It seems like such a simple concept – tip guys off to what women think of the clothes they wear, and do it in a decidedly “nice” way, so they’ll actually listen.
That was the idea behind starting my men’s style blog, appropriately called StyleGirlfriend.com. I wanted to provide the female perspective on guys’ style – to be a helpful, positive resource for the men out there who want to dress well, but aren’t necessarily interested in “fashion.” I knew there were plenty of guys who subscribe religiously to GQ, but aren’t exactly bookmarking pages for their next trip to the mall. These guys just want to leave the house knowing they look good enough to impress the cute barista who makes their coffee, the co-worker they’ve crushed on since forever, or that hot chick at the end of the bar.
Since then, the site has taken off, with thousands of guys writing in to ask my take on all things style-related, from what to wear on a first date to how to find comfortable-but-still-stylish work shoes.
As a woman who considers herself as a fan of men’s style – not necessarily an expert – I’ve landed on a few tried-and-true pieces of advice. Print this list out and tack it up in your closet. For the women reading, feel free to forward along to the well-intentioned but poorly dressed man in your life.
A few tips every guy can put to work in his wardrobe today:
Put your tailor on speed dial
Take every piece of clothing in your closet that doesn’t fit exactly as it should to your tailor. You’ll be amazed at the difference an inch at the cuff, hem or waist can make. I promise, spending the extra money to customize off-the-rack purchases is sure to make you feel like a million bucks.
Dress for your body type
Women are all too aware of their body types – we’re a pear, or an apple, or some other smoothie ingredient that’s meant to describe the size of our bust in proportion to our waist and hips. As such, we’ve learned how to dress to accentuate what we like and camouflage what we don’t. Guys, figure out your proportions, then dress for them. If you’ve got a long torso and short legs, for instance, your pants should sit a little higher on your waist to elongate your legs. If your legs are longer and it’s your torso that’s tiny, look for pants with a lower rise.
Invest in investment pieces
This one seems to be a concept accepted by women more readily then by men. If you’re going to wear something for a long time, it makes sense to spend more money for a quality item that will last. Have you ever asked your significant other how much her handbag cost? The answer might surprise and/or horrify you. But she knows that paying more for a well-made, beautiful bag means it will hold up and look beautiful for all the years she carries it. For investment pieces like shoes, suits and jackets, try to think about the price in terms of cost per wear; that should help take some of the sting off the sticker shock.
Make ‘dressed up’ your default
Sure, you could wear jeans on your next weekly date night with the missus, but why not put in a little extra effort? We appreciate when a guy puts more thought into his look, and we always notice the little things. So tuck your shirt in, swap sneakers for desert boots or even throw on a suit for no good reason. You’ll get bonus points in our book.
Pick a personal style
Trends may come and go, but style is forever. Of course it can be fun to try new fashions – whether it’s the hot color of the season, a crazy-looking shirt or just a new haircut – but don’t be afraid to stick with what feels right on you. Being comfortable in your personal style is better than jumping on the bandwagon of every trend that comes along.
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