We’ve all seen those makeover shows where they take an average-looking guy and make him look like a million bucks (Queer Eye, anyone?). Don’t you just wish that someone would peek into your closet and give your wardrobe an instant refresh?
Unfortunately, real life isn’t a TV show. While we can’t go into your closet and give you a style makeover, we can show you the way to reinvent your own wardrobe.
Ready to elevate your look? Here are eight easy ways to do exactly that.
1. Build Your Wardrobe with Timeless Pieces
You didn’t learn how to run before you could walk, right? Before you can pull out all the stops with your personal style, you first need to build a firm foundation of menswear essentials.
Begin by stocking your closet with a few hardworking pieces: A classic button-down shirt, a nice pair of chino pants and perhaps a stylish sport jacket. Add a pair of loafers or canvas shoes and you’ll have a business casual outfit that will work for happy hour, date night and brunch outings with the parents.
Building a wardrobe can be ridiculously expensive, so don’t feel like you need to stock up on everything at once! You can slowly add these timeless menswear pieces to your closet and swap out your old duds as you go. With this approach, you’ll be a style stud before you know it.
2. Add Pops of Color
Take it from Justin Theroux: There’s nothing wrong with wearing an all-black ensemble from time to time. But if you find yourself wearing all black all the time, it might be time to add a little color to your wardrobe. Adding color can instantly elevate your looks with minimal effort on your part.
If your closet is full of nothing but muted blues and grays, try switching things up by incorporating a colorful polo shirt or t-shirt into your wardrobe. Similarly, you can pick up a vest in yellow or green and make it your accent piece by wearing it with an otherwise neutral outfit.
Don’t forget: Accessories are a simple way to brighten up your wardrobe as well. Add a colorful watchband or an eye-catching pocket square to give your outfit more pizzazz.
3. Embrace Patterns and Prints
Playing around with patterns and prints is a great way to elevate your style and switch up a wardrobe full of solid-colored clothes. You don’t need anything too flashy or eye-grabbing; Stick to wearing a striped polo shirt (hands down, one of the most versatile pieces you’ll own) or a plaid button-down with dark wash jeans for a subtle, stylish look.
Once you feel ready to take things to the next level, you can begin mixing your patterns and prints. Pairing a striped polo shirt with floral-patterned shorts is a bold move that anyone can pull off if they follow two simple rules: 1) Match colors, not prints; and 2) vary the size of your prints.
4. Go Beyond a Simple Sneaker
If you’re like most guys, you probably have a couple of pairs of athletic sneakers in your closet that act as your everyday shoe. While there’s nothing wrong with your sneakers, we encourage you to break the mold and add some more artillery to your shoe arsenal.
A great way to mix things up in the shoe department is by adding a cool pair of chukka boots to your wardrobe. Chukka boots are timeless, versatile and will upgrade your entire look.
This boot style goes with a variety of looks, making it an optimal choice for beginners and style experts alike. You can pair them with a men’s sport shirt and dark wash jeans or chino pants for a look that transitions from the office to an evening out with friends.
5. Layer Like a Pro
Knowing how to layer is key to staying warm and stylish when the mercury begins to drop. Although layering isn’t difficult by any means, it’s important to follow a few basic rules so you don’t end up looking sloppy.
Stick to the classics (Oxford shirt, polo shirt, denim jacket, etc.) because these will provide the most versatility when it comes to layering. You’ll want to make sure that all your pieces look good on their own, too, in case you need to shed a layer when temperatures start warming up throughout the day.
Also, aim for complementary colors that will give your outfit some contrast. For example, you could pair a beige or yellow knit cardigan with a blue tie. Don’t forget you can go a step further and incorporate prints (revisit tip #3) to level up your look.
6. Choose Moisture-Wicking Fabrics
Sweat stains aren’t a good look on anyone, especially in an office environment where your professional appearance matters. If you’re tired of sneaking off to blot your armpits in the bathroom, it may be time to rethink your fabric choices.
If you want to beat the heat in style, pick lightweight clothing made from moisture-wicking fabrics, such as merino wool and knit-weave polyester. There are even moisture-wicking shirts made with cooling technology out there. They are specially designed to help to keep you from breaking a sweat when you’re feeling the heat.
7. Focus on the Details
As they say, the devil is in the details—and so is a great sense of style. If you want to make the best dressed list like some of Hollywood’s most fashionable men, you simply can’t gloss over the details.
One style detail a man should never overlook is the fit of his clothing. Well-fitting clothes are the key to looking and feeling like a million bucks. Your pants shouldn’t be dragging on the ground and your sleeves shouldn’t be cutting off your circulation! Find a good tailor and keep them on speed dial if you need to.
Accessorizing is another way to focus on the details and improve your look. Don’t be afraid to play around with watches, ties, pocket squares and anything that catches your interest. Just avoid overdoing it with too many accessories that risk making your outfit look abnormally busy.
8. Ace Your Outerwear
It doesn’t matter if you’re only wearing outerwear to and from your office. As the final layer to your fall and winter attire, it deserves your thoughtful consideration just like any other piece in your closet.
When cooler seasons come around and it’s time to hunt for some new outerwear, start with a simple wool pea coat. Not only is a black wool pea coat warm and cozy, but it also pairs well with both casual and formal attire.
You can also expand your coat collection with a leather bomber jacket or a down vest. Once you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
Go from Style Zero to Style Hero
Enhancing your style isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Sure, it does require a small investment on your part (quality over quantity, and all that jazz). But with a solid foundation and classic pieces, you can start playing the style game just like the best of them.