Some men, myself included, have difficulty piecing together a casual outfit while still feeling like they look stylish. A dressy outfit tends to be easier since everything you need to wear is already listed out; suit, tie, dress shoes. I feel like a casual outfit takes more effort and thought to achieve a polished look. Hopefully the following ideas will help you accomplish a casual, yet fashionable look.
I know I’ve said it before and will say it again; fit is key. Guys usually have a problem wearing clothes that actually fit them properly. Sometimes they are too tight, but more often than not, they are buying clothes that are too big for them. I understand as men we like to be comfortable, but there is a big difference between wearing something a few sizes too big, and something that’s the correct size. If something fits you properly, you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable.
Layering is a subtle way to look more fashionable and stylish. I’m a huge fan of layering and try to incorporate it into each of my outfits. I understand with warmer weather coming, many guys just want to wear a t-shirt and shorts. Don’t get me wrong, this combo can look great as long as everything fits properly. Instead of just the plain tee, you can layer it with a casual short or long sleeved button-up shirt. When wearing the button-up, make sure you are not wearing a crew neck shirt underneath if you plan on buttoning most of the buttons. Instead, opt for a v-neck tee, but make sure you still can’t see it when you have the top 2 buttons unbuttoned. To make things easier, keep the button up shirt a plain color or opt for a subtle pattern like stripes or gingham. You can always take the outfit up a notch by adding a light jacket or a cotton blazer.
Now for the pants or shorts. The big mistake with shorts and pants are guys want to wear them too long and the outfit starts to look sloppy. I’m not saying to wear daisy dukes, but when you’re standing, the shorts should hit just an inch or two above the knees, and your pants should just hit the top of your shoes. Also, cargo shorts are both a yes and a no. Do not wear the cargo shorts everyone wore in middle school where the cargo pockets are big and poofy. Instead, find cargo shorts where the pockets are laying flat against the rest of the shorts. The pants should just hit the top of your shoe with little to no break.
Accessories are an underestimated item that not enough men take advantage of. Two items that will always help take an outfit to the next level are a watch and pair of sunglasses. A nice minimalistic watch will pull an outfit together. Nothing too flashy, something with a nice leather band and a plain face. When it comes to sunglasses, they should be the same, nothing that takes over the outfit but instead compliments it. Please, and I say please, do not wear the Oakley white sunglasses. Not only are they extremely “loud,” but they also look unfashionable (to put it nicely).
When it comes to shoes, make sure they are always clean and polished; unkempt shoes are never a good look. For tennis shoes, keep them pretty minimalistic as well, all white are usually best, but you can totally venture out as long as they are primarily one color. Canvas shoes like Vans are the best if you want to venture out to colors like grey, red or blue. Plain leather sneakers like Stan Smiths are usually my go to for sneakers. Running shoes and casual sneakers are two totally different things. Running shoes like Asics, Brooks and Saucony should only be worn while running, never with jeans or with any outfit unless it’s to go work out. I am also a fan of loafers, really any kind; penny, tassel etc. Boat shoes aren’t my personal favorite but remember if you’re wearing loafers or boat shoes wear loafer socks, you can’t see them at all and are better than going totally sockless because your shoes won’t smell.
When attempting to step out of your comfort zone regarding how you dress, it may be a little intimidating at first but just take it easy. It took me years and I’m still not where I want to be. It’s a process. In no time you’ll be the best dressed person out of your friends and family.
Ashton is a 30-year-old fashion lover and lifelong resident of Marietta. Just a child trapped in a mans’ body, Ashton enjoys video games, graphic novels, eating cheeseburgers, and getting his picture taken to show off his style. Follow him on Instagram at @ash_pres.