No one has the money or the space to purchase an infinite amount of clothing. That’s why preserving the pieces you do have and finding new ways to wear what you’ve got is the best way to ensure that you don’t look the exact same every day, even if you are wearing the exact same pieces. Taking your basics and making them work in a variety of different situations is the best way to ensure you always look good without spending tons of money. Here are some simple ways to hack your closet and combine otherwise boring basics into standout styling choices.
Let’s start with your pants. Or shorts, since it’s the summer and because they’re super simple to style. Step one, slide on shorts. Step two, fasten all buttons and zip all zippers. Step three (this is the important one), roll or cuff hem on both legs. Step four, leave the house knowing you are perfectly styled and look like you came right off the runway. Same technique applies to pants and jeans. Roll or cuff the hem and you will look perfectly on trend and like you’ve written your very own style book that should be on every man’s coffee table.
My grandmother always said it was silly to spend money on a pair of jeans that were already worn in and holey, and I would tend to agree. Do it yourself and get a perfectly distressed pair of jeans by taking a razor blade, scissors, and sandpaper to an old pair. Skip the mall and cut your own holes at the knees. I’m certain this is what my grandmother meant…
When I put on a shirt, whether it’s a t-shirt or a button up, I never pull it over or button that last button and am done. That’s just putting the piece of clothing on. Taking it to the next level with simple techniques is called styling.
When I put on a t-shirt, I always roll or cuff my sleeves. For one, the sleeve then hits me a little higher on my arm which makes it look like I’ve got a larger bicep than I actually do, but it also takes a boring t-shirt from basic to styled.
Same thing with a button up. If it has short sleeves, I always cuff the sleeves to give the illusion of a more muscular physique, but it also makes me feel a little more polished. It will make you look like you know what you’re doing without really having to do anything. For long sleeves, I either roll the sleeves up my forearm a bit or layer it under a sweater or cardigan. When layered, I always let my shirt sleeve poke out about a quarter inch. It looks perfectly disheveled like you just walked off the set of a catalog shoot.
Tucking in the front hem of your t-shirt or button up will also achieve a perfectly styled look with little to no effort. I mean how easy is it to accidentally get the front bit of your shirt caught in your pants? Not hard at all but you’ll look damn good.
Finish It Off
You aren’t done with your outfit once your pants and shirt are on. Footwear and a few finishing touches can make all the difference. My personal preference when it comes to shoes and accessories is to have them juxtapose the outfit a bit. For example, I like the idea of pairing a pair of Birkenstock sandals with a sleek black and white outfit. Or pair a dress shoe like a pair of leather oxfords or suede double monkstraps with shorts and a button up. Little unexpected style choices like that can pay off big time.
Bring new life to an old pair of shoes by adding a new pair of laces. Whether it’s a pair of leather laces on your favorite boots or a colored pair of cotton laces on a pair of white sneakers, small additions like this can breathe new life into old favorites.
Another unexpected route to take is to wear a dress watch with a casual outfit or pair a casual rope bracelet with a more formal look. It’s a simple way to mix up any basic look and it’s choices like that that give you serious style street cred.
Remember, styling doesn’t require tons of energy or thought. It’s a combination of basics you’ve already got and little effort that can make you look like the style king you truly are.