A regular Joe seeking to be a fashion icon sounds like an eluding thought to say the least. The term ‘fashion icon’ while a little more reserved in the world of menswear, is thrown around loosely in womenswear. The term is almost pervasive to the point of a cliche because a ‘fashion icon’ is classified as a person who has considerable influence in how other people dress — even with what designs are shown on the runway.
Being dubbed a fashion icon is simply consequential to having a distinct personal style that speaks to your current place and time. A fashion icon is mostly reserved to those with celebrity or strong cultural influence, but that doesn’t mean an ordinary gentleman such as yourself cannot strive to be one or at least inherit the characteristics of what makes someone a fashion icon. Most represent a place in time, and as the Telegraph points out, most fashion icons don’t even have such on-point style. That being said, we agree that the term should extend beyond the realm of celebrity. It’s important to remember that at its root, the word ‘icon’ refers to the representation of a common symbol. Reverence is implied, but if someone’s style embodies any sort of cultural zeitgeist, then let’s just say they can be considered an icon.
That being said, just because you have amazing personal style doesn’t automatically make you an icon, there is simply more to it. While celebrities make a conscious effort to shape our culture, there are such things as regular ‘fashion icon’ dudes. And no matter where you may land on the fashion spectrum we’re going to help get you there — if you so desire. It’s going to take some time, patience, and crafting, but if you follow these three simple steps, you will be on your way to enviable status.
1. Focus on your charisma not the clothes
The clothes you wear need some personality: They need your inner confidence to wear them and they need your personal charisma. If you take a look at any style icon lists, for which there are many, it would probably be hard to spot a man that wasn’t known as charismatic and/or popular in his chosen field.
It takes a certain amount of guts to stay true to yourself and for the style icon, it’s more than just clothes, it’s about how you wear the clothes, your character and level of confidence. Who isn’t drawn to a man with confidence and looked up to as someone to emulate? It can be intoxicating.
2. Find your unique, highly distinctive style
It’s tough not to mention Johnny Depp when talking about a modern day fashion icon because he is the perfect example of one. What’s so interesting about Depp is that, as previously mentioned, he’s not what a fashion snob would call well-dressed, rather he’s distinctly dressed. Without even seeing his face, you can spot Depp from a mile away, and it’s utterly fantastic. His style can be best described as effortlessly cool and not trying too hard, with a love for worn-in vintage clothing, and heavy accessorizing that’s part grunge and part bohemian.
The takeaway from Depp, as just one example, is that you should look effortlessly cool, without looking like you tried too hard. This is why, as CNN notes, that we continue to place such revered men as Steve McQueen and Hunter S. Thompson and even Bob Dylan at the top of our style icon lists. Their clothing mirrors their careers, their attitudes, and their cultural place in history. Their styles are distinct, memorable, and none of these men ever looked like they were trying too hard. Their names have practically become synonymous with their style. Conversely though, there are also style icons like David Bowie, who went completely against the grain: His style was not quite effortless, but better described as more of a trend setter and way ahead of his time. These style icons are rather rare.
3. Gain a following
There’s little point to being an icon if you don’t have others that are accepting and looking to you as a bonafide fashion icon. You need to be accepted by the men around you as one. This doesn’t mean that you have to set up an Instagram account or a blog to showcase your style to the world, but you should stand out and be known by those in your circle and beyond as “the guy with that unique style,” like you know what you’re doing, but it’s effortless. It should flow naturally out of you. That said, it still helps to be sartorially aware of the trends, and if you decide to, adopt and cater them to your own style needs.