5 Key Tips for Men When Starting Your Style Journey

So you’ve decided to step up your style game a little bit? Let me be the first to congratulate you! You’ve made a decision that’ll lead you down a rewarding journey of self-improvement. It won’t be easy, but we promise that it’ll be well worth it!

When you first get into the mindset of thinking about style, it can feel a little overwhelming. There’s so much to think about! Don’t worry, though, because we’re going to share five simple tips with you that’ll help you start your style journey on the right foot.

1. Try Everything a Size Smaller

This is the most important tip when it comes to wearing more stylish clothes. One of the hardest things to wrap your mind around is fit—when in doubt, err on the side of slimmer. You’ll feel psychologically uncomfortable at first because, if you’re like most people, you’ve likely worn oversized clothing for most of your life.

How are you to get used to this? Just start trying on clothes one size smaller than you’d traditionally buy. I’m not a skinny guy so I’ve always worn X-Large shirts. I did it because I always felt like a larger shirt would hide the fact I wasn’t skinny, but in reality it just made me look sloppy. I’ve since switched to Large shirts and it’s amazing how much more confidence I have and how many more compliments I get regarding my attire.

This can apply to pants, too. Have you always worn your pants with a little extra length and room in the waist for a baggier look? Try wearing a pair of slim-fit pants that are a bit shorter and tighter than you’d normally wear. Again, we’re not talking about skin-tight here! Just a bit smaller than you’re used to. You’ll be amazed at how much better you look.

For starters, check out our article on fits and styles for Levi’s jeans and pants.

2. Donate What You Haven’t Worn Recently

Donating the clothes you don’t wear offers a number of benefits, some of which aren’t that obvious. Of course, you’re helping people less fortunate than you. You’re also getting a tax write-off, which may come in handy during tax season next year.

Another thing that’s nice about donating clothes is that you’ll free up space in your wardrobe for newer, more stylish pieces. You only have so much closet and dresser space, so getting rid of the clothes you don’t wear anymore will give you the room you need.

old jeans pixabay

But there’s another less obvious benefit that comes from getting rid of your old clothes: you can start training your eye. You’ll look at shirts and realize they don’t fit well, or notice some cargo pants that don’t look very stylish. An important part of the style journey isn’t just learning what to wear, but also what not to wear. Digging through your closet for items you don’t want anymore is a great way to practice your eye for style.

3. Never Pay Full Price

This is more of a life lesson than one specific to getting into style, but it holds true nonetheless. Revamping your wardrobe won’t be an overnight endeavor. You have a lot of stuff to replace, especially if you’ve only worn graphic t-shirts and baggy jeans your whole life. This means you’re going to have to buy a lot of new clothing, and that’s going to be expensive. Take your time and always buy on sale to stretch your dollars further.

fashion hanger pixabay

If you’re comfortable with used clothes, you can check out these online thrift shops that offer incredibly cheap clothes. You can also check out these affordable but stylish brands that won’t break the bank. Lastly, don’t forget to check stores that offer items on clearance. If you stick with shops like this, you can save big bucks while rounding out your wardrobe.

4. Stick With Solid Colors at First

Sticking with solid colors at first is a really simple tip, but one that’ll save you from making big mistakes (and wasting money in the process). You’d be amazed at how suave you can look in nothing more than a solid-colored shirt and a pair of fitted jeans. You don’t need to go with crazy patterns and bright colors just yet.

Can patterns and colors look great? Absolutely, but they’re harder to work with and they require a more experienced eye. You’ll get there eventually, but when you’re just getting your style journey underway, you’re better off keeping it simple.

Not only is it easier to match up simple colors, but you can actually get by with a smaller overall wardrobe because you’ll be able to mix and match on the fly. You’ll save a bunch of money by not buying more outfits than you need, which is always nice!

5. Take It Slow, Ease Into It

wearing a suit and tie

You might be excited—and that’s great!—but there’s no need to rush things. Take things slow. Learn, think, and digest. Easing into your style journey may just be the second most important thing you can do after learning what proper fit is. This is a lifestyle change that can’t be pulled off overnight, and like all lifestyle changes, you’ll be more likely to succeed if you ease into it.

Dave LeClair

Dave is a staff writer at Modern Ratio. He's a long-time geek who turned on to style late in life, and now writes to share what he's learned with those who are just starting their own style journeys. He's based in Pennsylvania.