Ok, so your man may have the business suit styling down pat, but is he fashion challenged when it comes to his casual wardrobe?
I can feel most women reading this shaking their heads - YES, YES, YES!
What do you do?
He needs help - how do you break it to him without hurting his feelings?
Women need to tread carefully when diving in to restyle their man. It’s important to reassure him that you’re not trying to change who they are...if they get an inkling of that then they are running in the opposite direction.
You know your man the best so the aim is to draw out his inward personality and compliment his outer style.
Trust me if your man feels confident in his clothes, it will reflect on the outside.
You’re simply giving him the tools to feel more confident, project his personality and portray an awesomely handsome, classy dude! It’s all about educating him and presenting him with clear and easy options. Remember men are simple...overall (or so they keep telling us!) therefore it’s going to be easier for both of you to keep the styling rules uncomplicated. All you need to do is steer him in the right direction with a gentle-yet-strong, confident hand.
You've got this!
Comprehensive & Stress Free Guide to Dressing Your Man
Here are some tips I have mastered over the years (a little trial and error, believe me!).
Sharing these with you will hopefully take a lot of guesswork out of the exercise AND your man will be very impressed with your level of styling experience!
1. Don’t Be His Mother, Be His Equal
This is such an easy trap to fall into.
It takes patience not to mother your man and refrain from blurting out things like ‘OMG, you have THE WORST taste in clothes’, ‘your style really sucks - actually you don’t have any style’, ‘gosh that just looks awful on you, you look fat, washed out’...blah blah (I am being polite here!).
You get it….we can moan until the cows come home in relation to critiquing our partner’s clothing style.
Let’s create a comfortable atmosphere and help style him without it ending in a fight!
2. Don’t Criticise, Instead Be Complimentary
Ladies, again patience comes into this.
You need to remember men (well, a large percentage of the population) are not good at the particular task of styling themselves so put yourself in their shoes. They are like little lost lambs - don’t know where to begin. It’s not their forte. It doesn’t come natural.
Step up to the plate and steer your man in the right direction. Be helpful!
For example Instead of saying, "those ill-fitting trousers need to go, they look hideous on you." Try saying, "I would love to see your cute butt in those jeans - how about you try them on."
3. It’s Time To Hit The Shops (Take a Deep Breath)!
The thought of this may make you feel anxious or even nauseous and you may need a stiff drink leading up to.
As we all know, every man’s nightmare is shopping for clothes. Isn’t that why most women prefer to shop with their girlfriends?!
I am sure we can all agree that we dread having to take our man shopping….right? AND men hate it even more.
I would predict it’s probably easier to take kids (even though I don’t have any!) shopping than our man…. I don’t know….just saying, men can throw the toys out of the pram pretty easily!)
So how can a short shopping spree be stress free and actually enjoyable without ending in wanting to slit each other’s throat? (drastic as that sounds, I am sure I am not alone thinking this).
A. Have a plan in place regarding what items need to be purchased
Go through his wardrobe and check to see if it’s a matter of replacing items only (because he has been wearing the same trousers for 5+ years and the butt is so worn it’s time to bin them!). Or maybe he has some nice pieces but not wearing them because nothing matches with those items. As painful as it may sound you may need to break the shopping trip into a few visits depending on whether your man needs only a few items or whole new wardrobe. Remember, short shopping sprees are the key!
B. Keep shopping to a limited time frame - 2 hours max
Men can’t deal with any longer shopping period than this. They’ll get fidgety and may get to the point of throwing their arms in the air and saying it’s all too hard (this has happened to me which frustrated me to no end).
C. Choose 1-2 stores only for the shopping expedition
Men don’t like hopping from shop to shop, like we do! Keep it simple and if choosing more than one shop ensure it’s within close proximity to each other. The purpose is ‘get in and out ASAP!’
D. When you hit the stores, step in and help him choose some styles and colours from the clothing racks so you can get him into the dressing room quickly.
Men generally respond well to visuals, so what I find helpful is to initially walk around the store with him and look at the mannequin displays. Your man is more likely to want to try on a shirt or trousers if he can see it teamed together with accessories such as shoes, belt etc. While he is in the dressing room you can zip around the store and look for a few more items in peace.
