From ancient days when men had nothing but animal skins to cover themselves, to the outlandish dress of the royal courts a few centuries ago when men wore wigs, high heeled shoes and extravagant jewelry, there has been a radical shift. Happily modern clothing appears to have found a fine balance between self-expression and socially acceptable modes of dress when it comes to men’s fashion.
Previously only women had the freedom of changing their characters through their wardrobe. Times have changed and modern men can express their personality freely. There is a limitless array of looks to choose from. Whether you want to be a corporate shark in a sharp suit, rock god in skinny jeans and torn t-shirts or a shilled surfer in baggy shorts and flip flops your new personality change is only a wardrobe change away.
As with everything else in life there are rules, mostly for your own good so play close attention. The first rule is to avoid excess at all costs. Unless your name is Liberace there is no reason for any man to be decked out in mountains of jewelry. In this case less is definitely more. If you choose to wear accessories keep them discreet, tasteful and most importantly appropriate to the occasion.
The second tip is to be brutally honest about your body type and dress accordingly. Take a long look in the mirror; catalogue the good and the bed. Then dress to highlight your attributes and camouflage your flaws. Dressing well can hide a multitude of sins and boost confidence.
Invest on good quality well made clothes. It might cost a little bit more in the beginning but stocking up your wardrobe with classic timeless items will definitely be a good investment. Items that are worth splurging on include a good quality suit in a dark color, bespoke if you can, a classic trench coat in a tan color, a good wool coat for winter, several cashmere sweaters and as many crisp pure cotton shorts as you can avoid.
Once you have the basic elements of a good wardrobe in place then have fun by adding in a few elements that personalize the collections. These can be anything from your favorite pair of perfectly faded jeans to quirky t-shirts from your favorite concert. Look for key items that celebrate who you are and showcase your unique style. Mix and match these with your classic items to make you stand out from the crowd.
After overcoming these hurdles the most important skill that needs mastering is dressing for the occasion. Nothing is more awkward than standing out from a crowd for all the wrong reasons. Read the invite carefully and follow the instructions to the letter. If the instruction says black tie it requires a tuxedo. Buy or rent one but make sure it fits perfectly.
Other dress codes are slightly more ambiguous; many people are still confused by the term smart casual. When in doubt ask the host for some clarity. If this is not possible its always better to go the slightly more formal route. Being slightly over dressed for the occasion might possibly win a few admiring glances but being under dressing is a glaring faux pas.