In the 21st century, it is okay for men to put work into their appearances again — this means those who don’t will stand out, and not in a positive way. The nineties trope of attractive women paired with overweight, sloppy guys is dead, and many men are scrambling to put together outfits that look good without reeking of desperate effort.
Here are some style tips to help you look like a better, manlier version of yourself.
Grunge is long out of style, and anything baggy, ripped, or stained only looks appropriate on teenagers. To dress like a grown man, choose clothing and accessories that don’t look rescued from a landfill. Some fading on jackets and pants can be stylish and masculine, but keep it simple. A relaxed fit or multiple layers are great, just keep in mind that cleaner lines can make a man look taller, leaner, and stronger. Don’t hesitate to donate or recycle clothes when they become too worn out or visibly dirty — grease stains, paint splatters, and frayed seams are generally the opposite of suave.
Let go of logos
Women might be able to rock purses or dresses covered in graphics and logos, but pictures and words tend to only be found on cheap or juvenile fashion for men. James Bond would not wear T-shirts with cartoon characters on them. A jacket with the brand name spelled out in giant letters makes a person look like an unpaid walking billboard or an adult clinging to lost youth, neither of which is appealing to look at. Instead, choose classic prints such as tartan, stripes, or checks, or fabrics that have interesting textures. Logos should be small if visible at all, and avoid anything with writing or drawings on them.
Color is okay
Simple is sexy, but that doesn’t mean a stylish man can only wear black, khaki, and dark blue. As long as individual pieces are clean and tasteful — collared shirts, in particular, can look good in unusual or ordinarily feminine hues — they can work in almost any color. Don’t put on a rainbow all at once, but choose a statement color for the top, bottom, or bag. For example, add eye-catching spots of color with hats, scarves, jewelry, or pocket squares from here. Try a new jean shade that isn’t blue or black, or add a pair of grown-up pants to the wardrobe that isn’t denim, covered in cargo pockets, or shorts.
Build solid foundations
It’s easy to find cheap and stylish clothes nowadays, but it’s still worth spending a little more on shoes. Not only are good shoes more comfortable, but they can also make or break an outfit more easily than even the outerwear or pants. The distinguishing feature of the man-child from the last decade is the unwillingness to wear nice shoes — some insist on wearing sneakers with a blazer and dress shirt, or army boots with everything. A well-made, well-maintained pair of leather shoes, in a somewhat dressier style, instantly makes a man look more stylish, mature, and possibly even more intelligent and likable. Women aren’t the only ones who can accomplish great things with the right pair of shoes.
The streets and the Internet are filled with grown men who haven’t updated their style since puberty, and it is painfully obvious to those who know better. Avoid that pitfall by using these tips to developing a unique, classy style. It may take no more than a stricter eye and a better pair of shoes to turn a slob or dud into a diamond in the rough.