A big concern I hear from guys who are starting to improve their style is that they don’t feel comfortable wearing different things, or they feel “weird” in their new look.

Both totally understandable. And if that’s you, I think I know why you’re feeling that way.

Let me introduce you to this idea of Style Archetypes.

We’ve discussed them on the site before, but today, I’m talking with my friend, Tanner from Masculine Style, all about this (I first learned about this concept from him).

In the video, we discuss:

  • What exactly are the three style archetypes?
  • What if you realize you’re one archetype, but you have to dress in the style and ways of another?
  • Why you should have a signature item in your wardrobe
  • Why guys who start dressing better often make the mistake of going too far, and how to come back from that
  • How to feel comfortable in your own skin (and in your clothing) as you are on your style journey
  • Why incremental style improvement is better than trying to get to your ideal look in one shot
  • Are you dressing well, or are you playing dress up?

And about suits…

  • How to step up your suit game, even on a budget
  • Why you shouldn’t go “custom crazy” with your made-to-measure or custom suit
  • Why you should upgrade your cheap suits to better versions before moving on to your next color or fabric
  • What suiting brands to buy at $300, $500, $700+
  • The real difference between custom / made-to-measure and off-the-rack, and why custom is worth the extra cost
  • How to stop feeling like you’re playing dress up when you’re wearing suits (or anything else)

Check out the video, and when you’re done, read more below!

Style Archetypes + Lean Wardrobe = the building blocks of your personal style

While knowing your style archetype isn’t the complete answer to a new style and wardrobe, it will serve as your guide when buying clothes, because you know:

  • what makes sense for you and what fits your taste, and on the flip side,
  • why you may hate certain clothes or can’t get into specific trends (or even more common “essential” items)

Tanner tells a great story about his uncle who needed a suit for a funeral, but he happens to fall under the Rugged archetype, a group who isn’t normally inclined to wear suits.

Make sure you check out the video above for the full story.

So here’s how to use this

First, figure out your Style Archetype.

Then, work on building your Lean Wardrobe (for a hands-on, step-by-step approach, sign up to be notified when we re-open our course, Build A Lean Wardrobe).

Once you have your essentials (the bottom tier of the Lean Wardrobe Pyramid), slowly add more unique items to make your look and style more personal. There are no hard and fast rules to this, so I wouldn’t think too hard.

If there’s a ring you like, a watch you love wearing, or a leather jacket you could see yourself throwing on every day… go for it.

What style archetype do you see yourself falling under most?

Let’s hear it in the comments.

And if you enjoyed the video, please subscribe to Effortless Gent’s YouTube channel. I plan on doing mo’ videos, mo’ regularly.

If you found this article useful, make sure to check out our Lean Wardrobe resources page.

TAKE ME TO THE RESOURCES PAGE

PUBLISHED April 1, 2017


Barron is a Lean Wardrobe Advocate and Founding Editor of Effortless Gent. He's from San Francisco but currently living in New York. Connect with him on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Tumblr.



  • David Klein

    I really enjoyed the article. My situation is rather unique in that I work for a limo company driving people around, but I also go to school for auto shop. This gives me a lot of opportunity to experiment with my personal style and dressing well. I wear dark suits and ties with a white dress shirt for my job and collared button front double pocket shirts with jeans for school.

    • interesting! that’s a great example of needing to dress for two completely different archetypes. glad you look at it as an opportunity to experiment, rather than a hindrance.

  • Loveeeee

  • Love this Barron! Like you, I work from home and so it’s important for me to strike a balance that is comfortable for those days where I won’t see a single person and stylish enough for me to be comfortable going to events.

    • Yep. A big thing for me is getting ready first thing in the morning, as if I’m going to work. It sets up my day and I’m ready to leave the house for a meeting, to grab lunch, etc., if necessary.