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A Man’s Guide to Fashion: What to Look for When Choosing Clothing

  • Post category:Fashion
  • Post last modified:March 18, 2023
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Fashion is more than just the clothes you wear; it’s an expression of your personality and your lifestyle. For many men, the idea of developing a personal style can seem daunting. With endless choices and countless trends, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But fear not, this guide will help you navigate the world of men’s fashion and empower you to choose clothing that showcases your unique style and confidence.

1. Fit is Everything

The foundation of any great outfit is the fit. Regardless of the price tag or the brand, clothes that fit well will make you look and feel your best. When shopping for clothing, pay attention to how it fits in these key areas:

  • Shoulders: The seam should sit comfortably on the edge of your shoulder bone.
  • Chest: The fabric should be snug, but not tight, across your chest.
  • Waist: Your pants’ waistband should sit comfortably on your hips without the need for a belt.
  • Length: The hem of your shirts and jackets should fall at your hip bone, while pants should break just above your shoes.

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2. Know Your Body Type

Understanding your body type is essential for choosing clothes that flatter your physique. Men generally fall into one of four categories: ectomorph (slim build), mesomorph (athletic build), endomorph (stockier build), and a combination of body types. Knowing your body type will help you choose clothing that emphasizes your best features while downplaying any areas you’d like to minimize.

For example, if you have an ectomorph body type, opt for slim-fit clothing that adds structure to your frame. For mesomorphs, choose well-fitted clothing that highlights your athletic physique, and for endomorphs, focus on clothing that elongates and slims your silhouette.

3. Invest in Timeless Basics

Building a versatile wardrobe starts with stocking up on classic, timeless pieces that can be mixed and matched with ease. These essentials include:

  • Plain white and black t-shirts
  • Button-up shirts in white, light blue, and chambray
  • A well-fitted blazer or sport coat
  • Dark wash jeans
  • Chinos in neutral colors like beige, navy, and olive
  • A tailored suit in navy or charcoal gray
  • A classic leather belt
  • A quality pair of leather dress shoes and casual sneakers

Once you have these staples in your wardrobe, you can easily build upon them with seasonal trends and statement pieces.

4. Embrace Color and Patterns

Many men shy away from bold colors and patterns, but incorporating these elements can elevate your style and showcase your personality. Start by adding small pops of color, like a vibrant tie or pocket square, and gradually work your way up to more daring pieces, such as a patterned blazer or colorful pants. When mixing patterns, remember to keep the scale and intensity of the patterns varied to create a balanced look. For example, pair a small-scale gingham shirt with a larger-scale plaid tie.

5. Layering Adds Depth

Layering is a powerful tool in a man’s fashion arsenal. It adds depth and dimension to your outfits while providing the practical benefit of adaptability to changing weather conditions. Start with a base layer, such as a t-shirt or button-up shirt, and then add layers like a sweater, vest, or jacket. When layering, ensure that each layer can be worn on its own and that the colors and patterns complement each other.

6. Accessorize Wisely

Accessories are the finishing touches that can make or break an outfit. They provide an opportunity to showcase your personal style and add interest to your ensemble. Some essential accessories for men include:

  • Watches: A classic wristwatch is a timeless accessory that can elevate any outfit. Choose a versatile watch with a metal or leather band that can be easily dressed up or down.
  • Ties and Pocket Squares: These small additions can transform a basic suit into a polished, sophisticated look. Experiment with different colors, patterns, and textures to add visual interest.
  • Belts: Invest in a quality leather belt that complements your shoes. A reversible belt with black and brown sides is a versatile option that can be worn with a variety of outfits.
  • Bags: A stylish messenger bag, briefcase, or backpack can make a statement and serve a practical purpose. Opt for a neutral color and quality materials that will withstand daily wear and tear.
  • Socks: Don’t underestimate the power of a bold pair of socks. They can add a pop of color and personality to your outfit without overwhelming your overall look.

7. Dress for the Occasion

Understanding the dress code for various events and occasions is crucial in choosing the right outfit. Familiarize yourself with the different levels of formality, such as casual, business casual, semi-formal, and formal, and adjust your attire accordingly. When in doubt, it’s always better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed.

8. Quality Over Quantity

It’s worth investing in high-quality clothing that will last for years, rather than buying cheaper items that will quickly wear out or go out of style. Look for clothing made from durable materials and reputable brands that are known for their craftsmanship. While quality clothing may have a higher upfront cost, it will save you money in the long run by reducing the need for frequent replacements.

9. Tailoring Makes a Difference

Even the most expensive clothes can look mediocre if they don’t fit properly. A skilled tailor can alter your clothing to achieve the perfect fit, making you look polished and put-together. Invest in tailoring for key pieces like suits, blazers, and dress pants to ensure they flatter your body type and enhance your overall appearance.

10. Stay True to Your Style

Finally, remember that fashion is a personal journey. Embrace your unique style and don’t be afraid to break the rules or experiment with new trends. Confidence is the key to pulling off any outfit, so wear your clothes with pride and let your personality shine through.


Mastering the art of men’s fashion doesn’t have to be intimidating. By focusing on fit, understanding your body type, investing in timeless basics, and embracing color, patterns, and accessories, you can create a versatile and stylish wardrobe that reflects your individuality. Remember, the most important aspect of fashion is feeling confident in your choices and staying true to your personal style. Happy shopping!