They say you can’t teach a man to have style, but that’s not entirely true. While no one is automatically born with the ability to effortlessly look great, stylish men develop this ability over time by practicing good habits. A little planning goes a long way. The golden rule of men with style has nothing to do with what George Clooney wears on the cover of a magazine or what Bradley Cooper rocks on the red carpet. It’s all about what looks good on you personally. So, if you base your wardrobe on that ideal, following these essential rules can only make you look better.
1. Know when to hold them
Building a good wardrobe takes time and money. No matter what your budget is, everyone wants something that exceeds their budget. You might not realize this, but the best quality clothes are often on sale and available at discounted prices just after the season ends. Although you won’t get the immediate gratification of being able to wear something post-purchase, hold on, have patience, and you will be fully stylin’ during a more weather appropriate time.
2. Know when to fold them
I’m not talking about laundry here. While men don’t want to admit they are sentimental sometimes (after all, you can’t spell sentimental without men), that often means hanging on to that ripped concert t-shirt or faded pair of jeans with a hole in the crotch (we’re talking about you, Lenny Kravitz). If something no longer works, whether it’s because it’s past its prime, will never ever fit again, or there is about a 5% chance it will ever come back in style (trucker hats), stylish men know when it’s time to say goodbye.
3. Know how to launder
OK, now we’re talking about laundry. If you ever wonder how you are supposed to clean a garment, just look at the label sewn right in. It will guide you in the right direction. If it says “dry clean only,” that doesn’t mean put it in the washing machine, it means send it to the dry cleaner.
Even your casual wear should be treated with care. Buy good laundry detergent (seriously, don’t buy generic, your wardrobe is at stake) and dryer sheets. Take the time to separate your whites from darks and check the temperature settings on your washer and dryer.
If you aren’t good at laundry or hate going to the dry cleaner, there are a number of apps you can download to make your life easier. Washio offers next day laundry and dry cleaning services. If you live in New York City, Flycleaners offers on-demand pick up and delivery seven days a week from 6:00 a.m. to midnight.
4. Know when to tailor
There is nothing stylish about ill-fitting clothes. A good tailor can make a cheap suit look expensive and a bad tailor can make your expensive suits look cheap. If you spent money on something, take the extra time to make sure it fits right.
You might know that many stores you may already go to, including Banana Republic, J. Crew, Men’s Warehouse, Brooks Brothers, and JoS A. Bank have in-house tailors that will alter your clothes for free or at a very low cost. Take advantage of these services. Just call the store ahead of time because not every location may offer alterations.
5. Know when to buy multiples
You know how most stores will sell you multiples of a particular item at a discount? That’s not only because they want you to buy more. It’s because if something looks good and fits you properly, you should own more than one of it in multiple colors or styles. Don’t be afraid to buy in bulk because if you really like something, it may not be available by the time you want to replace it.