You’ve just seen Ryan Gosling wearing exactly the same shirt as you. But why does it look amazing on him and like a sack of potatoes on you? Admittedly, he did win the genetic lottery in life (and probably has an amazing stylist), but you can guarantee he ticks the boxes on the following points.
Fit is king. If you learn one thing about clothes, this is it. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing the finest Armani suit – if it doesn’t fit your body well, it’s going to look cheap. Your trousers should be slim fit where possible with a tapered leg (definitely no boot cut jeans), your suit tailored, and your formal shirts close to the body. The aim is to create a svelte silhouette.
Manage your weight. Big guys and skinny guys can look great in all manner of clothes. It’s not for me to tell you to lose or gain weight. It’s all about the confidence you have whilst wearing them. If you feel self-conscious in clothes, do what you can until you’re in a position where you like what you see in the mirror. All I would say is that the fashion industry caters a lot more for the smaller man than the larger man, so bear that in mind.
Sort out your posture. Again, this ties into the confidence issue. If you’re hunched over, or looking down at the pavement all the time whilst walking, that suit jacket is not going to hang well on your frame. You own those clothes, so own those clothes! (Yes, I went there.) How you carry yourself affects how your clothes are displayed. Get a body language book and be amazed at the difference it makes.
Get collar stays for your formal shirts. There’s nothing worse (hyperbole overload) than seeing a nice crisp shirt with a frayed collar, like you’re some extra from Saturday Night Fever. Insert some collar stays to maintain the integrity and shape.
Stay well-groomed. I’m guilty of this myself. You might have a great outfit on, but if your hair or beard is unkempt it’ll ruin the whole look. Get to the barbers at least once a month and maintain your beard to stay looking sharp.
Dress your age. When you enter your 30s it just doesn’t look right wearing a baggy t-shirt and Vans. Your style should mature as you do. As you progress through your career you should be having more disposable income (well…), which can be spent on nicer things.
Be the snake that sheds his old skin every few years.
Get a tan. To be fair, I’m part of the ‘pale and proud’ brigade myself. That being said, I do understand that it looks a bit naff if you go sockless in summer and have tan lines around your ankles. Fake tan is still a moot point for me.
Pay attention to the details. I’ve done a whole guide about this. The devil is in the details, and these are what separate a well-dressed man from a stylish man.
Look after your clothes. Yes, that jumper was £60… but with a hole in it might as well be worth a fiver. Polish your shoes, wash your clothes at a low temperature and try not to commute to work on your bike wearing trousers (guilty). Your clothes will look new for longer if you look after them.
People who smell good look good. This may sound confusing – but what I mean is that a person who dresses well and smells like B.O will always give off a bad first impression. I’ll be doing a guide on fragrances, but for the time being you can’t go wrong with anything from Creed or Tom Ford at the higher end, and Issey Miyake at entry level.
So, yeah – you’re not going to look like Ryan Gosling. Get over it. But you’ll look a whole lot better than you currently do, you disgusting slob! Ha.