E. Make Quick Decisions
Men are known to procrastinate when it comes to choosing clothes (go figure!), so be ready to help him make decisions quickly so you can get to the bar for a vino as much as he wants to! You want to think about what he already has in his wardrobe which will pair with the new purchases; do the colours/patterns/textures suit him? (don’t forget most men are colour blind so they need a woman’s opinion on the items they are trying on).
Ask him whether he feels comfortable in the clothes (ask him to wiggle around, sit down on the seat in the dressing room to see how the clothes feel); check the fit by asking him to do a 360 so you can see how he looks from all angles (men don’t pay enough attention to this - they just look at themselves front on and think - cool! Looks great!). BTW, It’s a perfect opportunity to check out his butt!
F. Take baby steps, don’t drag him shopping if he really really hates it.
You may need to go shopping on your own and select a few pieces to have him try on at home (we have all had to do this and actually it’s quite nice picking up a few items for him as a surprise when you may be out shopping for yourself!).
Again, think about what he needs, what you feel would suit him, keep the items simple - nothing too garish or over the top...unless you are super confident he will go for something ‘out there’. I have messed up on this before though and bought items in the past that I felt 100% sure my man was going to love….NOT!! Of course, that never ends well. If you are a newbie at shopping for him, you want to go in slow and steady.
**Note to new 'Romeo and Juliet's:' While my tips are full proof, you don't want to begin this project until after you have reached some milestones in your relationship (at least a few weekend rendeavous, and perhaps some sneaky sexy text exchanges!) to get to know each other better before diving into a shopping expedition.
I constantly observe different styles (or no style!) when I am out and about and one thing that jumps out and hits me in the face are people who don't get the shoes right.
This goes for men and women, but as this article is focused on men’s styling, I am sharing with you some tips on what the essentials your man needs to make his wardrobe work. The transformation of your man doesn't stop at the ankles, ladies. Make sure you help him choose the right shoes for his cool, dashingly handsome new threads.
Firstly, steer him towards the classics, secondly ensure the footwear is quality.
There is nothing worse than cheap looking shoes on men or women.
Here are my male footwear recommendations:
For a casual look, converse sneakers are super cool and look great with jeans/t-shirts or casual shirt rolled up at the sleeves with a pair of chino trousers or shorts.
Step Up With Brogues
For a step up from a super casual shoe, you can’t go past a pair of brogues (a twist on the traditional Oxford shoe). The brogue is very versatile, pairing perfectly with a slim dark denim jean, v-neck tee, or chinos and a dress shirt.
Brogues, being as timeless as they are, pair perfectly with business suits - for this look keep the Brogue shoe very simple and classic as there are quite a few styles to choose from.
The Chelsea Boot
I’m also a big fan of the Chelsea boot.
Like the Brogue, it carries a classic look and can be dressed up or down. A black Chelsea will give a man’s outfit more of an urban look and a tan or brown suede more casual. If your man is pretty confident in making a statement, he could try a brighter colour Chelsea, like a red, green or blue.
4. Slowly Get Rid of the Clothes You Don’t Like
If you think you’re just going to grab those favourite jeans from his tightly gripped strong hands, think again. Men don’t part with their old frayed, lifeless items willingly or easily.
To avoid him going into complete shock and thinking the world is going to end because you are trying to remove one of his best loved items of clothing from his wardrobe (oh yeh, it can end in tears if you are not careful!), the best tip I can share is slowly rotate new clothing in before you discreetly ditch the old stuff. Help your man do a spring clean of his wardrobe.
Perhaps grab a bottle of wine or a few beers while embarking on this project. It will keep you both relaxed and it may even be fun! Suggest donating clothing that no longer fits him and replace those items with a similar but more up-to-date stylish look.
5. Wardrobe ‘Must Have’ Basics
The perfect wardrobe for your man starts with these essentials:
- Quality polo shirts in suitable colours,
- Good quality cotton trousers/chinos (khaki or navy are a good option),
- A few well fitted dress shirts (men look hot in a soft pastel pink shirt!),
- V neck sweaters in a solid grey, navy, or olive green works well,
- Classic dark denim slim fit jeans,
- Basic t-shirts (white and black are good staples),
- Structured blazer that teams well with jeans/trousers,
- Good quality leather shoes like brogues (this is an investment!),
- Socks that match trousers and shoes,
- Boxers (go for colourful cotton or microfiber as well as basic black and white),
- Belt(s) understated classic black with silver buckle.
I'm sure you have you're own stories you can share of styling your man. I'd love for you to share in the comments section below!