GUEST: 6 Simple Style Upgrades

As a man myself I will readily admit that we are a bit of a conundrum. Our resistance to change is comical at best and downright frustrating at worst, and suggestions or advice relating to our taste in clothing is more often than not taken as a direct insult to our manhood. But there are times when change is for the best, and those old high school hoodies and band merch shirts must find another home.

So, if you know a man that is in dire need of a style upgrade, drop a link to these tips in your next email, or better still leave your laptop open on this page and put it next to the fridge.

1. There are seven colors in a rainbow
Contrary to popular belief (amongst us males anyway) there are in fact more colors than the three or four staples we base all our clothing purchases on. Open a guy’s wardrobe and a sea of neutral colors will underwhelm your senses. Navy, gray, black, and brown (for special occasions) are what we do best, but it’s all very boring.
Instead of dressing like you want to blend in, guys should opt for at least one bright and vibrant color in their ensemble. A simple red shirt or even an orange sweater complements those charcoal jeans perfectly.

2. Stop shopping at chain stores
Okay, perhaps there’s no need to stop completely, but the signature pieces of an outfit should not come from a rack of fifty identical items. There’s nothing worse than walking into an elevator, or worse, up to the bar only to find yourself staring at a guy with the exact same checked shirt.
Try vintage stores or specialty shops for items such as sweaters and jackets that help create a decidedly individual style. Dress and casual shirts, on the other hand, should be the domain of your friendly neighborhood tailor. Speaking of which…

3. Invest in a custom-made suit
Yes, there are many excellent off the rack suits on the market but finding one that fits you perfectly is a tough task for even the most average-sized of average men, and besides, custom-made threads are the pinnacle of style and none more so than the tailored suit.
A tailor worth their salt will assist in choosing the right style, fit, and fabric to complement any body shape, it’s an investment in style that is virtually guaranteed to last a lifetime.

4. Dress down that suit
It’s easy to understand why the majority of men try their best to avoid wearing suits outside the office. It’s a link to those long working hours spent tied to a desk and not wearing one at the weekend can feel quite liberating. But think about dressing down that suit with a sweater and a pair of sneakers or loafers. If that’s a bit too fashion-forward then simply use the jacket to level up any smart casual outfit. Just remember though that no matter how much you wear the jacket on its own, suit pants and jacket should always go to the dry cleaners together so as to remain uniform in color.  

5. Ditch the running shoes
Use active wear of any kind for its intended purpose, so no matter how comfy those running shoes are, keep them for the track only. Leather sneakers in a block color are the ideal finishing touch to an outfit. Their lack of branding, dayglow stripes, and reflective patches is a nice change and makes them and easy addition to any look.

6. Replace hoodies with sweaters
We all know that his favorite hoodies will never truly leave a man’s life, but there’s nothing wrong with them spending a little more time in the closet. As a replacement choose a close-fitting sweater, preferably in one of those vibrant colors mentioned earlier.

While these six simple tips focus on upgrading a man’s clothing, there are actually more benefits than just looking better. In reinventing his style, a man can learn to take more pride in his appearance and enjoy a significant boost in confidence. And after receiving the terrible news that his current taste in clothes beggars belief, we all know he could probably do with that boost.

About The Author

Jatin Vengurlekar | Sam Squire UK male fashion & lifestyle blogger

Jatin Vengurlekar is the CEO of Montagio Mens Suits Sydney and a leading men’s fashion consultant in Sydney, Australia. He has been featured in publications such as HuffingtonPost, GQ, Men’s Fitness and many other leading publications. In his spare time, he likes to write men’s fashion advice on his men’s style blog and take his dog for walks on the beach.

Guest: Styling Tips For Men

Have you noticed that whenever you look in the mirror you always fixate on the bits you don’t like?

That’s only natural, but when it comes to deciding what clothes to wear you gotta get out of that habit and take a different approach to how you see your body. Use your wardrobe to flaunt what you’ve got, rather than hiding what you don’t. You’ll look and feel your best when you wear stylish clothes that are comfortable and flattering, and we’re gonna tell you how.

