This is a guest post from Darius Belejevas of SexyStyleForJoe.com – where men go to become the sexiest badass in town…
Have you ever considered why you dress the way you do?
Most of us end up dressing as we do as a result of various factors over the years…
Family and friends (peer pressure), famous and successful people we look up to, where we work, what we do for fun, etc.
The problem is that if we weren’t lucky enough to have stylish, knowledgeable influences growing up, we might end up looking like slobs without even realizing that it’s a problem.
You might say “what’s the big deal?” But the fact is that your image plays a significant role in how successful you are in your career and your dating life.
In this article, I will give you a simple step-by-step guide to help you take create a unique style that matches your personality, your lifestyle, and your goals.
#1: Master the Basics
Mastering any skill starts with the basics: it doesn’t matter if you’re learning how to do a barbell back squat or how to dress yourself.
In fashion, the basics can be summed up in two skills:
Basic #1: Fit
Let me put this bluntly: the way clothes fit you is by far the single most important aspect of creating a great looking outfit.
I’ve seen mediocre outfits “saved” because the fit was spot-on. And I’ve seen great outfit ideas fail miserably because some of the individual items were too large, too small or simply cut in an unflattering manner.
If you’ve ever seen one of those weird “optical illusions” images, then you probably know that our brains work in a rather peculiar manner and our eyes often play tricks on us.
When it comes to fashion, this means we can use clothes to appear taller or shorter, leaner or chubbier, more muscular or scrawnier.
But how much of a difference can it really make?
About a year ago I did an experiment where I asked women on the street to guess my height with two different outfits. The difference was 6 cm – that’s a lot of perceived height just from changing the clothes I was wearing!
Here are a few key areas to pay attention to when deciding if something fits you well:
- For tops and outwear – make sure it firmly molds around your shoulders and chest, without significantly restricting your movements. There should be very little extra fabric around your upper arms, ideally no more than a finger worth of space. Also, make sure there’s minimal extra loose fabric around your torso and waist. As long as you stick to these points, you’ll be making the most out of your great physique.
- For jeans and trousers – pay attention to how they fit around your thighs and butt. The fabric should firmly press around them to the point where you feel some resistance when putting your wallet or phone in your back pocket (don’t be surprised if you overhear women behind you go “yum….” when you start practicing this).
Basic #2: Color Coordination
Having a basic understanding of what colors go well together and what colors clash is crucial to building good looking outfits.
The good news is that you don’t need to do anything fancy, just stick with the basics.
Here are a few key colors to master (and how to wear them):
- Black – can be worn with all types of clothes, from tops and outerwear to jeans and shoes. Black looks great when mixed with navy, burgundy, white, or pink. Be wary of all black outfits though, they can be a lot harder to pull off than you might think.
- Navy – usually you’ll wear it in the form of tops, outerwear (blazer or coat), pants, jeans, or accessories (scarf, tie, pocket square, etc). Navy works well with neutral colors: black, grey, brown, white, or burgundy (as well as other shades of blue for a monochromatic look).
- Brown – best to use it in a form of outerwear (like leather jackets), shoes, or accessories (belt, gloves, watch, etc). Brown works great with white and different shades of blue. An easy trick is to match your shoes, belt and watch.
- White – you’ll be mostly wearing white in the form of tops: tees, buttoned shirts, etc. with an occasional “guest appearance” in the form of jeans or pants. White looks great with brown, black, navy or grey.
- Grey – highly versatile color and especially great for tops (e.g. jumpers, cardigans, waistcoats), outerwear (coats or blazers), and pants. Grey can be worn with nearly all colors, including different shades of grey (but be careful when combining dark grey and black because it can create a “washed out” look).
If you prefer a visual guide, check out this simple illustrated guide to quick and easy color combinations.
As you’ll get better and more comfortable with the fundamentals of style, you can start learning the nuances and the advanced techniques to truly take your image to the next level. But for now stick with the basics. Don’t be lazy here!
#2: Have Clear Goals
Let’s imagine for a second that you’re trying to get a job at a big bank or large financial company…
On the day of the interview, you decide to show up wearing a biker leather jacket, ripped jeans, and a pair of boots.
Regardless of your qualifications, what are your chances of scoring that job?
Even if they don’t kick you out on sight, the odds of getting a callback are slim to none.
In this situation your outfit communicates a lack of social acumen. It even might be seen as a form of disrespect and a sign of attitude problems.
Your image is an extremely powerful tool of non-verbal communication. By adjusting the way you present yourself, you can significantly change how other people see you: confident, successful, and attractive… or awkward, sloppy and repulsive.
