Take any outfit, and there will always be a group who is very much in favor of said outfit, thinking it’s the greatest outfit known to man.

On the flip side, there will be another group out there who thinks that same outfit is THE worst and wouldn’t be caught dead in it.

I was having this exact conversation with a friend the other day and we were laughing at how subjective the topic of personal style is. There is no right or wrong answer; it truly is based on one’s opinion.

There is no better evidence of this than when you’re scrolling through the king of curation websites, Tumblr.

There are many times I see a picture of an outfit posted and hundreds of likes, reposts and comments below it… But I take one look at the thing and to me, it’s the most hideous pairing ever.

Who’s wrong and who’s right?

More importantly, who’s to say something is absolutely good style or absolutely terrible style? Everyone has slightly different taste, and in all honesty, no one is fully right or wrong.

So where does that leave you, the student of style? How are you supposed to decipher if you’re stylish, if you’re trendy, or if you just missed the mark all together?

Well, here’s how.

1. Understand the basics

You read EG, so that’s a positive step forward. Here at EG we love the basics, reason being is that the basics—the foundation of rules with which you build your personal style—never really change.

Once you have these down, you can deviate as much or as little as you desire… it’s really up to you.

2. Know what constitutes a good fit

Everyone’s definition of a good fit is different, because everyone’s body composition is different. This is the most important thing to understand.

You can be the most stylish dude in your office, but if you’re a hanger for your clothes, you don’t look as good as you think. And if you’re bursting at the seams, that’s not a good look, either.

The first step to getting a grasp on good fit? Measure yourself.

3. Wear what you like

Once you’ve nailed down the standard style rules that dictate basic, classic style (and hopefully you’ve learned a majority of them through EG), take a step back and evaluate what you like.

Yes, even the “rules” that have been set. What do you agree with and what would you like to deviate from? Explore that.

For example, we all know a nice pair of dark denim is the perfect addition to any man’s lean wardrobe because you can wear it in many situations, both dressed up and dressed down.

But what if you really like the look of washed and faded denim? Who says that can’t be stylish? Certainly not these guys pictured here.

Your personal style is what you decide it to be, not what some personal stylist, fashion icon, menswear blogger, or celebrity tells you is stylish.

And that’s also where understanding the distinction between fashion and style comes into play. We often use the two interchangeably, but there’s actually a difference.

Think of it this way:

Fashion is the clothing that comes out season after season.
Style is how you decide to wear it.

(Don’t attribute that quote to me; I’m sure I picked it up from somewhere else. But regardless, truer words haven’t been spoken.)

4. Wear what feels most comfortable

There’s no sense in wearing something deemed stylish or good-looking if you’re simply not comfortable in it.

That’s not to say you should wear baggy jeans because you don’t like how the denim hugs your thighs in straight leg jeans. Man up, wussy. Remember, fit is paramount.

But if your lifestyle dictates that casual is the best wardrobe style based on what you do day to day, don’t feel like you have to wear a suit to look good. (But if it’s a special occasion, throw a blazer and some dark denim on once in a while, please.)

Point is, there’s a way to be stylish, comfortable, and put-together, no matter what type of lifestyle you have… whether you’re a construction worker or an investment banker. You just have to know how to do it.

We on the same page here?

It’s not about fashion, it’s not about what someone else says is cool to wear or following what’s “on-trend”.

Understand the basics of men’s clothing, what to wear when, and how things should fit. Then determine what type of clothing you like, and cautiously (yet confidently) break the rules. Yep! Break em.

Hopefully this is helpful to you guys out there who aren’t quite sure what step to take, or what to follow when it comes to determining your own style. If you want a more all-encompassing system to follow, you can always check out Graduating Your Style.

Comments / questions? Let’s hear em!

 

 

[photo, light denim photos