Ever flicked through a magazine and something trending has made you think oh no, what are they thinking?
The most recent one (and the reason I thought of this post) is the emergence of men’s tote bags. A whole article here dedicated to something that looks like the bag your mum takes to the launderette with the washing in. Am I alone here or does this look completely disproportionate?
In my profession proportion is key. A jacket too long can make someone look clownlike and similarly too short looks like you picked up your little brothers jacket by mistake. We are more mindful of this with our clothing choices, so we should do the same when we accessorise.
I have had 40 years to realise what suits me and what doesn’t. Although body shapes can change over time, your height, character and personality generally remain the same. Don’t wear something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Stay true to what feels right. I’m all for experimenting, but make sure the outcome portrays the image you want to reflect. Be aware that as much as you may like something, if it looks and feels ridiculous on you, how is anyone meant to take you seriously? (Others may argue not to be too serious and that’s fine – everyone has a choice. In the business world there’s a reason why we wear suits and the message that exudes).
My advice on how to work out what suits you:
- Take a picture when you try something on. I always photograph clients so that I can see what their silhouette looks like and where I need to make alterations to a suit. It’s handy for me to have a record too and something I can refer to later, helps if your undecided on something too. Like it or not you can’t hide in a picture, it doesn’t lie and shows up all flaws to give you a true overall perception.
- How do you feel in it? If I’m unsure and keep taking something off and back on again the chances are that it doesn’t look right. You should wear something and think ‘that’s the one’. Your own indecision is instinctive. If in doubt, leave it out!
- Understand your colour palette. There are ‘specialists’ you can hire to discuss this with, but my advice is do it yourself by using a material or colour sample chart. Hold them up against you to work out what your selection should be. You will know what you definitely don’t like and be able to eliminate these from future wardrobe choices.
- Fit is very important. If you find something that complements your physique then buy it in every colour. Buy two of each if you have to. As guys we are quite limited to what we can wear daily, focus on structure over fashion.
- Advice – take note of compliments. If someone genuinely takes the time to tell you that you look good in something, believe them and then try to build your future wardrobe choices based upon that look.
- Don’t buy only for the label – just because it’s Gucci and you spent a lot on it doesn’t mean it will suit you. Think about how it works for your overall body shape and not just because of the name.
- Look around – If you can’t work out what you actually like or what your style should be, flick through magazines or observe people on the street to find inspiration. If the person is similar to you in terms of colouring etc, the chances are if it suits them it will also suit you too. Ask them where they bought the item. Don’t copy their style per say but work out what you like about it, then modify to your own taste.
- Work out what your bodyshape is and then google it. There’s lot of great advice online on what you should or shouldn’t wear. E.g short legs – don’t turn your hem up too much it will only make you look shorter. Let the trousers hang slightly longer to the heel of your shoes. It’s all about illusion and balance. This article should help you work it out: https://www.thesphinx.co.uk/2012/02/men-dress-your-body-shape/