What this means in practice is that you need to consciously decide on the type of image you want to present in a specific situation. You need to define your image goals.
Your turn: take a moment and think about your image goals: how do you want to be seen? Where do you plan on pulling off a particular outfit and what outcomes do you desire? What character qualities do you want to highlight with your image?
Here are a few examples to get you started:
- Situation: job interview. Goal: professional and trustworthy. Potential outfit: navy or grey fitted suit with a pair of black or brown dress shoes.
- Situation: coffee date. Goal: relaxed and casual. Potential outfit: jeans, sneakers or chukkas, and a leather or denim jacket.
- Situation: night out. Goal: sexual and confident. Potential outfit: jeans, V-neck tee or buttoned shirt, and Chelsea boots. Use tighter, more revealing cuts.
#3: Match Your Lifestyle
Clothes, first and foremost, are there for the utility they provide in keeping us warm and comfortable.
So when you’re crafting your style, it’s important that you don’t forget the mundane part of it: will it suit your lifestyle?
Consider the following:
- Do you work in an office? A gym? From home? Or maybe you study? This will dictate what type of clothes should make up the majority of your wardrobe.
- The climate you live in: do you have multiple distinct seasons? Or is it pretty much the same weather all year round?
- Do you live in a big metropolitan fashion capital? A medium-size city surrounded by college campuses? Or somewhere far outside the influence of fashion trends and progressive modern culture? The expectations and pressure to present yourself in a certain way varies greatly based on where you live.
- How, where, and with whom do you spend most of your time with? A perfectly crafted image will help you belong with your “tribe”, instead of trying to fit in with people you don’t even care about in the first place.
I would highly recommend you take a moment and write down your thoughts on each of those points, it will be very helpful in the next steps.
Lastly, there are no “correct” answers here: if you’re a “type A” corporate go-getter and enjoy spending time with like-minded top performers that’s great! And if you think that those “type A” guys need to take a “chill pill” and get their heads out of their asses – that’s fine too.
Don’t feel pressured into being someone you don’t want to be.
#4: Model the Pros
Building great looking outfits for yourself might seem intimidating… but only until you realize you don’t need to “reinvent the wheel”.
Instead, look at someone who’s already great at it, note the outfits that person is rocking, and see if you “steal” certain pieces they’re wearing and incorporate them into your style.
Choose your role models wisely and you’ll quickly become a stylish, attractive man.
With the overwhelming popularity of Instagram, we can quickly find great looking outfits to model (copy) for nearly any goal, any lifestyle, or any occasion… all while making sure they fit our “personal brand”.
Antonio from Real Men Real Style recently shared an article about the top men’s style influencers on Instagram. I recommend you start there and find a couple “style pros” you can relate to.
So how do we go about modeling these people?
Easy, just follow these three steps:
- As you’re scrolling through Instagram, look for outfits that you can see yourself wearing.
- Your reaction should be either “Hell yeah!” or “No”. If it’s just “that looks nice”, it’s a no.
- For every outfit you can see yourself wearing, consider how they stack up against your goals and lifestyle preferences.
#5: Put It All Together
Crafting a unique image for yourself essentially boils down to building a versatile wardrobe that suits your lifestyle and your goals.
And a solid wardrobe is a combination of great looking outfits and some basic interchangeable pieces to make sure you’re not stuck at home because it’s laundry day.
At this point you should have a clear understanding of the basics (fit and color), your goals, and your lifestyle needs (job, weather, local culture, tribe). Plus, you should have picked out a few great looking outfits to model.
Now, as you’re going through the outfits you picked out, take note of the specific clothing pieces, especially those that you keep seeing in multiple different outfits.
These are the prime candidates to become additions to your wardrobe.
Think about it this way: what versatile, interchangeable items do you need to make sure you’re covered on a daily basis? For example, if you wear buttoned shirts to work every day, you want to make sure you have several good options that fit your style.
Reality Check: Answer These Questions
Take a look at your current wardrobe – the clothes you’re wearing on a daily basis – and answer these questions:
- Do you have the basics (fit and color) covered?
- Is your image working towards your goals?
- Do your clothes match your lifestyle requirements (job, weather, local culture, tribe)?
If you answered no to any of these questions, it should be clear what you need to do next.
Follow the simple tips in this article, and you will consistently look great and make amazing first impressions.
This was a guest post from Darius Belejevas of SexyStyleForJoe.com – where men go to become the sexiest badass in town.