Does it say something about me that prior to 2014, my only fashion knowledge came from The Nature Boy Ric Flair? The styling, profilin’ limousine riding, jet flying son of a gun.
Say what you will about Ric, but he dressed the part and was kind enough to tell you about his ensemble (Armani suits, Rolex watches, alligator skin shoes) long before Joan Rivers (RIP) made it popular.
I’d always marveled at how he’d construct an outfit making it seem like he had genuine knowledge of what he was wearing and why it was special. Personally, for most of my life, I had no interest in “Mens’ Style”, certainly not as a kid, but secretly I always wondered where I’d begin if I wanted to learn.
And Then Came The Shift…
At 37 years old, I finally came to THE point where I decided a change, was a MUST. Well, I actually didn’t make the decision, it’s more my wife who gently coaxed me. She decided it was time to change, I needed to learn how to dress. Not because I necessarily looked bad (or so I thought), but because I’d just lost 25lbs and my old clothes didn’t fit anymore. We both knew I was overdue for a new wardrobe, we just had conflicting opinions. I wanted to use the Trunk Club, she thought we could save money if I learned to do it myself. If learning on my own proved impossible, I could always execute Plan B and call up Trunk Club… By pure chance, an article referred me to Kinowear and I decided to try the Kinowear Bible as my last ditch effort to understand style.
I was excited at the possibility of learning how to finally dress like a “real man”, but I feared that:
- Dressing well is like singing or painting, you can either do it or you can’t
- There was too much to know
- I might get caught up in silly fashion trends
- I might look stupid in the clothes they’d recommend
But I put the fears to rest and jumped in with both feet. My recent success with weight loss and dieting (using DDPYoga) came from strict adherence to the programs, and I decided to follow that same pattern with the Kinowear Bible. I decided I’d do exactly what it said for 90 days and see where it landed me. That was 5 months ago, and I can’t believe how much has changed.
Allow Me To Take You Back To The Beginning…
I downloaded the Kinowear bible back in April of 2014, and surprisingly found a slickly designed, 147-page style manual comprised of three sections: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. In my excitement, I read the entire Beginner’s section on the first day (almost half the book) and wrote down my first impressions that night:
- Great overall design
- Nice layout
- Excited to start
- TON of valuable content
- Expect to learn more than I realized
- Loads of actionable material, should get me up to speed quickly
- A bit of fun foreign flavor to it, which adds a bit of fun to the learning experience
I also highlighted half the book for notes, including the following notable passages:
“This eBook isn’t a formula that you can use and instantly dress with style, but a guide to build the three pillars leading to your own style: Knowledge, Fun, and Originality.”
“Also, visit some high-end retailers to experience what high quality looks and feels like – then you will recognize quality clothes when they cross your path at a reasonable price.”
“Recognizing clothes that fit you is the first step towards style.”
After one day, I was energized and realized that I might have a change after all when it came to improving my style. I was so glad that I didn’t do to Trunk Club, and couldn’t wait to try out a couple of the new garment selection techniques in my local department stores. I also realized that it wasn’t going to be an overnight process. I’d need time to rebuild my wardrobe, and it was ok if I wasn’t dressing better by tomorrow. The first important thing I came away with was… finding foundational pieces that fit. Knowing what these garments were led to my first big takeaway:
TAKEAWAY 1: SAVINGS
Shopping used to be a huge pain. I wanted to get it over quickly and make my money go as far as possible. And that’s how I started. If I wanted to spend $100 on a shopping trip, I didn’t have a clue how it would end up. I’d usually just analyze what was on sale and find the best way to buy as many “sale” items as possible. Remember, I wanted to get in and out as fast as possible, which usually meant skipping the fitting room because I’d grab what I thought was my size. I’d buy as much as my budget allowed whether it was pants, ties, shirts, or some combination of the three, and my mission was complete. I didn’t know how I’d use the items once I got home. Sometimes (more than I’d like to admit) a garment wasn’t a good match and would never get worn.
