Using Kaizen To Level Up Your Style

Developing better style is a great form of self-improvement. Dressing well will give you a huge boost in confidence and help you better convey your personality. This can have huge positive effects for dating, business, networking and more.

As someone who’s been interested in self-improvement for over a decade, I’ve tried many different approaches to improving my life and bettering myself. Some of these strategies are a total waste of time, while others gave me decent results.

One of the most effective approaches I’ve found comes in the form of a management philosophy that was a huge craze in Japan called “Kaizen”.

What is Kaizen?

Kaizen (改善) is a Japanese term typically referring to the idea of continuous improvement. The literal meaning is something like “change for the better” and refers to any type of improvement, whether large, small, continuous or one-time. The concept of Kaizen has many applications in both business and self-improvement. The idea is that instead of trying to make a dramatic change all at once, it is better to make small, consistent and incremental improvements that can add up to huge successes later on.

If you take a kaizen approach to self-improvment, you don’t have to trouble yourself with the huge task of creating a plan and then sticking to it for a long period of time. Just pick something small that could help you improve and give it a try.

If you’ve ever made new years resolutions, only to find yourself giving up a few months later, then you understand how hard it is to make a huge change in your life.

You can easily apply Kaizen to fashion. Here are some small things anyone can start doing immediately to improve their personal style.

Applying Kaizen to Men’s Fashion

Go To Clothing Stores

I know this probably sounds obvious, but many people skip over the most obvious and effective things.

The best way to start improving your style is to actually go to clothing stores and look around. Notice I didn’t say “go shopping” or “buy new clothes”. When you’re starting out, all you need to do is go to different clothing stores and look around at what they have. You don’t even need to try anything on! The most important thing is to get an idea of what kinds of pieces are available for men and start to get your brain thinking creatively about how you might put these pieces together in a stylish way.

You can also look at the mannequins on display in different stores and see how they’re dressed. Typically, clothing stores will hire stylists to create outfits and dress the mannequins on display, so you can usually trust the outfit designs. This can also be a great way to get some ideas of full outfits to buy for yourself!

Start Browsing Pinterest, Instagram or Tumblr

Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are all massively useful to develop your eye for good fashion. I would recommend picking one of these sites to start with, download the app onto your phone and then spend 10 – 15 minutes a few times per week browsing the in-app feed and saving or liking outfits that you think are good.

Pinterest is an image collecting website where you follow certain topics and then, every time you login, you’ll get a never-ending feed of images related to the topics you follow. Start with some topics like “men’s fashion” or “menswear” and then branch out from there.

Tumblr is primarily a photo blogging platform. People create blogs where they post images they like. Blogs often have a specific focus and curate images that are relevant to that focus. Start by following some popular men’s fashion tumblr accounts.

Instagram is another photo blogging app, but intended more as a social network. You can search for hashtags on Instagram to find accounts with relevant content.

Read More: How to Find Style Inspiration »

I usually just check these apps whenever I’m out of the house and have some downtime (waiting for friends, on the bus, in line at the store, etc.) It’s super easy to do and won’t eat up any significant amount of time.

Look At Other People’s Style

Another seemingly obvious tip with huge benefits. Most people don’t pay any attention to what everyone else is wearing. Even when we see a nice outfit, we usually just quickly appreciate it and go on with our day, failing to notice any of the details that make the outfit great.

Any time you leave the house, pay attention to what people are wearing and notice your reactions. Which outfits stand out for you? What makes them special? Try and notice as many details about the outfit as possible. Which colors are they wearing? Are they layering? Notice any accessories?

It’s also important to pay attention to bad fashion just as much as good fashion. Part of developing good style is knowing what not to do in addition to what you should do. Take note of bad outfits and figure out why they’re bad. Better yet, try and figure out how you could improve them.

Get Started!

Kaizen is so incredibly simple to start implementing in your life. Just think about the smallest step you could take to improving and then start right away! After applying Kaizen to style, you’ll start to see many ways to use it in other areas of your life like business, school, fitness and more.

Already using Kaizen? Share your results in the comments area below!