Lowes menswear | Sam Squire | UK Australia male fashion & lifestyle blogger

Get the perfect fit
Wearing clothes that fit perfectly is the easiest way to improve your look and help you feel confident in your body. However, let’s face it, most of our bodies are different and not many people can afford to have custom-made shirts and suits. Our best tip for getting the tailored look without the hefty price tag is to buy items that fit the largest part of your body and then get your local alterations specialist to make some simple and cheap adjustments. For as little as £20 you can make a £30 shirt look like a £200 shirt.

Try stylish shorts
Dress for warmer days with a pair of shorts in a flattering classic cut. If you’ve hit the shops lately, you’ll know that men’s shorts come in all sorts of colours, patterns and fabrics now, so you’re bound to find something that you like. The best shorts for guys are ones that rest just above the knee, cos they’re freeing enough to let you move around, but aren’t so short that they’ll cause a scandal. P.S. I know baggy running shorts are super comfy, but do yourself a favour and leave them at the gym, they look sloppy anywhere else.

Proportion with pants
If you’ve seen those guys walking around with their pants practically down around their ankles, you’ll know that the rise of your pants is important. By defining your waistline, the rise of your pants proportions the two halves of your body. While low-rise pants can be pulled off if you’re wearing casual jeans, don’t confuse these with short-rise pants which are great for shorter guys as they fall at the natural waist and flatter shorter legs. On the other hand, mid- and high-rise pants are perfect for all the tall guys out there cos they create the best proportions between your legs and torso. For a more detailed guide on how certain styles of pants should fit, check this out.

Frame your body
If there’s only one thing you’re gonna take away from these tips, let it be this – get a structured jacket. A blazer, suit or sports jacket is a wardrobe staple. These trusty jackets can easily take you from a day out with friends to a dinner party at night. When picking the right jacket for you, keep in mind that single-breasted ones are slimming, while double-breasted jackets give your torso more bulk. Taller guys should opt for three-button suits while smaller men look great in a classic two-button. Finally, customise your jacket with some badass shoulder pads to give your body more definition, and to class it up for formal situations.

Wear suitable fabrics
You know how your mum’s always nagging you to bring a jacket so you don’t catch a cold? She’s right, mate. Dressing for the weather is always a smart move, and it’s best to do this with seasonal fabrics. Lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen are great for keeping you cool on warmer days. As natural fibres, clothes made from these materials let your skin breathe and give you a classic look. During winter, stand out from the crowd by experimenting with different heavy fabrics for example with a leather, corduroy or even velvet jacket. Chuck these over a wool sweater for a stylish outfit that’s also practical enough to make your mum proud.

Utilising patterns
Want a quick and easy way to add some excitement to your outfit? Pick clothes with interesting patterns! Patterns have different associations which you can use to your advantage (or peril). If you’re lucky enough to be on a tropical holiday you might just be able to pull off a loud Hawaiian shirt, but for an everyday outfit, you’re much better off going with casual plaid or whimsical polka dot elements. You can also use patterns to bring out the best in your body type. Big and tall guys look great in smaller, understated patterns like paisley and light checks, while men on the smaller side should definitely try out vertical pinstripes or patterns with larger elements for a bolder look.

Combine colours
Like patterns, colours have varying meanings so mixing and matching the right items in your wardrobe can drastically improve your look. Remember that the more colourful and bright your outfit, the more casual it’ll seem. So if you’ve been dying to make a fashion statement at work but you’ve got to stick to the dress code, try subtle pops of colour. Create an eye-catching outfit by sprucing up one of your plain suits with accessories in different shades of the same bright colour – for example, a grey suit with a coral shirt and orange tie.

Go dressier
When in doubt, always choose something dressier over a more casual get-up. For minimal effort but maximum results, fill your wardrobe with clothes that have interesting cuts over more plain items – for example, skip a common t-shirt and go for a polo shirt. Also, layers always make it look like you’ve put some effort into your outfit and the easiest thing to layer with is a black v-neck because black goes with pretty much everything (nice!). Finally, for the icing on the top, throw on some accessories. As a reward for sticking it out to the end, here’s my number one tip: a good hat will elevate nearly anything you wear from an outfit to a ‘look’.