How to Dress Well Men

How to Dress Well: 20 Must-Follow Rules for Men

Let me guess…

You want to know how to dress well, but you have no clue where to start.

You never grew up with much interest in personal style, and you never developed a natural instinct for how you should dress. And even though you can find a ton of information online, it confuses and overwhelms you more than it helps you understand.

And it sucks, doesn’t it?

Because you’re smart, and you should be able to figure out how to be a well dressed man. You just have no clue what you should be focusing on.

But guess what?

You’re Not the Only Guy Who Struggles with Dressing Better

Many guys struggle with how to dress better.

In fact, just a few years back, I struggled as well.

I was a terrible dresser.

And when I decided to step up from hoodies and graphic t-shirts to something more respectable, I had a hard time figuring out the dress code for a casual evening or a formal event.

But despite all my early failures, I kept trying, and eventually, things started to click in my head. I had to try out lots of terrible men’s fashion tips before I found the nuggets that actually worked, but eventually, I developed a much better dress sense.

Yes, I finally knew how to dress well, men.

Just see for yourself:

Robert's style transformation

I created my personal style. This is not the work of a stylist.

I could feel ashamed of the many years spent dressed like a slob. But instead, I feel proud.

Because I had zero style sense. I had to learn how to be a well-dressed man. And when I consider where I came from and where I am now, I’m proud of how far I’ve come.

And any man can do what I did, no matter where they’re at now.

You can do it too.

And with some guidance, you can learn how to dress well as men — a lot quicker than I did.

How to Dress Well: The 20 Rules Every Beginner Should Follow

You can figure this out.

You can improve that dress sense of yours.

And once things start clicking in your head, men’s fashion will actually become easy. You just need a bit of guidance at first, so you’re focused on the right things.

So I took the most important lessons that I’ve learned over the years and put them into this article.

These are the guiding rules that all style rookies should follow.

empty hanger
Just imagine an empty wardrobe. What are you gonna fill it up with?

Rule #1: Start From Scratch

When you want to start dressing with style, you have to start from the beginning.

That doesn’t mean you should discard all of your clothes in your dressing room right away. (I’m fairly sure society frowns upon naked men going clothes shopping.)

But, you should accept that you will eventually get rid of most of your current wardrobe. You will trade it in for one that’s better suited and more refined, even if you still want to keep it casual.

For instance, swap your graphic t-shirts with casual t-shirts in solid colors.

Yes, saying goodbye to your favorite skinny jeans, brown blazer or baggy denim jacket will be hard when you do it the first time. But it must be done in order to make progress. 

Don’t worry though; you’ll get new favorites.

Better favorites that will make you look way more awesome.

Rule #2: Forget Everything You Think You Know

One of the hardest things I ever had to accept was that my fashion-knowledge was nonexistent.

During my researching stage on menswear, I would often read something that completely flipped my world upside down.

Things I deemed inconsequential in men’s clothing turned out to be of vital importance, while things that I thought were crucial turned out not to matter at all.

You should accept that you may not know as much as you think.

You should think of yourself as a complete beginner, so you don’t gloss over anything that could help you see the light. Otherwise, you’ll likely skip important lessons.

Assume you know nothing about men’s style, and you’ll be open to learning everything.

Basic white tee
You Can’t Get More Basic Than a Plain White Tee

Rule #3: Focus on the Basics

So now that you’ve forgotten everything you knew, what do you think you should focus on first?

The basics, of course.

Mastering the basics in clothing alone will benefit you greatly in your quest to be a stylish man.

I always say it’s half the battle, but it’s more like three quarters, if not more.

A white button-down oxford shirt under a navy blue tailored suit with dress shoes is a great business casual basic. If you want to look dapper in street style and casual wear, you could never go wrong with dark denim jeans and a white t-shirt.

Too many men shoot themselves in the foot by getting the basics wrong, like wearing your oxfords with skinny jeans.

Don’t be one of them.

When it comes to selecting a basic tailored suit, a classic style is dark colored, single-breasted, two-button that fits well across the shoulders.

Some basic styles in shirts include button-down oxford shirt, dress shirt, chambray shirt and poplin office shirt (works well for dressing business casual).

My point is: You don’t have to know how to tie a bow tie or how to mix and match different patterns when you’re just getting started. Focus on the basics first. Focus on things like fit, proportions and color coordination.

Check out my Men’s Style Guide to master the basics and avoid mistakes.

Rule #4: Build a Solid Wardrobe Foundation

Rebuilding your wardrobe starts with a solid foundation.

You need to collect versatile, high-quality wardrobe staples that match well with almost anything — basic items like white shirts, dark blue jeans and grey sweaters.

At the start of your style journey, you want to build a basic wardrobe with clothes in neutral colors of white, grey, black, khaki, or navy.

Clothing like these will serve as training wheels while you learn to get the basics right.

Items like these will serve as training wheels while you learn to get the basics right. They’ll also keep you safe from making mistakes when you don’t know how to match clothes yet.

After you’ve built your foundation, you can add more eye-catching clothes to your garment collection, and you’ll always have items in your wardrobe to wear them with.

Apart from clothes, the other basic wardrobe must-haves include brown leather loafers, a brown leather belt, and a solid timepiece. (Make sure your watch is the right size and depth relative to your wrist.)

