Some men are blessed with great style and a sense of fashion while others need some assistance in discovering their style and putting it together.
Although fashion magazines are great for keeping abreast of the latest fashion trends, they can also leave the reader dejected if the styles are too outlandish, bizarre or trendy for the average guy. To determine if your wardrobe could use a fashion infusion, consider this:
Are the majority of your clothes more than ten years old?
Does your wardrobe consist of mostly athletic type pants or sweats?
Do you have only a handful of collared shirts and wear them repeatedly?
Do you dread going out if the required attire is more than jeans and t-shirt?
Does your shirt inventory consist of mostly slogan t-shirts and freebies from local businesses and promotional events?
If you answered “yes” to the majority of these questions, you are in need of a wardrobe makeover!
If the mere thought of shopping terrifies you and leaves you with a sense of dread, forgo the department store and pay a visit to a men’s only clothing retailer. These shops have trained personnel who can help you emerge from your fashion cocoon and reestablish a sense of style.
What’s Your Style?
The first step to invoking some style into your current wardrobe offerings is to determine what exactly your style preference is. Consider this; a well-rounded wardrobe should consist of three classification of clothing: Play, Smart Casual and Semi-Formal attire. Shopping for clothes can be a scary proposition for the fashion fugitive but once you acknowledge your fashion stance – you can easily maneuver a men’s clothing department and get exactly the look you want without encountering trends and colors that go against your personal style or preference. The objective to uncovering your sense of style is to define the borders of fashion and inject some newer styles and colors into your present wardrobe.
If you rarely venture into a men’s clothing shop because you feel that the styles and colors are too bold or extreme for you, consider that different shops target specific consumers and you may need to visit a few to find one that carries merchandise that you like. Don’t be hooked into buying clothing that you are undecided about in regards to the styling or color. If you are deathly opposed to wearing a specific color, skip it and find one that you like. Do try and vary your color choices from the usual ‘guy’ colors like brown, black, and blue. If you’re leery about wearing new colors, try something subtle like olive green or baby blue – not too bright but definitely a refreshing addition to any wardrobe.
Going Out to Play
Your ‘play’ clothing should be casual pieces that you might wear for a walk along the beach, shopping, running errands or just hanging out. Play clothes in no way should include sweat pants and baseball jerseys – save those for hanging around the house on a lazy Sunday morning. Your play clothes should consist of newer jeans (no rips or frayed hems) or cotton pants, and collared cotton or jersey shirts. If you’re trying for an up-to-date casual look, leave the sneakers at home and dress up your outfit with casual walking or loafer type shoes. Never confuse ‘play’ clothes with your ‘comfy’ clothes that you don for a day spent in front of the TV. Play clothes are dressier than ‘comfy’ clothes but not suitable for the workplace.
Dressing Smart Casual
Smart casual is defined as casual but not sloppy. It is crisp and fresh and doesn’t include athletic pants, or sweats. Jeans are acceptable in some cases if they are newer, and are free of any stains, rips and frays. Smart casual is perfect for going out to dinner at the local pub, café or casual dining place. The look is up-to-date, not too formal but more dressy than your ‘play’ clothes. Smart casual wear consists of collared cotton shirts (yes, the kind that need some ironing!), khaki or black pants, and dressier shoes – sport jacket optional. Smart casual can also be suitable attire for the office depending on your office policy.
Semi-formal wear refers to suits, jackets and ties. Some workplaces still require that employers don a suit and tie everyday. Suits styles can vary from year to year so if you are wearing suits from 10 years ago, perhaps it’s time to revisit your local men’s clothing store and update your look. Although the basic suit stays relatively the same year after year, small details may differ including the size of the lapels, pockets, fabrics and colors. Some finer dining places require that men wear a suit and tie so it’s a good idea to always have at least one suit in your closet just in case. Ideally, you should have two suits on hand, a lighter one for the warmer months and a darker, heavier suit for the cooler months. Don’t forget to select at least two collared, dress shirts in two different colors to go with each suit. Dress shoes in a coordinating color required!
With a bit of effort, courage and guidance, you can update your wardrobe to reflect some of the newer style and colors and look great.
Contributed by: Christine Cristiano