This weeks tips are for my male friends, a kind of list of top men’s fashion tips from a female perspective.
Let me start off by saying that I am a sucker for well-dressed men. Key words are “well dressed”. Not hip, not flashy, not trendy. Just well dressed and… groomed would be the word I think. While I do get the beard trend and the hipster trend and the super skinny tie trend and the too short pants trend I don’t necessarily think they will make every guy look well dressed and groomed.
Being well dressed isn’t really only about having good (or expensive) clothes, I know people who spend tons of money on clothes but still don’t fall in the well dressed category and I know guys who go shopping once every 6 months who somehow always manage to look polished. Looking polished is about more than just clothes, it is about how well they fit and how you pull them off in any occasion and every type of setting. It is about having the right clothes and wearing them well.
Wear clothes that fit
If you take one thing away let it be this. Clothes that are too big and hanging are not cool. As a rule of thumb, from the point of view of this woman, your clothes should be fitted to your figure, not too wide or baggy, but also not constricting you in your movements. Think James Bond (whichever one you prefer, I myself am partial to Pierce Brosnan). We women tend to want to squeeze ourselves into clothes that are too small but most men take it to the other extreme and wear clothes that are too big and too wide.
Figure out your basics
There are less than 10 basic types of items every guy needs to have in his wardrobe. Consider yourself lucky; there are at least 100 items every girl should have. A suit (or more than one if you work in a suit), a dress shirt (or however many you need for work), a perfectly fitting pair of jeans or two, a well cut t-shirt (in good condition and I’d say at least a black, a white, and a gray), a pair of dressier shoes, a pair of casual shoes (this could include casual trainers but does not include you wearing your running shoes to a party), a watch that goes with everything, a proper belt and a winter coat. Oh yes, and decent underwear. Pretty please on the underwear.
Start with the basics, invest time in shopping for the perfect fit, and once you find it stick to it. For those of you that don’t like wasting your time on shopping this means that once you find your perfect brand and size of shirt you will be able to shop from the comfort of your home.
So to sum up, yes, you can live without a pair of flip flops (and it is likely some of us will be grateful) and you don’t need to have multiple iterations of your football team’s jersey, but you shouldn’t be without a pair of jeans that fit you well. Or a well cut suit.
Know your denim color
The older you get the darker the wash of your jeans should be. Or to put it in another way, the higher up the corporate ladder you get the darker your jeans should be. Leave the acid washed jeans with rips behind and find a dark, unwashed denim pair that dresses up your t-shirts or dresses down your shirts and suit jackets.
Choose clothes appropriate for the occasion
So yes, you can wear a pair of shorts to a barbecue, of course, but think twice about the appropriateness of wearing scuffed jeans and your favorite running shoes to a party, especially if there is a dress code requirement. Dressy casual? Err on the dressy side, not on the casual side. While you don’t want to be hugely overdressed, it is better to be slightly overdressed than to be even the teeniest bit under-dressed.
In the office, take the cue from your colleagues and the office culture. It is true you don’t want to be the only guy in a dark suit with a tie, but then again you don’t want to be the only one in bermuda shorts and a printed tee. I would apply the same logic to the office as I would to attending a party, err on the slightly overdressed side.
Guys I hope you liked these men’s fashion tips from the perspective of a woman. I do have some more tips on the subject which may find their way to a future post.