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Fashion 101 For The Clueless Man

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If you’re reading this guide, it means that you’re a man who has started to realize just how important dressing right can be. It changes how people see you, how competent they think you are, and certainly how attractive you are. When you’re younger, you tend to get away with a lot more. Now that you’re starting to mature, it’s time that your wardrobe starts to reflect that maturity. We’re going to build it step by step and have you dressing like a whole new man.

The Fit is What Matters Most

It’s something most men tend to learn by the time they attend their first wedding or formal occasion. It’s a rule that should move through the rest of your life, however, particularly in the workplace. Finding the right fit is essential. Sleeves that are too long make you look like a boy in his dad’s suit. A shirt that isn’t fitted will hang with loose billowing pockets and crease. Finding your sizes is as simple as asking for a little assistance in finding fits in any kind of men’s formal clothing shops. But good fits matter with all clothes, not just business, and formal wear.

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Build your Staples

Layering clothes and finding outfits that go well together it’s about fitting together all sorts of different puzzle pieces. It starts by finding a few staples that you can build outfits around. These staples don’t have to be overly complicated. A white button-down shirt. A neutral colored sweater. A pair of slim jeans. A jacket. Don’t go wild right from the start. You’re not tackling a runway. Build a collection of staples, then take one or two of them out when you go clothes shopping and make them the base from which you build your outfits up. It’s time to start thinking about clothes in terms of outfits, not just one item at a time.

Learn Some Color Theory

One of the most important parts of an outfit is how color coordination comes into it. Learning the color wheel and what contrasts and what meshes is important. But it’s not just the individual pieces of the outfit you have to match. You have to match them to your hair and your skin, as well. Most importantly, you need to realize whether you are high-contrast, medium contrast or low contrast. High-contrast men have differing colors of hair and skin, like light skin and black hair. While low-contrast men have subtle matching colors, like light skin and blonde or red hair. Medium contrast men are usually darker skinned and darker haired. If you’re a high-contrast man, then you want high-contrast outfits so that the layers of your clothes fit the layers of your physical attributes. Low-contrast men, on the other hand, do better with a monochromatic look. And medium-contrast men have more freedom in either kind of palette choice.

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Don’t be Afraid of an Accessory or Two

Accessories have gotten less popular in young men as of late, but it’s not too late re-discover them. Accessories are there to make statements about you, but it’s all about wearing them without being pretentious about it. A good watch is as practical an accessory as you can get, but you don’t have to limit yourself to them. Different styles of gold chains, when worn with just a flash peeking out from your color, brings the hint of prestige closer to the eye line of anyone talking to you. Accessories are all about power. They’re a signifier of success and a few subtle touches make you look confident and achieving without being boastful about it.

The Shoes Say it All

Besides the accessories, it should be a commonly known rule that others will check shoes as the signifier of what a man’s all about. Women do this more commonly than men. Putting effort into choosing the best shoes, for whatever occasion, says that you’re a man who is ready for wherever they are. A pair of brown longwings finishes the look of a consummate professional, for example, while a well-cared pair of minimalist sneakers gives the impression of a man who can relax without getting lazy about it.

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Dress to Context

As with the shoes, the context of the situation matters to the rest of the outfit. When building up your wardrobe, it’s important to remember. In particular, it’s a good idea to get some knowledge of different dress codes and have an outfit for every occasion. A formal suit for black-tie events, the comfortable twist to the business look like a sweater under a lighter jacket for smart-casual, and so on. It’s important to know how to handle ‘optional’ wear events, as well. Optional caveats mean that the host of an event is most likely going to stick to that option, but it doesn’t mean you have freedom to fly in the complete opposite direction. Be a little subtle in any differences you make the dress code.

Casual doesn’t mean Slovenly

It’s time to seriously change your definition of what it means to dress casually. For instance, if you’re going on a casual date with a girl. A fitted jacket might be a bit too much, but you should rarely if ever opt for the graphic t-shirt instead. When people see graphic t-shirts, it gives them an idea of youth which can work when you’re younger. When you’re a grown man looking to make a first impression on a date, however, it makes you look like a man-child, to put it bluntly. Get used to more minimalist shirt designs and turn sweaters into your friends. Casual doesn’t mean overly simplistic, either. Individual pieces might be simple enough, but accentuate them with the right scarf or layer them with a good jacket.

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Fabric is Important, Too

If you want to dress to impress, then you need to think about the quality of the fabric, particularly when it comes to suits and shirts. If it’s too glossy or synthetic feeling, it will both look and feel cheap. When it comes to dates, fabric is even more important. Then it’s about more than how it looks, but the tactile sensation it gives when said date touches you. Denim or a good pair of chinos have a nice feeling to them, for instance, which stimulates an urge to touch a little more often. Instead of following trends on fabrics, just look for quality and how they feel.

Hair can make or Break any Outfit

It’s not a rule that every man should get clean shaven. If you like the rugged look (and plenty of others, men, and women, like it for different reasons too), then rock your beard by all means. Just take care of your facial hair. If your face can’t support more than a few whiskers, then play to the strengths of a smoother face. If you like a beard, then groom it and subtly scent it with oils so it not only smells but feels better, too. A daily grooming ritual is essential in keeping up any look. Lose control of your hair and it won’t matter how on-point the rest of the outfit is.

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You don’t have to abandon your own sense of style as you build your wardrobe. The kind of varieties explored about are to help you actually try out new things and find out that your own style is broader than you think. Don’t be afraid to make some mistakes on the way. It’s all part of finding the clothes that define the image you want.

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