Rule #5: Keep it Simple

You have to remember that you’re a modern man, and being extravagant isn’t necessary. You don’t need a lot of bells and whistles to look great. You must feel comfortable.

A white button-up shirt with navy blue dress pants and a simple jacket could be your casual dress code for any occasion.

You can just keep menswear simple. Even your underwear should be restricted to simple cotton boxer shorts or boxer briefs.

Leonardo DaVinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Keep this in mind when you’re putting your outfit together. Stop over-complicating things.

You don’t need to overdo it, and you don’t need to go from Homer Simpson straight to James Bond.

There’s no point in wearing a three-piece suit to a Star Wars or Game of Thrones marathon with friends. For most occasions, a down-to-earth casual look is fine. Your mission is simply to make casual look cool.

And you don’t have to be a creative genius to put a cool casual look together. You don’t have to wear 60 different items at a time, like guys you see in magazines sometimes. Just keep it simple.

A simple style is the best dress code for the modern gentleman with great style.

Rule #6: Fit Comes First

This is the golden rule; getting the fit right is your priority, always.

Unfortunately, most guys get this wrong, and getting this wrong sabotages anything else you try.

I mean, just compare these two shirts:

Shirt fit untucked
The difference between good and bad fit

The shirt on the right completely throws off my body’s proportions, making me look like I raided someone else’s closet. It may look comfortable, but the tailoring is terrible for my body shape (the sleeves are way too long and too much billowy fabric around my midsection).

When selecting your shirt style, it is crucial to nail your size. Ensure your shirt sleeves end where your wrist meets your hand, and your collar has a finger-width of space when fully fastened.

Dressing well is all about the right fit, guys.

Fit comes first.

If you only follow one of the men’s style tips from this article, follow this one.

Rule #7: Trim Your Wardrobe

Having a bulging wardrobe offers no benefit.

In fact, having lots of clothes in your wardrobe is impractical.  (Which is good news for guys who are trying to build a wardrobe on a budget!)

You want to keep your wardrobe trim.

Never fill your wardrobe up with lots and lots of clothes, thinking this will offer you a nice variety. You won’t need lots to have a great arsenal of perfectly fashionable and stylish outfits. You’d be amazed at how few polo shirts, dress shirts, socks or pair of jeans you really need in your casual wardrobe.

Moreover, if you buy fewer pieces, you can afford the best quality that fits your budget.

Also, you should prune your wardrobe periodically for items that look washed out, that no longer fit or that you simply no longer wear. You should discard these items and keep your wardrobe decluttered.

Rule #8: Expand Your Options

You don’t want to be that guy that wears the same outfit day in and day out. You need a bit of variety.

Does this seem paradoxical to you with the previous rule?

It shouldn’t.

You can trim your wardrobe and expand your wardrobe at the same time. You only need to ensure all your clothes can be worn together.

For instance, if you always wear your grey-and-red graphic tee with your wicked dark-red cardigan, swap it with wardrobe staples like a white shirt or a solid black tee. Now you have more than one outfit combination without having to buy new clothes.

layering
Layering will help you create more interesting outfits

Rule #9: Layer Up

Knowing how to layer clothes will give you ultimate use out of everything in your closet, and it will help you create more interesting outfits. For instance, you can layer your collared shirt with a crew neck pullover and a trench coat to look cool.

A penchant for layering lets you play around with the clothes you have, so you should learn how to do it properly.

Rule #10: Forget the Trends, Develop Your Style First

Many men think they have to be on top of all the latest trends to become more stylish.

The fads that are showcased at events like New York Fashion Week come and go. Most of the time, the “trendy” outfits they display on the runway will never suit the everyday guy — even if you’re an impeccably turned-out gentleman.

Therefore, when you start out, developing your own style is vastly more important.

As a general rule, dress your age.

Once you figure out what image you want to portray, you can start adding trends that will work with that image. Maybe monogrammed cuff links, a slim fit oxford shirt, or hey, maybe even bow ties?

Rule #11: Look Effortless, Not Botherless

With great style comes the great responsibility of looking effortlessly fashionable. A grown man shouldn’t look like he has spent hours meticulously orchestrating his outfit in front of a mirror.

Looking like you just grabbed some quality clothes out of your closet is a lot more effective. You want to look impeccable while looking like you’re not making an effort to look good.

But that doesn’t mean you should look like you didn’t bother. Your clothes must still look good on you, and they must work together in a way that’s pleasing to the eye.

And not just your clothes. Your hair, shoes, socks, and accessories like glasses,a leather belt, and wrist watch – everything should have a casual yet stylish look.

You still want to look like you know what you’re doing.

checked shirt and bow tie
Expand your comfort zone

Rule #12: Try New Things

When you’re developing your sense of style, you want to open your mind to new types of clothing and clothing styles. You should be comfortable trying things you would never have thought of wearing before.

Maybe you try wearing chinos instead of jeans or a leather jacket instead of a sweater.

Maybe you can try business casual attire or even a suit instead of your usual casual clothes.

Maybe you can try changing your sneakers for desert boots, loafers and brogues — or maybe even a pair of dress shoes.

You’d be amazed how dapper you could look in items that you previously thought “weren’t you.”

Whether it is casual attire or an outfit for a black tie event, you must learn to challenge yourself. You could even experiment with your hairstyles.

