Category: Trends

Céline

Celine
“You’re all I need to get by.” Method Man featuring Mary J. Blige’s lyrics were threaded through the soundtrack at the Céline show. Sounds cheesy, but there’s a truth there. The wardrobe Phoebe Philo builds on, season after season, is what so many members of the professional class of women who attend Céline shows—and thousands beyond—actually do rely on to get by in daily life. Philo’s trousers, coats, shirts, shoes—they fit the person and the psychic identity.” —Sarah Mower

10 Casual Style Tips for Guys Who Want to Look Sharp

Annoying, isn’t it?

You want to dress better, but most style advice revolves around suiting up or just around whatever’s trendy this season.

But that’s not what you’re looking for.

You just want to make a better first impression on people you meet in everyday life. You just want to look good in your clothes without looking too flashy.

You just want to look like a better-dressed version of you.

And that version of you still likes to keep it casual.

So what you’re really looking for is some casual style tips for guys who want to look sharp outside of a suit and tie.

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s begin…

1. Stop Dressing Like a Boy, Dress Like a Grown-Up

Many men approach their casual style from the wrong angle; they aim to look youthful.

But if you want to look well-dressed, you should always aim to look mature.

Because maturity is an attractive quality in men. Maturity, after all, is what separates the men from the boys. Maturity shows masculinity and commands respect, and it’s a quality you want people to see in you.

That doesn’t mean you have to dress like your dad. It doesn’t mean you have to dress old. It just means you have to avoid portraying yourself as a teenager… Unless you actually are a teenager.

Just to be clear, that means…

teenager casual style

You want to dress like a grown up. Everything overly flashy like the items pictured here simply become inappropriate past  certain age. Funny or cartoony tees are a definite no-go. Wearing a funny tee is basically like being the guy that makes the same joke over and over and over. It might be funny the first time you see the t-shirt, but t gets old fast. Also, avoid anything with slogans.

You want to avoid looking like someone who hasn’t grown up yet — someone who’s stuck in his past.

You want to stop looking like a boy, and dress like a man.

Don’t worry though, I’ll give you some more tips on how to do so. Starting with…

2. Give Up the Graphic Tees for a More Mature Look

The first thing you should do to shed your boyish look is giving up your graphic Tees.

I know you love them. I once did too. In fact, I wore them non-stop.

But you want to stop wearing them. You have so many better options.

Despite popular belief, they don’t make you look funny, edgy or original. In fact, because every other guy is sporting a graphic tee too, you’ll just blend into the crowd.

Plus, people associate them with guys who refuse to grow up. (Remember tip #1? You don’t want that.)

Just look at the movies. You’ll never see a tough, masculine action hero or a suave rom-com heartthrob wearing a a graphic tee. The only time you’ll see a graphic tee is when the character is either a man-child, an actual child, or a slacker.

Casual style tip #2: Graphic tees make you look like a man-child

Case in point.

You don’t want people to see you as a man-child, do you? Then be a man, and stop wearing graphic tees.

Instead, opt for solid, one-color t-shirts, striped tees or henleys. Just look at these examples:

 

Casual t-shirts for men

You see how these are an improvement right?

Don’t you agree these guys look much cooler and more masculine than the ones above? These kinda of t-shirts will make you stand out against an ocean of graphic-tee-wearing men.

You might also consider wearing polo shirts or casual shirts. Just because you’re dressing casual doesn’t mean you can’t wear a collar. And a simple white shirt looks great with a  pair of dark blue jeans.

Speaking of which…

3. Rock Jeans That Actually Make You Look Good

The go-to casual legwear for any guy is a pair of jeans.

And nothing is wrong with that. Many men come to my site looking to move on from the T-shirt and jeans look. But jeans can look amazing, as long as you´re wearing the right pair.

And FYI, the right pair does not look like any of these.

Casual Style Tip #3: Avoid jeans that look like these

These jeans will only make you look like a clown.

Avoid baggy jeans. You want to avoid having to pull up your jeans every two seconds. They should keep themselves up without a belt. Also, they should not pool around your ankles.

Also, avoid embellishments. That means: No excessive distressing, no ripping,  and no bleaching.

And, this should go without saying, but I have to say it anyway…

Avoid big logos on your ass. In fact, no big logos anywhere on your outfit, PERIOD.

Instead, keep your jeans simple. Go for a straight, clean, dark-blue pair that fits like it was made for you. Trust me; you’ll look awesome.

Dark-blue, well-fitting jeans

Something like this…

They’ll not only look better, but they’re more versatile. Just look at these examples below and see how easily they can be dressed up and down as you see fit.

Casual men in jeans

Dark straight-leg jeans look good on every guy

Note: I have received a lot of questions on this, so let me clarify. I’m not saying never, ever wear faded jeans, ever. . While you should definitely have a straight dark-blue pair of jeans as pictured, you can certainly wear jeans with a subtle bit of fading. Just avoid those that are overly embellished. 