Fast forward to today… now I think in terms of complete outfits, not individual pieces. To create attractive looks I rely on specific items but those are kept to an absolute minimum. In fact, I keep the basics on a list that I closely monitor. When I go to a store, I’m looking for specific pieces to enhance my overall wardrobe. There’s no more compromise and no waste of time, money, or effort. It’s a fun challenge to find the right item, at the right price, and with the right fit. I know within minutes of entering the store if I’ve won or lost the battle. I’m happy to say, I’ve gotten very comfortable walking in a clothing store and walking right back out if I can find anything on my list, it’s actually quite liberating. I’ve pared down my wardrobe about 80% of what it used to be, and the items I own are all interchangeable pieces that make up a very lean, functional wardrobe.
I can’t think of a single bad purchase I’ve made since I got the Bible, mostly because I needed so many items that should’ve been staples of any man’s wardrobe. More importantly, I’ve already avoided dozens of mistakes that I would’ve made previously and saved thousands this year as a result. Which will easily add to tens of thousands of dollars over my lifetime.
As I mentioned, the Bible got me up to speed very quickly on the basics and did a terrific job building my foundation knowledge. Within a month, I knew about fabrics, the new quality brands and stores, and a variety of new techniques for making the most of any shopping experience. I was finally starting to get it.
TAKEAWAY 2: FASHION LITERACY
I didn’t know anything about style and didn’t care, but felt I should’ve been looking at the impact it had on my life. I didn’t really know where to begin. Everything was about functional and comfy, never about style. For example, I always bought ugly, square-toe inexpensive dress shoes based on durability alone. (This shoe style is a big no-no.)
I know where to shop. I know which brands are the best and offer the most value. I know when brands don’t matter. I know what a good fit is. I know how to shop and how to get the salesman on my side. When I walk into any store, I feel armed for the battle of finding the right item, which was never the case before. I now buy very high-quality shoes that last decades and I take great care of them.
I discarded my old “ugly” shoes and I’m getting accustomed to having nicer things which I enjoy taking care of them.
One of the best suggestions from the bible is to make your transition gradually. First, because it’s important to master the basics before attempting trickier combinations at the higher levels. Second, you probably don’t want to call unwanted attention to yourself as you move into a more polished look. The book correctly suggests that people will notice the positive changes and compliment you on your new look. Which I was pleasantly surprised to discover was true.
TAKEAWAY 3: CONFIDENCE
I never gave my clothes a second thought, and certainly didn’t give me confidence. For my I’d just toss on Any shirt. Any pair pants. I thought to myself, “Who cares if they don’t go well together?” “Who can tell?” If anything I knew there was room for improvement, which probably hurt my confidence on some level. However, no one ever made comments about my clothes, good or bad.
Wearing clothes that fit well and truly go together seems simple enough, but I never really did it quite like this before reading the Bible. After becoming properly educated, the difference is striking and people are always telling me I look nice (a nice little confidence booster). On a couple different occasions, I’ve even been told to stop losing weight, even though I hadn’t lost a single pound in over a year.
The difference which made me look slimmer was finding a shirt and pants which fit. That was the most eye-opening part.
I did keep track of how I felt and how I was treated when I wore nicer clothes, compared to my old rags. There wasn’t a day that went by that someone didn’t compliment me (another boost to my confidence). Remember, I didn’t make a change overnight, I still have a long ways to go, but just applying the basics has made a HUGE difference in how I’m treated and how I see myself. It’s probably been more impactful for me than the monetary savings.
In short, my expectations were far exceeded.
Even after 5 months, I still consult the Kinowear Bible regularly. I’ve also got several blogs and stores that I buy from on a regular basis as a result of Kinowear. My comfort level with fashion and style continues to grow on a daily basis and I enjoy making myself “look good” far more than I ever thought possible.
Since purchasing the Kinowear Bible, I’ve also purchased similar products from 2 other style blogs to compare notes. I enjoy certain aspects of those blogs more than the Kinowear blog, and I expected to enjoy their products as well. But the Kinowear Bible was far better than the other (unnamed) products, in terms of content, quality, and the execution of the program.
There’s not much else I can say. If learning the ins and outs of men’s style is of interest to you, then the Kinowear Bible is a great place to start. Based on the guaranteed savings, the price shouldn’t even be part of the equation. If you’re like me, you’ll be shocked at how easy and fun “upgrading your style” is to learn. It’ll have a big impact on your life. If not, then you can always go to YouTube and watch old clips of Ric Flair! That’s where I started. Wooooo! LOL
What about you?
What’s your experience with the Kinowear Bible?
Make sure you leave a comment below and let us know!