There are many myths related to men’s wardrobe style, with the leading one being that men’s fashion doesn’t really exist. Many people purport this without evidence – or because they’re basing their whole opinion off of the one time they went to a sports bar.
But these people are downright wrong. Men’s fashion is alive and well. Most of all, it doesn’t just include GQ-inspired spreads of $1,000 shirts and high-end, tailored suits.
If you’ve been in the market to upgrade your wardrobe, you don’t have to break the bank to do so. A reliable pair of brown Chelsea boots, green khakis, a navy crew neck and the right men’s accessories can make a sharp-looking man.
Looking to upgrade your wardrobe? Here’s the simplest, surefire way to do so.
- Know your style ahead of time.
Before you can upgrade your wardrobe, you need to rethink your wardrobe. Ask yourself: Who am I and how do I want to present myself?
What are the activities you do on a daily basis? What do you most enjoy doing in your free time? What do you do for work? What hobbies do you have?
You could be:
- The metalhead with a 9-to-5 office job
- The business casual guy who likes to hit the bar after work
- The construction worker who loves to golf on the weekends
- The grungy, hipster barista
- The professor who likes to hike in his free time
Your personality, job, hobbies and interests will influence what your new wardrobe will look like. You need something that is functional and feels comfortable – something that, when you put it on, you think, “This is me.”
So, before you go and start buying, ask yourself what you want your wardrobe to become.
- Donate and start over.
If you’re thinking of committing a complete overhaul, now is the time to truly commit. Donate your clothes and start over.
It’s a good idea to keep some clothes, such as underwear or old shirts that can be used for yard work or hiking, but you need to think of form and functionality. Your lucky pair of underwear that barely fits because it’s so worn out? Toss it. That shirt you never wear anymore? Donate it. Those mustache socks your mom bought you for Christmas in 2012 that you’ve never worn? Donate them!
This will provide you with a clean slate – something you can truly work with.
- Stick to the essentials.
When you first start upgrading your wardrobe, it’s a good idea to stick to the bare essentials. Why the essentials? You’re dipping your toe in when buying a new wardrobe. Rather than buying everything you need, you should start with just what you need. It will give you an idea of what you like, what works, what clothes aren’t comfortable and what items aren’t suitable for your daily life.
Some core items you should buy include:
- Comfortable underwear
- Moisture-wicking socks
- Khakis, chinos or dress pants
- White crew neck
- Black crew neck
- Long-sleeve henley
- Black pullover hoodie
- Fleece pullover or zip-up
- Rain jacket
- Heavy jacket (especially if you live in a colder climate)
- Baseball cap
- Gloves (for colder climate)
- Shoes for work
- Shoes for athletics and exploration
- Shoes for dates, hangouts and parties
It’s a good idea to buy interchangeable colors of some of these, simply so you can change up your daily wear from day to day.
- Shop in person before you buy online.
The best thing you can do, prior to upgrading your whole wardrobe, is to try on clothes in person. You should do this so you understand how clothes look on your body prior to purchasing them and being set with them. This is an especially smart thing to do when shopping online, as you want to ensure that you understand what you’re going to receive in the mail.
Try on various sizes of jackets, pants and shirts (both short sleeve and long sleeve) until you find the sizes that perfectly fit you. Once you do, make note of them and save them for when you complete your online shopping later.
- Understand your fit.
You’ll also want to get an idea of what your fit is. Your fit depends on your body shape. The male body shape is broken into five categories:
- Inverted triangle
You’ll want to figure out your body type prior to redoing your wardrobe, as it will help you determine what colors and fits work best on your body. For instance, tight clothing is preferable on men who are overweight with oval bodies, but it can be a good look on men with trapezoid and inverted triangle body types.
Similarly, men with inverted triangle body types look good in v-neck t-shirts, while the shirt will look strange on a man with a triangle body – it appears as if the v-neck is pointing toward their wide waist and thin hips.
- Make your style unique.
Even if you’re trying to fit in with a fashionable subgroup, whether it is “Guy you’d see in the Business District” or “Dude you’d high five at a death metal concert,” you want to remember to remain unique. Doing so requires breaking the mold some. Sometimes it’s incorporating clothing that may seem as if it’s clashing; other times, it involves wearing accessories, from watches to earrings to necklaces.
Whatever you do, you want to make it something you’re comfortable with. If it happens to look like other people, don’t sweat it. What matters most is that you feel like yourself while wearing it.
- Take your time.
Last, remember that updating your wardrobe isn’t a race. You can and should take your time. Rather than spending a few hundred dollars in one go, you can spread out your purchases across a few months. Not only is this easier on your budget, but it gives you time to learn what works and what doesn’t. For instance, you may find after a month that you don’t like that one pair of socks you bought – that you also have three other pairs of.
Instead, make purchases here and there. Take your time and get to know your wardrobe. After a few months, you’ll have a better idea of what you like and what you want your wardrobe to completely look like.