Trying on everything and anything will teach you more about your personal style than all the style and fashion blogs combined.

Rule #13: Learn to Love Colors (But Wear Them Sparingly)

Many males don’t seem to like wearing bright colors that much. Many of us stick to a basic color scheme of black, white, grey, and blue.

If that sounds like you, you want to expand your color horizons.

You have to figure out which colors work for you, and the best way to do this is to try them out. (See previous rule.)

Colors can make an outfit pop, so you should never shy away from them.

BUT!

colored tee
Start With 1 Color at a Time

While you should learn to love colors, you want to avoid wearing too many of them at the beginning of your style journey.

You’ll risk wearing incompatible colors or colors that don’t flatter your skin tone since you probably don’t know how to match them yet.

Stick to wearing one color at a time for now, and keep the rest neutral. Once you’re further educated, you can start trying to combine neutral colors with brighter shades.

Want to master the art of color matching right away?

Check out my color-matching guide for easy color-matching tricks.

Rule #14: Respect the Dress Code

A stylish man will always consider the dress code of the place or event that they’re going, and they will dress accordingly.

Depending on your lifestyle, you can probably go with a casual look for most occasions. If you’re just hanging out with friends, having a beer at your local pub, or going to a barbeque, you don’t need to show up in suit and tie.

On the other hand, if you work in an office, you’ll probably have to wear a suit at times (if not all the time).

If your friends are having a beach wedding, you should probably go for more casual wedding attire. You might leave your tie at home, and you could even come in open-toed shoes.

However, if they’re saying their vows in a church, this summer wedding attire will make you look like a fish out of water.

For most situations, you can probably figure it out. Just try and imagine the clothes all the other people will be wearing, and take it one step up. That way you’ll never be underdressed, but you’re safe from being too overdressed as well.

But when in doubt, just call ahead and ask.

Rule #15: Laugh Off the Jabs

When you start improving your style, you’re guaranteed to receive a few jabs from your friends.

The secret to dealing with this is not to care and laugh it off. Just crack a joke about it yourself. That way you’ll be in on the joke, instead of the butt of it.

Eventually, your friends will get used to your new dress code , and the jokes will cease.

Rule #16: Be Open to Feedback

You may also have people in your life that will genuinely try to help you in figuring out what to wear, so be open to their advice.

Consider the person the advice comes from and what they have to say.

Usually, you can tell when a criticism is genuine, or when someone is just trying to cut you down a few inches.

Hint: People who provide sincere counsel will usually be people that dress fairly well themselves.

You should also listen to the women in your life, as they often are happy to give their honest feedback (although they can also be too supportive).

Rule #17: Be Honest With Yourself

You never want to look like someone that you’re not. You’ll feel incongruent when you sport a look that doesn’t fit with your personality.

If you’re a an introvert, wearing extremely loud outfits will seem weird.

If you’re a laid-back type of guy, you may not want to walk around in formal suits with pocket squares all the time.

Simply aim to look like a better dressed version of yourself.

watch
Style reinvention takes time. There’s no rush.

Rule #18: Accept That it Will Take a While

Your sense of style is like Rome; It won’t be built in a day.

You’ ll need a while to fully grasp all the little intricacies that make an outfit great.

Personally, I spent years learning and experimenting before I could put everything together. It took me a long time to discover a look I was satisfied with and could wear with confidence, mostly because very little I tried actually helped me.

Don’t expect to become a better dresser within a month or two. You should prepare to spend some time on it.

Rule #19: Accept That You Will Make Mistakes

We all make mistakes. None of us are immune to this. I still make mistakes to this day.

Look at celebrities and popular style icons.

They often have personal stylists or designers creating clothes just for them to wear, and the clothes they wear are judged under a microscope.

They make mistakes in what they wear, but it’s because they try new things. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t.

This shouldn’t keep you from trying new clothes.

The road to success is paved with mistakes. You just need to realize when you’ve made one, accept it and move on.

Robert's new style
Eventually, it will all make sense

Rule #20: Know That You’ll Get There Eventually

If you keep working on it, eventually you’ll train your eye for style.

You’ll notice details in your own and other people’s outfits. You’ll know when something works and when it doesn’t. Selecting a great outfit from your closet will be as easy as riding a bike.

No matter how much you’re struggling, take comfort in the knowledge that you’ll get there eventually.

It’s Not Just Your Clothes

A smart man doesn’t just wear sharp clothes. He also knows how to look sharp and well groomed.

Men’s health is as important as their dress sense. Develop a simple yet effective grooming regime – clip your nails, comb your hair. Decide if facial hair is your style (this is where Rule#16 can come in handy).

Also, take care of your clothes and accessories to make them last longer. Take your suit to the dry cleaner often. Polish your shoes regularly. Use wooden hangers for your bespoke navy suit or expensive leather jacket, and a shoe tree for your shoes.

Follow These Rules and Develop Your Sense for Dressing Sharp

Following these 20 rules will help you build a kick-ass style, but you will have to work on it.

Change never comes from reading things; it comes from taking action.

So if you’re serious about taking your style to the next level, pick one small thing you want to improve, and work yourself up from there. (I recommend starting with #6)

Pick one thing, and then focus on mastering that one thing. Then, pick the next, and the next, and the next.

