Yves gladly shares favorite tips on how to make smart and charming wardrobe choices that suit your individual personality.
Many of us spend a decent amount of time trying to improve our inner selves, and it is only fair and good that we match the outer with the inner. Here is another perspective… suppose you continue to feel a bit glum and listless even though you have really tried to make positive changes on the inside. Did you know that dressing better and with more flair can make you feel happier, more attractive and much more confident?
Looking good on the outside can change your feelings from blah to beautiful. This tidbit of knowledge (which extensive research has determined to be true) is certainly worth taking to heart.
Studies have shown that three out of four men feel underdressed most of the time. Furthermore, research shows that people have a more favorable opinion of those who dress well.
Most importantly, we want to dress well for ourselves. Wearing wonderful clothing and accessories is a way to show off our personalities and allow others to get a glimpse of who we are before we utter a word. When all is said and done, finding our unique style makes us feel more charming and self-assured. And that is the goal we are aiming for, after all.
Some men prefer to have a wardrobe that is understated, and that is all well and good. The goal, in any case, is to look put together and to feel good about yourself each day when you go out to meet the world. Unless your profession demands that you remain "incognito" you would be well served to show more of your personality by adding color and accessories to your wardrobe.
The following are great tips to do exactly that.
Tips for Men
- Own at least one dark suit.
- It is best to own four suits and one sports jacket. Two dark, two light and one plaid sportscoat will do nicely. However, if you are out of the workplace or have not landed your first real job yet, then one dark suit is perfectly fine. Charcoal gray is your best bet because you can wear it for interviews or any other special event. Furthermore, the suit must fit well and be suited to your frame. Any reputable clothing store will alter the suit to your exact measurements. On occasion, you might find a suit that fits perfectly without alterations, though this is generally not the case. The suit pictured above is a Slim fit, 42 L. As you can see, it fits like a glove without being tight in any way.
- Buy at least three crisp white shirts minimum. White shirts must be washed or dry cleaned frequently. You do not want to spend all your time washing, ironing, or running to the cleaners. Having plenty of white shirts will solve that dilemma. And naturally, you will want to measure your neck and arms before you buy a good shirt. The salesman can help you with all of that.
- The best way to get a compliment from a woman is to wear a beautiful tie. You might even try wearing a striped shirt with a paisley print for added fun.
- On casual days and dates, wear a fun shirt with guitars, animal designs, airplanes, or bicycles with small prints. They reveal your fun side as well as your individuality. Leave your Hawaiian shirt with the big palm leaves for your trip to Hawaii..
- Wear bracelets most of the time. My personal favorite are silver bracelets with unique designs, coupled with leather bracelets and perhaps even one bead bracelet just for the heck of it. However, try not to overdo the bead bracelet thing, only because they have become all too common. One thing you never want to be is “common.”
- If you’re feeling it, wear a hat. Hats are awesome. Nothing says confidence like a man who can pull off a fedora, a newsboy or even a fishermen's hat.
- Definitely wear colorful socks.
- Own dress shoes that are sleek and slender. Always buy quality shoes.
- Have good hair. Gorgeous hair, whether on your head or on your face, is a fashion statement in and of itself.
“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
— Mark Twain
“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”
— Rachel Zoe
Basic Mix and Match Color Guide for Men
Dark outfit and coat, hat and gloves light
Everything dark except the hat
If you' prefer not to be the center of attention, stick with neutrals like white & black
Dark outfit, light coat and hat. Dark gloves, bags, shoes
Everything light except a dark hat
If you like center stage, all colors are on the table as long as they match
Everything dark except gloves
Shoes and gloves the same color
Safe colors are white, black and light blue, generally speaking
People will stare. Make it worth their while.
— Harry Winston
Keep an Open Mind
Ladies, how often have you said to yourself, “Oh, I could never wear something like that!” Well, you might be surprised. When you shop, take someone along with you who is fun, open-minded, and truthful. Just remember the most important rule of fashion: Wear your clothes. Never let your clothes wear you!
