Let’s be honest, there are a lot of publications out there, online and print, offering advice on how to improve your style. Much of that advice is really sponsored content. This isn’t an issue as long as you trust the creators of that content to only accept projects which fall in line with the rest of their aesthetic (or brand). For example, I would never write a post recommending canned shave gel, just to get a paycheck. It obviously is “off-brand” for Tailor & Barber. I would lose the faith of my readers. The expected return for a sponsored post or content is the hope that consumers will then buy whatever product was recommended. None of this is news, but I thought it would be fun today to take a look at a few things anyone can do, FOR FREE, to improve their style.
1. Go for a run.
Clothes always look better when they drape more smoothly. I’m not saying everyone needs to run out and get ripped, but a little fitness can go a long way to improving the way your clothes look on you. I started back at Crossfit in June of 2016, and I haven’t dropped a single pound. But my weight has shifted from fat to muscle, and I can absolutely say my clothes look better on me now than they did last summer. Additionally, exercise results like endorphins, confidence, and a positive body image are all reflected in your outward appearance.
2. Shine your shoes.
I’m willing to bet you have a shine kit lying around somewhere collecting dust (mine’s in my closet). Few details can affect the overall look of an outfit like a well-maintained pair of shoes. All the pocket squares, tie bars, and lapel pins in the world won’t save you if your shoes look like two worn tires strapped to your feet.
While initially this may not seem that pertinent, a positive mental state can play a major role in how others see you. Behaviors like smiling more and making eye contact (meaning you’re more present) are huge assets in the drive to develop a stylish persona. Additionally, that feeling of being more comfortable in your own skin, which definitely comes with meditation, is projected outside more than you might realize.
4. Focus on fabrics.
One of the great secrets about building an outfit that really stands out as something special is the combination of fabrics. Another is the pairing of patterns, but we can discuss that later. When fabrics of similar weight and texture are worn together they deliver a sonse of completeness, a totality that truly embodies the word “outfit”, not simply clothes. I think a great place to start is mixing fabrics like oxford cloth with denim, wool with flannel, and cotton with linen.
5. Wear a jacket and tie.
I think most guys are so afraid of being accused of “peacocking” that they will stick to a pair of jeans with a striped shirt or a sweater as their “going out” outfit and not deviate. I totally understand this, but there is a way to dress up a bit more without going full blown Pitti Uomo. The next time a guys’ night or date night is planned, pop on a jacket and tie with those jeans. Remember, jackets and ties do not exist solely for show. When sized appropriately, they also frame your face and accentuate your best features.
Do you have any tips for stepping up your style without spending any money? Leave a comment below!