Slowly but surely, you’ll start to see major improvements. Slowly but surely, you’ll developed your sense of dressing well. Slowly but surely, you’ll create a look that kicks ass.

And then, you’ll notice that you feel comfortable about yourself and fashion, that you get more respect, and that you catch more attention from the ladies.

Because that’s what a kick-ass style will do for you.

And all you need to do is follow these rules, focus on on the right things, and take one small step at a time.

So let me ask you…

What small step will you take today?

  • Mufti Shirts says:

    You covered everything. This the best styling guide for men available on the web. I just read out all those 20 tips in one go. Very well written and informative blog. Keep sharing.

  • Vincent says:

    These are all nice ideas. Along with what to wear it is also important to know how to wear it. I recently read an article about shirt shizes at Tukked Shirts and how important it is to know which size suits you the best. It saves alot of embrassing moments.

  • b. says:

    you need a better haircut though

  • Azaher Nomen says:

    I am a startup businessman, i belongs to middle class family, now i am a little good condition, when it comes to fashion people things i am a little old fashion. i am 27 years old, please suggest how i can improve my style. [[email protected]] is my email ID, you can reach out me there. i have a good physics as well. hahahahaha

    • Antonymous says:

      Hi, I don’t know what and why could be regarded as old fashioned about you and in which sense, if vintage and classic, coming from overly trendy people, or gray’s, washed out, ill fitting and “grandpa like”.
      I’d say you can start by medium skinny “slim fit” white jeans, but also trousers if you wanna be dress, light blue suit jeans, match your shoes and socks to start, but exceed this rule soon. Space among various dress shoes, from oxfords and brogues, from black to burgundy, to brown low cut loafers, which really go with everything. But see this just like basic assorted tips not knowing your baseline style situation.

    • TUSHAR SINGH says:

      YOU CAN SIMPLY DRESS SIMPLE AND SOBER DRESSES AND THE COLOURS YOU THINK WHICH HELP YOU LOOK MORE YOUNG LIKE BRIGHT COLOURS OR LIGHT COLOURS LIKE WHITE , CREAM ,GREY ,SKY BLUE ,ETC

  • Travis says:

    I can’t even figure out the basics! I don’t even know how to find a pair of jeans that “look good” and feel comfortable. I’m a 45 year-old guy without an ounce of fashion taste. It seems all the guys are wearing those super tight, tapered jeans. I’d rather walk around naked than wear those!

    What style of jean would you recommend for a “regular” dad like myself? I’ve always worn baggy/loose jeans just because they are super comfortable. What brands of jeans would your recommend as well? I just want something that looks nice and is comfortable too. I’m 5′ 11″ 185 lbs. if that helps to know.

    Travis

    • Robert says:

      Hey Travis,

      there’s no specific brand of jeans that I recommend over others. There’s a ton of good brands out there. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to get skinny jeans to look good, but you will have to ditch the baggy jeans. Go for straight leg jeans.

      If you’re used to baggy jeans, they might feel a little tighter than usual at first, but trust me, you’ll get used to it quickly ;)

      • Travis says:

        Is straight leg the same as relaxed fit jeans? I told you I’m a complete dummy when it comes to fashion:) And I always thought straight leg and boot cut were the same. It’s all very confusing.

        Travis

        • Robert says:

          Nah, relaxed fit is baggy jeans. Straight leg jeans have the legs of the pants go straight down. It’s basically the standard. Don’t worry though, usually it will say somewhere on the jeans what kind of cut it is. If not on the jeans themselves, the price tag will usually say it.

  • David says:

    Hey Robert,

    I took your advice and bought a couple of new pairs of dark blue jeans that fit great. Now that I finally found great fitting jeans, I’d like to pick up a couple more pairs. Do you still advise against lighter colored jeans? I need more than 2!
    Thanks!
    Dave

    • Robert says:

      Hi Travis,

      so first off, understand that you don’t need a lot of jeans. I have two pairs, and that’s all I ever need. You don’t have to wash jeans after every wear. You could wear the same jeans for a month or longer without washing them and they won’t get grimey (unless you’re doing yard work or something similar.)

      Here’s what I recommend: Get a dark blue pair, a light grey pair, and then add a coupe of chinos to your wardrobe in colors like camel and olive green.

  • Someone again says:

    Also, what if you need to wear clothes for (dirty) work, should you still change outfit every day?

    • Robert says:

      That wouldn’t be necessary, no. I mean, change your undergarments, i.e. everything that catches sweat. Otherwise, you can wear the same sweater or pants a couple days in a row.

  • Someone says:

    Hi, this is a great article, but I have one thing I’d like clarified.
    You say to dress like a ‘better version of yourself’, what does that mean exactly?

    Also, since I’m on a budget, how do you go about buying new clothes? You say not to wear the same outfit over and over again but what if it’s 6 months of saving before I can get four or five different outfits?

    • Robert says:

      It means dressing like yourself, but making sure your clothes fit, look good on you and are well-matched.
      If you’re on a budget, just take it one step at a time.You don’t need a ton of clothes to create different outfits. Check out this and this article.

