“I’m just not naturally stylish.” Does that sound familiar? Here’s the truth. Dressing well is a skill. And like any other skill, you can learn it and improve. Whether you’re a complete beginner or have been working on your style for a while and need a refresher, I’ve refined these concepts and tips over the last 11 years to help you look your best in no time.
1. Realize That Dressing Well Is a Skill
Just like cooking or shooting free throws, dressing well is a skill that can actually be learned. Nobody is born in a perfectly tailored 3-piece suit, or with some magical intuition on how to dress well. Realize that dressing well is a skill that can be developed through practice.
2. Develop Your “eye” by Identifying the Style You Like
Take 5 minutes. List out 3 or more guys whose style you think looks great and that is in the direction you’d like to go. Even if you don’t think you can pull it off, list it. It could be someone you know, a celebrity, or even a fictional character from a movie.
3. Solve 90% of Your Style Problems by Getting the Right Fit.
Fit is the most important thing for elite style. It’s so important, in fact, that I tell every one of my clients “wearing clothes that fit properly will solve 90% of your style problems. if not Visit City hawks”
When clothes don’t fit properly, they throw off your body proportions. Because of the excess fabric, clothes that are too big make you not only look sloppy, but fatter and shorter than you are.
Men have the tendency to wear clothes that are too big for them because it either “feels more comfortable”, or they just don’t know how clothes are supposed to fit in the first place.
4. Focus on a Classic Style First Before Trying to Develop a Personal Style.
A mistake people make when trying to improve their style is thinking they need to create an original, 100% unique personal style. This is a classic example of what’s called “Extreme thinking”.
When you’re starting to improve your style, think of it like how chefs learn to cook: They don’t go into the kitchen thinking they need to create some amazing and original dish never seen before. They learn the classic recipes and techniques first. Then they start adding bits and pieces of their personality and interests to put a spin on them. You’re going to do the exact same thing with your style. Focus on classic styles first, then slowly add your own personal spin later.
5. Stay Clear of Graphics, Logos, and Wild Prints (for Now)
Whenever you wear a logo or graphic t-shirt, you either look like you’re in college or are you’re on your way to a UFC fight. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE XtrainSports fan. But there is a certain style that goes with it.)
I’m not opposed to logos and graphic t-shirts as part of a solid wardrobe, but when you’re starting out, going solid colors is going to make you look 10x more mature and serious.
Solid colors and graphic/logo-less clothes make you look more refined and mature. The great thing is that this change is a simple swap. Replace your graphic t-shirts and clothes with solid versions, like with the examples above.
6. Stick to Solid Neutral Colors.
Every man’s wardrobe should be based on neutral colors.
What are neutral colors? They’re colors that aren’t overpowering. Because they’re not overpowering they easily mix with each other. Powerful colors like neon green and orange? Pretty hard to work with.
If your wardrobe is all neutral colors, you don’t need to know “how to mix and match colors”. A neutral color wardrobe is essentially self-working! Here’s the other thing: You’ve probably already been dressing in mostly neutral colors without even knowing it.
Neutral colors are white, black, navy, olive, grey, khaki, brown
I recommend a ratio of 3:1 when it comes to solid neutrals and non-neutral colors. Take 10 minutes to check your closet. Do you have more non-neutrals, graphics, and pattern clothes than solid neutrals? Make a note to start balancing it out to hit a 3:1 ratio.
7. Use “the Swap Trick” to Gradually Step Out of Your Comfort Zone.
Think of it like trying out hot sauces. You wouldn’t go from a mild hot sauce straight to a super hot ghost pepper sauce. You would try something slightly hotter than the last and work your way up.
It’s the same thing when you’re trying something new with your style. You probably don’t want to jump from a black leather jacket to a neon green one. The next step up would probably be a brown leather jacket.
I’ll start with an easy outfit: linen oxford shirt, navy lounge pants, sunglasses, white sneakers. The color palette, while perfectly fine, feels a little boring and safe. So let’s swap out the shirt for something a little more colorful. We can go two ways, a brighter color, or a pattern/print.
8. You Don’t Start With Confidence, You Build It
Start with one outfit. Just one. Use the advice in the previous tips – stick with neutral-colored, classic styles that fit well. You’re going to look and feel great. That quick win is important. Now use that feeling to keep going. Then, read the next tip to learn my favorite trick to help you build confidence even faster.
Because if you aren’t having fun dressing better, it’s not going to last very long.