1. Donate or recycle anything you haven’t worn in over a year.
You get two ‘beloved old favourite’ exemptions here, as well as formalwear. Ruthlessly pitch or donate the rest. Less is more.
2. Get everything adjusted.
Well, okay, not everything. But most things: nice pants, shirts, and jackets should all go to the tailor for adjustments, unless they came custom-tailored already.
3. Laugh at trends.
They’re a way to separate style illiterates from their money. Keep your look timeless. Trends can be a fun inspiration if they appeal to your existing sense of style, but don’t pursue them just because they’re 'in'.
4. If the designer’s logo is too visible, it’s not as stylish as you think.
See previous point about trends, and add some emphasis. You’re nobody’s billboard. No visible brand names.
5. Gym shoes are for the gym.
This one speaks for itself.
6. Have a removable top layer.
In the hot days of summer, you can go with one tee. The rest of the time, try and opt for two presentable layers on top. You never know when you’ll want to loan a lady your jacket or coat.
7. The man purse is never going to catch on.
‘Man purse, bum bag, swag bag’, whatever you want to call it. If you’ve been waiting for everyone to wake up and realise how stylish yours is, stop.
8. Invest in a really nice suitcase or day bag.
Your luggage is part of your style. Bag's aren't just for women, we're modern men.
9. Shop with a friend.
Sales people are paid to sell you things whether they look good or not. Take a friend who’ll tell you to your face when you look like an idiot, you can always grab a beer afterwards. If you’re shopping online, share that product link, thats what it's there for.
10. Own a watch, it works wonders.
Handsome. Functional. Classic. It’s amazing how such a small accessory can greatly enhance how you look and feel.
11. Check the size of your favourite pieces of clothing.
Those numbers are worth writing down. If a tee fits perfectly, you probably want your other tee's in about that size as well.
12. Buy Less, Choose Better.
Quality lasts longer than quantity, and you are guaranteed to look better in it.
13. Try not to let a lady plan your outfits.
Even the most fashionable women are working with a different stylistic language from you. By all means, ask advice or fish for compliments, but be confident in choosing your own style, it’s a part of who you are.
14. Always dress like you might decide to drop by a restaurant or bar with a dress code.
Because you might. And even if you don’t, you might as well look like a guy who’s got plans.
15. Shine your shoes more often than you think you need to.
About once a month is good.
16. Put some product in your hair.
If you already use product, try a different kind of product.
17. Don’t wear T-shirts with graphics on them…
Too much. Well, for anything that isn’t housework, a workout, or concert. My personal favourite is my Pink Floyd tee. But, upgrade to a solid-colour tee, or another lightweight option like a henley or polo.
18. Always wear after shave.
You can get small testers from most shops. Try a few and see what goes well with your natural scent. But again, less is more.
19. Clean your wallet out regularly.
The slimmer it is, the less wear and tear on both the wallet and the pocket it’s shoved into. It’ll also look nicer when you pull it out to pay for things. The devil’s in the detail.
20. Get your jackets pressed.
Light, unstructured ones are particularly prone to wrinkling, so press ’em early and often. Rumpled backs ruin the whole look.
21. Less is more.
A couple plain, understated solid pieces with one bright accent can do more than a flashy, patterned suit or shirt.
22. On occasion, sometimes more is more.
Go over the top with colour and pattern once in a while . Maybe when you have something to celebrate, or just when you’re in a really bouncy mood. But don’t make a habit of it.
23. Wear seasonal colours.
Dark earth tones and shades in autumn, greys and blues in winter, colourful pastels in spring — you get the point.
24. If you wear suits in the winter, wear a long wool overcoat.
Anything short enough that you can see the bottom of the suit jacket poking out beneath the hem of the coat doesn’t make the, ahem, cut.
There’s nothing wrong with being the best-dressed guy in the room. Be aware of social norms — don’t wear a three-piece suit to the cinema — but in general, plan on looking nicer than other guys in your social group at any given gathering.
26. Tailor your skin.
Be good to your skin. You'll wear it everyday, for the rest of you life.
Get some good skin cream and use it. Find the product that solves your particular problems, whether that’s oily skin, dry skin, or something else entirely.
We'll cover this in a future post.
27. Sunglasses are part of your look as soon as you put them on.
Own a couple pairs in a couple different styles — you’ll end up needing them as you vary your look.
28. Your outfit is only as good as the clothes in it.
At the end of the day, you can’t look like a runway model in cheap mass produced clothes. Be prepared to spend at least a little money if you want to look really good.
29. Fix damages sooner, rather than later.
Missing buttons, fraying edges, torn seams — get ’em into a tailor and get ’em fixed. No excuses.
30. Casual shoes make any everyday outfit look more stylish.
Have some good brogues, saddle shoes, or loafers for your day-to-day get-ups.
31. Don’t overthink it.
If everything fits and the colours aren’t an obvious clash, your outfit is probably presentable at the very least. The rest is just details.
32. Keep yourself well-groomed.
Trim your nails, shave regularly and with care, brush your teeth. A raggedy body under nice clothes jars the eye.
Which brings us onto our next tip:
33. Facial hair needs to look deliberate.
Beards look great, but shape the edges with a razor so that it doesn’t look like you’ve just let it grow. You want people to think you’re making a statement, not being lazy.
34. You want people to notice your face.
Wear clothes that guide the eye upward toward your chin and mouth. There’s a reason classic menswear tends to open upward (think about relaxed necklines and collared shirts).
35. Try out a brand you’ve never used before, within reason.
If it’s not your thing, move on. If it catches your eye, see what you like. You never know. But remember, buy less, choose better.
36. Your off-duty clothes still get looked at.
Swimwear, PJ’s, workout clothes — someone’s going to see you in them. Buy ones you look good in, and take care of them.
37. Organise your wardrobe.
Make it easy to reach in, grab any couple of items, and have an outfit that works. That means finding a home for the less-stylish utility pieces that’s far away from your good, sustainable clothes.
38. If you like a store, subscribe to their e-mail list.
I know, nobody likes sharing their email, it screams ‘spam, spam spam’. But you’ll also get sales and content that you will want, and that they don’t offer anywhere else. If you limit yourself to two or three of your top favourite brands, it’s well worth it.
39. There are worse fates in life than dressing like someone’s dad.
Or even someone’s grandfather. The generations before us knew a thing or two about looking sharp.
And most important of all…
40. Never wear a bad fit!
Ever. If it isn’t a close, flattering fit with no pinching or sagging, don’t wear it. This is the ultimate rule for looking good. Seriously. If you’re going to take one thing away today, take this one. Your Arbour, An Honest Fit.
Today you’re the best version of you. But tomorrow, you’ll be better.
Your Arbour, an honest fit.