Every man needs a suit. Unfortunately, most guys stick to “the usual”: black jacket, black pants, dark tie. And while there’s nothing wrong with that—the classics are classic for a reason—it certainly doesn’t help you stand out from the crowd.
Now, there’s always a good way and a bad way to stand out. Overdo it, and you’ll be making an impression for all the wrong reasons. Think of it this way, you want your outfit to draw attention, but not be the focus of everyone’s attention. After all, the star of the show is supposed to be you, not your clothes.
So how might a proper gentleman like yourself graduate from the bland threads of yesteryear and step into a 21st-century look? Thought you’d never ask.
Tip 1: Mix Textures
Brown jacket. Brown pants. Brown tie. Sounds boring, right? But take a look at the picture below and note how texture can spice up a relatively monochromatic ensemble. The smooth silk of the tie contrasts the rougher tweed of the suit, while the braided leather of the belt contrasts the sleek monkstrap shoes.
Arguably, the contrast works precisely because the same color is maintained throughout. Introduce too much variety, and the whole outfit simply looks sloppy. The key is in retaining that creative edge while still ensuring that everything looks like they belong together.
Tip 2: Pick a Pattern
No, I don’t mean floral print. Try a Glen plaid, bold pinstripes, or even a windowpane pattern to add some extra flair to your look. Especially if you’re at a relatively casual function, each of these allows you to show off some of the creativity in your style amidst a sea of patternless attire. Balance it out with a more conservative shirt/tie combo, showing that you can have a little fun, but know when to show restraint as well.
If you decide to opt for a patterned shirt instead of the suit, be daring and pick a complimentary pattern on your tie. Avoid using bold patterns on both, as it can be confusing to the eye. A better choice would be to let one be dominant, usually through brighter colors or larger patterns. A thin checkered pattern with a wide-striped tie would be a perfect example. Allowing the colors to complement each other helps keep the combination connected.
Tommy Hilfiger Gray Plaid Two- Button Suit
Hugo Boss Windowpane Two-Button Suit
Tip 3: Accessorize
It’s unlikely that you’d be suiting up without a belt and shoes, but those aren’t the only accessories to consider when putting together your signature style. A vested suit isn’t just for old-money stodges anymore, and when fitted well, a vest can help define the classic V-shaped figure. Cufflinks on a French cuff shirt can help you stand out even when the rest of your suit needs to be understated. And a neatly folded pocket square shows an attention to detail that far too many of your peers will lack.
Explore Your Style
The most important thing when defining your style, whether it be in a suit or otherwise, is making sure it reflects your personality. Part of being stylish is having the confidence to know that you look good in what you’re wearing, so trust your gut and don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. Who knows, you might even start a trend.