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Kyle and I were actually set up by two friends, and one of the first things my girlfriend said to get me to go out with him was, “He’s really sweet, and he has really great style.” Accurate on both counts. On our first or second date, I remember thinking that he would be the perfect cross between a Banana Republic and a J.Crew model. Fast forward a year and a half later, he’s still one of the most stylish, handsome, and all-around amazing guys I’ve ever known– plus, he’s good at all the manly things, like chopping wood and fixing all my stuff that breaks way too often. His entire family is fashionable, so I really shouldn’t be surprised by his ability to dress well without my help. For most dudes, though, the frustrating thing about personal style is that if you do any sort of online research, you’ll find the same answer everywhere you look– style is a subjective term, and it’s different for everyone. While this is true, it’s not helpful if you don’t yet know what your style is or if you’re simply trying to re-invent yourself.
Kyle shared four of his favorite drugstore products for men on my blog a few weeks ago, and now I’ve asked him to switch gears and round up five of his best fashion tips for men. With help from our neighbor’s puppy Henry and our property’s barn as a backdrop, this is one of my all-time favorite looks for him. Not only do jewel tones do wonders for his green eyes, but the dressy casualness of this outfit works perfectly with his classic yet rugged personal style. Keep scrolling for all five of his best fashion tips for men.
Tip #1: Always match your belt and your shoes. This is really the only fashion faux pas on the list, but it’s probably the most rudimentary base of virtually all men’s fashion tips. To clarify, the leather doesn’t need to be the exact same color, but you’ll be scolded in public, probably by your wife or girlfriend, if you try to pair a brown belt with shiny black shoes. You really only need between 2-4 belts in both black and brown– there’s no need to get fancy with other colors. Kyle prefers leather belts made with brass buckles, since they’re classic enough to go well with suits, jeans, and/or khakis.
Tip #2: Invest in the basics. Wardrobe staples are called staples because they’ll always be relevant, and they’ll always be in style. If you’re just starting to hone into your own personal style, build off of items that you’ll always be able to wear, like:
- a simple white oxford
- light or navy blue dress shirts
- 1-3 solid colored ties for each dress shirt
- 1-3 black or navy suits made from wool or cotton
- simple white, black, or navy t-shirts
- a pair of dark wash jeans
- a pair of khaki pants
- black and brown belts
- black and brown shoes
- a simple pair of sneakers
- a classic wristwatch
Tip #3: Find a good tailor. Ready-to-wear is rarely ready-to-wear, especially in a professional environment where your suit is your first impression. Although it’s an often overlooked ritual in America, tailoring your clothing can turn a sloppy oversized sweater with baggy khakis into a classy outfit that elongates your frame and looks impressively polished. Contrary to what may have stopped you from patronizing one previously, hiring a tailor won’t be outrageously expensive– in fact, it’ll definitely be significantly less expensive than ordering custom-made suits, and your existing unflattering garments, even those you’ve sworn off as donations, will look and feel brand new, so you’ll stop wasting money on new ill-fitted items.
Tip #4: Experiment with different brands. Find a few clothing brands that work well for your body type and stick with them. For Kyle, it’s Banana Republic, GAP, and J.Crew, but your go-to labels will vary depending on if you’re tall and slender, short and muscular, etc. When you’re shopping for clothes, bring someone with you for moral support and to help decide what looks good and what doesn’t. Also, don’t hesitate to ask a member of the sales team if you’re stuck on a particular item or style– just remember that their job is to make sales.
Tip #5: Groom yourself well. The act of grooming yourself effectively is equally important as the ability to put together a cohesive outfit. Your style will immediately be overshadowed if your hair is a mess or your body odor is pungent. Kyle recently started using AXE Black Daily Fragrance and Body Wash, whose refined yet pleasantly subtle fragrance combines scents of bergamot, rosemary, and cedarwood. In his expert man style opinion, it’s hands down the best daily fragrance you can get at the $5-10 price point. I also bought him an AXE Detailer 2-sided shower tool at Walmart to persuade him to stop using my loofa, and now I try to steal it every time I get in this shower. This “detailer” has both a soft mesh loofa-esque side and a scrub side, which gives your skin a deeper clean and makes your skin noticeably smoother simultaneously.
Another big proponent of affordable fragrances for men is Lukas Graham, who is the talented dude behind the songs “7 Years” and “Mama Said” and is one of the featured AXE Stage Pass artists. According to AXE Stage Pass, some of Lukas’ favorite products are AXE Apollo 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner, AXE Armor Shampoo and Conditioner, and AXE Clean Cut Look Classic Hair Pomade, which Kyle also uses regularly. Other AXE Stage Pass artists include hunky Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt, so if you watch some cool exclusive backstage clips and interviews, click here.
In addition to all his other fashion tips for men, Kyle was adamant about leaving one final piece of advice: always stay true to yourself. There’s absolutely no harm in pulling inspiration from other sources, like TV or magazines, or directly from style icons of yours, but you don’t need to do any amount of tedious research in order to determine which styles make you feel most confident. It’s all about trial and error. Try as many trends, styles, cuts, fits, and colors as you can, and remember that what works for your boss, brother, co-worker, etc. isn’t always what’ll work best for you.
Oh, and don’t forget to check out cool AXE Stage Pass clips and product information on Walmart’s website! I’m not ashamed to admit that I spent over an hour stalking Luke Bryan.
Happy Friday, y’all! I know Halloween is on a Monday, so if you have all kinds of exciting parties to attend, have a blast, take a ton of photos, and please be safe!
This post was sponsored by Mirum Shopper. As always, all opinions are mine alone.