How do we define a well-dressed man? Although there’s no definition on how to dress well men should bear in mind some key points.
A man’s style (or lack thereof) can typically fall into one of three categories:
All of which are likely to have opportunity for improvement. Take it from me, a woman who dresses her man like a Ken doll. Just to clarify, by this I mean I’m constantly trying new things with him, not that I dress him in bright pink polo’s and plaid golf pants. Without a friendly shove in the right direction, he’d be in torn washed out jeans and a graphic tee. He cringes at anything other than “comfy clothes” or gym-worthy wear, but I’ve helped him transform his everyday look with some really simple changes. And he looks pretty damn good, if you ask me.
As you may have gathered, this is where my man lies. His entire closet is clothes you’d wear to the gym or around the house. From his worn out hoodies to his shoe selection (or should I say sneaker selection,) he really needed help on how to dress for dinner out.
- First step: Get a jacket. A real one. Not a hoodie. I don’t care what you have on underneath, if you have a decent looking jacket, you’re halfway there. A plain black zip up (a hood is ok, don’t worry) is the first step to looking like you have some idea of how to dress like an adult.
- Step two: buy ONE pair of dark, well-fitting jeans. Washed out jeans have been out since the 90’s, so get a decent looking dark pair. Ask any woman at Macy’s if you haven’t the slightest idea on what I mean by well fitted.
- Step three: buy some plain tee-shirts of decent quality. I don’t mean fruit of the loom multi-color packages. A suggestion would be solid color Calvin Klein tees. They’re comfy, soft, and better than your 6 year old Budweiser shirt. If you want to get crazy, buy something with buttons or a pocket.
- Step 4: Buy some new shoes that you can’t work out in. If you already own a pair that your mom bought 7 years ago for your uncle’s funeral, that doesn’t count. Take a walk around the city and look at what other guys are wearing for some ideas on different styles. This matters a LOT.
As a former twenty something single gal, I would say 70% of young dudes fit in this category. So you go to the gym and you want everyone to know you have biceps, we get it. What we don’t get is why you think it’s acceptable to wear a skin tight T-shirt. Let’s class it up a little, ok?
- Go to Banana Republic. Buy a black V-neck that doesn’t cling to you. Why is this my first suggestion? A V-neck is going to allow your proud pecks to be some-what on display (we’re not talking a deep V here, guys) and the Banana Republic suggestion is not so you can overpay for a t-shirt, but so you can buy one that looks of decent quality and won’t wear too quickly. The black? Make this your default color. It is always appropriate and can make even a plain t-shirt look good.
- Ok, bro, so you can’t let go of your oversized aviators and backwards hat. If you must, please follow these rules: If you’re inside, take off the damn shades, you look like a moron. The backwards hat should have been ousted with your high school graduation cap, but if this is a must, just don’t wear it out when you’re trying to be “well-dressed”. While we’re on the subject, if you are going to wear a sleeveless tank, make sure you’re at the right venue, aka the beach. I don’t want to see your arm pit hair in a bar downtown.
- Buy one pair of decent shoes (are you noticing a trend)? A woman can tell a lot by a man’s shoes, and beat up skater shoes are just not a good impression. I know I’m not about to talk you into some sleek leather loafers from Aldo (which always shed a good light on things, FYI) so you can start with a nice pair of leather Lacoste shoes. They’re like sneakers, but leather. Not that big of a deal, right?
If your closet consists of various colors of flannel shirts, dirty work boots, and Carhartt anything, I’m talking to you. I’m not saying some women don’t appreciate a beard and a flannel, but if you want to know how to dress well, men of the outdoors really need other options.
- Buy a dressed down dress shirt. What the hell does that mean? Good question. It means, for example, a Polo Ralph Lauren button down shirt. The Polo shirt doesn’t have to feel dressy- roll up the sleeves and throw on some jeans. But please, be sure to wear a t-shirt under it if it’s a thin material. You lose points if I can see your nipple hair outlines because you’re not wearing an undershirt. Cotton collared shirts with a couple buttons work too.
- Get a leather belt and matching new shoes (both black, or both brown – I can’t believe I even have to say this, but it’s here for a reason). DSW has decent deals on both these items.
- Buy new pants. Not Carhartts, and without cargo pockets. PLEASE NO CARGO POCKETS. I’m telling how you how to dress well, men, and handy utility pockets are not on the list. Jeans or even colored pants are great (suggestions are gray, maroon, or blue).
Hopefully that gives you some actionable items to get started. In closing, remember a well-dressed man wears clothes that fit well, has a decent jacket or coat along with a dark pair of jeans, and a pair of shoes that you’ll want to be judged by. Because, quite honestly, women will judge your shoes by more than just their size.