Defy the rules.
Haven’t we heard this statement more times than we can recall, and in all areas of our lives?
We’ve been asked to defy the rules to get ahead in our careers and even in investments.
Interestingly enough, fashion comes into this defiance mix, but if you’re into fashion, you know that there are fashion rules not to be defiled, ever!
Haven’t we seen too many fashion faux pas we could never unsee? Haven’t you questioned another man’s reasoning behind an item of clothing they’ve worn?
To this end, this article aims to change this.
This piece is for every man who feels defeated in the world of fashion, as well as the guys who feel that they have something going well for them, but their fashion and sense of style is not just there, yet.
We’ll offer insights into how to look smart, without breaking the bank.
Dressing smartly/ stylishly is an art. Your clothes, accessories, and how groomed grooming works together to elevate your appearance, or to break it.
This art is the reason why you will receive compliments on some days, and not others.
So, if you’re looking to elevate your dressing as means to gaining confidence, snagging that date, or even getting that promotion, you’re in the right place. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start; we’ve got you!
But first, your personality determines your style; and your style is a reflection of your personality. Your style is a reflection of the things that inspire you, as well as how you’d like to be perceived by the world.
Often, this would mean researching and finding the clothing that speaks to you. And thanks to Instagram and Pinterest, you’re always one click away from your style, without having to worry about committing a fashion faux pas.
That said, here are some of the rules to follow and things to do for you to be the well-dressed guy in the office:
Table of Contents
- 1 Always invest in the timeless pieces
- 2 Invest in and wear a well-tailored suit
- 3 Invest in a good watch
- 4 Only wear the sunglasses that suit the shape of your face
- 5 Always dress for the occasion
- 6 Don’t shy away from color
- 7 Wear and own your jeans
- 8 Don’t ignore your appearance
- 9 Invest in good shoes
- 10 Don’t over-accessorize
- 11 Opt for simple underwear
- 12 Don’t hire a dinner suit, buy one
- 13 Get a good blazer
- 14 Know your brands
- 15 Hairstyling Tips for Men
- 16 Ultimate casual wear for men – Sneakers with jeans
- 17 Final Thoughts
Always invest in the timeless pieces
The rules will stand, trends come and go, but your classic pieces are your forever pieces.
What this means is that you must find clothing that will stand the test of time. In the fashion world, classic pieces often line in the neutral color category. These are pieces devoid of the trendy motifs.
Opt for more plain t-shirts, tailored trousers, and basic sweatshirts for that impeccable style. As a modern man, you also need to invest in suits, blazers, and dress shoes.
These clothes are ideal for every man because they are flattering in a wide range of occasions.
Invest in and wear a well-tailored suit
If you’re going to wear a suit, make sure it has a good fit. We recommend confirming that your suit is well-tailored before you wear it out of your house.
If buying your suits off-the-peg, you should always focus on the suit’s fit across your shoulders; alteration of the suit around the chest and the waist is quite easy, but this cannot be said of the shoulders.
Also on suits is the issue of wearing period suits. If you have to wear a period suit, make sure you do that only when pursuing the complete period look.
To be on the safe side of this, invest in classic suits. Go for dark suits, single or double-breasted, with moderate details.
If you’re feeling confused about the different options available, don’t fuss over it – nothing beats a single-breasted blazer with jeans.
You should think of suits as the canvas that you can build the different ideas of your individuality on. For suits, what matters and what impresses is how you wear it, not the label or brand.
Remember that a good suit will take you from the office to a formal evening event effortlessly.
Invest in a good watch
Your outfit is incomplete without a watch. A watch is a gentleman’s greatest accessory and investment, and a good quality timepiece is a timeless accessory that will elevate any of your outfits if you find the right one.
So, where you buy a Rolex, one of the many minimalist watches around or even a sports watch for casual wear, make sure the watch suits you and makes you feel dapper.
Remember that a watch, much like your dressing, is a piece of art. You should choose a piece because you love it, not because you think it could make money.
