The Art of Manscaping - Creating a Style All Your Own
Let’s just get it out of the way and state the obvious. Yes, I am a woman…giving advice on men’s fashion.
So how does that make me qualified to give fashion advice to men? Simple. I’ve worked in the fashion industry for seven years and I also dress better than most men. In fact, most women dress better than most men. But this article isn’t intended to turn the every-man into the next style icon. This is simple advice on how to create a style or elevate your existing one.
So how does one go about creating a style?
Fashion is subjective; it's all about how you feel and what you want your style to say about you. My style changes not only based on the occasion, but based on my mood, as well. That doesn't mean I go from buttoned-down conservative one day, to hardcore rocker chick the next. It has to do with subtle changes. If I feel more laid back and simple, my style reflects that. If I want to impress someone, or force a second look, I'll make the effort.
Having a style starts with a few simple building blocks. First, decide who you are. Are you the ultra-casual guy who is always sporting flannel and smells of wood chips, or do you want to look like you just stepped off your yacht and might be headed to a polo match? Do you like your dark, faded tees and your tattered jeans to give off the distinct air of having been backed over with a truck a few thousand times, or are you up for an outfit that is a little mix-match with some nerd-chic quirk?
Do you like clean lines and things that match, or are you up for an outfit that is a little mix-match and quirky? Do you want a style that says you're effortlessly cool, or a little edgy, or straight-laced, or fashionably laid back? Even if you are a mixture of a few styles, that is still a style. Once you figure out who you are, use that insight to choose a few pieces you really like and incorporate them into your wardrobe.
The second building block is grooming. No style will ever come off, no matter how fashionable the outfit is, if you don't prep the surface. You can slap a coat of the best paint on the walls, but if you don't prime first, that good paint will never look right. Get your hair cut professionally. Homemade haircuts are for mischievous toddlers and broke college students. If you have had the same haircut for the last 10 years, it's probably time to change it up. Your hair stylist (yes, I said hair stylist and not the barber that you have been going to with your dad and grandpa since you were eight years old...and whom has cut your hair exactly the same way since you were that age) will be able to give you an up to date style that reflects the look that you are going for.
Yes guys, facial hair counts too. If you don’t want to deal with it, shave it. If you want to keep it, keep it up. Whether it’s that subtle hint of rugged, manly scruff, or a full Manchu, keep it trimmed, sculpted, and tamed…unless your projected style is to resemble an urban homeless man.
The final piece of the puzzle, and definitely not the least important, open yourself up to the idea of more than two pairs of shoes. Having a pair of shoes that you wear every day of your life until they literally fall off your feet and another that only gets dusted off when someone dies or gets married, does not a wardrobe make. Your newfound style should extend all the way to your feet, as well. If you have to include your face and your hair into this new style, then your feet definitely count.
An acceptable, but still perfectly macho, number of shoes for any guy to own is approximately five. I should actually amend that to “at least five.” Every grown man should own a pair of athletic shoes, black dress shoes, brown dress shoes, non-athletic sneakers, and a pair of casual, modern loafers or casual non-sneaker shoe.
Breathe guys. Five pairs of shoes is NOT a big deal. Most women own at least three times that many. You can manage a measly five pairs of shoes.
Style is subjective and it is personal. It isn't only about the clothes you wear, but also about the whole package. Improving your wardrobe is only one piece of the puzzle. Changing your style doesn't happen overnight, but with simple and overall changes, it can be easily accomplished.