You might be heading into 2019 with the hope that this year is going to be your most stylish yet. From holding onto old clothes that never get worn to panic buying pieces that won’t have more than one outing, we are all guilty of making less than sensible decisions when it comes to our wardrobes. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
When guys start looking to refine their fashion sense and start dressing better, it’s easy to think that standing out means buying clothes that have wild patterns, bright colors, or expensive designer names on the labels. While you’ll certainly stand out if you dress like that, it won’t always be in a good way, and it might get you the wrong kind of attention.
If you want your style to stand out (in a good way), it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to dress like you’re fresh off the runway in Paris. The art of dressing well is all in the details: The more you pay attention to the small things, the better you’ll look. After all, it’s not about a specific shirt or a specific pair of pants — it’s how they make you look and feel that matters.
Commit to good hygiene and grooming
If you want to improve your style, it starts in the bathroom. The most basic of all hygiene advice is that you need to shower regularly and brush your teeth, but there’s much more to it than simply staying clean. Spending time each week on grooming will give you a significant payoff in the looks department.
Schedule a regular haircut, keep your eyebrows trimmed, whatever you need to do. You’ll look better, feel better, and have more confidence when you’re walking down the street.
Understand your body
Knowledge is power. So the first thing you need to understand is what kind of body you have and what works for you. If you have a good understanding of your body shape and your strengths and weaknesses, you can buy the right clothes to either accentuate or camouflage them. At 40plusstyle.com we work with 5 horizontal body types:
- inverted triangle
You can identify your body type by going to this page and then follow the guidelines for your specific body type.
Once you have discovered that, you can start thinking about the desired silhouette you want to create and create a balanced outfit.
Understand your personality
Write down some words that describe your personality. How would you currently describe it? Do you feel that your style reflects your personality?
Which colors inspire you?
Colours can also have a huge effect on your style and how you feel. Understand how certain colours make you feel. You may like to read my article on the psychology of color.
If you don’t use much color in your current style, you may start to experiment a bit by adding bits of colors through accessories and see how these make you feel.
Be critical of your current wardrobe
Be honest. Which garments in your closet do you REALLY like. How many of the garments have you not worn for a long time. How many were ‘mistakes’. Again, write down what didn’t work. Which clothes make you HAPPY? Then donate or swap any items that you know don’t really work for you. They may be great pieces, but if they don’t suit YOU or your body type or create the silhouette you are after, you will not look stylish in them. Have a look at my wardrobe editing series and create a wardrobe that you love!
Don’t compromise on buying what fits
By now, most guys have a pretty good idea of how their clothes are supposed to fit. The problem comes when a really good looking item of clothing isn’t available in the right size. Every time I’ve bought something that was “close enough” to my size, I’ve later come to regret it.
It’s worth it to be more selective with what you purchase, even if that results in you buying fewer items. Not only will you look better, you’ll also get more value for your money because your closet won’t end up full of clothes you only wear on laundry day.
Don’t buy something for just one occasion
We’re all guilty of it. A wedding, a Christmas party, a Friday night reunion with old friends. Heading somewhere exciting means we inevitably feel like we need something special – and therefore something new – to wear. However, more often than not, as much as we like the piece that we buy, it rarely gets more than one outing.
Instead of purchasing something specific for certain events, try to have a few dressier pieces in your wardrobe that are more versatile. If you go for something simple and more classic, rather than trend-led, you’ll be able to wear it again and again. Accessorized cleverly, it will never feel like the same look.
Don’t buy or keep something that doesn’t fit
It’s not uncommon to hold on to items that no longer fit you in the hope that they will again one day. It’s also not uncommon to buy something in a size too small as an incentive to lose weight or because it’s in the sale and they don’t have your usual size. However, holding on to these items – that you can’t physically wear – is one of the worst things you can do if you’re trying to reduce the size of your wardrobe. Be realistic and honest with yourself. If it doesn’t fit you, donate it to charity.
Don’t buy or keep something that doesn’t suit you
As well as holding onto things that don’t fit, many of us keep pieces that we know don’t suit us. Often we’ve bought something on a whim because it’s a big trend or because we saw someone else wearing it and thought they looked amazing – but because it just doesn’t suit us, we’ve never actually taken it out of the cupboard. If a piece of clothing doesn’t make you feel confident and comfortable, it has no place in your life.
Don’t buy something just because it’s a bargain
It’s easy to be won over by a big discount, and you should make the most of huge markdowns – especially when it comes to investment designer pieces – but only if that piece is something that you really need to add to your arsenal. Never buy something just because it’s a great deal. No matter how affordable it was, if you never wear it, it’s a complete waste of money.
Don’t go on extravagant shopping sprees
Often we get stuck in style ruts, feel like we hate everything in our wardrobes and have nothing to wear. When this happens, more often than not, we go on a big shopping spree and end up spending huge amounts of money on exactly these trend-led items that end up sitting in our wardrobes forever, never being worn. Don’t let it get to this point. Instead, keep an eye out all year round for pieces that you love and make a note of the things that you are lacking when you realize it. Think of it as a constant and evolving process, rather than going back to square one every few months. Allowing yourself to buy one really nice piece every month, rather than having two huge shopping sprees a year will likely result in much better thought-out decisions and, as a result, a far more stylish wardrobe.
Make an effort to discover new brands
Another reason we get stuck into style ruts is because we get attached to and comfortable with certain shops. It’s great to have your core favorites who you trust and you know last well, but there are always so many new, amazing brands hitting the market that are waiting to be discovered. From high-end designer labels to more affordable mid-range brands, keep exploring all year round. You’ll end up with some truly special, stylish finds (that – bonus – nobody else has).
Know your wardrobe inside out
It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget what’s sitting in our wardrobes – and, for many of us, there will be great pieces hidden away that haven’t seen the light of day for years. So, before you go ahead and buy something new, make sure that you have a very clear idea of what is in your wardrobe already. If you have a clear-out and declutter, you will know what’s in there and this will prevent you from accidentally buy things you don’t need.