Prior to discovering what I'm about to share, I'd run around every morning, scouring my closet and leaving my room completely disheveled. I realized that if I would change how I shop, I could greatly reduce stress and actually enjoy putting an ensemble together.
The following are my basic qualifications. This is assuming you already know how to work within your budget, understand the value of projecting cost per wear, are willing to pay to add to the longevity of the item (hint: shine your shoes every two weeks) and are willing to travel a bit to find the best options.
Lastly, be open to spending some time in a store (more than the usual 15 minutes). Guys like to be brief and decisive but that usually leaves us unsatisfied. Don't end up with a closet full of items you wear reluctantly. Admit that we care as much as our fairer counterparts and spending a dedicated hour won't seem like a waste.
Here are my three C's to buying:
- Complexion: How can your skin color and undertone compliment and/or accentuate your ensemble? Would you benefit from rich earth tones, bright colors or certain metals? To develop an eye for this is a process. Some items would be in stark protest, others are more subtle and need to be weighted carefully.
- Cut: What fit will flatter your body type? Find yourself on the spectrum of height, weight, and build and (unless you'd like to change your position along that line) work within your physical means. Proportions are key. Single pleat or flat front trousers? To cuff or not to cuff?
- Contrast: Which color(s) or texture(s) can infuse a tinge of variance to complete your outfit? A theme can add structure but it is not at all rigid. Style is dynamic. Capture that movement with your clothes by having multiple and well spaced foci.
Though these are a great foundation for making some difficult choices, there are two more "C's" that ease the burden: comfort and confidence. Without these, the look may feel contrived. Sir Hardy Ames said it best: "A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them." Wear your clothes, don't let them wear you.
Find your style, refine your style. Work hard, dress well.