Every man has a secretly rooted desire to look their personal best. (Whether they'll freely admit it or not.) The old adage aptly confesses, "Clothing makes the man," and I am a firm believer in that maxim. Some gents naturally take more of an active approach with their personal style than others. So, how can a lady help guide her man in selecting positive fashionable choices? Take all the pressure off, and offer a shopping list that splices right to the basics.
I think that fashion can be overwhelming to both men and women. The infinite choices, the financial investment, a kaleidoscope of colors and fits-where does one begin? May I offer a simple solution? Start with four caliber garments on a shopping list. That's easy to digest, and NOT at all intimidating. Four well selected, quality pieces can transform a haphazard looking dude into a smartly dressed-dare I say polished, gentlemen.
Men's shopping list item #1. (a well fitting coat.) This herring bone Ben Peacoat looks incredible on my friend Robert. Mr. Dearing works at Postino East while he studies Engineering at Mesa Community College. Robert is a world traveler, and his wardrobe reflects hints of European influence. As soon as he tried the peacoat on, he instantly fell in love, expressing that he wanted to acquire one for his own collection. The fantastic fit, the superior and timeless choice in fabric, and that sexy popped collar. I paired this iconic staple, with Robert's existing wardrobe pieces: khaki chinos, a button down navy shirt, and a pair of leather lace ups. He's instantly date ready or set for a heightened casual work environment.
Men's shopping list item #2. (a signature statement shirt.) Remember when conversation tees were all the rage in the early 2000's? Let's take a sophisticated, modern twist on that concept with a signature statement shirt. This Alligator Print Shirt is an instant conversation starter. The cut and style look unapologetically fabulous. And that gator print is cheeky enough to ignite a comment from even a perfect stranger. I styled Robert in some rolled up black pants, a leather wrap bracelet, Ray-Ban Wayfarers, and black oxfords sans socks.
Men's shopping list item #3. (a jeans alternative.) Jeans are a beloved masculine go-to because they are neutral, classic, and functional. However, a stylish pair of corduroys manage the same comfort, but add a heightened visual twist. The Max Cords pack some punch with a basic tee, shawl collared cardigan, and leather sneakers. This look works for school, errands, and could easily transition into an evening engagement with a simple change into boots and an upscale shirt.
Men's shopping list item #4. (a hoodie.) What guy DOESN'T like a hoodie? This Clarke Hooded Vest is a guaranteed babe magnet. I love the rock and roll vibe that it naturally emits. Personally, I would die to see this worn with a vintage black rock tee, black jeans, and worn under a black leather jacket, but I realize that's not for every man. I decided to pair the vest with a cranberry henley, black boots, and some faded black wash jeans. Layers always add visual interest, and this vest is the real deal. Reminding me of crisp spring evenings in the Pacific northwest.
Add these four pieces together in one look, and your man will not only look, but feel confident.
writing/styling/photography by Ashley Ward