Women’s magazines and lifestyle websites frequently recycle one topic with every issue that never goes out of style…how to get your man to dress better. And, while the idea that the men in their lives look nice is admirable, most of them cite some paid fashion expert who offers their wisdom on tweaking this year’s look to clean up the dudes to make the women around them happy.
Types of clothing styles for guys
Does anyone ever wonder what men look for in clothing?
While styles and tastes will always vary from man to man, men stick to a couple of core concepts when outfitting their wardrobes and making purchasing decisions.
Men don’t buy on impulse and in excess like women. They traditionally don’t have packed closets like women. Women buy to look great and find a bargain. Men shop because of need, and they wear what they buy. Once the item makes it into the closet, they choose their outfits based on whether or not it looks good and if it is comfortable.
Some call this concept of replacement dressing ‘The Blue Blazer Rule.’ If a man has a blue blazer and it is no longer wearable, he wants to either replace it immediately or find something similar that works. But, of course, he can always wear the blue blazer with many different looks, from a crisp dress shirt to a dark t-shirt to a sporty polo. It takes any look up to the next level, and it is the wingman of their wardrobe.
Outfits for Men
Men have their drawers full of items that are not necessarily as fashionable as they are memorable. These include a t-shirt from the lost weekend road trip, the first tie they wore to the big interview, the lucky socks from a big date, and maybe a pair of cuff links even though they don’t own a French cuff shirt. So you want to hear a man’s history, get him to organize his dressers, and he will share the stories of a lifetime. Understand that a man builds his fashion confidence on his past success. Having these as a part of his wardrobe allows him to bring these forward into his current circumstances.
Several years ago, using the term metrosexual was used as an insult. Now it is not. Men have now want several new suits and fashionable jeans in their closets. The ability to look good is essential to them. Most men especially like to have one perfect, first solid impression suit. There is a notion that this is the powerful weapon in their arsenal. It can be rooted in the look of an iconic male they knew in real life or whom they saw in the movies. And this fashion statement forever made an imprint upon them from the resulting look. They rarely stray from the primary ensemble of this suit, tie, dress shirt, and socks, for this is the antidote to any kryptonite that the world can throw at them.
Once upon a time, a specific garment was the pride and joy of their entire collection. Maybe it is a concert t-shirt from their favorite band, a jersey from the most beloved team, a pair of jeans with about as many miles on them as the SUV in the driveway, or the favorite pair of kicking around shoes. Others might see where the thread has come unraveled from the collar, the logo has faded, and that the shirt has become such a religious experience that it is genuinely holy, holey, holy. In many men’s eyes, this means it’s broken in. The truth is that the hole in the underarm, faint stain of barbeque sauce, and torn belt loop may be badges of honor to him. These are best retired and then replaced by new friends to serve the next few laps around the sun. Also, if you’ve got ugly feet, leave the flip-flops at home and invest in a good pair of shoes.
In his song Sunday Morning Coming Down, songwriter Kris Kristofferson penned the lyric, “I fumbled in my closet through my clothes and found my cleanest dirty shirt …” This is a real circumstance. They care about how they look, how others perceive them and keeping up with trends. But like many other tasks, they meant to get it washed. In their mind, now would be the perfect time to wear it if it was clean … well, it’s clean enough to consider—degrees of cleanliness matter to guys in making these decisions.
While men are generally looser with fashion rules, one area in fashion that men are highly conscious about is ‘death by fashion embarrassment’ No male ego wants to look so bad that they are seen as sloppy, awkward, or totally out of control. Yeah, belts should match your shoes and try to match your colors. Try to pick the undershirt that goes with the shirt over the top. Major fashion mistakes guys are conscious of include not wearing the right pair of socks, mixing and matching patterns like plaids and stripes. When they wear the wrong socks, it says they don’t care. When they wear crazy patterns, they don’t know how to coordinate clothes.
Men don’t have to be a slave to fashion to look good, but they should be conscious of what’s going on. Be willing to input new items every season to keep a contemporary flavor to the looks you’re wearing. On the other hand, don’t just follow the current look or trends because they don’t look good on everyone. Designers made these clothes to look good on a six-foot skinny mannequin. When buying, know your current size and not what you’ve always been. Know what looks good on you. If people have complimented you in the past on look or style, pay attention. Wear what makes you feel confident. You have to be your trendsetter within reason.
Men have a lot of options; let them know their spectrum and what works for them.