10 Comments.

Hey gents,

I’m a big believer in little details. As minor as they may seem, they make the biggest difference when properly executed. Not to mention, the ladies seem to notice the little things, so that should give you even more incentive to do your best.

Below are some staple wardrobe pieces. You probably have some of these in your closet already. I’m gonna show you how to tweak your daily selection (or next purchase) just a little, so you can stand out from your fellow dudes. In a good way.

Little changes, big difference

Back to Basics: Make minor outfit tweaks to stand out from the crowd

Can’t see the graphic above? Looking for a PDF version? Download one here (right click and Save As…)

basic blue button up < lavender button up

Go to any financial district in any major metropolitan area, and I’ll bet the majority of outfits consist of black pants and blue button-ups.

You’re different. You don’t want to blend in with the rest of the crowd. So wear lavender.

light blue < mint green

Who wears mint green instead of light blue? Hardly anyone, which is exactly why you should. Light blue is a staple dress shirt color, so opt for mint green when you’re tired of the usual.

black slacks < dark gray slacks

Black is tired. It’s commonplace. It’s the standard. Save black for funerals and branch out if it’s your typical choice. Try dark gray slacks instead. The lighter shade will create more visual interest, especially with the lavender dress shirt that I suggested above. Oh, and top that duo off with a pair of brown lace-ups.

basic khaki < darker khaki

Plain ol’ khaki is another staple piece in a man’s wardrobe, there’s no denying that. But men have grown complacent in their casual wear. Take it down a notch and stand out against your typical Dockers wearer. A darker shade of khaki twill still complements a majority of your shirt choices, and at the same time steps up your style game. That small difference can set you apart from the sea of washed-out light khaki roaming the streets.

washed denim < dark, inky denim

This piece of advice is common knowledge to the sartorially inclined. Ditch the overly-washed pair and opt for an inky, dark blue denim. You’ll instantly up your class, style, and appearance. Make sure the stitching blends in with the denim and and make doubly sure there’s no corny decorative stitching on the butt pockets. You’re a dude, not a walking billboard.

Groundbreaking? Revolutionary? Hardly.

None of these ideas are new, but hopefully this illustrates the point that seemingly minor adjustments in your wardrobe can really set you apart and help you break away from the uniform you’ve come to adopt.

Start small and work your way up.

Maybe you have a closet full of blue dress shirts. The next time you’re at the mall, keep an eye open for something lavender, or mint green. It’s all about those little steps that take you away from your comfort zone and allow you to explore other options while developing your own personal style.

What do you think?

Are these adjustments outlandish, or are they ones you can adopt into your everyday style? Let’s hear about it in the comments.

18 days left!

Have you RSVP’d to Fifth&Brannan‘s launch event? It’s not too late; you can check it out right here. The event is on June 18th in San Francisco. Hope you can make it!

By the way, do you follow EG on Twitter? If not, you should.


*all clothing examples courtesy of express.com

PUBLISHED June 1, 2011


Barron is the Founding Editor of Effortless Gent and the Cladright Association. He's from San Francisco but currently living in New York. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr.



  • Chris Wallwork

    Great post. I am now sitting here smugly in my lavender shirt, dark grey slacks, and brown lace-ups. As someone who has only recently started diversifying my style, it is nice to know I am on the right track.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Nicely done Chris :)

  • http://twitter.com/HendricksPark Hendricks Park

    Excellent post! We suggest these ideas to a lot of our clients — and they love the “easy impact” it makes. Love seeing this list all in one place. Glad we found you on Twitter… keep it up!

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Impact = great word to describe it. It’s subtle and not all “look at me”, but the little things make a big difference. Thanks for reading!

  • http://twitter.com/2MLegacy Money Market Legacy

    great post…was funny reading about the mint green cause I started doing that a little while back just to be different….great article!

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Thanks man. I love the mint green. To be honest I haven’t picked up a shirt in this shade yet, though I’ve been meaning to since last summer. Maybe this will be my month, haha.

  • Nicklaus

    Maybe its just the region I live in (Washington) but I feel I see a lot more darker khaki around than I do light, which is why I wear light 

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      It’s good you’re doing the opposite of what’s normal. I think the most important thing is fit. Most light khaki wearers are in the pleated billowy Dockers category. As long as your chinos fit well, wear any color you please.

  • Arkhangael

    Apparently, doing things differently is my part. And some women reproach me this. Some say I should mingle, I say, I stand out.
    I wear pants like I’m auditioning for a Beatles lead singer/bass player part.
    It’s summer I wear a suit instead of being tieless
    Everyone goes nuts about android, I use an iPad.
    I use a cute phone that however does little more than send texts and receive calls while my mates look smart with state of the art smartphones..
    Most of my friends have stylish new or almost new cars. I play new music in my older car.
    I spend my money on stylish shoes and good quality sunglasses while people I know spend even more on bourbon and whiskey in an evening.
    I’ll admit that I can’t afford the same bourbon though…

  • Nick

    I am shopping for a dress watch and interested in the Tissot Tradition Gent (with brown leather strap). I was wondering if this would be ‘tacky’ or ‘unsophisticated’ however, to pair with black shoes/belt?