When I was in college, I would wear anything I could find in the closet. I’d put on a pair of old jeans and a sports team T-shirt I bought for five dollars and head out to meet women. It’s no wonder I consistently went home from these excursions without a girl.
Way too many guys, especially older ones, simply throw on an outfit they bought ten years ago and walk out the door.
They may occasionally get unsolicited male fashion advice from the women in their lives. But, the guy who cares about fashion is still incredibly rare.
While a straight man may not think twice about how he dresses, others around him probably do: coworkers, potential employers, and girls he may (not) date.
While a guy should never obsess over his clothing, he still needs to care a little since how he dresses is one indicator of his overall value (or lack of it). Those plain jeans and striped shirts from 1995 won’t cut it.
Dressing fashionably doesn’t have to be that difficult. Below we offer eight quick tips to dress your best. These were done in consultation with a fashion expert. Keep in mind that fashion can change, so we will update these tips regularly as times change.
Fashionable, but Not Fashion Forward
This is a broad piece of advice. You want to keep your wardrobe current and fashionable. You can party like it’s 1999, but if you dress like it, you won’t impress anyone (and get invited to parties).
Look at men’s magazines (we like Esquire), television shows, and famous actors for current trends. Right now, bolder fashion trends are in style (like neon colors). However, if you’re straight, then you don’t want to be too bold (fashion forward). Go for the less flashy side of the newer styles, but still be current.
Dress For Your Body
Wear clothing that makes your body look good and doesn’t bring out your flaws. If you’re overweight, skip the tight jeans. If you’re short, wear vertical stripes, not horizontal. If you’re super skinny, then wear baggy clothes. No one has a perfect figure. However, you don’t want your clothing to telegraph your shortcomings to the world. Rather, your choices should make your body look its best.
Don’t Be A Clone
If everyone in a place looks just like you, then you won’t stick out. Be trendy, but add your own sense of flair and style to it. For example, if you have to wear button down shirts at work, then don’t wear the blue or white shirts and standard ties just like everyone else. Push the envelope a little, but not too much.
V-Necks Can Be Great
V-neck shirts are very fashionable and attractive. However, anyone giving male fashion advice has to add this: to pull off a v-neck you need to have a decent body because v-necks (literally) point towards your abs. So, skip them unless you’re in good shape.
And, if you’re not in good shape, then get there. It will improve your overall appearance in any clothes. Also, shave your chest. Hairy chests through V-necks won’t turn on anyone.
Also, v-neck shirts are associated somewhat with being effeminate. If you are not very masculine in other ways, you might want to go for a traditional neckline. A v-neck could make you look gay.
Wear Dark Jeans
Dark blue jeans (not black, but dark blue) make a guy look put together and fashionable. Light blue jeans look very dated (1992 anyone?). However, it’s difficult to keep dark jeans looking dark after wearing them for awhile. You can keep them darker by not drying them in an electric dryer. Hang them up and let them air dry instead. It’s a pain, but it’ll keep them looking great.
If you buy dress pants (and you should dress up occasionally), then avoid the pleated pants that many stores sell (I’m not sure why). They make you look fatter in the hip areas and disproportionate. Get the straight leg pants, especially if you are fit. Go for black or charcoal pants if possible. Khakis are acceptable too.
Blaze A Trail
Wearing a blazer can complement most outfits. For a more formal look, wear the blazer with a button down shirt (and tie). For an informal occasion, wear it over a v-neck or single colored shirt. A blazer instantly adds a sense of class and dignity to an outfit.
Care about your shoes? Probably not. But, once again, others do look at shoes as an indicator of your value. Women are especially attuned to a guy’s shoes. Get a nice, black pair of shoes and keep them looking nice and polished. Also, a short guy should get a shoe with a bit of a heel. Taller men should avoid this. Remember, play to your physical strengths.
Note: The Modest Man is a great site for fashion advice geared towards shorter guys, including a free Short Man Style Guide eBook for download.
So, while this isn’t the final word in fashion, these eight quick tips to dress your best should help you look better and impress others. See, male fashion advice doesn’t have to be painful.