As a young boy growing up in the United States where sartorial issues are not stressed, I found myself in the same precarious position with my mother. When shopping for clothes, she inevitably would grab a garment 2 or 3 sizes too large and proclaim, “Don’t worry, you will grow into this!”
As it turns out, these fabrics looked like capes on me – a “man gown” if you will. Unlike young Italian boys, a sense of fashion is not ingrained into the heads of American children. Baggy clothes become normal. Something that fits well is construed as “too tight.” A brilliant use of color is not “heterosexual.” Accessories are seen as silly.
Thus, I would like to change this thinking.
There comes a time in every young man’s life where the need to dress well arises. Whether it is a job interview or a formal event with a charming young lady, a proper gentleman should know how to dress and how to dress well.
Why? You look better. You feel better. Girls will compliment you. The world will take you seriously. But most importantly, you will take yourself seriously. Therein lays the integral point. Dress well for yourself.
My favorite quote from GQ’s the Style Guy is: “A man should always be well-dressed except when he is nude. One should dress for oneself, primarily, and not for others. It is a gift to others but an art and a discipline to ourselves.”
If I have your attention, you may agree with the points I have just made. But, you may be asking yourself – “How do I accomplish this? How do I go from Drab to Fab?!”
And to this, I present you my 3-step methodology for timeless style – the three “Fears” you must overcome to make you a handsome, well-dressed man.
“…The fit is very, very important.” – Stefano Pilati, Creative Director of Yves Saint Lauren
Men fear looking puny. We want to look big, strong, and masculine. However, we confuse this need with the need to wear baggier clothing. We think that by masking our body with lots of fabric, we make ourselves look manlier. In reality, we end up looking ridiculous.
The clothes are wearing us. We are not wearing the clothes. Alternatively, we initially believe that wearing trim, fitted clothing makes us look skinny and girly. This is simply not true. By wearing clothes that fit, we accentuate our manly features – broad shoulders, a tapered waist, strong legs, and our height.
The problem here is that most men have never seen themselves in a fitted, trim suit. The experience is eye-opening. What once seemed uncomfortable now looks charming and manly. The pants are more comfortable than our baggy ones because extra fabric is not being dragged behind you. The coat tapers at the waist, not looking girly at all, but in fact, manlier than before.
Therefore, I urge you, only buy FITTED clothes. Stop buying clothes that are too big for you. You will not grow into them. You are a grown man and should dress as such. Once you overcome this huge hurdle, you will notice how much more masculine you look.
Even if you do nothing else this article says, wearing fitted clothes will change everything. Even a Hugo Boss or E. Zegna suit will look like you bought it from Target if it does not fit well. And a Target suit can look timeless and classic if you take the appropriate measures to contour it to your body.
Pro Tip: Wear clothes that fit and you will look FIT. Simple, yet quite profound.
Read on to Part II: Fear of Color