Believe it or not, what you wear says a lot about who you are. It tells the world how you view yourself and can even show were you think you’re headed in the next 10 years.
Here’s the thing, as a young man growing up I was always taught to be neat and well put together, but not to pay too much attention to the clothes I wore on a daily basis. The result was a chubby kid never caring anything about style, wearing clothes 2 sizes too big to hide my…well everything…and developing habits that carried over into my early twenties.
Fast forward 6 years later, 40 pounds lighter and I’m finally getting a handle on this men’s fashion concept. See what I learned was, you have to care about the clothes you wear. Because either way, they’re going to say something about you.
Name brand or no name brand. Made in Italy or China. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re using style to say what you want to say and feel how you want to feel.
You’re wardrobe is a collection of who you are, who you think you are and who you want to be. We’re going to take out the negatives, insert the positives and create a collection that celebrates who you are and prepares you for who you want to be.
1. 90% of your closet is from 1994
Ok, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But you get the point.
My dad has this problem of never letting go of old things. Whenever I say “Dad that’s too old, get rid of it.” He says, “I’m old. You gonna get rid of me too?”
I’m sure there’s a reason you’ve kept that sweater you got for Christmas 7 years ago, but it’s probably not a very good one. Listen, a good majority of people hang on to old stuff for sentimental value and there’s nothing wrong with that. But you can’t let the past keep you from progressing into the future.
Use the golden rule of getting rid of 2 out of 3 items that are outdated, ripped, torn and/or have shoulder pads. (just kidding about the shoulder pads thing…not really)
2. Everything you own is 2 sizes too big
This is something I’ve personally had a problem with for several years.
For two reasons.
A: I was/still am a big guy and being self conscious has been something I’ve struggled with, especially when it comes to clothes. I wanted to hide everything that wasn’t in it’s right place. You know what I mean 😉
B: I couldn’t shop at the same places everyone else did. Places like H&M was simply out of the question. So I had to go to department stores like Jcpenny’s or Burlington’s and since they had a big and tall section I always wore a bigger size to make me feel “smaller”.
So trust me, I get it.
But what I failed to realize was that wearing bigger clothes only made me look bigger. (Duhhh) I mean, when you think about it, it makes sense. Not only did I look bigger, but because I didn’t face the real problem (which was my self-image) I kept buying bigger and bigger clothes.
So the first thing you should do is be honest with yourself. Look at yourself objectively and don’t worry about sizes, or what you think other people will say about your body. Bring a friend shopping with you and ask them to objective help you choose clothes that actually fit.
The second thing you should do is choose clothes with a bit of structure. Silk shirts and cashmere sweaters may not work as well as cotton and wool. Whatever you choose, make sure it fits and that you wear it with confidence.
3. The only time you put on a suit is at a wedding or funeral
I, for one, am a firm believer that comfort and style should go hand in hand. But you have know that wearing a t-shirt and sweats everywhere you go isn’t okay. And wearing the same tan khakis to work everyday isn’t doing you any favors either.
It’s hard to break out of the redundancy of everyday life, but your wardrobe should have a collection of suits for those Monday morning board meetings. You should have a selection of ties to choose from so you can distinguish yourself from the other multi-million dollar investors in the room. Choose one of the stylish sports coats you own that go with those brown monk straps when you take you’re wife out to dinner.
The clothes you choose to own are indirectly showcasing the life you choose to lead.
Million dollar investor? Or guy in sweats wondering where his next check is coming from.
Don’t get me wrong. We all start from somewhere. But your starting point is not your destination.
So slowing faze out the 10 pairs of Walmart sweats you bought and begin to buy clothes that will go along with your life goals.
So wait, does that mean I have to wear a suit everyday? Learn how to dress up without dressing up –coming soon —
4. For some strange reason, all the clothes you own are black, grey or beige…
Hmm, sound like the curse of neutral colors. Here’s a cool little tidbit, almost everyone looks good in black, grey or beige. They go with everything and you don’t have to get creative. But that’s also the problem. They’re called neutral for a reason. There’s no life in that color scheme until you add a little pop!
Again I had to learn this the hard way. But I’ll tell you what helped me out a lot.
She saw that all I would wear was black and grey and convinced me to to try out some different colors. Ever since then I’ve been hooked. And I found out that one of my best looks is in my favorite color. Blue!
Test out some different color schemes that go well with you skin tone and you’ll be amazed at how fantastic you look.
5. You think fashion accessories are pointless
Just a few of our Top Shelf accessories. Check them out here.
Here’s the thing with accessories, especially when it comes to men’s fashion, less is more.
Don’t get bogged down with trying to wear every single accessory you see on Instagram. A lot of those pictures have guys wearing 5 bracelets, a rolex watch (probably fake), a scarf, rings on every finger, a lapel pin… it’s too much.
Choose 1-2 accessories to highlight your outfit. It’s like using grammar and punctuation correctly. A period here, a comma there.
You get the point.
The 4 basic accessories every man should own are the following:
1. A nice watch. (Preferably you should own more than one.)
2. A set of different styled ties. (Skinny, neutral width, bow ties, get creative)
3. A collection of eclectic pocket squares. (No blazer pocket should ever be empty)
4. A quality collection of Suspenders. (or if you just want to be ordinary, a nice belt.)
Everything else is icing on the cake.
1. Hats (Fedoras, etc.)
3. Men’s bracelets
5. Lapel Pins
Choose your accent carefully. And make sure it tells the story you want to be told.
Your wardrobe is an artillery gentlemen. Use it wisely and use it with care.