This is the final part in a 2-part series of articles entitled “The Language Of Style” (co-written by Jae & Theory) Click here for Part 1
The majority of men today will put little effort into outward appearance, and then question why women aren’t giving them more attention.
The fact is that we all want to look better, feel better, and be more attractive to the opposite sex, but it’s just not in our culture as men to talk about our appearances. Women talk about this stuff all the time. Women trade fashion tips and tell each other whose butt looks fat in what. It’s just part of their culture, and these are things that they’re comfortable – and engaged in – discussing.
Along with fashion talk just not being part of a man’s conversations, the American workplace has also become so casual in the past twenty years, everyone is dressing down now. Fathers are no longer giving their children style advice anymore. If you do get good advice from your father, consider yourself lucky. The majority of us are lost and bewildered.
So How Can One Learn This Language?
With nobody to turn to, men are left crawling in the dark by themselves, desperately searching for the door that leads to sartorial wisdom. Inherently, we all know that the way we look matters, but nobody is out there guiding us in the right direction.
As men, we need direction. There was a study done where researchers discovered that by placing a small etching of a fly in public bathroom urinals, there was less spillage. We men need something to aim at.
This means that before you go shopping, you must have a plan. Make a list of things you want to purchase next time you hit the stores. When something catches your eye online or in a magazine, add the item to your list. This will prevent you from aimlessly walking around and merely perusing through each store – wasting time and ending up purchasing something you didn’t want just because the salesgirl said it was “so you.”
With a specific plan in your mind, now you’re at the store with a mission. You go in, get what you need, and you get out. The man’s way. Sounds simple, I know, but does everything have to sound complicated for you to want to give it a try?
The best way to start learning the language of style is by looking at those who know it and begin emulating them. (check out our tumblr)
So surround yourself with style savvy friends or fashion magazines, and make mental notes of what looks good to you. When you see great outfits in fashion magazines, cut them out and save the pages, take note of what is worn and how the outfit is put together. After all, the models are dressed by stylists. Be careful not to get sucked into all the advertising though. You don’t have to buy the exact pieces to look good, focus studying the outfit combinations.
When you’re out shopping, and you happen to see some other interesting items, try it on. This is a simple concept that most men don’t ever bother to implement. The only way to truly expand your style and find what you like is to try it on first. Something you judge won’t work for you at first glance may change entirely once you put it on.
Make sure an item you try on makes you feel good. Maybe it makes you feel sexier, more confident, or says something you’ve always wanted to voice through your clothing.
The biggest sartorial faux pas is dressing in something you dislike. This is not to discourage risk-taking, but risks are usually taken in the direction that the person wants to go.
If you try something on and no part of the item makes you feel better at all, you’ll most likely come off as incongruent because it’s not something that is in sync with any element of your personality, and the uncomfortable body language that accompanies this emotion will amplify the incongruence even more.
Once you begin to really use a language, you’ll figure out how to use it more effectively. Instead of purchasing items that are in fashion, you’ll purchase items because you need them to complete a specific look you want to achieve. It becomes a lot more fun when you know what a certain element of your outfit is presenting about your character.
It takes practice like anything else, you have to learn through trial and error. One of the biggest reasons why most people aren’t willing to learn how to dress is because they believe they need a lot money to learn it. The truth is that you can still find any of the items you want at a cheaper price, it just takes more time.
If you don’t have the money at the moment, try all the items you want at the store as if you have all the money in the world, and then either look for something cheaper, or save up for it.
A great way to get a quick, mini-stylist is to ask a female friend who has an eye for fashion to tag along with you next time you go shopping. She’ll give you the straight facts from a woman’s view and give you the feedback you need before you decide to purchase something. Warning: Unless she knows how to properly dress herself, and has lots of guys in her life, be picky about the advice she gives you. All girls will have varying opinions, make sure she’s the type of girl you’d want to impress.
Also, if you have a girlfriend or a wife, do not be lazy and let her buy all your clothes. Why? For the same reason she doesn’t send you out to buy all her clothes. Unless your girlfriend is a men’s fashion designer you’re not going to look amazing in the clothing she buys you. Go out there and find what you really like instead of having someone dress you in what they like.
Consider getting an image consultant or a stylist
They’ll save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Once you understand how to shop more effectively for yourself, with a road map towards your goals, you’ll be surprised at how dramatically you can transform your style.
Now go out and learn the language of style. Others will start to understand the best in you.
Above all else, have fun with it.
Jae & Theory
Looking for a total style transformation?
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