  • matter says:

    hey Robert

    I loved your article about clothing but i do have a few questions for dressing very sharp or business casual. What colors would be good to blend together and also how do i break the habit of wearing skinny jeans a hoodie and some vans? Is this good casual street style because i would like to transition into a more sharp defined look

  • Mingle says:

    Hi Robert,
    This article is not bad but please can u teach me how to look simple without any hard dressing.

    • Robert says:

      Yeah, just go for simple, classic items, like a white shirt or a grey t-shirt, or dark blue jeans. Avoid overly embellished items like bleached jeans or graphic tees.

  • Manuel says:

    Hi, Robert

    This article is amazing, and really easy to read and understand. Thanks for sharing it and help us on this journey. Do you have some advice for someone in his early 20’s (21atm) to ease the transition?

  • Bill says:

    This is by far the best article on how to dress like a man, yet stay true to yourself I have ever seen. Thank you so much for actually laying out letitment ways to improve ones style. I have strugled for years to find my own style and no one has given me advise I can actually follow. I was starting to give up hope on finding a syle that fits me, but now I understand the basics of dressing better. My confidence that I will eventually get there has sky rocketed and I feel like this is now something I can grasp and accomplish

  • deni says:

    Hi Robert,
    I’m really happy for you say that .I need some more tips for choosing colors for me.And how to improve my dressing trends ………

  • haeeb khan says:

    thank u very much for posting very important rules and article to dress well……. feeling enjoy after reading this.keep it up.thanks once again

  • Akshay says:

    Totally loved the article Robert! I’ve been sorta black-grey-white guy, maybe it’s time to play with some colors. I agree with you, I does pops out, makes you look little bit interesting and creative. Learning the art of using color wheel can be tremendously helpful. Thanks for the advice, I’ll keep you posted :)

  • Sam says:

    Good article. The one part I didn’t agree with is choosing color to stand out from other guys. I find that most men wear color in an attempt to not look boring but in turn end up looking like every other guy. It’s actually rare to see a guy who wears just black white and grey. At least where I’m from. I think those are the best color choices because they evoke sophistication and you can never go wrong with them. But that’s just my opinion.

    • Robert says:

      Hey Sam,

      thanks for your thoughtful comment. I agree with you, to a point. I think choosing mostly neutral does show more sophistication. However, adding a pop of color never hurts.

  • Arturo says:

    I have been enjoying your simple and easy-to-understand articles. I’m thinking about buying your ebook now, I’m hoping it will give me more information on topics I’m almost clueless about(how to layer clothing, how to choose the colors of your clothing wisely ect.) Keep up the good work.

    • Robert says:

      Thanks, Arturo. Good to hear you’re enjoying the articles.

      I might be biased, but I would definitely recommend the ebook. You won’t be disappointed!

    • Colin Craggs says:

      His book us awesome. It saved me hundreds of hours of research. Within a month of implementing his suggestions in the book I started to get compliments. Without fail, every week since somebody tells me how sharp I’m looking. Better than that, I love the new look.

  • lawal ayomide jubril says:

    nice article. it breathed life into me.

  • AR RIYAZ says:

    Hello sir,
    Good article and also useful for me but I have some problem, when I choose colour I totally confused ? which type of colour suit for me. My face is light brown colour. Can you suggest me plz best choose for me both shirt and jeans

  • priceless says:

    micheal,i think you can develop your eye for good things by trying to admire a neat shirt or well ironed shirt on somebody’s body..try to compare it to yours and get the difference between the two…try to admire colours like blue,red,purple, shirts mixed with dark and bright colours….tell yourself good things about them and maybe admire the button,collar and pocket shapes if yours dont have the same…nd try buying things from a different place..

  • José says:

    I found your ideas very interesting. I’ve been in such a path for about 2 years. Now I think I found the way, and it is so much surprising that the right way is just to make everything as simple as possible! Today all I have is: 1 suit, 7 modal T-shirts, 2 dark jeans, 2 khaki pants, 5 polos, 12 dress shirts, 3 dress pants, 3 oxford shoes (2 black and 1 brown), a moccasin, one pair of informal leather shoes, 1 jeans jacket, 1 leather jacket. I’m now looking for 2 sweaters. And that is all I need! Everything fits perfectly, and is very good quality. The dress shirts and the suit were made to measure. The polo shirts and T shirts are all slim-fit. The dark jeans and the khaki pants are also slim-fit. Everything is in sober colors (except for a red polo shirt, but it is said that people in red are percieved as more attractive!). All my dress-shirts are plain white or blue. I’m really satisfied with my wardrobe now!

    • José says:

      Another point I found useful: Most of my clothes are the same, just with different colors. All the polos, T-shirts, pants, oxford shoes and dress shirts are identical, except for the color.

      • Robert says:

        “it is so much surprising that the right way is just to make everything as simple as possible!”

        Exactly! You’re definitely on the right track, José. I also have plenty of the same clothes in different colors in my wardrobe.

  • Shravan kumar says:

    Hello sir
    Thanks a lot for this awesome post.
    But my problem is this that i find unable myself to select best dress for me. I became helpless to choose good colour which gives me smartlook.please give me some suggetion.

    Thanks a lot, again sir

    • Robert says:

      Hey Shravan,

      I’m glad you like the post. I’m afraid I can’t tell you which colors will give you the best look though as I have no idea what you look like.

