It might be difficult to be fashionable, but having great style is pretty straightforward, atleast for men
One thing that has been a gamechanger for me is to never buy individual items, but to always buy complete outfits, and buy colours that go together with each other so you can mix & match.
Another very important thing you need to do is choose colours according to one’s skin tone.
Dark colours look great on fair guys, while darker guys should wear lighter colours (but they almost never do).
Simple combo of dark denims & a light shirt (dark-light), along with light/tan shoes
Both are essentials for a wardrobe because they go with so much else. I apologise for the potato quality photo.
This is the reverse – tan khakis, white linen shirt, black blazer, and black shoes
One mistake Indian guys make is wearing dark & dark combos. You should go for this only if you’re fair. If you’re dark, this kind of outfit will look pretty shitty on you
Mostly you just go light and dark alternates. They
almost always work.
If you’re going for the classy casual look, the easiest way is to wear white. You’ll stand out. It’s really rare for people to wear white here for some reason. Everyone dresses dark.
Get a grey undershirt to wear with your white shirt unless you don’t mind your nipples showing, heh heh.
Why grey & not white?
That’s because grey is invisible under white, while a white undershirt shows a clear outline.
Here are a few more examples to see how the basics are where the magic is:
Notice they all have atleast ONE accessory to complement the outfit, else it looks too boring. Keep clothes basics & use accessories like socks, scarves & other stuff to add a dash of style to clothes.
Match light bottoms with dark tops & vice versa .
One question probably running through most of your minds is you have to be fit first to look good in these outfits.
The short answer is that’s not completely true, but getting fitter is one of the best ways to improve how your clothes fit on you. While each brand has a certain fit according to who their target customers are, ususally clothes fit best when you are lean & slightly more muscled than average.
The shoulder to waist ratio is a huge driver of how attractive you look, both in clothes & *ahem* out of them.
Check out this guy. Pretty skinny, but his dressing is on point
If you’re trying to get fit & don’t know where to start, check out My Fitness Blog.
Building your wardrobe: The essentials
OK, so now you have a rudimentary understanding of what looks good, what doesn’t & a few examples of how to throw combinations together. So how do you go about building your wardrobe?
Buy these items first, there’s a reason they’re called essentials. These items are IN ORDER OF PRIORITY from top to bottom.
White linen shirt
Light checked shirt
Dark patterned shirt
Black leather shoes
Black leather belt (don’t be the fancy buckle guy please. You know who you are)
Classic blue denims
Grey woollen pants
Tan leather shoes (Oxfords not brogues)
Matching tan leather belt (see above disclaimer)
Oxfords, not Brogues
Black trousers (move these up if you need to get formal wear first)
Converse or similar-styled sneakers (for casual wear)
A word about sports shoes: Have you seen older gentlemen wearing formal clothing with white reeboks. Leave the running shoes & trainers for the gym or track. Wear normal sneakers instead.
Oh hell no
Heavy boots. Hard-toed ones are great.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe this is something that can be learnt from a blog post. See what other guys are wearing, browse around online & see what attracts you the most. Good taste cannot be taught, it has to be cultivated & refined over time.
So what are some good brands?
To some degree, this’ll be subjective, but these are brands that make clothing that I find fits me well.
Jack & Jones
Zara (be cautious with this one. I’ve had more than one person tell me their clothes seem to be sort of flimsy. Planned obsolescence)
Another brand that has some weird fitting shirts (unless oversized collar & extra-length sleeves are your thing) . Go for these if it goes with the look you’re trying to pull off.
They have great denims though.
Remember, buy fewer outfits, but better ones. You don’t need to shop every 3 months.
Tips & Recommendations
- Always buy clothes at sales, never otherwise
- Dress for the occasion, but it’s better to be overdressed rather than to be underdressed
- You’ll be spending the most on shoes. That’s the one thing you can never skimp on. A good pair of leather shoes will last you a decade or more.
If you’re a little observant, you’ll notice that the first thing girls check out are your shoes: Always! Ask any of your female friends.
- Protip: When lacking inspiration I usually just look at what attractive guys are wearing at clubs & reverse engineer the look.
- Wear solid denims & let them fade with use rather than buying prefaded denims
- Get more light coloured shirts and tees
Mistakes to Avoid
- Trousers shouldn’t have pleats unless you’re 60 years old & can’t be assed to change your dressing style
- Throw out all polos that aren’t a solid colour (no stripes)
Just. No. Unless you’re Russian, & can sit in the squat position comfortably for more than an hour
Unless you’re trying to fit into a certain subculture (like the guys in Ed Hardy tshirts traipsing along the whole Andheri-Juhu-Lokhandwala belt) avoid all brand name mentions on your clothes.
Remember, you’re buying their clothes, you don’t also have to advertise for them. Leave that to women & their handbags. :^)
I admit I have a few tees like this, but I acquired them during a less enlightened phase of my life. I wouldn’t do it again.
Instead, if you’re buying tees for casual daytime use, buy something which displays your passions or sense of humour. It’s easy now. Go buy that GOT tee you’ve been eyeballing.
For evening wear, you want to buy plain tees, & layer them with a nice jacket.
One last thing, if trying to dress well, t-shirts are a tough look to pull off if you’re not in great shape.
These will kill any attraction women might have towards you in an instant
- On the same note, definitely NO CROCS. Wear regular beach slippers instead.
Odds & Ends
Cheatsheets to take things to the Next Level
I don’t think anyone should need any more cheatsheets
Do you have questions, tips or interesting stories, leave a comment & I’ll try to help as best as I can.