WELCOME TO MAN MONDAY.
In getting feedback from my readers, there has been a strong reoccuring theme -
Where’s the MEN’S fashion? Men want to know how to dress well too!
Amidst the uproar for men’s fashion, I recieved an email that helps to narrow it down for me a bit to feel like I can jump into the whole men’s fashion thing with a little clarity. Here’s the email:
“Ok miss fashion advice. I’ve been having a style dilema for a little while now and I hate to ask for help but since you’re the self proclaimed fashionista I will differ to you. I like a traditional look and I dress professionally for work (suit and tie every day). I pretty much only shop at Brooks Brothers so to say that I like the classic styling is an understatement. Problem is outside of work I have zero clue what the hell to wear. I like my vintage western shirts and levis but that’s not exactly club wear. Finding the right pair of jeans has been quite the challenge but I think I’ll head out to the bay area this weekend to find some.
( <— ) I hate Affliction and Ed Hardy, and I despise the Euro sneaker.
So..my question is: what kind of classic style gear can i wear out without looking over or under dressed while at the same time not following some lame trend?
Thanks a bunch for any help you can offer! — Justin “
First off Justin, let me say, bravo for asking for help! I meet so many guys who should be getting some advice & amping up their look. Here’s a few things to get you going…
– It’s great that you already know your style preferences, and knowing styles & trends you don’t like is just as important as figuring out what you do prefer. In looking through your FB pics, you look very dapper in your work stuff, but you’re right, your non-work look is a little all over the place.
– Classic styling, as with any style, is about the lines. It makes sense that you don’t like Ed Hardy & Affliction, as they clash with classic lines. You like clean, streamlined structure & feeling pulled together & sharp. There are ways to do that in a more casual way.
– I think it’s great to have style icons. Not sure who mine would be, but for you Justin, I think James Franco exudes the classic men’s style, whether he’s dressed for the red carpet or hanging out around town. A lot can be said for a great fitted jacket or blazer. Honestly, if you do a google image search for James Franco, he does classic casual SO well. It kind of helps that he’s hot & could wear anything too. haha. V-necked t-shirts with a blazer/leather jacket & a rich colored men’s scarf – so great!
– Stick with the clean, pulled together lines, but just loosen it up a bit for your casual looks. Lose the office tie, go a bit more unbuttoned, sleeves rolled up. Invest in a great fitting, classic yet not-too-heavy, leather jacket like this one. Linen shirts can have a lot more casual feel than the stuffy pressed work attire, but still have the collar and feel of someone who is pulled together.
– It’s great to incorperate pieces of your more business attire into your casual look. Wear your dark wash jeans (when you get some) with a laid back collared shirt (sleeves rolled up), a less fancy belt, casual boots and a vest that you might wear to work. Or mix it up & wear a skinny, loosened tie instead of the vest.
– The sweater in the picture is a great structure for guys who like a more classic look. Dark, saturated colors, with the collar & big buttons is great. These sweaters are relatively easy to find at a second hand store, as are great collared shirts.
– Great fitting jeans ARE hard to find, not just for guys. I feel ya. Good luck in the bay with finding a great pair you like. I feel like a lot of the things you need for your classic look are things you should get new & high quality. Part of the reason is, it’s hard to find great stuff for guys at thrift stores in the first place, ( I feel like I’d need to come with you to be able to find the staples), but guys in general wear things till they disinegrate off their bodies. Right? You know you do. So you need really high quality from the start. It technically IS possible to get that at a thrift store, but hard for me to send you out in the pursuit only to come up frustratingly empty handed.
– In that, get your essentials, then supplement with interesting personality pieces from vintage or thrift stores… men’s scarves, great vests, pocket watches, cuff links, belts etc.
– Having a great fitting pair of dark wash jeans (not the oh-so-popular skinny jeans) is a must. I’ll soon be doing features on wardrobe staples for guys & we’ll get into all of that.
I know you’ve said you like the classic look, but must say, looking at your extra curricular activites, you’re a very creative, outgoing person. Don’t neglect that aspect of your personality when choosing your wardrobe. Make a point to add in a little creativity or a punch of color, letting people see you have a fun, outgoing creative side too.
Hope this helps a little with your fashion identity crisis. Let me know how it goes, and feel free to email me with more questions.
To all the guys out there — are you reading this? Does it make sense? What are your fashion questions, or things YOU think guys should know about how they dress?
Looking forward to hearing from you! — Kari