How to take your look and your attitude to the next level…
Just like anything – from cooking to motor mechanics – you have to make a conscious decision to learn the basics of fashion. That means paying attention to the pages of Men’s Style, taking your time to browse clothing catalogues, perusing stores and really seeing clothes as an art form that can also express your personality and literally change the way you see yourself. Learn about clothes from the bottom up — the styles of shoes, the cut of trousers, the styles of shirts, the structure of jackets — and learn about the whens, wheres and whys of wearing them.
2. Ask Questions
Everyone’s a beginner at some stage and you’ll be surprised that if you ask experts they’ll more often than not be happy to share their knowledge with you. Next time you go shopping don’t treat it like a hit-and-run accident. Set aside an afternoon or even an entire day. Don’t pressure yourself to settle for a piece of clothing after trying on three or four things. Don’t treat the sales staff like people who’re there to judge you. Most of them are genuinely pleased to help, to answer questions, to offer advice on what fits and looks best. A consultant in a quality shoe store or a tailor of suits can offer years—or even decades—of expertise and wisdom. As the saying goes, ask and you shall receive — both great purchases and a head full of knowledge. You can also develop a relationship with staff at favoured stores—they’ll get to know you, know what you like and suggest new styles based on your personality and body type. Consider them fashion stylists working for you for free. What’s not to love?
The great thing about clothes is that we put them on in private. You don’t have to step out in the first outfit you choose. Mirrors were invented for a purpose. But too often we throw on the first things that come to mind, take a quick glance at ourselves and head out. Devote serious down time to mixing and matching your clothes, taking note of what works together, what goes together less well, what you’ll never, ever wear again. Do it when you don’t need to be anywhere. Sure it’ll seem like a montage from a chick flick but it’s a no-pressure, no-risk way to be bold, to make mistakes and to discover a new side to yourself. Another tip: take photos. The camera sees you objectively and you can assess your looks later and at leisure. Then, process complete, next time you’re in a hurry you’ll know that those trousers, shoes, shirt and jacket don’t just look okay but that they look awesome.
4. Try The New
If your go-to has forever been 501s then why not try something new? Do you even know the difference in what Levi’s’ numbers mean? Here’s an idea – 510 is a skinny fit; 513 is a slim straight fit; 517 is a boot cut fit. Not sure how any of those would look? That’s the point. Go try them on when you’ve got time to coolly assess how each style changes your look. Now apply that same approach to shirts, to jackets, to colours and patterns. Think of clothing like food: you don’t truly know if you like something until you try it. Here’s the best bit: there’s not a clothing store in the world that charges customers to try on their products. You can literally make as many mistakes as you like until you hit on what you want. And you can ask your trusted helper/stylist what looks best.
5. Seek Inspiration
Everywhere you look you can get ideas on looks other men are trying. Sure, many aren’t doing anything new, or are slavishly following fads, but on the average commute or night out you can see plenty of guys who’ve got something right—or managed to totally nail an awesome ensemble. Make a mental note of a cool pair of shoes, that interesting jacket or that hero who looks like you want to look.. With a bit of effort you’ll be able to find the item – or similar. The pages of Men’s Style, along with catalogues, films, TV shoes, music clips and dedicated cable and Internet fashion channels also supply endless inspiration. All you need to do is look a bit closer, pay a bit more attention and, combined with a quest for knowledge, fearlessness in asking questions, a willingness to experiment and a readiness to try the new, you’ll soon evolve your fashion beyond your wildest dreams.
6. Don’t Save The Best For Last
We all have “good” clothes for “special occasions”. Fair enough – you’re not going to wear a tux to a mate’s backyard BBQ. But too often we leave fantastic shirts, trousers, jackets and shoes in the wardrobe because we’re worried about being overdressed or looking too fancy. Err on the side of that! Wear your best stuff more often. Otherwise, why have it?