By the time you're done reading this article one of two things can happen, either you go through your closet and realize that you need a complete makeover or you realize that you have a great style foundation and now its time to build on that.
When men's fashion writers chat about changes in the industry, or the latest and greatest in product, the conversation usually is limited to the 3Fs: fit, fabric and finish. I guess it's a guy thing; just straight to the point.
This past year we saw a lot of embellished trends come out of menswear. Acid wash jeans. Ripped jeans. Metallic suits. Intricate knitted sweaters. Superfluouscolors and patterns.
This year, I believe we will see a paradigm shift in menswear; a shift that will encourage men to really know who they are and get to the basics of sartorial style.
A Style Manifesto for 2010
1. I will stick with what works. Yet be open to new variations of “what works.”
We all have our favorite trousers, dress shirts or shoes. “I like them because they fit like a glove.” “This shirt just makes me look like a million bucks.” “These wingtips make me walk on water.”
Regardless of the clothing item, one thing to think about this year is “how can I still stick to the classics that fit but be ‘on trend, in time' with my wardrobe.” That favorite shirt you have, is a similar fit available in french cuffs? Or those wingtips you love so much, do they come in a boot format?
Explore new options to what works.
2. I will refill on the BASICS.
Last year, I met Joseph Mimran, the man behind the successful high style, low price label JOE FRESH. I got some great style advice from the guy who also was behind the success of Club Monaco, now owned by Ralph Lauren. He said “If there is one thing a guy should have a lot of in his closet, its crisp, white, dress shirts. You can never go wrong with a nicely pressed white shirt.”
So if you only have one white dress shirt, you're better off investing in more than trying to wear paisley to keep up with the Joneses of mens fashion.
3.Two is better than one — for dress shoes or any shoes.
If you only have one pair of dress shoes, start thinking about getting another pair, even if it's the same style. Some men are very particular about their dress shoes. Some like a wider toe box in a wingtip, while others like a long, more modern toe.
From a woman's point of view, they look at shoes as metric for where you've been. Sloppy, scuffed up dress shoes tells a woman that you've been around the block (not in a good way) and could care less about your appearance. First impressions count. So tie your laces and shine your boot.
4. I will know my fit.
Just because you weigh 200 lbs, doesn't mean you have to wear an XL on that suit jacket. Go to a professional tailor and get measured. While you're at it, maybe even get a custom fitted suit. Also know what fits your body type. Keep those measurements with you at all times. It will make shopping for the right pieces much easier.
Here's a quick reference guide of measurements you need to ALWAYS know.
Dress Shirts and Suit Jackets
Trousers & Pants
5. I will keep my wardrobe FRESH.
Aside from staying with the times, having a fresh wardrobe with pieces you wear on a regular basis is a great feeling. Clutter in general is a pain in the behind, and to some degree holds you hostage. Donate items of clothing that you haven't worn in the last year or two; you will never wear them again, even if you think so. Or hold a clothing swap with your buddies.
What are your style resolutions? Share with the rest of the Primer community in the comments below.
Paulo Vallejo is a Vancouver-based style artistwho is a true master of his craft. His knowledge of fashion is driven by his personal style and creativity. His work graces various print media in fashion and advertising. He’s also a freelance writer who pens on topics around personal style and the latest fashion trends across the globe. He also works privately with individuals to define their image, create their unique style, and shop for the right pieces to complement their existing wardrobe. He can be found on http://istyleu.blogspot.com. Follow him on Twitter @istyleu.