Last week we brought you a new series, common fashion mistakes, and reviewed the correct way to wear trousers; this week we will be reviewing The Daily Outfit.
This idea comes from my own personal experience, specifically related to daily routines which I feel can kill the creative spark that gives an edge to what you are wearing.
Unless I consciously take note of what I am wearing and take the time to actually think about what I am doing, I will immediately pick an outfit which I know for a fact will work without giving it much thought on how I can make it look slightly different than usual.
The Faux Pas: Monotony
This is by all means nobody’s personal fault; it is due to how the modern world works, with most of us ending up in a daily routine for work, chores and entertainment.
Wake up, go to work, go home, relax, meet some friends and sleep are the order of the day for the average person, and the reason we sleep is so that we can repeat the same process the following day.
A ‘boring’ lifestyle is not the real problem here, contrary to popular belief it is not the act of being bored (if you can call it an act) that creates a monotonous lifestyle; it is the fact that life becomes a second nature; and that is the creative idea killer.
Once a task becomes second nature we are no longer excited about it because we know all the steps needed and we automatically do not feel the need to further improve upon our previous comfortable zone. I do not believe in perfection but I know that the road to perfection is endless; whatever you think you are doing really well can always be improved upon.
This second nature can very much apply to how we behave in front of the mirror each day. From outfit choice to finishing touches, we do not always have the time to evaluate each outfit and consider how to take it up a notch. Celebrities hire stylists to do that for them, giving them the luxury to always look their best – even if they are seen in the same outfit twice they will probably have a distinguishing feature giving them a fresh look.
Think about it for a second, when was the last time when you really put in much effort in defining a daily outfit for just any other day? Most of us probably spend more time in front of a mirror before attending a special occasion or when we really need to look mind blowing.
What happens is that we end up wearing an outfit in a comfortable way because we know that it works well. This can lead to having a signature look and no matter how good you look in person; you do not want to be the guy who always wears the same dull and uninteresting clothes.
There are various routes you can take to spice up your daily outfits. The default is to buy new clothes as soon as you get bored form your old attire, but it isn’t the most sustainable method. What I will describe below are slightly better alternatives by selecting what you buy, modifying and selective accessories.
Choosing what apparel to buy is the most important step. When out shopping (or when you’re comfortably browsing online) keep in mind what’s already in your wardrobe. Make a list of colours for each product you have, so that when you choose an outfit you can try as much as possible to make it work in more than one way.
Say for example you’re buying a coloured sweater and you know that it will only match one pair of trousers and shoes you already own, limiting you to only one outfit. If you purchase a plain oxford shirt you also know for a fact that it will probably be wearable in any outfit choice and adapt to current and future trends naturally. See what I am getting at?
While you may think that selecting ‘simple’ garments is not very expressive, in reality you are creating a palette for more than one look and a plethora of daily mix and match possibilities – giving you the edge and more for your money’s worth. Notch up another positive for developing the timeless capsule wardrobe we advocate here at FashionBeans.
Who said that clothing designers know best? Ever bought an item and thought that it would be even better if it had a slight change to it? Well why not do it yourself?
Granted it is not the easiest thing to modify clothes and give them a shop finish, but if you look up beginner tutorials on YouTube you will find a host of easy techniques, tips and tricks to modify products. This gives your items a unique feel and look; it doesn’t have to be a total overhaul, just a slight twist.
It is good to experiment and practice with garments which you will not be wearing, to better your technique. It goes without saying not to begin on a very expensive item.
Modifying may also work with items that you haven’t worn in a long time, either because they are out of fashion or your frame has altered. This gives you an opportunity to revive pieces from seasons gone by. Do not just throw away clothes because they are no longer a ‘hot trend’ – fashion is cyclical and they will come back in eventually. If you keep these pieces they may even have that sought after vintage feel the next time they are trending. Keep your favourite pieces archived for later use and instead think, how can I give them a twist? Although, we need to make it clear that you should never keep a cluttered wardrobe!
Tailors can also be your best friend when trying to prolong life out of your favourite garments; altering, repairing and even adding modifications such as patches for you.
Here are some key articles we have published on FashionBeans that include sections on DIY’ing:
Meanwhile, here are some small additions you can make to your daily outfit without having to modify your clothing drastically. Iron-on badges, brooches and pin-badges can add detailing to your current shirts, polos, jackets and the like – all whilst offering an insight into your personality. We have also shown how a simple safety pin can transform a piece of clothing in our FashionBeans MAN editorial on casual tailoring.
It pays to be a lover of accessories because they can always turn a good outfit into a great outfit. In past years we have seen a great push in men’s accessories within the industry as a whole – they are no longer reserved for just the Dandy’s amongst us. Watches and belts are great all-timers, providing a classic feel, but for the more experimental individuals the choices are abundant.
Bags have been available to the man for some time, but it’s only been in the past few years that they have become more socially acceptable. Gone is the time when only women carry bags around, each day you can spot at least one guy with a bag and, to me, it really improves the overall utility of a look. There is a vast selection to choose from, so see which ones you prefer and invest in one – they are also incredibly useful for carrying all your stuff, no kidding.
If you are not sure what your favourite is then read our comprehensive guide to men’s bags.
Headwear is another great addition to an outfit. Fedoras were a great fashion in the 40s and 50s but they have somehow faded away with history. Luckily they are being reintroduced and once again the selection here is great. It is important to work with your head structure to find the ideal hat which enhances your looks, otherwise it could actually destroy your whole aesthetic. Once you find that perfect hat for you however, it can become a signature piece for you and will breathe life into all your current pre-meditated outfit selections.
Tip: Keep in mind that you should still arrange your hair underneath, as a gentleman should always remove his hat indoors.
Classics never die. I am talking here about belts, watches, wrist accessories, ties, sunglasses and the array of other accessories available. Take your pick as you are spoilt for selection:
So there you have it, three key ways in which you can revitalise your current ‘go-to’ outfits in order to give them a fresh look. Being selective with your clothing, modifying current pieces and adding a personal touch through accessories can shake up the monotonous dressing routine you may have unknowingly fell into, and hopefully this article will act as a jump start to a lot of you who were just drifting along.
An additional tip I left out to keep your wardrobe fresh is that of hunting down bargains. It should be fairly obvious but visiting less renowned shops may get you a good deal on items which may be potentially really nice and fit your personal style. It can take some time to find the shops/websites which work for you but it will be worth your time. You might be surprised by the items you find in places such as clothing markets, charity shops and the like, as unbranded items can really shine in a world full of labels – and they will probably be really cheap.
Make sure you share your thoughts below and give us some ideas on how you spice up your day-to-day picks.