Tips for Women
- Play with colors, textures, and patterns. Never be afraid to mix and match. There are so many aspects to you as an individual and you want your personal style to reflect that.
- Pretty accessories make excellent fashion statements. Some designers think of them as "an exclamation point."
- There is style in lipstick, so buy plenty in a variety of shades and never be afraid to buy expensive lipstick. Men, in my experience, especially like beautiful pink tones on women.
- Pair red, orange, or yellow shoes with a simple, black or charcoal frock and tie it all together with a bright necklace and handbag to match your shoes.
- Your handbag need not match your shoes if you already have a lot of color going on everywhere else. There is such a thing as over-kill.
- Wear black tights under a short or knee length skirt during fall and winter. Burgundy tights or tights with patterns are also a great way to show off your personality.
- When in doubt, wear nude pumps that match your skin tone. An added benefit to nude pumps is that they make your legs look longer.
- Buy a winter coat in lavender, pink, or red. You'll get loads of compliments. Coats should be fabulous and do not always have to be grey or black.
- Buy fun, shiny rainboots instead of boring old galoshes. They lift your spirits on a rainy day.
Own a color wheel. The colors opposite each other are complementary colors and the three hues that are similar, such as red, orange and yellow are referred to as analogous colors. If you're not sure which direction to go, when mixing and matching, select either complimentary or analogous colors to be on the safe side.
If you feel daring, choose the two analogous colors right next to each other on the color wheel to add a “pop” to your outfit. For example, the two shades of green look fantastic together... or how about a yellow top and an orange skirt? Sounds crazy, but it works. On a side note, please avoid a black pant or skirt with a dark blue top or any dark hue, like deep red or emerald green, as that combination will certainly make you look dated.
Frame Your Face With Color
Speaking of color, the next time you make a hair appointment, why not ask your colorist to frame your face with a touch of rose gold? Honestly, you can choose any hair color that speaks to you and which looks pretty. I am a natural brunette but for summer, I like to lighten things up with blond highlights that allow me to wash in some rose gold. Once fall rolls around, I return to dark but often maintain a pretty color to frame my face---just for the fun of it. You'd be amazed at what is out there in the way of temporary color. My favorite product is Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask.
A word of warning. For anyone over 40, bright colored hair never looks quite right. Best to leave hot pink locks for the very young.
If you are not into coloring your hair, a colorful, bejeweled headband will do nicely.
Do's & Don'ts for Women
Do snap your clip on earrings unto your flat shoes
Do not wear a short pleated skirt if you are 40ish or older
Do check yourself out from behind before you leave the house
Do use your long necklace or chains as a bracelet
Do not buy something only because it's a bargain.
Do wear your Spanx in with you to the dressing room
Do wear a jean jacket with a silk shirt
Do not skimp on a good bra, especially if you have a voluptuous figure
Do make sure your hems gently touch the top of your shoes
Dressing well is a form of good manners.
— Tom Ford
I believe Tom Ford got it right. It is good manners to dress well. It is a way of showing respect for others as well as ourselves. Dressing well does not mean we are always "dressed up," but it does mean that we are tidy and put together even when we are in casual mode. We can look good in a pair of jeans or a simple red dress. How we wear our clothes and how well they fit our bodies is what matters most. Develop your personal style rather than becoming a slave to fashion. Fashions come and go. Great style is forever.
© 2021 Yves
Yves (author) on July 17, 2021:
The important thing is that you can be perfectly comfortable wearing something sparkly when you have a mind to do so. But, whether you wear something with sparkles or not, you will always shine, AB.
Thanks so much for the "forte" compliment. I loved it!
A B Williams from Central Florida on July 17, 2021:
This is your forte' Yves, you were born to do this type of article.
I want to put on something sparkly, go out and shine, but alas, home alone tonight.... ;)