Knowing how to dress at different times in your life can be challenging, but eventually, the time comes when you need to start dressing like a real man. For some of us, this time came at thirteen or fifteen when we were expected to attend formal events with our family, while for others it might not occur until after university.
Regardless of when it happens, it comes to all of us, and it can be incredibly difficult to switch your wardrobe and style completely to dress like a real man. Fortunately, with a few tips, we’ll be able to make it easier for you, so that you can transition as smoothly as possible.
#1 Opting for a More Mature Look
The first step in dressing like a real man is recognizing that you need to adopt a more mature look. Out with the graphic t-shirts and in with the leather shoes. This change doesn’t mean that you can never dress-down, far from it, every stylish man should know when and where to adopt certain attire.
A mature look should involve classic clothes, pieces that will never go in or out of fashion. These have history attached to them and regardless of your age will instantly make you look more masculine and mature. A great example of this is the suit, which has been worn by gentlemen for generations and which has become increasingly associated with maturity and success.
Fear not, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to throw your entire wardrobe out. Instead, you need to swap out the younger and childish pieces that you have for a mature alternative. Graphic t-shirts can become polo shirts, and your light blue jeans might become smart dark denim or a tan chino. The point is to adopt a more mature version of yourself, not to look old!
#2 Prioritize Fit Over Everything
The most important rule in men’s fashion is that fit is more important than anything. Even the cheapest and most dull clothes can look great on a man if they are well-tailored to ensure that they accentuate his natural charm. For most of us, this will mean a relatively slimmer waist, tapered up to broader shoulders and with a snug fit along the arms and legs.
Great fitting clothes don’t just fall out of a tree, or off the rack for that matter. The majority of men who look fantastic day-to-day have made an effort to have their clothes tailored. Don’t worry; tailoring isn’t nearly as expensive you might imagine, and when you want to look like a real man it’s not an option, it’s a necessity.
Find yourself a good tailor, and once your body weight has settled down to a level that you intend to keep, you can tailor all of your favorite clothes. Tailoring is particularly important for your formal wear, but you might also consider fitting the jeans and shirts that you wear most frequently.
#3 Smarten Up Your Wardrobe
As a mature man, you’ll be required to attend more classy and formal events on a more regular basis than you might be accustomed to. Renting a suit or even borrowing a shirt from a friend isn’t going to cut it. You should at least have one of your suits and a few other formal clothes that you can wear to dinner parties or work events.
Rather than having the bulk or your wardrobe consisting of shorts and t-shirts, your day-to-day clothes should be made up of smart pants and shirts. This change doesn’t need to mean that you’re wearing work attire every day, but it might mean that you have to give up a little comfort for the sake of looking professional and suave.
#4 Invest in Quality Clothes
As you are ‘growing-up’ you can afford to invest in clothes that previously would have been out of your budget. The beauty of this is that higher-quality clothes not only look and feel better, they also last for longer and therefore can be cheaper over the long run. Similarly, they are unlikely to go out of style and can add an extra level of style to your outfit.
In particular you should consider investing in items like a suit, dark denim jeans, white and blue shirts, leather shoes and jewelry. These items haven’t changed for decades and are unlikely to be any different thirty years from now, think of the jeans that your father might have owned growing up for example.
Younger men often make the mistake of buying cheap clothes on a regular basis and following trends. It’s hard to blame them, they probably don’t have the money to invest in superior items, but it doesn’t prevent them from looking lackluster. Quality screams style and even a styleless man can tell the difference between a $100 suit and a $3,000 bespoke version.
#5 Upgrade Your Outerwear
Perhaps the area where even stylish men slip up the most is your outerwear. We’ve all seen men who look fantastic and then bundle up in a huge puffer jacket, rather than choosing a stylish overcoat. Outerwear is what separates the professionals from the amateurs and what makes it even worse is that it doesn’t need to be complicated nor expensive.
The coat or jacket that you buy today could easily last you for a decade or longer, especially if you take the advice from above and invest in quality clothes. The three jackets that stylish men should consider for timeless outwear are the peacoat, overcoat and the leather jacket. While they differ in formality and function greatly, these three pieces will cover 99% of all outfits that you might ever want to wear.
#6 Don’t Fall at the Shoe Hurdle
Similarly, with all the time that you’re putting into looking stylish, you can’t let yourself trip at the final hurdle. Shoes can make or break an outfit, and women know this, which is why they always say that you can judge a man by the shoes that he wears.
There’s nothing worse than seeing a man who is wearing a tailored suit or even jeans and a leather jacket, but then you look down and catch that he’s paired them with running shoes. What went through his mind? Is he practicing for a marathon? It doesn’t make any sense, and it completely ruins the effort that you’ve put into your outfit.
Shoes aren’t complicated, especially when you consider that we don’t have a huge variety to choose from as men. The three basics are the leather Oxford shoe, the white sneaker and a pair of stylish boots. While you might consider adding more, these three should give you enough versatility to always look stylish.
When it comes to Oxford’s, black leather should be at the top of your mind. It’s the most versatile and can be dressed up with a suit or down with denim jeans very easily. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the white sneaker, which is ideal for any casual outfit and can also be worn with a short European style suit as well.
Finally, a favorite of stylish men across the globe, a pair of boots. Perhaps most popular right now, Chelsea boots can come in either leather or suede and fit perfectly in between sneakers and Oxford shoes, giving you an extra option for those smart-casual events.
Dress Like a Real Man
It’s time to start dressing like a real man, and it shouldn’t be difficult. A lot of men are scared of leaping into this style of dress because they worry that it will be complicated, uncomfortable and expensive. None of these statements are true. The reality is that you’ll look suave, be taken more seriously and feel better about yourself than ever before.