4. Change it Up Down Below

Jeans are great, but they all look kinda the same, and they’re not your ONLY option for legwear.

Add some variety to your wardrobe by investing in a pair of chinos.

Adding one pair of chinos to your wardrobe doubles the amount of outfits you can create. Add one more, and you triple that number.

I suggest one basic pair in camel or grey. And get one colored pair to change things up. (Wearing color below the waist is something few men do, so it stands out.)

And you don’t have to go for fire-engine red or lime green. You can go for subdued colors like burgundy or army-green.

Casual chinos

Add some pants in different colors to your wardrobe and change things up

5. Class Up Your Footwear (Because the Ladies, They Notice)

Okay, you may want to sit down for this…

Your dirty, beat-up sneakers will ruin an otherwise excellent outfit. You’ll want to replace them with something more dignified.

And don’t think people don’t notice your shoes. They notice. Especially women.

I can’t tell you how many compliments I get on my shoes from women, and I’m hardly shilling out hundreds of dollar for a single pair, as some guys recommend.

Wear a pair of brown leather shoes instead of your everyday sneakers, and BOOM… You look sharper.

Simple looks elevated by brown leather footwear

You have many options for footwear so expand your horiziong beyond sneakers.

But if you’re used to wearing sneakers al the time and want to ease your way into something else,  let me introduce you to the desert boot:

 

Desert Boots: The Sneaker Alternative That Looks Way Better

(Image by Clarks — my recommended brand for desert boots)

Desert boots look much nicer than sneakers, but aren’t as dressy as some other leather shoes. They’re right in-between, which makes them perfect for casual wear.

Plus, they’re super comfortable.

Get yourself a pair and you won’t regret it.

6. Decorate Your Wrists (Because a Naked Wrist is Boring)

Accessories are another good way to spruce up a dull outfit.

And I suggest you get in the habit of wearing a wrist-accessory first.

Why the wrist?

Because naked wrists are boring.

You can wear a watch, a leather bracelet, or both. Doesn’t matter what you wear, but wear something on there. It just gives your outfit a bit more personality.

You’re saying, “I don’t have to wear this, but I like wearing it.”

You go from someone who clothes himself to stay warm to someone who clothes himself with intention.

7. Layer Your Clothes for More Interesting Outfits

Want to know an easy way to make a dull outfit more interesting?

Add a layer.

Many guys feel a bit intimidated by layering because they don’t really know how to match clothes all that well. But you don’t have to know all that much about it. It can be done with very simple clothes too.

Imagine a guy wearing a plain grey sweater and jeans. Nothing wrong with that. It’s a fine casual outfit.

But still, it’s not that interesting.

Now imagine him wearing a simple white shirt underneath his sweater. Boom. Instantly more interesting.

Casual Style Tip #6: Just One Additional Layer Can Improve a Dull Outfit

See?

It’s a simple fix, and hardly earth-shattering, but it just gives that bit more detail to the outfit that makes it more visually appealing.

And you don’t have to stop at one additional layer. You can wear two, three, even four layer at a time. So play around!

Check these guys out for some examples:

Casual outfits with multiple layers

 

8. Wear a Jacket That Elevates Your Casual Look

Okay, so you don’t have to suit up to dress well, but that doesn’t mean you can’t smarten your casual look up a bit with a well-fitting blazer.

This favorite of business-casual men can easily be worn in casual outfits too. It’s called smart casual — which essentially means stepping your casual outfit up a notch.

A man in a blazer just looks good because blazers accentuate the male frame like no other garment.

It will give you an easy way to smarten even your simplest outfits up a bit. Plain white tee with jeans? Add a blazer, and suddenly you look pretty damn sharp.

Smarten Up Your Casual Look with a Blazer

Hey it’s me, looking broody and buttoning my jacket. (I so wasn’t posing for this one.)

9. Ignore the Fashion World; It Will Lead You Astray

When trying to figure out how to dress well, men often look towards the fashion world for help. They look to see what’s trendy.

But the fashion world is only good for men obsessed with fashion. If you’re just a regular guy looking to become a better dresser, knowing what’s trendy won’t help you.

In fact, you should do the opposite…

Casual Style Tip #9: Ignore the Fashion World

These aren’t great looks for the everyday dude.

Focus on getting classic clothes that will look good all year round. Focus on timeless pieces that will still be stylish ten years from now. Focus on looking classy and stylish before you worry about looking trendy.

Trendy done wrong often turns out tacky, after all.

So work on your style sense with timeless wardrobe essentials that never go out of fashion. Focus on mastering the basics of men’s style, and you’ll be a better dresser before you know it.

Check out The Beginner’s Guide to Dressing Better for a crash-course on the basics of style.

10. Stop Trying Too Hard, Keep it Simple

Many guys shoot themselves in the foot by trying too hard to dress better.

It results in them looking like jackasses.