      • Larry says:

        Hey Shravan,
        You can try this ,when you go shopping have some friends go with you.This is to help you make the best of choices by help of their suggestions.
        I think this would be of help

  • Shravan kumar says:

    Hello sir Thanks a lot for this awesome post.
    But my problem is this that i find unable myself to select best dress for me. I became helpless to choose good colour which gives me smartlook.please give me some suggetion.

    Thanks a lot, again sir

  • Will says:

    Hey Robert. I like your article. My problem is that I like feeling comfortable and that kills me. I usually go to work in sweat gear and then I go to the gym. Even though I go to the gym I have a bulky figured. I hate shoes that give me foot pain so I used sneakers and sometimes shoes that don’t hurt my feet. What’s your suggestion for feeling comfortable and fashionable at the same time.

    • Robert says:

      Hey Will,

      here’s a confession: I love lounging around the house in my sweatpants. So comfy! And I can imagine if that’s what you’re used to wearing all the time, almost everything else will feel a bit uncomfortable when you first try it. But it’ll just take some getting used to. If you keep wearing well-fitted jeans for a while, it becomes the new normal.

      They won’t be quite as comfortable as sweatpants, but you’ll actually feel better about yourself because you’re putting your best self forward :)

      Hope that helps!

  • Roger says:

    Hey Robert..

    Very interesting article. I’m opening up my sense of style by trying some of the things you mentioned. Even though its a new journey for me I find this article very helpful. I struggle with looking through my closet and seeing many graphic T-shirts not enough or any dress shirts or collar shirts to layer with blazers etc. I do have a sense of style somewhat but this time around i want to change completely so I’m looking for more stylish clothing and wearing clothes I never thought I would along with shoes. Apart from looking more attractive I want to look like I mean business when I walk into the room. Although, I’m sure this will all come together with time.

    By the way where can I found this blazer? I’m liking it!!

    • Robert says:

      Awesome! Thanks for leaving a comment, Roger. Glad you liked the article :)

      I got the picture from Zara, but I’m not sure if they’re still selling that particular jacket.

  • J. Fournier says:

    Hey Robert, great article!
    Do you know of an equivalent for women?
    Asking for a friend ;)

    • Robert says:

      An equivalent to this article? I can’t really think of one. I don’t really frequent women’s style sites…

      But, many items on this list apply to women as well, or so I’ve been told ;)

  • Michael says:

    I have an awful lot of problems with this article
    I definitely am THAT guy – dress terribly (apparently) but don’t know what’s wrong or how to improve it
    But I just don’t understand so much about it

    “Saying goodbye to some of your favorites will be hard … But don’t worry; you’ll get new favorites. You’ll get better favorites”

    I don’t have any ‘favourites’
    I don’t even understand what you mean by ‘favourite’ clothes

    “just compare these two shirts:
    Which do you think looks better?”

    Neither. They look the same to me

    “You don’t want to be that guy that wears the same outfit day in and day out. You need a bit of variety.”

    Err – why? What’s wrong with wearing the same simple, bland inoffensive clothes?

    “Layering…”

    What? I don’t know what this is – I wear a shirt, or T-shirt or polo shirt
    If it gets cold I wear a coat

    I don’t understand about wearing layers

    “You’d be amazed how good you could look ”

    I don’t know what looks ‘good’. I don’t even know what ‘looking good’ looks like

    I have never seen an item of clothing I thought looked ‘good’
    I have never seen anyone else dressed in a way I thought ‘looked good’

    “If that sounds like you, you want to expand your color horizons.”
    Why?

    You state this as if it’s a truism, but with no explanation. Why would I want to wear colours? What’s wrong with white, black,navy?

    • Robert says:

      Hey Michael,

      as I mentioned in my replies to your previously left comments, most of this is just because you haven’t yet developed an eye for what looks good and what doesn’t. This article is meant to give you a broad overview of what you need to know/learn. Nobody can explain everything it takes to develop a better sense of style in just one blog post. It would need to cover too much information. Heck, I wrote an e-book on the subject that’s 200+ pages long, and that still only focuses on the information that matters most.

      If you want more detailed explanation, you should check it out. You can also check out some of my other blog posts that hone in on more specific aspects.

      • Snowmichael says:

        Thanks for the reply, but I still don’t know _how_ to ‘develop an eye’ when nothing looks ‘good’ to me

        • Robert says:

          Sorry Michael, I’m not sure what you’re expecting from me here. I can’t show you how to develop your eye in the space of a comment or a blog post. It takes time and practice. Though, if you want to make it easier on yourself, you get some guidance.

          If you want to develop your eye for style and you don’t know where to start, then I would highly suggest my e-book. It breaks everything down into tiny steps, giving you a clear roadmap so you only have to focus on and understand one thing at a time. I get tons of feedback from guys who were in the same (or similar) situations as you that it helped “open their eyes.”

          I hate being all salesman in my comments section, but I truly believe that might be your best option (and there’s a money-back guarantee if you’re still unsatisfied).

          And if you don’t want to pay for the information, there’s still plenty useful advice to be found on the rest of my site. Another good place to start ;)

  • Ankit Seth says:

    Sir,thanks for the article ….

    but just wanna know if i know one dress code is for me ….nd i look superb in it…..
    Should i give try to other too…..

    or carry on with that simple yet attractive look ?

    Or any other suggestion by your side ?

