6 Comments.

Hey gents!

I read this post the other day and it really struck a chord with me, in a positive way. I got this resurgence of unwavering belief in the things we teach here at EG.

First off, in case you didn’t realize this, EG isn’t a fashion blog. Here’s a bit more about the differences between fashion and style in case you weren’t sure.

Fashion blogs focus on the runway. The clothes that come out every season. The blogs you see with screenshots of runway models and endless references to individual items of clothing that can cost a couple paychecks to afford.

Maybe there’s a place for fashion lovers in this wide open world we call the Internet, but from a practical, everyday sense, I don’t see much of a point to it… especially men’s fashion blogs (thankfully there are much fewer of them than in the womenswear world).

Here’s why: the everyday guy can’t afford the items featured on these blogs. On top of that, the style is often so fashion-forward, it’s completely unrelatable to the average guy. What’s worse, most guys don’t give two shits about how they present themselves; are photos of dudes walking down runways supposed to change their minds?

Like I said, I’m sure there’s a place for these sites out there. But never mistake EG for a fashion blog.

Here’s why you visit EG regularly

What we care about the most is:

  1. helping guys realize it DOES matter how you present yourself, and
  2. once we get them to care, showing them how to dress, how to put things together, and how to get the most out of the things they buy

Other things we care about?

Oh, yeah, personal style. That’s a HUGE thing here at EG. That’s arguably the most important thing we cover. What it is, how to develop it, how it evolves over time… These are all things that don’t necessarily come naturally to everyone. Our job at EG is to help you figure it all out.

If you’re just starting out, or even if you’ve been at it for a while, figuring out your personal style can be a challenge.

Here are a couple things for you to remember. Personal style is…

Relative

You wear what makes the most sense for your lifestyle. A mail carrier should have different needs (and therefore a different style) than a graphic designer, who has different needs than, say, a hedge fund manager.

Each guy deals, interacts, and is friends with a different set of people, and both his career and surroundings dictate the type of clothing he needs to wear.

If you’re managing hedge funds, you’ll probably be in $3000 suits all week, so you can’t walk around the office in denim and flannel shirts like most designers I know can.

Mail carriers probably won’t need to wear suits every day either, so if you’re a mail carrier, don’t think you need to wear suits to be stylish or well-dressed.

Being stylish and well-dressed often comes down to choosing classic pieces, making sure they have impeccable fit, and then adding your own personal touch (i.e. a more fashion-forward or trendy item, accessorizing, adding pops of color, etc.)

Be stylish: Choose impeccably-fitting classic pieces, and then add your own personal touch – Click to tweet this!

Again, it’s all relative, and you can be stylish in casual wear as well as in suits. Just be aware of your everyday environment, know what’s appropriate for the situation, and adapt accordingly.

Comfortable

When I say comfortable, I mean physically, your clothes should fit well. Don’t mistake “comfortable” to mean “big and baggy and made of fleece”.

Another thing, I’m not sure why guys equate well-fitting clothes to being uncomfortable. You can wear your actual size, look great, and still feel comfortable. You don’t have to go up two or three sizes to feel comfortable. In my experience, most guys need to size down to get the right fit. You guys wear your clothes way too big.

Ever-evolving

Don’t think you’ll stick to one style forever. You may develop a uniform over time but even that will change as you learn more, discover new things and new ways to wear them, and as your preferences change.

This is natural and you need to let it happen. Don’t be resistant to change, otherwise you’ll be that old guy who never once changed it up or tried anything new… that guy who’s stuck in some past decade where he was at the top of his game and is STILL unable to move past that specific time in his life.

Youve seen that guy around. Dont be him.

Remember you want your style to be based around classic looks, but injected with trendier items here and there as you discover them. That’s the way to keep things fresh and up-to-date.

Oh, and you have to actually like said items. Don’t just wear them because they happen to be “in style”. Wear what speaks to you.

Dependent on budget

Whether we like it or not, the amount of money we can spend plays a big part in what we wear. But that doesn’t mean anything in terms of achieving great style. You can find outstanding items at Target, and you can find really terrible items at Neiman Marcus.

Do the best you can with what you have. If you have a Target-sized budget, I guarantee you can still find well-fitting and stylish options there. If you have a Neiman Marcus budget, well, you have plenty more options, but you’re not in the clear if you don’t have good taste.

That’s really all there is to it

Listen, when it comes down to it, style isn’t a difficult thing to figure out… mostly because there is no definitive right or wrong answer.

Sure, there are “rules”, but rules can be broken. What’s stylish to one person may be complete trash to someone else.

So dress for yourself, be open to exploring new styles, take what you like and what speaks to you, and discard everything that doesn’t.

Questions?

I hope you realize you’re making this more difficult than it should be. I also hope you realize that if you’re looking for the latest fashion advice hot off the runway, you’re on the wrong site.

Questions / concerns? Let’s hear them in the comments below.

[runwayNM sweater]

PUBLISHED November 13, 2012


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.



  • Ali

    Excellent article!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erwin-Barabas/906390506 Erwin Barabas

    You really summed it up very well – these are the reason why I think all of us are here.

  • Richard Wilkins

    Very good article Barron

  • Bo

    Terrific write-up, I had an argument about style versus fashion with a very ‘fashionable’ girl friend of mine, and needless to say, I think this article backs me up!

  • INeff

    So true! That’s what inspired my to start http://www.in-eff.com about mens styles that always look good on everyone. Take a look.

  • http://twitter.com/iamdalea Dale Allen

    You basically wrote all that was in my mind (except for the expletive in the fifth paragraph)!