You don’t have to search hard to look at any fashion blog or site that’s comprised of guys dressing up. Single or double-breasted blazers, laced or monk strapped oxfords, cuffed or uncuffed trousers; all considered staple pieces that these “style influencers” strongly suggest as menswear essentials. Then there are the floral pattern sports-jackets, a million types of camouflage-chinos, and suits on guys that look like they’re perfectly tailored for their smaller, younger siblings. All of that looks good for the moment, but not everyone is Nick Wooster and that shrunken suit may not be something you probably will want to wear years from now. While working with clients, I always try to educate them on the principals around colour and proportion.
I define colour as what looks good next to your face. There are simple guidelines such as if you are a lighter tone with dark coloured hair, then wearing contrast colours such as (rich browns oranges-yellow, olive greens, deep purples and reds) will compliment your appearance.
Proportion is what works with your specific build. If you have a difficult time finding the right fit, go bespoke, or be cost efficient and find a superb tailor (although never underestimate the high cost/quality you’re getting through bespoke). Keep in mind that all off the peg clothing is made to fit a broad audience; tailoring work is not a counterpart to shopping. Keep in mind another tip to be conscious of while building a wardrobe.
Try to avoid most of the trendy looks you find on the blogs. Not saying the latest trends aren’t important to follow or at least be aware of, but at the end of the day you should not base your closet off what is on trends Be your own version of timeless and classic style. Trends will cause you to donate those man capri pants to every season. Look at images of style icons such as Cary Grant, Steve McQueen, or men from the Harlem Renaissance—decades later their style still holds a personalized, classic essence; still enviable today.
Once you have an understanding of colour and proportion you can start building a wardrobe with the essentials that will last you a lifetime.