Dressing well isn’t always the easiest thing for guys. You know you want to dress appropriately and feel confident in your appearance. You also want to be comfortable, up-to-date and not blow your entire paycheck on your wardrobe. These 6 style tips will help guide you as you develop and maintain a dress wardrobe appropriate to your situation:
1. Identify Your Clothing Needs
In what situations do you see yourself needing better attire than your baggy gym shorts and t-shirt? Do you have a work dress code or standard of dress? Is dressing to impress part of the culture in which you work or socialize, or is it better to pursue an understated style so as to not draw attention to your clothing? If there is an official or apparent standard of dress in your work place, consider to whom it is important and why. Knowing your audience will help you select attire to send the right message. Make an itemized list of what you believe your minimum clothing needs will be and then expand your list to what your ideal wardrobe would be.
2. Set Your Budget and Make a Plan
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Recognize that having an appropriate wardrobe is an investment and plan accordingly. If you are just starting out, having a set budget and plan is especially important and will help you prioritize your needs and keep you from spending money on clothing that doesn’t further your cause. Make your wardrobe part of your monthly budget and include the cost of care and maintenance. Professional shirt laundry may be an expense you can avoid with attentive care at home, but dry cleaning suits, and non-washable pants should be planned for and not procrastinated.
3. Determine Your Own Individual Style Preferences
Make an extra effort to observe what others are wearing and take note of what resonates with you. Is there a TV personality, entertainer, sports figure or co-worker whose appearance you might like to emulate? Following a role model may help, but don’t overdo it, be yourself. Consider seeking the advice of family, friends and co-workers and then go and start trying on different options. Remember that it is your opinion counts the most. You are the one wearing it – you should like how your clothing feels and looks on you.
4. Be Measured, Buy the Right Size and Strive for Minimal Alteration
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When purchasing your clothing off the rack some basic alterations may be needed. Avoid clothing that requires excessive alterations. Reasonable alteration of a suit coat might include a moderate adjustment of the sleeve length (up or down) and some adjusting of the side seams. There is usually enough room in the sides of a suit coat to relax the seams 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch on each side. The sides of a suit coat can be made more slim by taking in between 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches on each side depending upon the size of the coat. (less on smaller sizes, more on larger sizes) Tailoring in the sides any more may cause a distortion of the original design/model of the suit coat. Suit pants and better dress pants have the ability to have the size of the waist adjusted. Check the inside of the waistband and look for an overlap of fabric on both sides of the back center seam between the back pockets. If this overlap exists and there is a seam extending to the top of the waistband, then alteration is possible. Typically the pant can be relaxed using most of the overlapping fabric. If the pants are too loose, a skilled tailor can adjust them smaller around the waist and the seat. Reasonably, a pant can be altered in about 7 percent of its original size or about 2 ½ inches on a size 36 waist pant. (less on smaller sizes, more on larger sizes.) Historically, most men’s suits have been sold as “nested” or “mated”, meaning coat and pant must be purchased together. The typical “nested” or “mated” suit has a 6 inch “drop”, or difference in measurement from chest to waist – 42 inch coat (chest) mated with a 36 inch waist pant. Increasingly, suit separates are available and in many cases necessary. Through technological advances in textile manufacturing vendors are now able to sell with confidence a suit coat of any size and pair it with one or more matching pants in any size. Perfect for an athletic build or a more portly stature.
5. Don’t Overlook Personal Grooming
Proper grooming will enhance your image, whereas poor grooming may very well nullify your best efforts at being stylish. The finest clothing tailored to fit with attention to detail is quickly overshadowed by untrimmed nose hair, dirty finger nails or any other example of poor personal hygiene. Being clean and being well groomed not only aid your style, but demonstrate that you respect yourself and those with whom you associate. Perhaps not every girl is crazy about a sharp dressed man, but no one is impressed by bad breath.
6. Take care of your clothing
— Utah Grizzlies (@UtahGrizz) March 18, 2015
Discipline yourself to do the basics. Clothing should be placed on hangers or folded. A few attempts have been made to promote wrinkled clothing as stylish, but most would see a wrinkled suit as sub-par and may view the wearer as one who doesn’t know how to care for their clothing. And not just a wrinkled suit, a wrinkled shirt can make a $1,000 suit look like an unmade bed. Perhaps you have this down pat – suit coat, shirt and pants clean and nicely pressed – don’t forget shoe care! Think Italian sports car with a flat tire, its stuck, just like the best clothing with dirty or scuffed shoes. Basic cleaning and polishing of leather dress shoes is a simple effort that yields big results. Right or wrong, men are often judged by the care they give their shoes.
By following these tips and devoting a little extra time, attention and effort, you can elevate your style and enjoy the benefits thereof.
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