    • Robert says:

      If you have a look that works well for you, definitely keep rocking it. But it’s still worth experimenting.

      Besides, there’s not one look that’s best for ALL occassions. It depends.

  • Fabzil says:

    This is better advices than 99% of the bullshit you can find with Google searchs. Thank you sir, I will try hard for many months, we’ll see what happens…

  • Raj says:

    hiii,
    there was a problem for me that when i try i new hairstyle or beard i feel that it’s not suitable for me. my head is in round shape pls suggest me which one is suited for me???

    if u want my photo i’ll send it to you
    pls mail me [email protected]

    Thank you….

  • michael snow says:

    Oh, and “Rule #8: Expand Your Options

    You don’t want to be that guy that wears the same outfit day in and day out. You need a bit of variety.”

    Yes. Yes I DO want to do that. I want to keep it so simple I can just take the first shirt on the right, and put it on without any thought.

    I don’t want variety.
    I don’t know WHY I would want variety.
    8-(

  • michael snow says:

    “Rule #6: Fit Comes First
    Which do you think looks better?”

    ?
    Neither/both.
    I literally cannot tell the difference between the two shirts other than colour.
    I think this may be why I can never dress ‘well’

  • Levi says:

    Rule number 15: Laugh OFF the jabs, not laugh OF the jabs.

    Sorry if someone already pointed that out, I’m just assuming you would have edited it by now.

    -Levi

  • Ben says:

    Seems to be an article written by a white guy, targeting white guys. Far too simplistic.

    • Robert says:

      Yeah, you called it. White guy and I like to keep it simple. That said, I don’t necessarily distinguish between writing for white or black or whatever.

  • michael snow says:

    “Saying goodbye to some of your favorites will be hard, but it must be done in order to make progress.

    But don’t worry; you’ll get new favorites.

    You’ll get better favorites that will make you look way more awesome”

    and
    “Learn to Love Colors”

    The concept of ‘favourites’ baffles me completely
    Talking about ‘Loving’ colours is even more confusing

    I just don’t want my wife to be embarrassed about being seen with me

    I hate shopping for clothes, and have no interest in clothes at all

    Is there anything that could be done to help me?

    • Robert says:

      Hey Michael,

      good question! Sure there is. I think as you develop a biut more understanding on what looks good on you and what doesn’t, you develop “favorites”, i.e. you can distinguish that one items looks better on you than another.

      Just like you’ll be able to distinguish that one color looks better on you than another. You just need to develop your eye for it a bit.

      • michael snow says:

        “what looks good on you”

        Yeah, there’s the problem.

        I have no idea what the difference is between something I wear that makes my wife go “Aargh, you can’t wear that, put this shirt on instead” and something that she can ignore

        I can’t tell the difference between the two shirts, one “Aargh” one “OK”

        To my eye they are identical

        So the chance of me ever understand it seems slim to me :(

  • tejas says:

    My height is 5.7 nd I am black guy
    What type of clothing will suit me??

    • matt says:

      a polo some chinos or jeans and maybe some dress shoes or air forces. Maybe some vans if your going casual but ultra casual would be some designer jeans a designer belt some jordans or good looking air forces and a hoodie with designer brand. If you just wanna look smart business casual get yourself a polo a sweater jeans or chinos and some dress boots or just shoes.

  • Abhi says:

    Suggest me som chono r jeans color,which suits my wheatish color bit party wear type shirt….!

    • John McConnor says:

      Great article! imo, no. 5 & 12 are the most true!
      However if you stay simple(no.3) you just wont stand out of all the other guys…
      lol guys maybe you got some opinions, ever tried moennlondon.com? not sure if worth it…

  • […] you’re looking for a hard rule on dressing well for the season, use this one: Avoid looking too summery in winter, and avoid looking too dark and […]

  • Madhav Sekar says:

    Great piece Robert! I especially love the parts on keeping it simple and understanding that it will take time.

    For me, it took me along time to realize that keeping it simple was such an important part of style. Like most things in life, style can really be boiled down to some simple principles.

    To this list I might add, “Find a reliable brand”. At first, I thought I had to own a wardrobe containing tons of different brands. After a while I found that J. Crew clothes, for the most part, are always the best option fit and style-wise.

    Thanks again for writing this!

  • Madhav Sekar says:

    Hey Robert,

    Great post! Improving my style improved my life in a very similar way as it did for yours. It took me a few years to get everything down and most of what I learned is taught in these twenty tips. Way to save everyone a ton of time!

  • […] you want to dress the best you can, but keeping track of which colors match and which colors clash is […]

  • […] guys! I’m Robert, and I have launched Restart Your Style because I believe becoming a better dresser is possible for all men, but fashion tips for beginners are hard to find. So figuring out where to […]

  • […] men who want to start dressing better start wearing too many statement pieces, which will make you look like a try-hard.  You look like […]

  • Øystein R. Sørlie says:

    You really should make it an option to pay for guides etc with paypal. I would guess a lot more then me are sceptical to hand out credit card info on sites, but to donate a few bucks with an excisting paypal account is easy :)
    (I was about to buy the color matching ebook, but …)

  • Aditya cool !!!!!! says:

    I too was in darkness till today but thanks Robert ……u opened my eyes , I hope from now onwards I will smarten myself :). if I will have any problem than will surely contact u……….