A watch is a personal piece that not only marks the passage of time but also defines your style.
A watch should be functional and practical too. For the watch that cuts across and matches all your outfits, you might want to try the aesthetically pleasing, functional, or even the rugged models.
Don’t forget to buy a watch only if it fits you, and make you feel comfortable; it must be the right depth and size, relative to your wrist. For most of us, a 40mm watch is ideal, which is why the 40mm watches are regarded as being the Goldilocks size.
Only wear the sunglasses that suit the shape of your face
Sunglasses not only protect your eyes from the harsh sun rays but also help in completing your look/ outfit. If you’re going to buy the best sunglasses on the market, make sure that they not only offer UV rays protection but that they also match and complement the shape of your face.
There are sunglasses for round, rectangular, square, or heart-shaped faces. Make sure you pick the right fit got you, but never rush the process.
The glasses you spend minutes to decide on might have to be on your face for at least three years, you don’t want to look like a clown or look at the glasses on your dressing table as a waste of money.
Color is also important where sunglasses are concerned, but you should be careful about the color you choose. Simple black frames or the classic tortoiseshell work okay.
The rule of the thumb when buying sunglasses or any other glasses is to buy glasses you feel good in, glasses that look right for your face. When buying frames, you should also consider the design of the frames in relation to the shape of your eyebrows (curved or straight) and your hairstyle.
Regarding price, you might want to invest in expensive glasses instead of the cheap ones that will look quite tatty too soon after buying.
Always dress for the occasion
Style is more than your self-expression; it’s all about being dressed appropriately for your surrounding/ environment. Your clothes are the style codes, and you must have the right combination for the setting you find yourself.
You should have options and backup options for every occasion. By options, we mean having the right pants, shirts, t-shirts, shoes, belts, watches, and suits for every occasion you find yourself in.
For example, a black-tie event calls for a three-piece suit or a tuxedo while a light jacket, t-shirt, and jeans work for casual occasions or events.
You also need to differentiate smart casual from business casual, because contrary to popular belief, the two are utterly different.
What this means is that you should double-check the event and dress code before you make an entrance. Also, there are do’s and don’ts’s to be followed for brunch or wedding wear.
Remember that worst style is the one that is out of place; that makes you feel out of place.
While this might feel as if the style is a form of conformity, it’s not. It’s about your respect for the others (especially your host); about feeling comfortable in being you.
What happens when you’re in doubt about what to dress for what occasion? Well, overdress!
Don’t shy away from color
It might not be the first thing that appeals to your style, but it doesn’t hurt to indulge in a bit of color.
While most men around us are scared of color, this feeling is unjustified, and we think it’s about time we shied away from the color. It’s time to stop feeling intimidated by everything that is neither grey nor navy.
In fact, paired well, color is timeless with greens, pinks, mustard, and the brighter shades of blue being versatile options for whole-year wear. If you don’t mind the color, a pink suit will look great for that event.
However, we still hold on to the idea that less is more where color is involved. You only need a bit of color in a single garment.
Wear and own your jeans
Jeans represent the most useful, and the world’s most popular garment. Unfortunately, most men to appreciate good jeans, yet you can wear them with just about everything!
With their wider, comfortable thighs and narrowing towards the legs, jeans can be paired with sneakers of smart shoes effortlessly.
And as all-year-round wear that goes with anything and everything, you must invest in only good quality jeans.
Raw denim and dark jeans are the best options since denim ages as you wear it and one pair of jeans could last your decades if taken care of properly.
Don’t ignore your appearance
This tip sounds like your mother’s advice on how to look smart, but it’s a timeless piece of advice.
Looking after your appearance means walking around in clean, and well-pressed clothes. It makes no sense to invest in good clothes if you’re not going to take good care of them.
Make use of wooden hangers for your shirts, get shoe trees for your shoes, and get your suits appropriately dry-cleaned and pressed.
