Sample the classics first
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to find your own personal style is rushing headlong into it either by wearing the most “unique” items you can find (regardless of if they look good) or by jumping on bandwagons (trends come and go, but real style is forever). Start with the classics (navy blazers, leather moto jackets, button-down shirts, chinos, jeans, etc.). Once you’ve got an eye for what works and what doesn’t, then you can begin pushing the limits and finding your signature look.
Embrace neutral solids
Bold colors and elaborate patterns are a beginner’s trap. They may be eye-catching, but without the right accompaniment they just look tacky and loud. Solid neutral colors (white, black, navy, olive, gray, beige, brown, etc.) are always reliable and they almost always look good together, so you don’t have to worry about matching. As you continue to refine your style, exercise caution when experimenting with patterns. Also, avoid shirts with big logos and graphics if you care about being taken seriously.
Get your suits tailored
Every guy needs at least one good suit, if not more, but renting or buying off the rack is a one-way ticket to an awkward, ugly fit. When shopping for clothes there are a lot of corners you can cut to save money. This is definitely not one of them. An investment in a professional tailor is an investment in yourself. Clothes that are perfectly customized to your unique body type not only look a whole lot better, they feel better to wear, too.
When it comes to accessories, less is more. Like bright colors and crazy patterns, too many accessories can overpower an outfit. Accessories should accent and enhance your wardrobe, not devour it. Think of hats, sunglasses, watches, ties, pocket squares, and other such accoutrements as punctuation marks. Placed properly in a sentence, they create a sense of rhythm and flow. But! When you-try-to: use (them)? All at; once, the “result” is/a total? Mess.
Spend less, get more
Some people will tell you that the best way to dress fashionably is to buy only the most expensive, high-quality clothes. For those of us living and paying rent in the real world, however, that’s not really an option. Paying a lot of money to look good is like playing a video game on Easy mode; it’s almost like cheating.. All you really need to be stylish is a good eye. If you’re on a budget, then it’s best to avoid trends, buy off-season items, hit up Goodwill to find vintage duds, search online for Kohl’s coupon codes, and download apps like Groupon and Poshmark. In the end, you’ll have both a well-stocked closet without sacrificing your bank account.
Don’t skimp on footwear
Like suits, one part of your wardrobe whose importance you shouldn’t underestimate is footwear. A lot of guys own just one set of dress shoes and a cheap pair of sneakers. Often, however, what you have on your feet can make or break an entire outfit. It’s a good idea to acquire a good assortment of different colors and styles for different moods and settings. At the very least, you should have separate pairs of athletic and fashion sneakers, a sturdy pair of work or motorcycle boots, and multiple kinds of dress shoes (loafers, oxfords, derbys, etc.).