How the 80/20 Rule Applies to Style

So lately I’ve applying the 80/20 rule to all areas of my life to maximize output while minimizing the time and energy I spend.

I used to spend 80% of my efforts doing the things that brought only 20% of what I wanted. There was a lot of activity going on, but not a lot of results.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the 80/20 rule (also referred to as Pareto’s Principle), it states that for many things 80% of the effects come from the 20% of the causes.

While this obviously isn’t an absolute rule, it’s a great rule of thumb for me to focus on the key actions that will drive my most desired outcomes.

How this Rule Applies To Style

I want to share with you guys how you can use this principle to stay fly with little effort.

You really don’t have to break the bank or spend a lot of time to look good. All you have to focus on is the important 20% that is going to take care of 80% of your swagger.

Here’s a quick list of things you can apply right away:

1. “Damn, you clean up real good”

80% of our bodies are covered with clothing, but the 20% that’s not can make or break you. I suggest focusing on grooming needs before your wardrobe list.

Keep your teeth clean at all times and carry mints. Your brand new $1500 suit won’t mean much if your breath is reeking of your last lunch.

You should have a high quality tweezer, nose and ear hair trimmer, shaving tools, or a  beard trimmer if you have a beard. There is nothing that says “clean-cut” more than having your facial hair detailed.

Your nails should always be trim and free of dirt. Nails are one of those details that takes very little effort to maintain, but can make a terrible impression with your date if they’re unkempt.

Do all this and treat yourself to a quality haircut at a reputable salon. I’ve seen people go from average cube worker to total wall-breaking stud after a high-end cut.

It only requires a few hours of your time to undergo a major grooming overhaul. It takes little effort to order these online or grab them at your local store, and once you have the right tools, it’ll just be a matter of creating a ritual of maintaining your grooming for a few minutes every day.

2. Women love shoes, shoes, and more shoes

Recently I took a quick glance at all the shoes in my closet. I instantly threw out the ones I didn’t wear anymore, cleaned off the ones that had dirt on them, and made a quick list of shoes I needed for the new season. This took me all of fifteen minutes.

Wearing my freshly cleaned shoes got immediate compliments from friends: “Did you get new shoes? Those are really nice,” and “You’re always so stylish, love your shoes.”

I’ve mentioned this many times on this blog, but I’ll say it again. The easiest way to set yourself apart as a stylish guy is through your shoes. Invest in a great pair of shoes and keep them super clean. It’s what 90% of guys out there neglect, so wouldn’t it be smart for us to capitalize on this?

We cover how to buy the right shoes inside the Kinowear Bible.

3. Last thing on, first thing noticed

The weather is getting colder by the minute, at least here in New York. This means, first impressions will often be made while wearing a jacket.

So if you need to do some shopping, spend your time and money wisely by searching for this season’s jacket before anything else.

The last thing on, is the first thing noticed.

4. Spruce it up with the right accessories

Barely anybody will notice if you wear the same combination of dress shirt, tie, pants or jeans – if you’re always switching up your accessories.

Accessories are cheaper than shirts, pants, and outwear so this is a good way to maximize your outfit combos with little effort.

For example, instead of buying a bunch of new clothing, you can first buy 5 – 7 bold/colorful scarves or different hats to rotate with your every day outfits.

5. Focus on the system before the input

We usually wear 20% of our favorite outfits 80% of the time. I suggest going through your closet and really eliminating all the things you don’t wear anymore. There is no point in having these items take up your closet space.

Make way for the 20% that really matter and store away the clothes you won’t wear this season.

Doing this has loads of other benefits, i.e., finding old favorite clothes, creating a list of specific things you need to shop for (without accidentally buying things you already own), ease when grabbing outfits to wear, and preventative measures against lost clothes and frustrating moments of not being able to find something to wear.

Not only will it be super easy to grab your favorite outfits from your closet, but you’ll be more inclined to actually hang your clothes back in the closet instead of throwing them somewhere else.


80% of you guys reading this will most likely retain only 20% of this information, which is why I won’t make this article any longer.

But focus on these key elements of your style and you’ll be using your time, money, and energy very wisely. Then once these things become second nature to you, take it above and beyond if you wish by adding a bit more effort.

Then, you’ll be a class of your own.

Until next time,


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