You must wash your clothes regularly, but avoid tumble drying them since this could degrade the fabric. Don’t forget to polish your shoes.
Besides what goes on your skin, look after your skin and your whole body – the skin of your leather jacket is not all that matters.
Practice good grooming, wash and brush your hair, keep your nails short, and take care of your face.
Keep your skin fresh and supple with daily application of serums and moisturizers. A calming treatment will protect you from the shaving rash.
Shower and wear deodorant daily, and find the right cologne for you.
The devil is in the details.
Invest in good shoes
Your style, as well as its timelessness, is all about its simplicity and tour shoes. Your shoes speak volumes about the kind of man you are; the pattern, color, and sole are important, and they shouldn’t look fussy.
Invest in high-quality shoes such as the resoleable Goodyear Welt shoes, and even the classics such as loafers, brogues, Derbys, Chelsea boots, and everything else good.
The shape of the shoe’s toe matters significantly with rounded toe-tops never going out of fashion.
The square and pointy toes are impractical, and no one has pointed or square feet.
Like color, less is more when it comes to accessories.
A tie and a pocket square will add individuality to any classic wear, but they don’t work on all occasions. You should also learn to harmonize your pieces, keeping your colors to a minimum (one or two).
Matching is the name of the accessorizing game and if you’re in doubt, leave out one element. You need to create a single point of interest for that air of nonchalance. Don’t overdo it.
Opt for simple underwear
It sounds like something grown men shouldn’t be told, but underwear is a critical part of your style. In case you’re confused, style is not just about what the world can see.
So, here are the underwear rules: no grown man should wear novelty prints, and there is no sophistication in the heavily-branded underwear.
For the style that’s stood the test of time, go for cotton boxer shorts – they are breathable, withstand repeated washing, and they are comfortable against the skin.
Stick to your classic shirts
This might not sound like the smartest piece of fashion advice, but every man should stick to classic shirts. Also, every man’s shirt can look expensive when it’s well-pressed.
All you need to do is to ensure that you strike a middle line while avoiding the bold styles. Choose one with a collar that will work with or without a tie, and make sure the shirt sits properly under your jacket.
Don’t hire a dinner suit, buy one
Formal dinners might not come your way every day, but you must have formal dinner suits, just in case.
Buying a dinner suit that fits adds a flair of sophistication, unlike hired suits which hardly have the right fit.
Get a good blazer
You don’t have to wear matching pants when wearing a blazer, and blazers are known to be worn as mismatched separates.
So, wear a blazer with a t-shirt, chinos, and sneakers in summer, and a wool blazer over a hoodie and jeans in winter.
Know your brands
While not everyone can afford a wholly designer wardrobe, you could invest in your favorite clothing brand. These designer pieces will elevate your style and make you look better in seconds.
Just make sure that when you’re buying luxury fashion items, you spend your money on high-quality and classic pieces that will stand the test of time.
When it comes to style and looking smart, you must always remember the pyramid of style – fit, function, and fabric. You should only spend a fortune on your clothes of they are made of high-quality fabric and if they have a great construction design.
And, always dress for your body rather than the body you want.
Hairstyling Tips for Men
Now that you know how to dress well and look smart by wearing the right clothes and accessories let’s look at your hair.
A great style is what every man needs to transform into a stylish guy. In most cases, you will have to level up your style to look as attractive as you know you are.
How to style men’s hair
- Before styling, it’s important for us to look at the different hairstyles on you could try. These styles are popular for different reasons, but not all of them will work for the shape of your face and head.
- Undercut – this is the hairstyle popularized by David Beckham and Brad Pitt
- Classic Quiff – thank you, Elvis Presley,
- Classic pompadour – made popular by Bruno Mars
- Crew cut also called the Ivy League Cut
- Military cut or the bus cut
- Side part popularized by Antonio Centeno
- The Tousled Look common with the actor Robert Pattison
- The Fade and The Long-Round Layered Look are the other hairstyles tried by men across the world.
