In the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of fashion, it’s easy for men to feel overwhelmed. In the Good Life Collective, we believe that dressing well and having a good fashion sense is an important element both in social environments and for self-esteem. That’s why in one of our regular webinars we focused specifically on this topic and covered a few facets of fashion that can easily be applied to elevate your game.
Fashion is a personal statement, a way to express who you are without saying a word. It’s about more than just wearing clothes; it’s about presenting yourself in a way that resonates with your personality and values. One concept that has risen in popularity is that of ‘quiet fashion‘. This approach prioritizes subtlety and tastefulness over flashiness, focusing on quality, fit, and timeless styles that won’t go out of fashion in a season.
Finding Your Style
Developing your own style is a journey, not a destination. It’s about experimenting with different looks, identifying what works best for you, and refining it over time. What makes you feel confident? What clothes make you feel comfortable? Start noticing patterns in the outfits that you gravitate towards and replicate those elements. Remember, style is personal. It’s not about following trends blindly; it’s about expressing your individuality.
Many of us have limited space for storage, and we also want to reduce fashion choices to a minimum and get on with our life.
We all know about examples like Zuckerberg or Jobs who pretty much dressed the same every day to avoid wasting time on choosing what to wear. Their immense social power didn’t necessitate that they use fashion to signal anything, in fact, one could argue that their minimalistic choice signals how focused they are on their work.
For most of us, going to such an extreme is not the ideal approach to fashion and cuts out a lot of fun from life, so we can start thinking about creating a fashion capsule instead.
A capsule wardrobe is a minimalist approach to fashion, focusing on a small collection of essential items that don’t go out of style and can be mixed and matched to create a variety of outfits. A well-curated capsule wardrobe will serve you in most situations and simplify your daily dressing decisions, making your life easier and your outfits more cohesive. This concept is the cornerstone of a stylish wardrobe, as it promotes thoughtful purchasing and discourages impulse buying.
Brands to Lookout For
I spend the vast majority of my time in informal environments, namely time at home or outdoors with the family, at my club for work and leisure, and in purely sporting endeavors. Therefore I favor practicality very strongly. An article of clothing can be both functional and fashionable. For instance, a sleek waterproof jacket or a warm, yet stylish woolen sweater, not only serves a purpose but also adds a touch of sophistication to your outfit. Brands such as Icebreaker, Zara, Massimo Dutti, COS, Ted Baker, and Son of a Tailor are renowned for their fusion of practicality and style.
Additionally, brands such as Buck Mason, known for their modern American classics; Taylor Stitch, which offers sturdy, toasty pieces for colder months; and Todd Snyder, king of collaborations and vintage refreshes, are all great places to explore. If you’re looking for affordable suits, SuitSupply is an excellent option, while J.Crew offers bold colors and a preppy style.
One important aspect of building a stylish wardrobe is to find brands that work for your body type and stick with them. This eliminates the guesswork and ensures a consistent fit.
Customizing Your Clothes
Customizing your clothes is a fantastic way to make your style truly unique. A simple alteration can transform an average piece into something that fits you perfectly and matches your style. Many brands, like SuitSupply, offer in-house alterations, ensuring that the clothes you buy from them fit you just right.
On the other hand, companies like Son of a Tailor offer fully customized clothes, allowing you to choose everything from the fabric to the fit.
The beauty of fashion lies in its flexibility. It is not about fitting into a mold, but about finding what works for you and replicating it. Whether it’s a specific cut of jeans that accentuates your physique or a color that complements your complexion, identifying your style is a significant step toward fashion success.
Jeans and Trousers
The right pair of jeans or trousers can make or break an outfit. Slim-fit jeans, as opposed to skinny jeans, often provide a more universally flattering silhouette and work for most occasions. For a casual summer look, consider turning up the cuffs of your jeans at the ankles for a stylish twist.
Shoes and Sneakers
Footwear is an essential part of your outfit. A good pair of shoes can elevate your outfit and complete your look. For those who are into special edition sneakers, StockX, GOAT and Farfetch are excellent platforms to explore.
Shopping Tips for the Modern Man
When it comes to shopping for new pieces, there are a few tips that can help you make the most of your time and money.
- Shop with a Plan: Before you start shopping, have a clear idea of what you need. This not only saves time but also prevents impulse purchases.
- Quality Over Quantity: It’s better to invest in a few high-quality pieces that will last for years than to buy a lot of cheap items that won’t stand the test of time.
- Try Before You Buy: Always try clothes on before buying them. This ensures that the item fits well and looks good on you.
- Consider the Care Instructions: Check the care instructions before purchasing an item. If it requires dry cleaning or any other special care, think about whether you’re willing to put in the effort to maintain it.
Where to Shop Online
Online fashion shopping in Europe provides a plethora of options for both new and second-hand high-end goods. If you’re in the market for new luxury items, Mytheresa is an excellent choice. As a Munich-based online shopping destination, Mytheresa offers a wide selection of products from over 200 of the world’s top luxury brands, including Gucci, Prada, and Saint Laurent. Their curated selections, express worldwide shipping, and top-notch customer service make the shopping experience seamless and enjoyable.