They hear they should wear accessories, and they end up wearing a gazillion bracelets and necklaces. Or they hear they should wear color and they end up looking like a bag of skittles with legs.

Of course, I only know that because I’ve been one of those guys (and it wasn’t pretty).

You stand out, but not in the way you want.

Shoot for subtle, simple, understated outfits and you’ll stand out in a good way instead.

Dress Well and Look like a More Polished, Masculine You

You just got 10 casual style tips that should help you dress better. Plenty more where that came from, but these should be enough to get you started.

So go on and start.

Doesn’t matter where.

Whether you start with replacing your graphic tees, getting nicer shoes or decorating your wrists. Just start somewhere.

And after you took that first step, take the next, and the next, and the next.

And before you know it, you’ll look in the mirror, and you’ll see a guy looking back who looks just like you, except…

Yup.

A better-dressed version of you.

Balenciaga

Balenciaga
Photo: Getty Images

“Gvasalia’s trenchant observational sense of humor was all over the collection; the kind of bad-taste-into-chic provocation that gives him the edge with Balenciaga maniacs. . . . His blurring of the lines between the real and the fake is self-evidently a running commentary on the state we’re all living in. Some will doubtless find something morally outrageous in this happening within a luxury brand. Then again, since when should creative people have to toe a conservative line? Gvasalia, with his sharp eye for socio-political commentary, is never going to do that. And for a smart and knowing generation, that looks chic.” —Sarah Mower

Chanel

Chanel
“Whether it was endorphin effects of the big outdoors scenario or the clothes, this walk in the country produced a fashion high that was shot through with relevance. The spray and the sunlight sparkled on clear plastic coats and capes; the house tweeds fluttered with fringes or were reduced to almost transparent cages. Lurex threads and crystal jewelry glinted. The intricate balance between natural-looking textures and advanced technical skills was breathtakingly dynamic to behold.” —Sarah Mower

Comme des Garçons

Commes

“An angel appeared in the middle of the Comme des Garçons show. Her white tweed coat twinkled with minute crystals. A huge, padded overcoat rested on her shoulders. When she turned, everyone saw: She had a pair of white lace wings embedded in her back. A wonderstruck intake of breath from the audience sucked the air from the room. . . . Creative resistance has been a theme of this season. The Kawakubo angel—a timelessly chic fashion goddess in her imposing white tweed suit—stood out as the singular persona manifested at the center of a colorful, surreal, cartoonish, kawaii toy- and computer game–referencing parade.” —Sarah Mower

Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten
“In an age of haste and shortened attention spans, Dries Van Noten is one of the few remaining designers who does much more than a quick-fire one-statement show. On this runway he offered different types of women ways to be themselves at night: a fluid, vertically striped silver and pewter pantsuit; a black tuxedo with an organza over-layer scattered with jewels; a sensationally simple little black dress with a diaphanous train floating from the shoulders. With the vintage-y crystal earrings, worn singly, and the genius touch of silver eyeshadow and glittery lips, it was all a total license to shop. Which is a really big thing to say when most women, past a certain point, have all the clothes they need. This collection proved the point: When designers are really good, they give us what we didn’t know we wanted.” —Sarah Mower

Loewe

Loewe
“ ‘Relatable’ and ‘accessible’ are often used as fashion-snob synonyms for inexpensive product. Yet Anderson’s redefinition of the hollow term luxury has filled it with tangible new meaning. On the one hand: On sight, you know where you could wear one of these T-shirt dresses or one of Anderson’s familiar long-midi fit-and-flare things. A romantic heart would sing to have one of those modern-day Tess of the d’Urbervilles cotton flower-print dresses. This is no-trouble fashion of a high-flown order. And on the other hand: You absolutely see it’s going to be incredibly expensive, and that it’s worth it. The level of innovative materiality going on in Loewe’s workshops—the craft, plus the sophistication—is astonishing.” —Sarah Mower

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton
 “The Louvre’s evolution from fortress to royal palace to museum took centuries, but time is flattened inside. That was the motivating concept behind Ghesquière’s new collection, which combined the frock coats of its royal palace phase with elevated versions of the athletic clothes and sneakers that tourists pad around it in today. Speaking afterward, Ghesquière said, ‘I thought anachronism was interesting. How today can we incorporate pieces considered as costume into an everyday wardrobe. . .?’ Ghesquière’s neat trick here was making the past look like the future.” —Nicole Phelps

Maison Margiela

Margiela
“Nobody wants to see Galliano’s imagination grounded by commerciality—but at the same time, which of his fans’ hopes haven’t been dashed in the past by the distance between his dreams and retail reality? With this season, that is no problem at all, what with the huge choice of regular outerwear, the gorgeous gold Lurex fan-pleated dress, the English-tweed checked suiting, the cutoff Western booties. And yet? After this show, wouldn’t a ‘practical white T-shirt’ be a nice thing to come across in a store, too?” —Sarah Mower