Fashion fatigue tends to creep up on us; at one point you may have had a sense of your own unique style, but it’s not uncommon to wake one day to discover that the contents of your wardrobe are uninspiring.
The reasons for this are varied: it could be that fatherhood left your sartorial choices on the backburner, or it could be a reluctance to change out of the hoodie you sported throughout the early stages of the pandemic.
While dressing comfortably is important whatever the occasion, sometimes it can feel good to switch up your look. Whether it’s a bargain find from a thrift shop or a piece of luxury designer clothing, fashion can be a mode of self expression and celebration that makes getting dressed in the morning a joy, rather than a chore.
Just My Type
Developed in the 1980s, the Kibbe system (which aims to help people dress according to their body type and “essence”) has recently seen something of a revival on social media. For those unfamiliar with the concept, this “typing” system is all about balancing the sharp “yang” aspects of your appearance with the softer “yin” elements.
This can then help you to determine the cut, colour and style of your clothing. It may be that you suit a classic look (think old-school Hollywood), or something a little more outre in softer tailoring (Lil’ Nas X and Harry Styles are good examples).
Rather than directly copying your fashion icons, get a sense of their overall style: is it tailored or casual? Rock n’ roll or something a little more preppy? Look for recurring themes in your wardrobe, be it a particular style of t-shirt, a favourite colour, or a classic watch. Having trademark elements like this can help define your own signature style.
Finding the Perfect Fit
Poorly-fitting clothing can feel downright uncomfortable. To check the overall fit of your clothes, see whether you can “pinch an inch” of fabric: not too much, or too little. If you find yourself between sizes, buying a size up (and then taking it to the local tailors) can ensure you get the right fit for your body. Here are some more top tips to help you size things up:
Jackets and Tops
Most men tend to look their best in single breasted suits, which can be worn open or buttoned, unlike double breasted options. Ensure jackets fit at the shoulders, as this is one issue a tailor can’t fix.
Trousers and Jeans
Trousers of all styles should sit higher than your hip bone, and should fit without the need for a belt. These should gently hug the posterior, graze the thigh and be a little tapered from the knee to the ankle, unless you are on the heavier side, in which case allowing the line to fall straight from the knee looks best.
While a palette of black, white and grey can be super stylish, it could also be a sign that you’re playing things a little too safe. If you’re looking to branch out into wearing colour, check whether your skin tone is cool, warm or neutral. A good way to check this is by looking at the veins on your wrist (green for warm, blue for cool).
Another method is to look at which metals suit you. If you gravitate towards silver jewellery or watches, you probably have cool undertones, which also have a greater risk of sunburn than those with warm-toned skin. Alternatively, you might be somewhere in between.
This can help you decide which colours look best on you. Warm undertones look best in earthy neutrals, yellow, orange, taupe and ivory, while cooler undertones shine in jewel tones, greys, whites and shades of blue. Neutrals look good in pretty much everything aside from true brights. If you’re not sure just yet, pick out a couple of pieces in teal, dark purple or white; these tend to suit everyone.
Body Image Issues
If you’re avoiding your wardrobe because you feel self-conscious, take heart: you’re not alone.
According to findings by the Mental Health Foundation, millions of men in the UK struggle with body image; an issue that tends to get compounded by the misconception that body issues are gender-specific.
If this is you, talking things through with a trained counsellor can help. You may even find that rediscovering your personal style helps you to regain your confidence and feel good about yourself just the way you are. From colour psychology to experimenting with texture, what we wear can affect our mood in ways you might not expect, so be bold and try something new.