You hear everyone say it at one point or another…
“I never know what to wear!”
You will never hear those words come out of my mouth.
Wedding or funeral…
Drinks with the boys after work…
Camping on the weekend…
I've got it covered!
Working in the luxury clothing business, I’ve noticed that most men overthink thier clothes.
I always hear the same questions:
“Does this match? Maybe this is too casual? Will this draw too much attention?”
Here's The Secret – It's Actually Very Simple
To me, as long as your clothing fits, you have a sense of occasion and you’re willing to put 30 seconds of thought into an outfit you will be fine.
Getting dressed is the easiest part of my day. I work in a luxury retail clothing store so of course, I wear ties, pocket squares, jackets, suits, vests etc.
How do I keep everything straight? Well…I don’t own much clothing and ALL of my clothing is interchangeable.
You don't need a lot of clothing to look stylish, so I'll give you 4 tips to look good anywhere, get the ladies and save your money (well…let's not take that second one to the bank just yet).
#1. Buy What You Need – Not What You Want.
Sales, bargains, and discounts don't exist to get you a deal, they exist to get rid of excess merchandise in a store.
Can you sometimes find a great deal? Of course, but you MUST approach any sale with the mindset of “I need ‘x' for my wardrobe”. If the first place you visit doesn’t have it then move on. Never buy a shirt that fits poorly…even if it's 90% off ticket price. It will sit in your closet and be worn maybe once. Resist the temptation.
Have a battle plan of what you need/where you would like to get it and go from there. Can’t afford it quite yet? SAVE. Better to have fewer perfect pieces than a bunch of junk sitting in your closet. Building a wardrobe this way does take time…learn to have patience and you will be rewarded.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made the mistake of trying to “cheat” and speed things up by buying cheap items I was never happy with. I always ended up donating them maybe a year or two later.
Also, learn to buy within your lifestyle… you may not need to wear a suit as often as you think! Which brings me to my next point.
#2. Have A Sense Of Occasion With Your Style
What do I mean by this? Well as time has moved forward the masculine sense of when to wear something and what to wear for important occasions has sadly gone by the wayside.
For whatever reason wearing jeans and a polo to a funeral or wedding is now acceptable. I personally don’t know what to blame this on, but I do know that I am NOT of this breed. We all know that if you’re the best-dressed man in the room people notice.
Whether it’s a job interview or just running errands make sure you look put together. You obviously don’t want to (and shouldn't) wear a suit everywhere, like I said, you might not need one as often as you think.
Just make sure you know where you’re going to be that day, plan accordingly and take your lifestyle into consideration. What are people expecting from you?
Have the basics covered and everything will be copacetic.
Now you're asking yourself…what do I mean by “the basics”?
#3. Focus On The Basics – Classic Mens Style
With simple, high-quality basic clothing behind you, what else do you need? Collared shirts which can act as both formal and casual pieces, some fitted t-shirts/henleys, a blazer, a suit, some jeans/chinos/trousers, and a few pairs of shoes to rotate through are the ingredients of a versatile wardrobe.
Personally, I stick to the same few colors in my wardrobe; white, blue, gray and khaki are neutral and can be mixed and matched with ease. As men, we’re able to get away with wearing the same types of clothing multiple times per week… I use this to my advantage! I’ve adopted a uniform of white shirts (tees/dress shirts), a blue blazer (navy or medium blue) and denim.
I’ll switch it up with some fun ties or pocket squares, but that’s mainly what I wear during the week. For the weekend I’ll swap the dress shirt out for the t-shirt. It’s easy, clean and I can go almost anywhere wearing slight variations of the same outfit. Of course, I have a charcoal suit for when I need it, and I even have a fun summer suit but they do not make up the majority of my wardrobe.
With that, I’ll leave you with one last tip.
#4 Have Fun With It – Dress For Your Personal Style
As I mentioned, I’ve created a uniform for myself comprised of basic colors and styles. Maybe you want more color or more variety, and that's totally fine. Dress for your personality! A man's style is a process, not an event in itself, it takes time to develop and refine. Some guys pull off loud patterns and bright colors very well, while other guys are better served by a neutral color scheme and solid fabrics.
Although louder, brighter pieces are more memorable, using them in a ‘uniform' setting may not be ideal. You want people to remember you, not your outfit. I don't think you need many exuberant pieces…just have a few that you can mix and match so the look itself is always changing!
Clothing doesn’t have to be as difficult as some men make it out to be. Use it as a tool, as a way to present yourself, as an extension of yourself. Make sure people know who you are!
Go Forth And Save Money!
Next time you’re out shopping for clothing, stop and think: Do I NEED this? Will this work for my LIFESTYLE? Are my BASICS covered? Does this fit my PERSONALITY?
I think about these questions anytime I have a hankering for something new… This will save you both money and time while making getting dressed in the morning a breeze.
With these four tips, you should have the confidence that you will ALWAYS have something perfect to wear.
Thanks to today's guest writer, Steve Wright!