It's been a long time since people dressed solely to protect themselves from the elements. Today, we also dress to put out a particular image of ourselves for others to see. Even if you give your image little attention, others will still perceive you a certain way based on how you dress. With that in mind, I present to you the three "F"s of style to help you make the most out of style and what it can do for you (even if you don't give an "f").
The "F"s of Style
There are three critical variables (3 "f"s) to remember when doing anything style related: fit, function, and fabric (in order of importance).
Fit is easily the most important variable in style. If your clothes fit well, then any outfit you make is off to a fantastic start. However, if your clothes just don't fit properly, your outfit won't look good. It's as simple as that. Fit is the thing to look out for when buying clothes and wearing outfits. Since I'd be remiss to show you what proper fit looks like, there are a couple of links below to Real Men Real Style's infographic articles. These really hit the nail on the head in terms of the details you should be looking for in clothing. He has a few more articles about fit on his site that you should definitely check out if you're wondering how to wear a certain item of clothing.
Actually buying clothes that fit is a different story. Most people have at least one store that they frequent when buying clothes. Try re-evaluating how your clothes from your favorite store fit according to the articles I linked to below. If you find that your clothes don't fit properly, it's time to switch to a new size (or, if that doesn't work, a new go-to store).
Although, not everything you buy is going to fit well off the rack. For some pieces (dress shirts/ pants, but suits especially) it's wise to get them tailored. Depending on the amount of tailoring needed, the price you can expect to pay ranges from $20-$75 (the latter being quite extensive, e.g. completely overhauling the fit of an entire suit). I realize this is out of many people's price range and may seem excessive or unnecessary. I would still argue that every guy should have at least one tailored suit and/or special outfit they love to wear.
Function, basically just means dressing for the occasion, whether it be school, work, a dance, etc. This isn't at the very top of the list because I assume most of you know what's socially acceptable to wear. Simply put, don't wear a tracksuit to a wedding.
Unlike fit, function isn't so cut and dried. It's entirely circumstantial and depends on the image you want to portray. How do you want other people to see you? To answer this, it's always helpful to consider the nature of the event and what people are expected to wear. Say you're attending a party tonight. Do you want to come off as casual? Then a the classic laid-back look of a shirt and jeans would do a fine job. Or maybe you want to impress a special someone or look classy and professional? Then a nice, slim fitting shirt, dress shoes and chinos would fit your needs better. Function is all about how you want to put yourself out there.
Finally, we have fabric. What you get out of fabric depends on what's within your means. This is where finances come into play. If you have the cash, getting higher quality fabric would certainly benefit your overall style and presentation regardless of how you dress. This can simply mean shopping at more expensive stores, (though not always; be on the lookout for overpriced stores).
If you don't have the money for the more expensive stores, don't worry! Fabric is at the bottom of the list for a reason. Fabric affects a few things: how long your clothes last, how comfortable they feel, and to asmall extent how they look. For instance, an Old Navy crew neck isn't exactly going to fall apart after just a few seasons of wear. Still, you might be a bit more confident in the longevity of something from Banana Republic. Also, it seems that every store is putting out more comfortable clothes each year, so don't fret if you're a comfort freak (guilty as charged, your honor).
Keep this in mind: you can makebomb outfits from just shopping at thrift stores. People with no taste who spend a lot of money on clothes lose every single time to those with little to no money but put in the effort to look good. No matter your paycheck, you can look stylish. So, go out there and style confidently! You got this.
The inspiration for this article brought to you by Real Men Real Style! I've recommended them in the past, but if you haven't already go and check him out! Antonio is a great style resource, you won't be disappointed.
Sites and original article:
Links to how shirts/ pants should fit (the same principles of fit apply for other shirts/pants):