How to Improve Your Casual Look
Style is a huge mode of communication. There is a lot of power in the clothing you decide to wear. Dressing well can give any man the time he needs to make the best first impression anywhere, at any time — you will look like a classy, respectful guy who can be taken seriously. The challenge for guys is in wanting to look good, but not looking overdressed. You just want to keep it causal — but still stylish.
With a little help and a few style tips, guys can dress casual, look sharp and feel confident in the clothes they wear.
Dress to look older
The way you dress is the way you are perceived. Maturity is an attractive quality in men — it shows masculinity and class. It is a quality people want to see. American fashion designer Tom Ford once said: “Dressing well is a form of good manners.”
Let your style reflect your maturity. Start by raiding your wardrobe and culling your youthful clothes. Remove rugged T-shirts, cargo pants and sweatshirts. Get rid of items that are washed out, no longer fit or that you no longer wear. Commit to building your mature wardrobe by giving up the graphic and slogan shirts as well. Save these for bed or the gym. You don’t see the hero or the heartthrob wearing graphic shirts in the movies. Try wearing solid or striped T-shirts instead. These are easier to mix and match with different outfits, and simpler to dress up or down.
Saying goodbye to some of your favourites is hard. But you will get new favourites — better favourites that are more suited and more refined to your new casual look.
Invest in shoes.
It is common for people to notice nice shoes, especially women. Well fitted and good quality footwear will improve any outfit and make you look sharp. It is easy to simply focus on the clothes and disregard the shoes.
Save the Timberlands for weekend activities and try a pair of lace-up leather or suede boots to pair with jeans or chinos. These are super comfortable and are perfect for casual wear. Opt for a pair of brown leather loafers for a more formal look. Either way, you will instantly look clean and be seen as a man of taste.
You don’t need to spend a lot on good quality shoes, but be prepared to pay for well-made classic footwear. Try and keep any pair of shoes in pristine condition. With some light cleaning and the occasional shine, a good pair of shoes will last years and keep you looking respectable.
Love your denim
Jeans are the first choice for casualwear with most guys. And for good reason — jeans are great.
To keep the causal look but still look first-rate, ensure you are wearing the right pair of jeans. Avoid baggy jeans which need to be pulled up every two second, or ones that are too big around the ankles. Embellishments should also be avoided if you are trying to look mature with your casual look. This means no ripped, bleached or distressed denim. Keep them simple. Jean styles are always changing but a pair of dark straight-leg jeans in the correct size will make you look awesome. They can be worn with a fitted T-shirt for a relaxed casual look or these can also be dressed up with a classic buttoned shirt for a business-casual style.
As a guide, denim works well teamed with cotton button down shirts, black or brown shoes, crewneck sweatshirts and knits. Avoid teaming jeans with suspenders, silk shirts, neckties and waistcoats.
Look beyond denim
Jeans are awesome. But they aren’t your only option for stylish legwear. Escape your comfort zone and invest in a pair of chinos. Just by adding one pair of these, you can double the amount of outfits you can create. And because they can be bought in a variety of colours, buying more just adds even more variety to your wardrobe.
Basic colours are great for a stylish casual look — think plain colours like camel and grey which look decent paired with a buttoned shirt. Brighter colours are great to keep it interesting and make you stand out from the crowd. Simple subdued colours like army-green are a great way to ease into coloured bottoms.
Chinos are well cut and classically styled which will refine any casual look.
Layering is an easy way to add interest to an outfit — and also add definition to your body. It doesn’t have to be a complicated or overthought task — guys can easily layer knits, jackets or shirts to create some depth to their outfit. Layers simply add more detail to an outfit to make it more visually appealing, as well as an ideal approach for keeping warm in winter.
Accessories are an easy way to make a causal outfit stylish. This could mean a scarf, a pocket square or a beanie. Start simple by adding a watch. There are many different styles and colours to choose from, leaving room to personalise your style. Leather watch bands are a perfect combination of casual sophistication. Wearing something on your wrist will give your outfit more personality and flare.
If you have hair, you can work it into your outfit. Long hair can be tied back loosely or sleekly pulled back to create some interest to your look. Same goes for your beard. Even if you have an amazing outfit, a messy beard can be a style flaw. Aim for the perfect shave with a shaving brush and good quality razors.
It is not uncommon for men to look to the fashion world for current trends and styles. Unfortunately, these trends change too fast and can be hard to follow. This isn’t ideal for guys just wanting to dress smarter with wardrobe staples. After all, it is expensive business following trends and updating your entire style every few months.
Instead, focus on timeless clothing which you can style all year round. Classic pieces are stylish and easy to dress up or down regardless of the occasion. If you stick to what you truly like and master the basics, style will come naturally from your outfits.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of trends but remember to accommodate differences in your own style. Figure out the image you want to portray and experiment with clothing to suit your style.
Experimenting with styles and accessories is fun — but be careful not to overdo it. Simple style is the best style for guys — whether dressing casual or formal. Being extravagant isn’t necessary to look great, just as dressing casual doesn’t have to be boring. You don’t need a suit to dress well. Experiment with collared shirts for a simple casual look or achieve smart casual with the addition of a good-looking blazer over a plain white T-shirt.
If you want to add more colours, keep your outfit simple by teaming a key colour piece with a simple outfit. You will stand out in a sophisticated and effortless way. Opt for subtle and simple outfits to make it seem like you chose these clothes in no time at all. By keeping your outfits simple, you get the additional benefit of allowing your personality and confidence to stand out.
While looking effortless, that doesn’t mean looking careless. Your clothes should still fit right and work together in a way that is pleasing to the eye.
Start slow and ease into creating your casual style. Experiment, learn and take your time to discover the looks you are satisfied with. Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t. If in doubt, ask for feedback or advice. Style is tricky — start with one point and work yourself up from there. Just adding a pair of chinos to your wardrobe will instantly get you major improvements — both in your looks and your confidence.