shoe.
b. No folds present.
• Too Much Break
a. Also known as Flooding
b. The noticeable gap between the trouser and the top part of the shoe.
c. The ankles are highly visible.
Tip # 4: Pay Attention To The Smaller Details
These ornaments are not just for the ladies. Men, too, can incorporate them into their everyday style for a more upgraded look.
So what are the types of jewelry that men can wear?
Depending on the occasion, you can wear a casual watch for anything less than formal.
But for a suit ensemble, look for a dress watch with leather straps that can easily be covered under the cuff. Watches with bulky metal bracelets also look elegant but are difficult to hide.
One good tip is to make sure that the color of the strap or band should match, not contradict, the color of your shoes and suit.
A bracelet will transform the classic suit and the tee shirt and jean twosome into style knockouts.
For a more flattering mix, pair up your leather banded dress watch with a slim chain link silver ID bracelet on the same side of the wrist.
For your everyday attire, combine your casual timepiece with a wristlet made from either deep brown leather, beads (onyx or wood), or woven fibers (paracord). You can also experiment with something metallic with an upbeat design.
A wedding band on the left ring finger is the most traditional jewelry worn by married men. However, in some cultures in Europe and India, it is on the right ring finger instead on the left, while in the Jewish wedding tradition, it is on the right index finger.
A promise ring or romantic ring or a chastity ring is also popular with many single men who are in a committed relationship. Just like a wedding ring, the left ring finger is the customary place for these types of rings.
An age-old piece of ornament that’s gradually making a comeback is the signet. If you want your wedding ring to have an aristocratic look, a signet is a perfect partner. Just simply wear first your wedding band, and then the signet beside it.
In modern times, cufflinks project authority, eloquence and elegance just like they had been first used in 16th century France. Business leaders, world leaders, and celebrities can be seen wearing one during social events and formal gatherings.
When used for formal social events, beginners can either start with cufflinks made from silver, gold or precious stones (rubies, diamond & opal). Other excellent alternatives are those made from glass, titanium, and enamel.
• Tie Clip
A tie clip also called a tie clasp or tie bar, is one useful piece of accessory that aligns and holds your tie in place.
It is usually clipped perpendicularly horizontal to the tie around the area between the third and fourth shirt buttons, and should be narrower than the tie on which it is fastened on.
A less popular but more debonair approach is by tilting the tie clasp down at a 45-degree angle at around the same area. If you are unsure which material of using, silver is a safe and all-around choice. Gold can also be used when wearing other gold accessories.
For as long as you use one type of metal, you won’t go wrong with the blending.
• Lapel Pin
A seldom used piece of men’s badge, a lapel pin is an excellent add-on that can be attached to your suit jacket’s lapel.
It is usually pinned on the left lapel’s buttonhole. In case there is no button for the pin to anchor on, simply pierce the fabric with the pin’s needle and fasten it with its clutch, clasp or screw cap.
Tip # 5: Discover The Best Fragrance For You
Looking for the perfect fragrance that matches you is a purely personal choice.
Everything boils down to what you like, on which fragrance best appeals to you, or that blends with your personality. It is highly subjective because each guy has a different taste. If you are still unsure of on which fragrance to choose for yourself, let us have a quick tour of the different types of fragrances in terms of their concentration and “notes”.
First in line is concentration, which is the amount of perfume oil present. The stronger is the concentration, the longer it lingers on your body.
The most common types are:
• Perfume oil – Having the strongest concentration of 20-30% perfume oil.
• Eau de Parfum -With 15-20% concentration.
• Eau de Toilette -With perfume oil strength between 5-15%.
• Eau de Cologne -With perfume oil formulation at around 2-5%.
• Eau Fraiche -With a perform oil strength of 3% or below.
• Aftershave or Splash strength – With weakest concentration between half a percent to 2%.
Next is, what we call “notes”, which tells us how long a particular scent lasts after being sprayed on the skin. These three notes collectively make up the overall scent of a fragrance.
• Top notes or Head notes
a. Evaporates very rapidly.
b. Lasts between 5 minutes to half an hour.
c. Examples are herbs (lavender), citrus (lemon) and light fruits (berries).
• Middle notes or Heart notes
a. Last longer than Top notes.
b. Takes longer, about 10-30 minutes for full strength to settle.
c. Examples include ylang-ylang, nutmeg, and rose.
• Base notes
a. With the longest onset of 30 minutes
b. Lasts at least 24 hours or more.
c. Along with the middle notes, makes up the essence of the fragrance.
d. Examples of base notes are musk, oakmoss, woods and vanilla.
These facts are interesting. But to find out which fragrance is right for you, you need to do some little footwork by walking through a perfume or fragrance shop and do the actual scent testing yourself.
Just kindly ask for the sales personnel for a test bottle and spray once on one spot of your hand and smell it. Another good idea is to spray on a thin paper strip and sniff it.
To widen your options, choose a different fragrance, and spray it on a different paper strip or on a different area or side of your hand to avoiding mixing up the scents together.
Once you have your shortlist, try to seek the opinion of others, and see what they think of it.
If you struck gold and found the perfect fragrance, cheers to that!
If not, then keep on searching until you found the one that blends well with your natural body chemistry.
How To Be The Best Dressed Man In The Room
Being the outlier of the group requires practice and persistence. Now that you have these style knacks in mind, you will never go wrong on how you will look and how you will smell in front of your peers.
And by leading the way, you had set the bar for your buddies to follow.
And when the time comes that your own friends will face their own fashion dilemmas, they will remember you and be grateful to you for paving the way for them.