In step #1 we talked about your “man-crush” and the role it plays in your Ideal Image. Whoever, that is, or whatever that looks like I hope you have some pictures. Hopefully, at least 10 pictures, 5 in casual attire and 5 of dress(ier) attire.
If you don’t have any pictures get your butt back to step 1 and read it again. Yeah I’m talking to you! I’ll tell your grandma if you don’t, I swear.
Versatility is Key
Ok, now that you have a general idea of what your ideal image looks like, it’s time to identify some of the key pieces. These pieces (or articles of clothing) will most likely appear in more than one of the pictures you choose. Key pieces can be styled in multiple ways and are made of neutral colors such as white, navy/blue, black, beige/tan and olive. Look at the drawing above, I know it’s cartoony, but I guarantee that some of those pieces will be/should be on your list.
In my opinion, here are the 10 most common Key Pieces:
1.Suit (Always get a 3 piece when possible)
2.Blazer (Fit is critical)
3. V-Neck Sweater (again, fit is huge here)
4. Button-up shirt (we’ll go over collar, color, and pattern options later)
6.Chinos (make sure they’re comfortable)
7.Pair of Jeans (brand doesn’t matter, the wash and fit does)
8. Shoes (we’ll go over color and styles later)
9. Tie (neutral in color)
10. Watch (look for versatility and value)
Now, if you want to know more about these 10 pieces checkout my post covering these more in depth (10 Items Every Man Should Own). But for now, we need to focus on your key pieces.
Your 10 key pieces may have some items not on my list, like a vest, a pocket-watch, bomber jacket, or a pair of toms. And that’s perfect, that’s exactly what I want to hear. Variety and versatility are your friends when it comes to clothing.
How to Style Them
Alright, back to business. Even if you have money to burn limit your key pieces to no more than 10. If you do have some change to burn, call me up and we’ll have a man-date and you can buy me something nice for my birthday. 😉
Once you have your list of key pieces look at some of my other posts to see some more options of how to style them. If you don’t find what you’re looking for check out some of these other men’s life-stylists that I think are worth the time, depending on your personality:
-Real Men Real Style (In my opinion, Antonio is better tailored for the baby boomer generation, he has some great content but his presentation style just isn’t for me)
-Art of Manliness
-I.am.alpha.m. (Aaron Merino is super entertaining, educational, and fresh)
Once you have some more ideas of how to style your key pieces try them on and get comfortable with them. Your relationship with your clothes should feel like an old friend, they should compliment you, have a great fit, be comfortable, and make you better and more confident than when you are on your own.
Again, try and get comfortable with these items before you expand your key pieces collection.
By now you may have realized, “hey, I already own some of my key pieces,” and that’s awesome, good for you! To finish off it’s time to go through your closet, your drawers, and your dirty clothes pile. Hopefully those aren’t all the same thing…. 😉
See if you already own some of the key pieces. Check the fit, if it’s good then awesome you’re one step closer to your Ideal Image.
As you go through your closet you can separate them into 3 piles:
Pile #1 – Items you wear consistently. (No you don’t need to separate socks & underwear) Keep what matches your ideal image and save the rest for yard work days or camping trips.
Pile #2 – Items you don’t wear (either because you don’t like them or they don’t fit). Yeah, that sweater your great aunt made you, do the world a favor and burn it or sell it to some crazy person on ebay or craigslist. Take the rest to savers or any other place that accepts donations. You can try selling some of the better clothing if you’d like, but I prefer to pay it forward and give the clothes away.
Pile #3 – Items that you don’t wear because you don’t know how to style them. Make sure these clothes fit. If they don’t match your Ideal Image figure out why. Are they too modern or trendy, are they just not you, or are they seasonal? If I don’t cover these “leftovers” email me and I will gladly give you some perspective of what to do with them.
Awesome, you’re doing so well, can you the new you yet? I certainly can.
So you’ve gone through your clothes, you’ve identified the key pieces now it’s time to move to step #3 Budget.