Fashion is a minefield of faux pas; especially where the beginner is concerned. However, consistency within style is not a problem isolated to the fashion novices of the world. The plight often stretches to the sartorially inclined, who often find themselves the unsuspecting victims of their subconscious.
Laziness you see, is a trait which can creep into anything, and everything, we do. From something as meagre as slipping off your brogues after a long day without undoing the laces first, to the occasional lapse in the old table manners and even the odd no-can-do attitude when it comes to grooming in the morning, laziness eventually takes it’s toll.
Dressing is looked upon as a habitual task that requires little concentration. This inner idleness likes to wreak the occasional havoc and is far from a reflection your sartorial mind in full. We’re all guilty of having a hoody, a pair of comfort jeans, or other unimaginable horrors stashed away – but we should never submit when consistency begins to waver.
From here on in, I will detail the top ways in which you can ensure that your style stays sharp and free from faux pas – day in, day out.
1. Spring Cleaning
The first battle in the war against inconsistency in style is having a good old-fashioned wardrobe clear out – and at what better time of year than with the turn of a new season?
Make a commitment to send those (albeit misplaced) faithful boot cut jeans down to the charity shop, unless of course you’d rather not wish them upon another unwary man, in which case bin them. Oversized hoodies should also be making a move for the bag.
To make your spring clean successful, you’ve really got to be honest with yourself and cast away all the items that fail to fit into your current style. Even if you don’t have the heart to put them out with the rubbish or send them down the local Oxfam, you can always pack them away in storage; far enough out of reach that it takes more effort to dig them out than to put some thought into a new outfit.
Spring Cleaning is also a great time to justify making some new purchases, which leads me onto the next section…
2. The Capsule Wardrobe
This one in particular applies to those who have recently discovered the art of dressing well. A capsule wardrobe is a collection of items, which can be interchanged to create a number of different outfits. In theory, they are the only clothes you will ever need to be sartorially fluent in the day to day running. In short, you could well get dressed in the dark and still look better than the guy sat next to you on the bus.
For those of us who have been in the style game much longer, the transition to a pure capsule wardrobe may be a bit late. However, an assessment of your wardrobe and a few smart, well-thought buys can easily add that extra versatility. There has never been any harm in adding a new crew neck tee, a coloured v-neck jumper or a new Oxford shirt to your rotation. Look for new staples that vary in colour, cut and texture from your existing pieces – these will help provide the subtle nuances your outfits need on a daily basis.
Matt Allinson recently dived into the most stripped down of capsule wardrobes with his basics article on the Top 10 Items Every Guy Should Own. Check out his article for the items you may well be missing in your wardrobe.
Key Capsule Picks
- Allsaints Addison Shirt
- American Apparel Pinpoint Oxford Long Sleeve Button-down Shirt
- J.crew 484 Rinsed Slim-fit Jeans
- Asos Knitted Tie
- Allsaints Edison Jacket
- Converse Jack Purcell Leather White
- American Apparel Fine Jersey Short Sleeve T-shirt
- Uniqlo Men Cotton V Neck Sweater
- Shore Leave Stone Chino
- Topman Walteroot Black Leather Shoes
- River Island Slim Fit Jacket
- Reiss Wainscott Leather Zip Detail Jacket Off Black
The concept of outfitting is often reserved for holidays or business trips. It is simply the putting together of outfits ahead of the situations you may find yourself in while on your break and away from the entirety of your wardrobe.
Applying outfitting to your everyday wardrobe is a great way of ridding yourself of the occasional lazy-day. By putting together a collection of simple, staple looks from your wardrobe you no longer need to worry about a lack of creativity or motivation in the morning.
Chinos have replaced jeans in the menswear cliché of blazer and t-shirt. The look is easy, crisp and perfect smart-casual. The look is as suitable for a day shopping as an evening in a restaurant, you really can’t go wrong here.
Beige chinos and a navy blazer compliment each other incredibly well and are both neutral enough that all shoe and accessory colours apply.
- Reiss Bless-basic Crew Neck T-s Basic Crew Neck T-shirt White
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Navy
- Shore Leave Stone Chino
Jeans remain the king of menswear – despite the chinos rising influence – a good dark pair will be forever stylish. A white shirt (preferably in an oxford cloth) also made Matt’s top 10, and when paired alongside some block neutral knitwear it is the perfect combination for your jeans to anchor.
- Allsaints Addison Shirt
- The Elder Statesman Monster Cashmere Shawl Collar Cardigan
- Nudie Jeans Slim Jim Dry Broken Twill Slim Jeans
Note: These top two outfits can easily be accessorised with very little thought. They also leave a large number of colour and pattern options available that can be readily thrown into the mix to provide individuality.
The third and final outfitting example is a go-to office look, for the days when the 9 to 5 is hitting you hard. Its everlasting versatility means a solid grey tailored suit should be the first proper suit you ever buy. Black or brown shoes – a grey suit will manage both with ease – work in harmony with your look (something which can’t necessarily be said for black or navy equivalents.)
A solid white shirt and block colour tie are the permanent fail-safes. Add a white cotton pocket square for some additional style points on a sobering look.
- Canali Double Cuff Classic Cotton Shirt
- Topman Best Grey Charlie Skinny Suit
- Reiss Brooker Plain Silk Tie Airforce Blue
Laying out your outfit the night before (when you’re still full of creative energy) is a great way to beat the morning style-slump. Just ensure you’ve checked the weather beforehand to avoid your strategy becoming more of a hindrance than help.
4. Statement Pieces
Statement pieces, by definition, are the focal point of any outfit. Having one or two big statement pieces to add to your already outfitted look is the final piece of the puzzle in keeping your style consistent.
A handful of versatile statement pieces will slot easily into most outfits and compliment a growing capsule wardrobe. Knowing when to use these pieces to devastating effect will make the world of difference when you find your style game slipping.
Finding versatile statement pieces may seem like a tall order, as by their very nature they are striking, individual items – hardly the definition of versatility. However, smart purchases that are based around some of your current looks and existing capsule wardrobe will help integrate them seamlessly. Look for colour, pattern and personality to contrast against a muted canvas.
My personal recommendation would be for a statement scarf, jacket and pair of shoes. All of these can be quickly added to most looks – such as the top two example outfits above.
- William Fox & Sons Neckerchief
- Allsaints Ettrick Scarf
- Alexander Mcqueen Skull Print Scarf
- Reclaimed Vintage Harrington Jacket
- Topman Percival Orange Waxed Jacket
- Burberry London Showerproof Belted Coat
- Topman Teak Jute Leather Loafer
- D&g Royal Blue Suede Derby Shoes
- Ymc Mens Navajo Shoe
The mark of a real style icon and truly stylish gent is the ability to keep consistent with your dress and not let your high standards drop – not in public at least.
Recognising when you’re heading into a bit of style rut is the most important step to keeping up appearances. Sometimes, reminding yourself why you originally made the sartorial leap into a more fashionable wardrobe is all you need. That, and us by your side.
- Have you recently found your style standards slipping?
- How did you combat this?
- Did you use any of the tips above?
- Are you proactive and not reactive when it comes to consistency?
- Do you make full use of outfitting?
As per usual let us know in the comments below…