Of course, there’s also the attractive shaved hair look.
There are many face shapes out there: rectangle, oval, triangular, round, square, heart, and diamond, and each face shape goes with a particular hairstyle.
Besides the shape of your face, your hairstyle also depends on your hair type. Some haircuts/ styles work well for thick hair, others for thin hair, Asian hair, fine hair, wavy hair, afro, thinning, and unruly hair.
Once you determine the right hairstyle for your face, you should look for the right hair styling and hair care products.
Hair styling products for men:
- Pomades: pomades work well for sleek, texturized or short hairstyles thanks to their versatility and their ability to maintain a pliable hold.
- Waxes: waxes are ideal when you’re looking to add extra shine or control to your short hair. They are a lot like pomades, but they offer a more aggressive hold.
- Fibers and muds: these are the ideal hair styling products for long, disheveled hairstyles thanks to the mud’s ability to provide maximum control over style.
- Creams: hair creams for men are ideal for frizz control, as well as control of fly-aways, and also for the conservative hairstyles. The cream also works when you need something in your hair, but you’re also looking for a light finish.
- Gels: you should use gels if you’re looking for that stronghold or a wet look. Note, however, that you should only buy high-quality gels that do not flake when dry. Also, you need to check the gel’s hold as it ranges from light to firm.
- Hairsprays: hairsprays are ideal for adding volume and control, which means that hairspray will work well for you if you have thin or thinning hair. The sprays create an illusion of volume. Choose a light hairspray not to weigh down your hair.
You have to wash your hair before you use any of the styling product that works for your hairstyle.
One thing you should never do, however, is using too much shampoo. The excess shampoo will strip your hair of its healthy fats and minerals. You want your hair protected, which is why we recommend shampooing every two or three days.
Clean up around your edges
To a real gentleman, good grooming is important, and it’s all about the maintenance of the looks. In between visits to the barber, you need to keep your hairstyle tidy.
- An electric razor goes a long way in trimming the re-growing beard hair and in styling your mustache or the sideburns.
- Grease is an excellent product for ensuring that your haircut lasts longer, and you could also use dry shampoo.
Ultimate casual wear for men – Sneakers with jeans
How to Wear Sneakers with Jeans
Pairing sneakers with jeans could be the one thing that every man does, but most men make mistakes when dressing up in this casual style.
Here are tips to make sure that you always wear your jeans with sneakers fashionably.
- Buy the right sneakers for your current wardrobe
- Wear leather high-top sneakers with simple skinny jeans.
- Wear sneakers to the right occasion and avoid being too casual
- Keep your sneakers clean, always.
- Understand the different types of sneakers
Types of sneakers and the jeans to wear them with
There are basic sneakers, refined luxury, current sport sneakers, high-tech, and high-fashion sneakers.
These sneakers can be paired with different outfits easily, but most of the time, we commit unforgivable fashion sins.
- Basic sneakers (Vans, chucks or canvas kicks) don’t work for all occasions, but you can wear then with slim/ skinny denim. They are also ideal for young men only.
- The refined luxury sneakers, on the other hand, work with slim denim, and they look even better with casual suits. Also, never dress down with these sneakers.
- The classic sports sneakers like Jordan’s will match your slim, tapered-fit denim.
- Avoid wearing current sports sneakers with wide jeans and only wear them with fitting/slim-fit jeans. These sneakers work better with tracksuit pants.
- The high-fashion designer sneakers are your best fit for jeans, and you will never go wrong with denim and high-fashion designer sneakers.
- White sneakers work well with straight-leg jeans to project a stylish, sophisticated, and contemporary look.
- Leather sneakers match pin rolled or cuffed jeans.
Basically, you can wear sneakers with jeans, but you have to be careful about the type of sneakers or jeans you wear.
Being a stylish man means allowing yourself to be a canvas for classic art. It’s a demonstration of your personality, as it is your expression of self.
It’s all about bringing together different elements of fashion to look good. Stay stylish.