When you dress casual…
What's your go-to outfit?
A plain t-shirt? Blue jeans? Sneakers?
But perhaps you're wondering…
Wouldn't those choices make you look:
Those are misconceptions.
If we all thought that way, men would suffer all summer, sweating buckets in wool jackets and ties from Easter till Labor Day.
Being stylish doesn't always mean suiting up. It simply means knowing how to look sharp even in a fully casual outfit.
Skeptical? Not sure how to make this work?
Read on. We've got you covered with these 3 essential tips on dressing up stylishly without a suit.
By the way, you're in for a treat today, Gentlemen.
Brock is 5'6, which is well below the average height of men in the US. He understands what guys of modest height face, whether it's a shortage of off-the-rack clothes that fit well, shirts that billow out around the waist, or trousers with too much length.
Brock's website and YouTube channel are amazing. He's perfected his own style over the years while finding the best tricks to combat the challenges of being short. Check out his videos on DIY “clothing hacks” and simple alternations that will make quite a difference in your wardrobe.
What I like the most about Brock is that he knows how much impact the little clothing details have on how people see us, and the way we see ourselves. It amazes me how great he looks every time we meet up – even when he's not wearing a suit.
Now let's get to the style tips he has to share…
Casual Style Tip #1 – Make Sure The Clothes Fit
How about this for a first tip? Fit is king, my friends.
As obvious as that may sound, it's one basic style rule that men overlook far too often. When you don't nail the fit, you end up letting your clothes “wear you” instead of the other way around.
How do you do make sure your clothes fit? For starters, you have have to be more meticulous when you go shopping. You can't just pick out a size M or L shirt from the store and buy it straight off the rack.
Finding a shirt that fits perfectly – whether it's a button-down, t-shirt or sweater – means you've got to check on the following details:
- Armholes: Are they positioned high enough to prevent restricted motion?
- Shoulders: Does the seam lie where your shoulder meets your upper arm?
- Sleeve Cuffs: Do they end where your palm meets your wrist?
- Sleeves: Are they the right size to allow for natural movement, i.e. neither too tight nor too billowy?
- Collar: Is there enough room around your neck? You should be able to insert two fingers in the gap when your shirt collar is buttoned up.
- Torso: Can you pull around the torso and see no more than 3-4 inches of excess fabric? If you'll be wearing it untucked, make sure that the end of the shirt doesn't go beyond the bottom of the back pocket of your trousers.
Generally, if your clothing doesn't (A) provide optimal comfort and (B) complement your silhouette and proportions, you won't be presenting yourself well. That applies to shirts as well as jeans and other trousers. You have to take your build into account. If you're a lean guy who's on the short side, slim-fit pants come in handy. If you've got a bit more mass or muscle, wear trousers with a wider leg opening and a bit more room in the seat and thighs to help balance out your upper body.
Pro Tip: Look For The Ideal Clothing Brand
The sad truth is, clothing brands are NOT interchangeable. Every brand has its own systems in place in terms of available sizes, styles or genres, and target market. Finding the ideal clothing brand for you makes things a lot easier. It gives you a greater chance of buying more items that have even the smallest details (shirt length, placket width, cuff size, etc.) suited for your body.
Casual Style Tip #2 – Pay Attention To The Color
Another secret to rocking casual clothing is to be more particular with the colors you choose.
Color matters even more in casual style than in formal wear. Why? Because you don't have a fancy, silky tie or a high-quality suit fabric to rely on. People's eyes will be more drawn to your choice of color, not the mere fact that you're wearing a sweater and jeans.
You can use certain color combinations to show off your body shape and height in a more flattering way. There's black for slimming down. There's also the low-contrast type of outfit (made up of either all-light or all-dark colors) that can downplay your shortness if you're a smaller guy.
You'll also want to avoid extremely bright colors. Let's face it – how often do you see guys entering a bar in a sunny yellow shirt instead of a dark blue or gray one? Neutral colors are a big deal in menswear for a reason, gentlemen. Those colors are the foundation of an interchangeable wardrobe. Without them, it's far harder to create good-looking outfits on a regular basis.
Casual Style Tip #3 – Focus On Little Things That Make A Difference
You have the clothes. They fit you right and you've selected good colors. So what's next? This is where some thinking outside of the box comes into play.
I'm talking about minor adjustments, gentlemen. Small changes you can make to take your casual outfit from drab to dashing.
If you've got a white t-shirt and jeans, make the whole look more rugged – think James Dean – by cuffing the pants and wearing aviator sunglasses. Whenever you take off the sunglasses, just hang them over the top of your shirt, like the man in the image above.
Feeling slightly overdressed? Cuff the sleeves of your blazer or roll up your shirtsleeves. If the shirt is the right length, try wearing it untucked to loosen up your look.
Brock has explored those options, along with several others, in detail. He notices that cuffed trousers work wonders during the summer when he can show off some stylish loafers or sneakers. There's something about the details of the cuff and exposed ankles (if you're wearing no-show socks) that really elevates your casual look. It's a great way to show people that you know what you're doing when it comes to style. And you won't look the least bit sloppy. I promise.
Bonus Tip: Get Used To Your New Casual Style At HOME
What's the best part about being home? Privacy! Take advantage of that and let your home be the place to ease into the changes to your new, upgraded style. Wear that new red shirt and tan chinos while you watch TV, do laundry, or play fetch with your dog.
When you wear a different casual outfit for the first time, you might initially feel uncomfortable or self-conscious. That's okay. Upping your style game is a process. It starts with you getting used to your new look and learning not to think about it. With time, dressing like this will become second nature. Remember this in order to prevent awkward moments in public. And don't worry about the extra attention you'll get. It happens to all men when they first start to up their style game. Those people are just jealous. And who knows? A few of those furtive glances in your direction might even be from interested ladies…
Want to talk more about casual wear – or ANY other aspect of men's style (no matter how basic or advanced) I know some guys who are awake and eager to help at any hour of the day or night. Click here to check out the RMRS Facebook community.