Signature styles like Jimi Hendrix’s epic vintage ensembles or Michael Kors’ chic all-black wardrobe can make anyone want to own a look that’s truly theirs. The good news is that creating your signature style is not that hard, and it’s definitely never too late to build on your own budding personal style by following the simple steps listed below.
1. Figure out your body type
It’s not just women who should pay attention to body types when buying clothes. Although it’s admittedly easier to find guides made for women, there are some reliable ones for men as well. Clothing-specific guides like Superdry’s cheat sheet on matching body shape to jacket styles is especially useful for those who aren’t familiar with men’s body types. For instance, if you have a larger waist and hips compared to the width of your shoulders, then you have a triangle body shape. In this case, you’ll have to be more meticulous when picking out clothing to make sure it complements your body type. Make sure you find a tailor, and have him make patterned blazers that take away the focus from your waist. Vertical stripes are also a good choice to slim down and elongate your body.
2. Plan out your wardrobe
When building your personal style, unless you have wads of cash lying around waiting to be spent, it’s best to go into clothes shops with a plan in mind. Select clothes that make you feel and look good, and are appropriate for your job and lifestyle. Tech tycoon and former Apple CEO Steve Jobs is the best role model for a well thought out wardrobe because he revamped his entire wardrobe in one go. Excerpts from his biography published on NBC reveals how Jobs worked with designer Issey Miyake to build his black turtleneck collection. These men, with their seemingly effortless looks, undoubtedly planned out their shopping sprees and bought in bulk, which is a good strategy if you want to save money. You can start by buying two or three pairs of your favourite black T-shirt, or an extra pair of the jeans you wear way too often anyway. Work to integrate more complicated pieces on top of these essentials, so you don’t overwhelm you too much with new styles and cuts. You'll end up with a wardrobe that feels like it's truly yours because of how meticulously you planned it from the start.
3. Go slow on the trends
Menswear fashion is an irresistible rabbit hole that you may get sucked into if you’re not careful. While it’s tempting to fill your wardrobe with trendy clothes on a regular basis, this will undoubtedly end up with you owning a mish-mash of clothes with varying styles that don’t really form a cohesive wardrobe. Staple garments like high-quality white t-shirts and well-fitted jeans are classics for a reason. Invest in clothing that will stand the test of time, and mix them up with trendy pieces that you like, but do it carefully. Adapt experimental pieces around a base of classics in order to find what works and feels best for your own look. For instance, you can wear a floral blazer over plain jeans and a shirt, or incorporate some Karl Lagerfeld-inspired sunglasses into an otherwise simple outfit.
4. Find your signature item
Most style icons have their very own signature items: Yves Saint-Laurent had his iconic horn-rimmed glasses, and Lucian Freud wouldn’t be caught dead without his long cravat. Find an accessory or clothing item that you naturally gravitate towards and try to work it into most of your outfits. You can start by drawing some inspiration from icons with simpler signature items like Albert Einstein and his grey suits or Mark Zuckerberg and his hoodies. Lottoland points out how Zuckerberg’s go-to outfit is a hoodie and jeans, which makes him stand out among Silicon Valley’s suit-clad businessmen. His inspiration for this signature look came from the birth of his business in his college dorm room, which explains why he loves hoodies so much. Like Zuckerberg, you may find it easier to figure out what works for you by looking at what you already own and wear often to work or to university. Of course, you might not have one particular signature item and still have a signature style — think David Bowie’s fluctuating but instantly recognisable fashion sense. Like him, you can opt for a general theme of clothing instead of a singular signature piece. You won’t automatically be on the cover of a fashion magazine once you’ve covered all these tips, but you’ll definitely feel more tailored to a single style, and the owner of a stylish wardrobe that truly expresses who you are.