How to develop a signature style
Style is more than just the clothes that you wear, it’s finding your signature look. This is what distinguishes those who stand out with those who blend in. It makes you the master of fashion, rather than the other way around. When a man has a signature style, chances are, the comfort he feels in his own skin will be replicated in other areas of his life.
Another benefit of a signature style is that it takes the guesswork from figuring out what suits you. When you have a good personal style your freed up in a lot of ways. There’s no fashion faux pas because you take the best of whats in at that moment and leave the rest.
There’s no great secret to having a distinctive style, the key is to build around the pieces that compliment you. Once you do that, it will be easy to express yourself through clothes and look good in the process. To get you started we’ve compiled this short guide on how to find your signature style. Here we look at what to avoid, and how to get you on the fast track to looking and feeling your authentic best.
Understand what your physique is
A starting point in knowing how to create your own style is to become aware of your body type. Are you tall? short? slim? Or larger? Perhaps you like your arms, but would prefer to hide your belly. When you find out your strengths and weak points, you can really embrace your body and rock your look.
For example, a pair of black skinny jeans along with a pale shirt may seem like an outfit most guys can “get away with”. However, if you happen to be someone who has broad shoulders and thinner legs (inverted triangle), then wearing something tight and dark on your bottom half and lighter on top will make you look top heavy. On the other hand, this type of outfit would be ideal for someone with a more rectangular body shape – as in balanced in upper and body proportions.
As a quick guide, men with heavy calves should opt for a pleated trouser with a sharp taper; if you happen to be short and stocky find jackets that skim your hips; if you have broad shoulders go for a jacket that nips in at the waist; if you’re tall and lean, choose a blazer that covers your behind and goes in at the waist
The sooner you understand your physique the sooner you can choose styles that flatter you. It is also this type of knowledge that can make your personal style look effortlessly dapper.
To find out more about dressing for your body type, read our article on Male Body Types.
Clean your closet- get rid of the junk
The first piece of advice for creating your own style is to empty your closet. Yes, you got it right! Empty it all, completely. After you have got everything out, divide the things you have by type into large piles: shirts, pants, jeans, jackets, ties etc. Now from each pile decide what to keep and what to throw away (or donate to charity).
Think of throwing things away as a positive operation; this will help you get more organized and understand what you have, it will also free up space for any new useful purchases. Keep only the things that you actually enjoy wearing and look good in. If you don’t wear them anymore, it’s time to get rid of them. Needless to say, you should do the same thing with shoes.
The moment you do, things will seem a lot clearer and you will be ready for a new beginning.
Find the best color for you
Think of the right colors as a foundation for your wardrobe, these are your go to colors that you know will always enhance your look. Your personal style should be focused on the shades that compliment your complexion.
If you are not sure where to start, consider your skin undertone. This is essentially the base of the coloring of your skin. To grasp this concept, you should know that the skin’s surface tone is the color you’d describe yourself as having (pale skinned, lighter skinned, medium skin, tan skinned, darker skinned, etc.) The skin’s undertone will be the color that’s underneath the skin surface. Two people can have the same skin color, but still have different undertones. This can be broken down as in:
Cool (red pink or blue undertones)
Warm ( peachy, yellow, golden undertones)
Neutral (a mixture of cool and warm undertones)
For people with warmer undertones choose yellow shades like; green, brown,tan, or red will suit you.
If you have a cooler undertones then shades like; greens, blues, pinks, purples, magenta’s, blue-greens and blue-based reds will look good on you.
For neutral undertones, great news! You can pick between cool and warm tone colors with no issues
And if you want a quick way to find out what your skin tone is, check out your veins. Do they look blue or green? If they are more blue, then you have cool undertones. If your veins have a greenish hue, you have warm undertones. As a side note, warm undertone guys, you’re veins aren’t really green—they just look that way because you’re seeing them through yellow-toned skin (blue +yellow = green.)
The moment you find your go-to color, you can start incorporating it into your wardrobe whenever you can. Of course, make sure not to overdo it.
Forget fashion – or at least don’t focus on it so much
Not following every fashion fad is incredibly important to your signature look. When you own your style, the world follows you and not the other way around. A great example of this is James Dean, with his white t-shirt, leather jacket and jeans, he had a style that had nothing to do with trends. Even to this day his signature style is the archetypal motorcycle cool guy look.
This doesn’t mean ignoring fashion trends altogether. After all, having your own personal style is about freedom and expression, and if a certain trend helps you with that, then so be it. However, try and embrace the trend by injecting your own personal take on it. You can also just take small aspects of a trend and fit them around your signature style.
Classic mens clothing – your new best friend
When in doubt, get those “classic pieces” out. If you invest in items like; a white t-shirt, leather jacket, quality trench coat, sneakers, they will see you through years and even decades of passing trends – and still look good. The best thing is that you can build on “classic pieces” and create your signature style, adding your own personality here and there.
Another great thing about classics is that they look good on pretty much anyone. However, with this in mind, should still make sure they suit your personal shape.
Final style tips.
Take time with creating your signature style. Start with these tips and if you still feel like you haven’t locked down your own personal look, then take inspiration from style icons you admire. Just remember to be inspired by someones look rather than copying it exactly. The point is, someone should look at your clothing and see you and your personality, and not a watered down version of someone else. You can also look to the past for inspiration, maybe you look good in a waist coat or prefer pocket watches to wrist ones. Whatever you decide, have fun with it. You can play around with different looks until you find the one you like – and don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.