Philosophy is one thing, but another keen interest of mine is that of style and menswear. Several people do occasionally ask me for my advise or opinion, and so I thought it would be sensible to write a short and hopefully helpful piece on how you can easily improve your style as a man.
Firstly, I am not simply talking about fashion and how to be more fashionable per se, because to me ‘fashionable’ implies that we are talking about trends, what is the latest trend, fashion and so on. But fashion changes so often and so radically that no serious person can base his wardrobe on something which is forever changing. Style however implies something more grounded and it is that with which I wish to concern myself with during this piece.
Simplify Your Wardrobe
Looking inside your wardrobe, you will probably find a random mass of clothes, most of which you have had for years and no longer wear. So, go through it and clear a lot of it out. Your wardrobe does not need to be radically divergent in style nor multi-coloured in appearance. It is perfectly possible that a man can build a stylish ensemble of outfits from just 24 items alone. Quality not quantity.
Invest In Essentials & Classics
It cannot be stressed enough just how important it is to invest in essential and classic items. Not least because they can be worn time and time again, but also because they just look so much better than throwaway trends. Timeless items and timeless outfits are timeless for a reason: they just work. I will list but a few examples that I own myself:
- Mac/Trench Coat
- Navy Jacket
- Leather Jacket
- Navy Suit
- Monk Straps
- Black T-Shirt
- White Shirt
- Dark Jeans
- Grey Jumper…
The list goes on and may vary ever so slightly depending on whom these items belong to, but if you own these, it is impossible to go wrong. If you invest in these items, you will undoubtedly receive compliments for them. And when I say ‘invest’, it need not demand you to spend a lot of money, I’m using this word in a broader sense, that is, to make the effort in finding these items that are of good quality and whatever they cost – buy them.
Here are some photo examples of myself wearing these items:
There are not just classic items, but also classic looks, and the monochromatic look is one of them. I don’t know what it is, but there is something impeccably stylish about going monochrome, especially in black or navy, smart or casual. There is an element of sophistication, simplicity and thus elegance. Here are two examples:
These examples lead me onto the third point which is unquestionably crucial.
Find A Tailor
There is absolutely no point in investing your time and money into any clothing, however luxurious, if it does not fit you. The majority of compliments I receive are because I’m wearing, say, a coat or suit which has been tailored perfectly to my body; the sleeves have been narrowed and made shorter so they will reveal the cuff of my shirt, the waist has been taken in to amplify the natural V-Taper. Yes, it does cost more money, but not a lot and it is worth every penny. Spending £200 on a coat that does not fit is where the real waste of money lies.
It also applies to the more basic items, like t-shirts, you won’t really need to get those tailored since they come in so many varieties, but you will need to find one that fits you i.e. the sleeve goes no further than mid-way of your bicep, does not exceed the middle of your crotch in length, and is not baggy or lose on your chest and back.
Take all this into consideration, and you will be read. You will be amazed at how much of an impression just a simple well fitted t-shirt can have, let alone a well-fitted suit.
For a lot of men, accessories have hitherto been ignored and overlooked, but I have found that they can elevate your outfit and instantly take it to another level. In short:
Watches. Bracelets. Rings. Necklaces. Glasses.
Wear With Confidence
There is nothing more unstylish than someone who cannot, to put it vaguely, ‘carry it well’. That is to say, you might be wearing some of the items I’ve listed and have had them tailored to you, but if you’re forgetting elementary things such as good and upright posture, a smooth and confident walk and so on, then you’re not fully utilising what is right in there in your hands. It is one thing to wear a suit, but it is another to suit wearing a suit.
Provided this is a given or is at least developing, you can adapt your style and add what you please, you can have personal preferences for the tiniest of details, what pocket square to wear, how short your sleeves should go, how many buttons you leave undone, the sky is the limit…
Style is more than just what is seen on the exterior, it is about uplifting yourself to a higher status. I contend that style involves genuine creativity and personal flare, invokes a level of respect (to yourself and from others), and is suggestive of a well-rounded confident man.