How To Unlock The Secrets of Men’s Style
6 keys to dressing (and feeling) better
We all have our own reasons for making the decision–for making the commitment–to dressing better and putting some time and effort into our appearance and how we present ourselves to the world. For some of us, it’s a means of self-respect. And on the other hand, it can be a way that you are showing respect to the people around you.
It could have a sentimental value, like maybe your father and your grandfather dressed well and you want to continue that legacy. Maybe you do it for confidence. Maybe you do it to show people that you are the type of person who cares about doing the absolute best they possibly can.
Whatever your reason is, these next six principles will ensure that you are always making the most informed decisions possible while you are building and developing your wardrobe.
Versatility means being able to do more with less. Having a closet full of clothes does not mean that you have more options–it probably just means that you have a lot of clothes that you don’t wear. And I bet if that’s you, that when you go to get dressed in the morning or pick out an outfit for whatever you are doing or wherever you’re going, that you often feel overwhelmed and that you’ve probably said at some point, “I have nothing to wear.” And that starts this vicious cycle of accumulating more and not doing enough with it.
So before you buy anything, ask yourself the question: how many different ways can I wear this? And if the answer is less than three–or more, maybe? Less than five?–seriously consider whether you should actually buy that piece.
There’s a reason we call certain pieces classic. A navy suit? Classic. Mid-grey flannel suit? Classic. These are classics because they always look good and they never go out of style. Trying to keep up with trends is exhausting, draining on the wallet, and I would even say that it leaves you less fulfilled long term than dressing in a more classic and timeless way. It feels good when I look in my closet and look at a suit or something and say, I’ve had that for seven years and I could still wear it, still looks good today, still looks relevant, and like it belongs.
I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for. My father taught me that and I really think he was right. This has played out many, many times in my life personally when I was trying to decide between a higher-priced option and something less expensive and cheaper in terms of quality.
Every single time I went for the latter–the cheaper thing–I regretted it immediately. Sometimes I could return it, sometimes I had to live–and learn from–the consequences. So I’m always willing to spend a little more for something that is well-made and that I know will last. Consider that a sound investment.
Being a stickler for quality does not always mean having to lay out a lot of cash. There are always multiple tiers of options and price points for specific products and I encourage you to always buy the absolute best that you can afford and that makes sense for your budget.
If money’s no object and you want to commission an entire bespoke wardrobe, I’m definitely not going to stop you, but for the rest of us, choosing the highest quality items within our own economic comfort zone will get you the biggest bang for your buck, which is what we’re all looking for.
And one other thing that I will add is that if it looks cheap, it probably is.
If we’re talking about menswear here–which, last time I checked, we were–fit is one of the most important elements. It’s also that guys often get wrong. Wearing a suit coat that’s two sizes too big or maybe the hem of your jeans gets frayed because it’s too long and gets caught under your heel. We’ve all likely been there at some point.
What you need to understand though is fit takes time. Buying off the rack–unless you are blessed with a sample size model body–is never going to be perfect. It might get you in the ballpark, but remember one size does not fit all.
And one of the best things you can do to fix this, is to find a good tailor and develop a relationship with him or her. Getting correct fit takes time, so be patient as you consider this aspect of menswear.
If you don’t believe in what you’re wearing, if you don’t feel good wearing it, people will be able to tell. Now the other side to that is that dressing well, dressing timeless, wearing the best quality that you can afford and pieces that fit you–see I told you everything kind of all worked together here–all of that stuff can make you have more confidence.
I hear this over and over and over again from guys that have made the commitment to dress better that they just feel so much more confident and have more self-respect. And a lot of people say that confidence is the most stylish thing a guy can have in his wardrobe.
Thanks, as always, for reading.