I’m excited to bring you the latest post in the Signature Style series.
I first discovered Anthony a year or two ago while browsing Tumblr. He puts together some great outfits and takes awesome photos. While some outfits may be considered too stylish (whatever that means), I believe he does a great job pairing classic and trendy pieces, safe with daring pieces, etc., while always nailing the fit.
Keep in mind that what fits on him may not fit on your body type, and vice versa. This is why it’s so important to focus on fit first, then quality and brand of your clothing later. I talk a lot about this in Dressing Like a Grownup.
Another thing Anthony does wonderfully is utilize this idea of high / low that we’ve discussed before. That could mean either pairing casual items with more formal items into one cohesive look (which he does), or it could mean putting together more affordable, everyday items with more expensive, luxe items (which he also does).
Considering that he puts into practice everything we discuss here on EG, it’s as if he’s the physical embodiment of EG in picture form! Because you know I don’t take many photos of myself. I’m mysterious like that.
Anthony was nice enough to provide some As for my Qs. Here we go!
EG: In 3-5 words, describe your personal style.
CF: Never boring. Always something unexpected.
EG: Who or what influences / inspires your style the most, and why?
CF: I’m really influenced by people I see in my day to day life. When I was younger it would be my family and the way they dressed. Now it’s a lot of what I see people wearing on the streets of New York City. Most people in the city seem to be so effortlessly stylish so I’m drawn to their look.
It could be a certain color combo, layering idea, or standout shoe or accessory. I’m constantly inspired and getting ideas from my surroundings.
EG: What’s your favorite piece in your closet?
CF: My Gant Rugger High Roller jacket. I’ve never owned a top coat before and this one is perfect in all ways – slim fit, fur lining, and tons of style points with the fur collar.
EG: What’s one essential item of clothing every guy should own, and why?
CF: A perfect-fitting pair of dark denim. You can wear them with anything—dressed up with a blazer, or casual with a plain tee—and you can wear them year round.
EG: One piece of advice for those still trying to find their own personal style?
CF: Stick to the basics and stick to what fits well. There are so many more options for guys out there right now that it can be overwhelming for someone who wants to try and dress better and define a sense of personal style.
If you stick to some basics like a great pair of denim, some OCBD’s, a great blazer, and a pair of quality wingtips, you can’t go wrong. Experiment and build on these staples as you get more comfortable with your clothes.
But wait! I wanted to dig further, and see what Anthony thought about some of the things you and I wonder about all the time.
Things like, how can I change my style without getting the third degree from my buddies? Or, how can I look great if I have a small budget to work with?
Anthony knows what’s up. Read on.
EG: Lots of readers want to improve how they dress, but they’re afraid about what their friends, family, and coworkers might say. What do you do for work, and how does it affect your daily wardrobe choices? Any advice for guys concerned about such things?
CF: Style is very personal so not everyone might understand your personal choices in what you wear. But there are a few things that are pretty much universally acceptable when it comes to getting dressed properly.
Fit, for example, is probably the most important aspect of your clothing to consider. You want an article of clothing to fit your body type properly – not to loose or too tight but something that flatters you.
As far as improving the way you dress in so much as your color/pattern choices, or even how you layer or assemble pieces to create an outfit – don’t be afraid. The only way you will learn to know what you like or what looks good on yourself is to experiment.
Start out simply and really learn to be comfortable in your clothes. When you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, you’ll look more confident.
Eventually, that confidence will grow and you’ll be surprised at the risks you’ll be able to take in improving your personal style.
As a full time engineer and part time blogger, I often have to deal with the conflict of being out on a job site by day, and then out to a fashion event by night. I know what it’s like to worry about how others see me in my clothing choices.
On one hand, I have to dress comfortably on a job site to look and be ready to “work” and get dirty. I mean, how could my clients trust me as an engineer if I’m dressed in a suit and concerned more about scuffing my shoes than the stability of a building?
But on the other hand, I can’t exactly show up to a fashion press event in muddy work boots while trying to talk with industry people and making connections. My appearance definitely has an impact on how I’m perceived.
My solution is usually to have an extra set of clothes handy for quick changes between my two conflicting worlds. But no matter what your particular situation may be, you should always dress appropriately for the occasion. I mean, who wants to be the only guy at the party wearing jeans and a tee (even if that’s your day to day style) when everyone else is in suits?
So I guess to summarize, focus on fit and comfort as you begin improving your style because as long as you wear your clothes well, you’ll appear more confident.
And with confidence, the worry of what other people will say about your clothes will soon fade away until you’re taking more risks and really owning your own personal style.
EG: What advice would you give a twenty-something guy looking to improve his appearance on a small budget?
CF: Anytime you want to make a change, it usually takes some time and lot of baby steps. Just be patient and buy one or two items that will complement what you already have in your closet.
When you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, you’ll look more confident. (click to tweet this)
Over time, upgrade old pieces with some new until you have a collection of versatile, well made clothing. With a limited budget, I would recommend sticking with the basics. Maybe buy one solid pair of jeans, a well-fitting button down shirt, a pair of dress shoes, and a nice sweater.
Pick these pieces based on your budget and what will work with your existing wardrobe. Remember that you can’t completely transform your closet, so just have patience and save!
EG: Do you have a method for putting together an outfit (e.g. starting with one item–a pair of denim, a shirt–and build from there, etc.)? Any advice to those who still might not have an effective method in place?
CF: The only thing I really think about when putting together an outfit is where I’m going and what the weather is like. Haha nothing groundbreaking here but I think it’s a practical and smart way to go about choosing my clothes for the day and this is how I’d also advise people to pick their outfits if they’re having trouble.
If it’s going to be a cold day, I’ll usually start with what jacket I want to wear because most people, including myself, have limited outerwear choices so this helps to narrow down the options. Then I’ll go to pants and a shirt and layer with sweaters or cardigans as necessary so that it complements the rest of the look.
In the spring and summer, when the weather is warm, I ususally like to start with a shirt. There’s not much you can do about layering so I’ll choose a shirt that stands out or “makes” the outfit and then throw on whatever pants or shorts match best.
There ya have it, friends. I like Anthony’s style a lot and I’m glad he got to share some of his thoughts with us.
Make sure to check him out online. Here’s where you can find him:
- Website/tumblr: Closet Freaks
- Twitter: @closet_freaks
- Facebook: facebook.com/c1osetfreaks
- Pinterest: pinterest.com/closetfreaks
- Instagram: @oh_anthonio
Over to you
Any questions for Anthony? I’m sure he’d be happy to answer (I think, though I haven’t actually asked him haha).
Also, do you know any guys with interesting style you’d like to see in this series?
Let me know, and we’ll see if we can make something happen. Tweet them this series if you think it’ll help convince em!