In high school, I wore what my mom and grandma got me for Christmas (don’t laugh), in addition to a few sports related t-shirts. In college, I took a little more charge of my fashion. This meant throwing on an old pair of jeans and a loose fitting shirt that may or may not have been clean. I know it’s shocking, but I didn’t make many great first impressions based on my dress.
But, I wasn’t alone in my ignorance of male fashion advice. Way too many guys, especially older ones, simply throw on an outfit they bought ten years ago and walk out the door.
The straight guy who cares about fashion is still incredibly rare. Look around and it’s obvious. He might not think twice about how he dresses, but others around him do: coworkers, potential employers, and girls he may (not) date.
While a guy should never obsess over his clothing the way a woman would, he still needs to care since how a man dresses is one indicator of his overall value (or lack of it). Clothes are a huge part of the first impression you make with a woman. Those light jeans and striped shirt from 2003 aren’t going to cut it.
Dressing fashionably doesn’t have to be that difficult. Below are eight great tips, formulated in consultation with a fashion expert. Remember, however, that everyone has a different base style. And, fashion changes.
Be Fashionable, but Not Too Fashion Forward
You always 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 (or even get invited to parties).
Look at men’s magazines (like Esquire), television shows, and famous actors for current trends. Right now, bolder fashion trends are in style (like neon colors and 80s throwback designs). Every season, go through and donate outdated clothing styles. Then, replace them with something more current.
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 minimizes your “flaws.” If you’re overweight, skip the tight jeans. If you’re short, wear vertical stripes, not horizontal. If you’re super skinny, wear clothes that make you look more averagely figured. And, so on.
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. Remember, clothing plays a huge role in first impressions.
Be Unique…To A Point
I’ve been to many venues where everyone dresses the same. In that case, your clothing does nothing to mark you as unique. A woman looks at you and just sees “average chump” until you show her your (hopefully) stellar personality. Why not show her your great style too?
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. For example, wear green or blue or even pink. It actually takes a real man to wear pink, by the way.
Dress For Your Age
When we say be trendy, we mean for your age. You don’t want to be a 50-something trying to be a teen. But, you can still dress in a way that looks trendy, stylish, and appropriate for a 50 year old.
On the other hand, you don’t have to dress “old” and “outdated” either just because it’s expected for an old guy. You can still (and should) wear trendy, cool styles that set you apart from the people your age who are the stereotypical clueless older men.
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 (2001 anyone?). However, it’s difficult to keep dark jeans looking dark after wearing them for awhile. You can keep them darker a variety of ways, including washing them inside-out, and hanging them to dry (instead of putting them in an electric dryer). It’s a pain, but it’ll keep them looking great. Once they fade, buy a new pair.
Blaze A Trail
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 single colored shirt. A blazer instantly adds a sense of class and power to an outfit. Buy a black one and make sure it fits. Get it tailored if possible. It’ll set you back a couple hundred dollars, but you should get a lot of quality use from it.
Own Dress Clothing
Every man (notice the word choice) needs to own dress clothing. This means nice, black pants, dress shirts, ties, a black belt, and shoes. You should also have a blazer/sport coat for dressier occasions too…or just because you feel like looking awesome.
Women love men who can dress up. Not only that, but it communicates that you are powerful and successful. In our current society, wearing dress clothing is still a big indicator of high value for a man.
If you buy dress pants (and you should dress up occasionally), then avoid the pleated pants that many stores sell. 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.
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. And, it actually feels really good to look and feel your best in stylish clothing.