The Internet has made getting styled much easier (and cheaper). For every fashion magazine, editors and stylists reign supreme, and there’s a forum or blog to decode their secrets. The following eight fashion tips are simple enough for any guy looking to step up his style game. So before you become one of the following fashion archetypes, just remember this: less is more! First, let’s get this one out of the way: you can’t win if you don’t try when it comes to dressing well—just saying.
- Invest in basics and staple pieces
The most important thing to remember is that you need good basic pieces to succeed at dressing well. These are items that can be combined in many different ways and produce many different looks. An excellent way to think about these pieces is to pick a few different colors that you can mix and match with everything. For example, I usually wear black, gray and blue, but that’s me. I don’t like looking like all the other guys! But you can even buy mens kaftans in a color that looks good on you and then just buy it in another primary color such as white or black so you can always wear it with the first one without the need for trying something new and potentially expensive.
- Match your accessories to your belt.
A lot of men think accessories are the perfect way to play with patterns and colors. They’re not. Accessories should complement your outfit, not take away from it. The belt you wear should match whatever belt buckle or watch you have on. It might sound elementary, but many guys don’t even know this rule until they see it in writing.
Most fashion editors tend to dress relatively simply. Big brands like Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers make it easy for them by providing the laces, belts, and other finishing touches they need to complete any outfit. If you’re trying to follow suit, a big brand name like Ralph Lauren will go a long way toward getting you there.
- Shop boutique, not department stores, for the best style.
Smaller retailers carry products designed by an in-house team, not just from what’s trending on the runway, says Alfie Jones, Senior Fashion Editor at Complex Magazine. “Many of the apparel brands on the market now are designed for runway models, not necessarily for real people. But you have a great store like a Mr. Porter where the selection is dialed into a specific type of customer, and they know their market. They’re not just exclusively web-only or just carrying a bunch of products. They’re very selective with what they bring to the table, and I think many boutique stores can learn from that.
- For something on-trend, find it at a vintage shop.
Vintage items are classic, and they connect you to generations of cool before you. Have you ever noticed that the most incredible, most innovative, most awe-inspiring things in fashion usually aren’t officially in stores yet? It’s true. So, where can you find those new, innovative things in fashion? One fun place to look is vintage stores. Like an old friend, a vintage item has the comfort and familiarity of something you’ve owned for ages. But vintage doesn’t follow trends. Vintage is timeless. It’s easy to see why vintage pieces are so in vogue right now. So when you think about it, think of it as wearing art.
- Try on clothing before purchasing it, even if it’s online.
No one is going to know how it looks better than you – and the return shipping won’t cost you a thing! Consumers no longer have to go out of their way – or even leave the house – to see how something looks in the digital age.This means more shopping online. If you’re like me, you’ve made a purchase or two from your phone only to receive something at your doorstep, and it does not fit how you thought it would.
- Avoid brand names
It’s not about the brands you wear, but what you’ve done with them. For example, accessories can completely change how a t-shirt looks. Fashion editor Jane Treacy’s favorite pair of skinny jeans in her closet are Topshop jeans she got for $15. “They’re comfortable, they’re stretchy, I’ve worn them a lot and they still look good,” she said. “And sometimes you don’t have to spend an awful lot of money to look great – it’s all about how you wear the clothes. I don’t think the clothes make the man. It’s what you do with them.” What does that mean? Fashion is about the way something hangs, how it fits, and the silhouette it creates instead of the brand name on the label.
- Wear comfortable things
The only way to look stylish is if you feel good and support your body type. If you don’t feel good in it, you will never look good in it. Fashion editor Toby Bateman asserts that you have to wear clothes because they make you happy. He reminds you to wear things that fit your style and shape. You have to know your body and know how to show it off in a way that will compliment your body type. You should know when to say no to an outfit and when to say yes. Every single person can and should be stylish. Not everyone will be suited for skinny jeans or cut-off shorts, but everyone can find a style that makes them feel good about themselves
- Don’t be the guy who’s shiny and overly classy.
Fashion and style are unique to every individual. But as you might know, it’s usually best to go with the rule of thumb: the simpler and more classic, the better.
Jewelry is probably the last clothing you should be wearing if you’re trying to keep your outfit as simple as possible. Even on dressed-down days or for laid-back occasions, men can still turn heads without trying too hard. You need to know what not to do first.
They say that clothes don’t make the man, but it’s hard to believe when looking at the relationship between fashion and power. And it’s true; clothes do tell a story. If there’s one thing in the world of men’s fashion that’s never going away, it’s the discussion about how to dress better.