Guy changing style to match a changing persona… Tighten your wardrobe to strengthen your look
I believe I need help here. I am enrolled at a Boston college and want to make the right impression. I grew up as a skateboarder– with the long middle-parted hair, baggy jeans and, skating shoes. Then, I became a computer geek and didn’t care at all. Next, I’ve moved to noticing that my clothes could help make a good impression on important people, so I started to wear polo shirts, and khakis, and ran wild with a Clooney/Caesar cut.
Now I realize that I shouldn’t tuck in all my polos and went wild buying jeans at Express Men. I would have considered myself a metrosexual, until I read your “Men’s Metrosexual Makeover.”
I’m not sure where to go. I’m back to the skater cut, because girls tell me my hair is so nice, so I grew it out. I am going to school to become a composer, but I want to be a city-smart-sexy-business kind of musician eventually. I don’t quite have a mullet, but it’s long enough that if I cut the front, I could rock with the gods…
I don’t have a lot of cash, but I want to look like I do. I sometimes wear T-shirts, but I like collared shirts (with embroidery?), and I need to work out…
I shop at Express Men, and Gap – where else should I look? And, what to do with the hair and facial hair? It’s brown with natural gold highlights and very straight (except the longer hair in the back.)
I would appreciate anything. What can I do, or at least who can help me? –(Philadelphia, PA)
I know that I’ve said that’s there’s nothing wrong with changing your style to suit your mood and the occasion, however there is a fine line between discovering a personal style that’s unique to a particular point in your life and driving yourself nutty trying to define yourself through fashion more times than even Madonna could reinvent herself. Figure out who you are on the inside and then let the clothes follow.
Fashion should be fun. Relax, enjoy and, forget about the subliminal minutia! Attempt to hone into a look that best suits your physical appearance and lifestyle right now—then tweak the nuances to keep it interesting.
Look for a style icon who has a look which you admire and is of a similar body type and age to you. Don’t try to carbon copy yourself after your icon guy, but get inspired. Follow his lead and notice what makes his look work and how you can take those ideas and incorporate them into your life and wardrobe.
Synchronize your style to develop a Brand Me rather than look to find a store or chain that you feel compelled to buy from. It’s not where you shop, it’s how you shop. The more you understand what clothing makes you feel wonderful, the fewer fashion mistakes– you will end up spending less money and have a more manageable wardrobe.
If you should see a guy with a haircut that you think is cool and his hair type is similar to yours, ask him who cut his hair and try that stylist out. Bring some photos of the type of haircut that you are after and let the stylist work his magic. The most urgent advice I can give you is to 86 the mullet before it’s too late.
–July 29, 2004