By Thomas Gruner, Trendsetter Alumnus
Ah, men’s fashion. It’s almost like the awkward forgotten step-child sometimes. Honestly, when you think of fashion in most senses, like retailers, bloggers, etc., they’re almost all centered around women. Not many places, except for a select few(especially in MT) offer quality men’s clothing. Sure, taking a trip to Target or H&M can be easy for men, but they hold mostly basics. I always look for more than just the average denim and T-shirt, but then again, I’m told I’m rather extra sometimes. So I guess it really all comes down to your personal style/personality.
But hey, for all you guys who are looking for something a little more than a basic T-shirt and straight fitting jeans, here’s my top 10 tips for men’s fashion:
Know your fit & size!
The most important thing ever! You never want something that doesn’t fit well, it could give off a little too much hobo, and not enough chic. Make sure you keep it what you want too! I personally like a nice skinny denim, but can still go with a straight leg pant(depending on the mood) and I always go for a slim fit top because I personally prefer things to be fitted.
Play around with layers.
I LOVE layering, which shows in just about any of my outfits! Layers can be a comfortability thing, but also just a straight up statement. Never be afraid to throw an extra piece on top to bring an outfit to the next level. Whether it be a nice light jacket, flannel, or cardigan, it can always be added!
Know which colors work best for you.
For example, if you have light hair and light complexion, getting away with a super light color(besides basic neutrals) can be tough. With my dark hair, and decently pale complexion, I’ve found that earthy tones, more into the greens, work best for me. And just remember, black is always a safe one and you can NEVER wear too much of it.
Variety, variety, variety!
Yes, that’s surprising coming from me, because I’ve gotten very comfortable with my easy black jeans and boots. But let me tell you, when I’m feeling adventurous, and I branch out into a nice blue denim and play around with tops, it’s like a breath of fresh air!
Don’t be afraid to venture into different styles!
I mean, there’s just so many out there! Especially if you don’t know your personal style yet, play around. And when you do find it, don’t get too comfortable with it(i.e. me currently). The best part about fashion is being able to dress like a new person everyday.
Know the season.
Now, this sounds a little silly, because it’s more of retailer thing, but it’s always nice to have current colors and trends! For example, you have the fun bright colors of spring, then you get into the paler tones for summer, throw some burnt reds and earthy tones in around fall, and finally all the deep blues and darker tones for winter!
This is more of a personal preference, but organize your wardrobe. Being one who is not only a neat freak sometimes but also having worked full time in fashion retail, I organize my closet almost weekly, and pack up things I don’t necessarily need(by season). I always go by sleeve length, so I can just go down the line and pick up my layers, and then I also have style with style. For example, basic tees, then graphic tees, then textured tees, etc. It might be overboard, but hey, it’s easy when I wake up half an hour late and have to put together a decent outfit in two minutes.
Explore new stores!
Don’t be afraid to go places you wouldn’t typically think of for shopping. I’m a huge believer in thrifting so I go to Goodwill and other local thrift shops weekly to pick up nice finds. Not only is thrifting fun, but you can save a lot of money. Some of my nicest shoes have come from the local goodwill, or other thrift stores. My best find is a pair of $250 Oxfords I snagged for $6, and then one of my favorite pair of suede Chelsea boots, originally $129 that I got for $4. Sure, they’re used, lightly for the most part, but it honestly adds character!
Gender? Oh, I don’t know her…
Real talk though, all of my pants, except for maybe three pairs, have come from my work, Maurices, which is a women’s retailer. Really don’t be afraid to branch out a little. Like, a sweater is a sweater, pants are pants, shoes are shoes. Whatever your comfortability level may be, blue jeans are just blue jeans, and if you want a little more, androgyny never hurt anybody.
Of course, as everybody says, have fun with YOUR style! Fashion is fun, clothes are fun, colors are fun, so play around and kill it! Don’t be afraid to add that extra layer, or that last minute accessory, or add a little bit of edge to your style.
We need some more men’s fashion here in Montana, so many people treat it as taboo here. Sounds dramatic but I can’t even describe the looks I get sometimes. Like when they see it, they treat it as some unknown language. So seriously, branch out a little guys. I doubt you’ll regret it. An overall tip is to just look into some men’s fashion bloggers, they’re professionals at this whole thing, and I’m sure you’ll find something/somebody you can relate to.
Photography by McKenna Munden | @kennaphotography