Style matters just like love matters. You could either trudge through life tastelessly or you could almost as easily drink up each view and enjoy each experience of living with and providing joy to others. Your style is your mind on display. It goes ahead and announces to everyone who they should expect to interact with. Just like choosing who to love – including yourself – choosing to fully live your life in style would change your path in many unpredictable ways and attract opportunities your way. That is why style is more like the love of your life and less like a fleeting trend you push to the back of your mind. It can be effortless and fun, turning heads wherever you go, or it can be utterly dysfunctional, frustrating, and highly cryptic – just like a person who has no idea how beautiful they are.
But if done right, your style can be powerfully timeless and splendid. It would reflect your emotional and physical strengths. It would show your state of fitness. To appear in control of your life, being fashionable, confident, and calm can massively help you.
It subliminally strengthens others’ trust in you and lays the groundwork for future accomplishments.
However, given how universally exciting it is to spot a stylish person and acknowledge the effects they have on us, it is quite alarming that most people don’t know that style matters. This is mainly true for men. It is particularly challenging for most men to understand why their style matters. They can go about their lives not knowing why they never considered the small yet life-changing, impactful ways which would help them create meaningful and much-needed waves to better their lives. This is because men are generally not encouraged to think about the impact of the first impressions they create. They are not taught visual storytelling. Even if they begin wearing things differently, they can easily feel lost and dispirited – that is the EXACT opposite of what being in control should feel like.
If you are consistently working hard to convey your message or bring a great product to others, knowing it has great potential, yet never quite making your point, you are probably stuck in a cycle of making the same mistakes. At this point, it is a good idea to stand back and look at one of the simplest ways to reach out to others – through controlling their reactions by making them want to be you.
That is such a crucial step! So go for it and learn to decode your personal style. As a starting point, read over the small list of a select few general style guidelines I have compiled.
As you go through them, remember that we have different voices, unique expressions, and a whole lifetime of experiences that make us intriguing – we each have our individual styles. Your style can be classic and distinctive at the same time.
I know it seems daunting, but I can assure you that following the following style secrets I have gathered through my decades-long experience as a professional image and wardrobe consultant would go a long way in helping you begin defining your style and is definitely worth a look.
A General Style Guide
1) Hire a professional tailor to measure you and save your measurements on your phone. This will help you pick the right size of clothes during online or in-store shopping and will save you from looking and feeling baffled or choosing an unflattering fit.
2) Get all your formal clothes formally adjusted. Better yet, invest in a few tailor-made bespoke pieces. You will feel as good as they make you look. It is a whole power shift.
3) When in doubt, pick quality over quantity. The few carefully selected pieces you invest in will surely help you make a statement and can last a surprisingly long time if you learn to take care of them.
4) Play with fun fabrics and colours for blazers and pocket squares.
5) Do not treat shoes as a second thought. Try leather or suede shoes in different colours and remember that shining your shoes does create a great first impression!
6) Take the time to seek advice from an image consultant on how to shop for a bespoke suit or an entire wardrobe. Again, quality over quantity will ensure you get a good return on value.
7) If you have never tried it – wear suspenders (no belt with these).
8) Look at your shoes again…is there a gap between your pants and your shoes? It shouldn’t be there. Your trousers should reach the top of your shoes (not more or less).
9) Enjoy wearing neckties for no reason at all.
10) Learn the art of layering your clothes. Keep an extra layer or two so you never have to look or feel uncomfortable or out of style.
11) Learn to dress for your body shape. Again, go with a personal wardrobe shopper to help you pick flattering pieces.
12) Anytime you think your outfit could use a bit of flair, wear patterned socks – have fun discovering a whole new world!
13) Airport look is a thing too. Get a nice, practical suitcase and a day bag.
14) Pair a nice watch with your business attire.
15) Pretend you are attending a formal event.
16) Style your hair and beard. It is a combination.
17) Iron your shirts.
18) Discover your own signature cologne.
19) How about looking for a nice wallet?
20) Accessorize – collect belts, scarves, sunglasses and hats.
Now that you know that being stylish can be so much fun and that little, inexpensive things can make a big difference, let’s talk about your dream future. What do you wish to achieve and what type of look will help you get that and much more? What helps you OWN it and why am I asking you this?
It is because I have regularly witnessed how quickly my clients achieve their personal and professional goals once they portray confidence and believe in themselves. Remember that confidence makes the best style statement. A professional stylist is trained to see the colours that compliment you, the perfect fit for your body, and the shapes that bring out your best.
As an image consultant, I can already see how brilliant my clients are when they walk in with their passions and their dreams, but along with that I also see the slight insecurities that are holding them back – this is when I just HAVE to push them to see their future potential. This does not in any way mean you should give up what makes you unique. In fact, carrying yourself right does the opposite. It enhances everything endearing about you and brings people closer to you – even if you have struck a little bit with awe.
So think about it…take out the time to stand in front of a full-length mirror. Look at yourself and this time, instead of pointing out your flaws or thinking of this as a waste of energy, imagine living a glamorous life that always looks so out of reach. How do you look in that life? How does this image attract the future you to the present?
This is what style is all about. Tell your story through the way you dress and address others. Get the reaction you seek by impressing your thoughts upon others and stay memorable for being iconic.
Being stylish also means taking the time to exercise your mind and body, eating well, and sleeping well. Smile often and be kind to others. People will appreciate you for that and allow you opportunities they might not have considered otherwise. Viewing yourself, your ideals, and your life positively will go a long way in helping you look and feel empowered. Create your own brand identity and present and celebrate your values consistently. How does your outer self align with the vision you have inside? This will help you define what timeless fashion means for you.
I would also like you to ask yourself why certain images and people appeal to you while others don’t. Movies and stories that resonate with an individual speak their language. Listen closely when you react to something positively OR negatively, store these visual cues as personal dos and don’ts.
Slowly, when you practice being stylish, you will notice another surprising consequence – a profound change in your perspective. Taking care of yourself will teach you to embrace your eccentricities. It will encourage a different point of view – one which might instill a new love of learning about yourself and the world around you.
People who bring curiosity and a sense of enchantment in our ordinary lives are always intriguing. They seem to know our world, us, and themselves. This is what helps them command our decisions intuitively. So challenge your beliefs around dressing up, look at the world with wonder, and enjoy building a positive self-image as a perfect side effect of being in fashion.