HOW TO DRESS BETTER: 3 RULES FOR GUYS WHO WANT TO UPGRADE THEIR STYLE - TobiVibes


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HOW TO DRESS BETTER: 3 RULES FOR GUYS WHO WANT TO UPGRADE THEIR STYLE

Clothes don’t make the man. But they do help. Dressing better boosts your confidence and makes you look and feel better. Here are 3 rules to follow, along with Nate’s personal story of upgrading his wardrobe

 

In March of 2012, after moving to a new city and feeling consistently underdressed in public, I sold or gave away most of the stuff in my closet, put together a list of “wardrobe essentials” assembled from blogs and magazines, and bought new clothes.

No more stupid logo t-shirts. No more too-long, untucked button down shirts. And, much to my girlfriend’s delight, no more helmet hair.

I couldn’t have known it at the time, but dressing better (and getting a new haircut) turned out to be one of the greatest personal investments I’ve ever made, right up there with building a strong, healthy body, and starting my own business.

I felt like a brand new man. Still do, actually.

And I’m not the only guy who looks and feels better after upgrading his style. Take Gabe, a web developer who lives and works in New York:

According to my friend Dan Trepanier, founder of the men’s style blog TSBMen — the site responsible for Gabe’s makeover — the most exciting part about Gabe’s transformation wasn’t just the way he looked in the “after” photo, but the difference in how he felt.

“His whole demeanor changed,” says Dan. “His posture improved, he was walking taller, speaking more confidently…even his jokes were funnier.”

A haircut and sharp clothes can change a man.

Which is why this article explores three simple rules I followed to upgrade my style. Rules you can use too, if you’re up for it.

BUT FIRST, WHY CARE ABOUT STYLE?

Tyler Durden said, “You are not your fucking khakis.”

True.

But Tyler Durden still looked cool. He still had style.

And recent research shows that what you wear affects how you perceive yourself. (So maybe you are your khakis to some extent…)

So why care about style and the way you dress?

BETTER FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

“People judge you every day,” says Dan.

“It sucks, but it’s true. The way you look — and the way you dress — is your only true first impression. When you dress well, people act differently toward you. They’re more friendly and approachable. 

In other words, dressing better opens more doors. With potential employers. With potential dates. With front desk clerks, and airline representatives, and waiters, and complete strangers

CLASSIC CLOTHES LAST A LIFETIME.

Think of clothes how you think about food. Some food is high-quality, delicious, and healthy. Other food is complete crap.

Same thing with clothes.

There’s cheap stuff that will fall apart quickly and there are quality clothes that will last a lifetime. (Or at least more than a couple years.)

The more you buy high-quality clothes, the longer they’ll last, and the more character they’ll have.

Case in point: my dad wears a black leather jacket that my grandpa bought over 40 years ago. It’s as classic now as it was back then. And it’ll still be classic 40 years from now.

By buying quality clothes, you’ll also spend less money over the long run as you won’t have to buy a new wardrobe every year or two.

Also note: there’s a difference between “cheap” and “inexpensive.” You can find some great clothes (jackets and shoes, especially) at thrift stores for only a few bucks.

BECAUSE IT’S OK TO CARE ABOUT HOW YOU LOOK.

I don’t want to get into the discussion of what a “real man” is and all that, but I do want to point out that how many of the classic “manly” guys care about the way they dress.

They look sharp, period. And it’s at least a small part of the reason they got to be where they are.

READY TO UPGRADE? 3 STYLE RULES TO FOLLOW

So dressing better makes you look and feel better. But where do you start?

I asked Dan to give me his 3 rules for guys who want to upgrade their style. Here they are, along with some thoughts from me.

RULE 1: FIND SOMEONE THAT HAS COOL STYLE.

“Whether he’s an actor, athlete, or blogger – we all have those guys we look at and say, ‘He always looks cool.’ Having a mentor to observe and emulate is an easy way to start feeling more confident about your style.”

I have to give credit where credit’s due. Dan’s blog is the first place I thought “Huh, he looks cool. I want to dress like that.”

So I started paying attention to what kinds of clothes he was wearing. Not the brands of the clothes, mind you. But the actual pieces: a pair of jeans that weren’t baggy. A black leather jacket. Button-down shirts. Shoes that I once would have thought were “too dressy.”

I went through my closet to see what kind of stuff I had that loosely matched. I sold or donated clothes I hadn’t worn or that I knew didn’t look that flattering. And I started strategically buying new pieces.

RULE 2: EXPLORE SLIMMER FITS.

“Wearing clothes that fit better can make a dramatic difference in the way you look.”

Another way of saying this: most guys wear clothes that are way too big.

For years I wore a size large. As a guy who lifts weights, I just automatically assumed I needed larger shirts. Not true. Most of the time, I was swimming in them. Now I wear a medium or even — and I hate to say this — a small.  I had to get over my ego.

Same thing with pants. Because I told myself that my “legs were too big”, I always went a size or two up. So even though my waist may was 30 inches, I’d get 32″ or 33″ jeans that required me to wear a belt to keep them up.

Luckily, I found a couple brands that fit my thighs while staying true to my actual waist size.   (I’ll share those below.)

One more thing: “slim” is different than “skinny.” No one is saying you should wear skin-tight clothes where you can barely move. The key is to get something that fits your body well and is comfortable.

RULE 3: PLAN THE PERFECT WARDROBE FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE.

“Start by investing in quality staple pieces that you will wear most often.”

Personally, I don’t own a suit. When I finally decide to buy one, I’ll probably have it custom-made. I want it to look good and last. But the reason I don’t have a suit is because I don’t really need one.

My lifestyle doesn’t require it since I work from home. (For all you know, I could be wearing pajamas with penguins on them right now…)

Your wardrobe depends on your lifestyle and what you do on a day-to-day basis.

Where do you live? Where do you work? Do you need a rotation of suits or can you get away with more casual wear? Do you want to dress up a little more than the average guy? Or do you only want to wear t-shirts and jeans?

There’s no wrong answer.

But after you make that decision, the key is to buy what Dan calls “staple pieces” — the clothes that will make up the bulk of your wardrobe. The stuff you can mix and match with everything.

For some that may be a navy suit, a charcoal gray suit, and some other “business casual” wear.

For me? Well, here’s what I started with.

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