My journey to dressing better began after realizing that unless I was going into the world of sneakerheads or graphic tees, no one was going to take someone wearing Dickies shorts and a white t-shirt seriously. More so, I couldn’t take myself seriously. Halfway through college, I slimmed down my jeans, rolled up my cuffs, and bought myself some oxfords. What a world of difference it made. I’ve gone through the extremes of “dapper”— from the daily tie and suspenders to casual button-ups and chinos—and I’ve learned that in order to stand out in a sea of #menswear (well, if you live in urban areas mostly), there are certain things you can do that will help you be in a league of your own.
Socks were the first thing I started getting bolder with. I reached a point where I’d started to cuff my pants and wear socks so striking that passersby couldn’t help but look (my eyes are up here^, ladies!). Socks are an easy way to ease yourself into colors or patterns you might not otherwise feel comfortable wearing. Just wait until you’re getting random compliments on them. One, you’ll know that people are checking the hell out of you. Two, you’ll start getting more confident.
A minimal slim watch
I have no idea how chunky, blinged out, and oversized watches made their way onto the wrists of many a man, but they do not belong there (opinion? Sure. But I’m probably right). An understated watch with a simple design will bring your outfit together more so than a flashy one. The latter will only distract.
You’ve got an empty wrist opposite the watch, so why not make the most of it? I’m a sucker for handmade bracelets. The details and imperfections make for a really interesting accessory. Don’t go overboard with it, though— one, maybe two bracelets that compliment your watch will do just fine.
Step outside the typical poplin (dress shirts are usually made of this) and chino fabrics, and into the twills and tweeds (for example). Most brands will have one or two pieces that are made of some kind of unique fabric— just opt for one of them next time you’re shopping. Disclaimer, though: with unique fabrics, you probably want to have these pieces dry cleaned. Check the label!
Fit is king. You’ve probably read this time and again around the web. Wonder why? Because it’s true. If you’re lucky, off-the-rack items will fit you. If you’re everyone else, I suggest finding an experienced tailor. Whether it’s a shirt, pants, or a jacket, a tailor will be able to adjust anything to make it fit you. I can go on for days about it, but if you want to read more about how different pieces should fit, a quick Google search is all it takes. It ultimately comes down to personal taste. Personally, I like my clothes tapered (fitted), but that’s just me…
There is an endless way to go about everything mentioned above, but it’s up to you to develop a style that suits you. This Ape is just here to nudge you forward.
Check out our friends over at Gorilla Socks— at least 10% of every pair of bamboo socks you buy goes to support gorilla conservation.
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