Being an image consultant and blogger means I often get styled related questions thrown at me by friends. I don’t mind this and enjoy hearing about a new item they’ve spied but not quite sure how to wear. It’s also great to share tips with one another, as some of the more stylish ones tell me about their favourite clothes and brands. But I was recollecting recently about my own journey delving into the world of style and how much I’ve learnt over the last 7 years. So I wanted to share 5 tips that I wish I could have told myself when I was starting out, that may help anybody else that are just dipping their toes into men’s style.
1. It’s all about the fit
Any regular reader of the blog will probably be sick of me saying this by now. But it really is the most important style tip anyone can learn. There is a difference between knowing it and actually doing it, a lot of people know their clothes should fit properly but ignore it. Do NOT give into those endorphins rushing around your body when you see that amazing piece but the last size on the rack says a ‘L’ and you’re a ‘M’. Give it up!
Also realise that our bodies change so things that maybe lingering in your wardrobe that fit 3 years ago, could now be too large or small.
2. Don’t worry about what people may think of you
When people, particularly work colleagues and close friends, see you trying to improve yourself they may try to put you down. Don’t ask me why this is the case. But occasionally people get jealous because they don’t have the drive to take action themselves. They want to bring you down, the easiest way for them to do that is to comment on what’s right in front of them; your clothes.
Maybe all your friends are really happy for you, but you have your own doubts in the back of your mind about trying new styles or clothes. You have to push your comfort zone and realise, sometimes you are your own worst enemy. You may really want to wear coloured chinos but unless you give yourself permission to buy them and actually wear them out, you’ll be stuck in the same gear.
3. You really can afford to spend more on your clothes
I think the best way to illustrate this tip is to give you an example. When I started out I used to shop exclusively on the high street at places like H&M and Topman. Then I’d get frustrated when the collar wouldn’t sit right on the shirt or the quality of the cotton was so low that the shirt was see through.
I shopped at these places because I thought I couldn’t afford to spend any more money on clothes. But what I realised is; I don’t have to shop designer to get better quality. I just had to be savvier when it came to shopping. So places like Reiss, that I thought were out of my budget, were shops I should have been checking out. Instead of paying £20 for a shirt that didn’t last long I’d be much better spending £50-£80 on one that was better quality, looked like I wanted it to and would last longer.
4. Don’t go shopping with girls
Okay, I may need to rephrase this one. Don’t go shopping with some girls. Why? I hear you ask. Well, for most guys that want to get started on the road to improving their wardrobe they instantly seek the advice and assistance of female friends. As a rule of thumb women are generally more clued up when it comes to clothes than guys. But from my own experience, shopping with them is a nightmare. They tend to drift off and end up shopping for themselves leaving you to fend for yourself. So make sure you pick your partner in crime wisely.
5. Don’t be afraid to get it wrong
We all look back on photos of ourselves in past outfits and cringe from time to time, no one is immune to it. I know I’ve looked back on pictures of myself and thought “those don’t fit right” or “what was I thinking wearing that”. It goes with the territory, fashion is fickle and trends come and go and come back again. Things that are really on trend at the minute we could be laughing at in a decade. So it’s important to experiment and try new things even if you don’t pull it off. Heck, I still try things out that as soon as I put on I know just doesn’t work. But if you never fail, you’ll never learn to succeed.
Well these have been my tips that I wish I knew when I started out trying to change my look.
What tips have I missed maybe? If you could go back and give yourself some fashion advice when would it be and what would you say?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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