I've always thought guys have it easy--they can get away with owning 2 pairs of pants and one jacket most of the time. They have fewer choices to make every day (no wondering if this shirt goes with that skirt). They can wave away criticism with a "I don't know anything about fashion" comment. But I have discovered over time that men actually DO care about what they're wearing, they just aren't sure how to go about making a change that doesn't feel weird, like they're trying too hard, or god forbid "way metro" or whatever they call dressing really well these days. If you're a guy wanting to make a change this year, I'm going to show you the 3 things to look for when you shop that will get you started on your path to subtly stepping it up: fit, versatility, and comfort.
Guys: How to Take it Up a Notch without Anyone Noticing
FIT IS KING
One easy way you can start taking your style up a notch is by making sure your clothing fits correctly. Many of you might not notice that the seam on the shoulder of your shirt is hanging down your bicep, or that your pants have a LOT of extra room in them. I know it's comfortable to dress this way, but well-tailored clothing makes you look current, like you care about yourself and what you do, and gives an air of confidence that baggy dress shirts just do not. You can have many of your current favorites altered to fit correctly with the help of a good tailor, and you wont have to buy an entirely new wardrobe. Changing the fit of your clothing may also be a good baby step towards subtly changing your style--people will notice but they wont exactly know what you did to start looking so sharp. Check out the properly fitting clothing below, and view my collection of fit and styling tips here.
Another trick to seamlessly elevating your wardrobe is to only purchase items that you can wear many different ways. Maybe someone will notice it the first time you wear it, but they'll get used to it, and so will you if you can pull it off with lots of other items. Plus, wearing something across many different scenarios means you're purchasing only things you love, and saving money in the long run. So be thoughtful about your purchases--what do you gravitate towards most often in terms of color, fit, and style? Try adding a sharp neutral sport coat into your rotation (it goes with a casual polo or a button-up) or spend a little extra cash on some really nice jeans or even a denim button-up. These pieces easily go with everything and can be thrown on without much thought.
I know for a fact that you wont wear it if it's not comfortable, so be mindful of this when you shop, BUT remember that nice or slightly dressy clothes can still feel comfortable. Look for super soft fabrics, like brushed cotton pants or jackets. You will like wearing them more and more people will want to touch you. You can also seek out dressy/casual alternatives in your footwear and pants. Check out Cole Haan's selection of oxfords with sneakery soles or AG five-pocket super soft pants. And if you're a hoodie addict, why not make your next one a nice-fitting super soft cashmere version?
I hope Man Month has been helpful for y'all and please don't hesitate to drop me a line if you've got questions--I'm happy to help you attack your wardrobe too, so check out my Sort, Shop, and Style service!