For those seeking high-end second-hand goods, Vestiaire Collective stands out. Founded in France and boasting a community of over 7 million fashion-conscious members, it’s a marketplace for pre-owned designer items. From iconic Hermès Birkin bags to Chanel tweed jackets, Vestiaire Collective ensures authenticity and quality, thanks to its dedicated team of experts who verify every item sold. With its user-friendly platform and commitment to sustainability, Vestiaire Collective makes luxury accessible and promotes a more circular fashion economy. Whether you’re in search of the latest fashion trends or timeless vintage pieces, these two platforms cater to a variety of tastes and budgets in the European online shopping landscape.
Another prominent player in the European online fashion market is Yoox. Known for its curated selection of high-end and luxury fashion, Yoox caters to those seeking exclusive and unique pieces. The platform showcases a diverse range of designers and brands, encompassing everything from clothing and footwear to accessories and jewelry. With its focus on luxury fashion, Yoox appeals to individuals who appreciate quality craftsmanship and timeless elegance.
A popular platform for the midrange tier is Zalando, which has gained significant recognition for its extensive collection of apparel and accessories. With its user-friendly interface and convenient search features, Zalando provides customers with a seamless shopping experience. The portal offers products from a multitude of well-known brands, making it a go-to destination for fashion enthusiasts across Europe.
Subscribing to newsletters from your favorite brands or online fashion platforms can keep you updated on the latest collections, sales, and discounts. This can help you snag your favorite items at a reduced price.
The Art of Decluttering Your Wardrobe
Just as important as acquiring new pieces is knowing when to let go of old ones. Your wardrobe is a reflection of your style, and keeping it fresh and up-to-date is key to maintaining a fashionable appearance. Regularly decluttering your wardrobe not only frees up space but also allows you to reassess your style and make room for new additions.
I’ve always struggled with removing older items that are still functionally good (no holes, stains etc). I was brought up with a sense of trying to keep using things forever and not throwing away anything unless it’s broken and unusable. However, I’ve had to battle this with regard to fashion (and other areas too).
Here are some indicators that can guide your decision on whether to clear out items:
- Quality and Condition: The most apparent sign that it’s time to retire an item from your wardrobe is when it’s noticeably worn out. This can include visible signs such as fading, pilling, staining, or tears that can’t be mended. Clothing that has lost its shape or no longer fits properly also falls under this category. While some items might hold sentimental value or remind you of a certain time in your life, if they’re beyond repair or cleaning, it’s likely time to let them go.
- Frequency of Use: If you haven’t worn an item in a year or more, it might be a sign that it’s time to declutter. Unless the piece is a specialized item like a suit for formal occasions, it’s taking up valuable space in your wardrobe. Consider the rule of ‘one in, one out’ – every time you purchase a new piece, aim to donate or recycle an old one.
- Outdated Trends: Fashion is dynamic, and what was trendy a few years ago might not be today. If you’re holding onto items that are no longer in style and you don’t see yourself wearing them in the future, it may be time to clear them out. However, some styles can become classics or come back into fashion, so use your judgment here.
- Comfort and Confidence: Ultimately, your wardrobe should be filled with items that make you feel good. If there are pieces that you no longer feel comfortable or confident wearing, it’s a sign they should be moved out of your wardrobe. Clothes are an expression of your personal style and should make you feel like the best version of yourself.
When clearing out your wardrobe, it’s important to dispose of your clothing responsibly. Consider donating to local charities, recycling programs, or even selling or swapping clothes with friends. This process is not just about decluttering, but also about curating a wardrobe that represents you and serves your current needs.
Technology and Fashion: The Perfect Blend
In today’s digital age, technology has become an integral part of our lives, and this extends to the realm of fashion as well. Wearable tech, like smartwatches and fitness trackers, not only serve practical functions but can also be stylish additions to your outfit. Brands like Apple offer sleek designs that can be easily incorporated into your everyday style.
There’s an array of tech gadgets that can complement your fashion sense. High-quality headphones, like the Airpods range, not only provide excellent sound quality but are also sleek and compact, making them a fashionable and functional accessory. If you’re into photography, a stylish camera bag or a vintage-inspired camera can serve as a statement piece.
And if you’re into fitness trackers, the Oura ring could not only provide the functionality you need, but also complement your fashion style.
Accessories: More than Just Decoration
Accessories play a crucial role in defining your style. They are the finishing touches that can either make or break your outfit. Wearing accessories shows attention to detail and can give off an impression of sophistication.
While neck chains can be hard to pull off, bracelets are a versatile accessory that can be matched with a variety of outfits. Websites like Nalana and Trendhim offer a variety of stylish bracelets that can add a touch of personality to your outfit.
You don’t need to spend a ton of money on bracelets; go for gemstones (and know what kind they are as people will ask you about them) or lace bracelets, or even leather ones. You can choose a few colors that work with your wardrobe.
Finally, let’s talk about watches. They are not just a time-telling device, but an accessory that can speak volumes about your style and taste. A watch market like Chrono24. Some brands outside the big ones to look out for are Grand Frank, Farer, Hamilton, and Charlie Paris, which all offer a range of watches that are both affordable and chic. If you’re looking for something more upscale, Farfetch, StockX, and GOAT have got you covered.
In conclusion, building a stylish and practical wardrobe does not have to be complicated. All it takes is a bit of planning and research. I would also recommend that you ask your family and friends for honest feedback.