  • Abhi says:

    Hey,
    I am a fair guy with height 5’9” …. I would be thankful if you can suggest me something to try for dressing ..

    Yours
    abhi

    • Robert says:

      Hey Abhi,

      you have a fairly average height, so there’s really no specifics to recommend in that regard. You’re pretty luck there.

      Then use this guide to determine which colors will best suit your skin-tone.

      Hope that helps!

  • Akhil Dave says:

    Hello Robart actually my body is sooo fat can you suggest me which type of dress make me cool. I want to be cool parson because in my friend circle I m looking very ode as I think can u suggest me which dressing sense is parfect for me?

    • Robert says:

      Hey Akhil,

      for bigger guys I always recommend to wear higher-rise pants and jackets. These items will help you streamline your body and play down your largeness.

      Try it, and let me know how it works out.

  • Isaac says:

    Hey Robert nice reading this IVE been feeling lost from the start on how to start dressing nicer im 20 but I’m 5-5 and sometimes I feel like I’m still young as in high school still cuz I’m so short. Anyways I’ve seen how to dress properly and get an idea but where could I find motivation and change my mindset that I’m no longer in high school. And also im skinny as well and I see all these good dressers that a tall and muscular and usually in stores they are for taller people. I’m wondering if there’s a way to dress for short people if there is or just trying to find small sizes for the nice wardrobe clothes. Thanks

    • Robert says:

      Hey Isaac,

      check out this article by my friend Brock from themodestman.com. (And check out his site while you’re at it. He’s got great tips for shorter guys.)

      I think the main thing you probably want to do is try and dress more maturely. Wear shirts and jackets, and start getting clothes tailored when you have trouble finding ones that fit.

      Hope that helps.

      Cheers,

      Robert

  • Drew Doehring says:

    So I was wondering if you could give me some advice on plaid button up dress shirts. I’m 6’5″ and have a 6’9″ wingspan. When I try on shirts that are long enough for my arms they’re usually too baggy for my slim figure, but on the other hand if I find something I feel works for my figure I do the length test and the sleeves are always too short and when I stretch my arms out fully the bottoms of these shirts become untucked. How do I find a L or XL dress shirt, that’s long enough and won’t come untucked when I fully extend my arms? Thanks.

    • Robert says:

      Hey Drew,

      I have similar problem as yours. (And pretty much any guy hs his own specific set of problem with finding well-fitting shirts.)

      So what you want to do is go for the shirts that are long enough, and then get them slimmed down by a tailor. This is what I do with almost any shirt I buy, and I’m sure you’ll be quite happy with the result.

      Cheers,
      Robert

  • […] want to dress better, but most style advice revolves around suiting up or just around whatever’s trendy this […]

  • […] clothes that every man should have in his wardrobe. These clothes are all wardrobe essentials for men who want to dress better. The Restart Capsule is the perfect wardrobe foundation for you to build […]

  • Vivek says:

    Hello Robert. My name is Vivek
    please suggest me what colours should I weary height is 5.5 and my skin is vitish.please reply me soon and through mail. Thank you you are doing great buddy.

  • Why women are compelled to wear more clothes? | Voodooworld says:

    […] well…. well… If people are to judge me via my dressing sense then I should probably burn my […]

  • subbu says:

    it s very useful to my life thank u so much

  • ashvini chauhan says:

    hi

    plz tell me that how can i dress to look tall.
    my hight is 5.4″

    plz reply to my email.

    thank you.

    • Robert says:

      Hey Ash,

      I haven’t received an e-mail from you, but I’m gonna redirect you to some tips from my friend Brock — an expert in short man style. Check it out here.

      Lotsa good tips there for short guys. And you should check out his site The Modest Man.

  • […] 20 Must-Follow Rules for Guys Who Want to Start Dressing Better (AKA the Restart Your Style Beginner… […]

  • Reggie says:

    Great plan. I worked for several retail clothing stores and was bummed that the opportunities never lasted. My wardrobe was usually horrible and scarce since I was usually out of shape and in child support debt. I have the idea, it’s everything else that’s bothering me into looking terrible. Now that there are a couple of interviews here and there, I’m on the rise again but nothing until there’s money in my pocket or something to do serious damage with. Still going to try. Peace, Health.

  • Nick says:

    Hey Robert, I wanted to ask you a difficult question about dressing stylishly. I work outside in a warehouse…. in texas. But I still want to look good, however since temperatures reach 100+ with no air conditioning it seems like no matter what I do, even if i change clothes for lunch I will still stink.

    Recently I have just been wearing a short sleeve button down untucked and shorts with some tennis shoes, are there any other work appropriate options I might try for summer times? (because right now i look and smell like a high schooler with a beard)

    Also, for the winter I feel like I rely too much on my coats and winter accessories to look good. Luckily I can follow most of your guide throughout the winter since it will be cold enough for me to wear nicer clothing .

    thanks,
    Nick

    • Robert says:

      Hi Nick,

      I have a sweaty friend who has been using a product called Odorex Extra Dry, and it works wonders according to him. Best thing, you only have to apply it 2-3 times a week. I haven’t personally used it yet, but maybe you should give it a try.

  • gaurav says:

    hi.. m a fear coloured boy and just wanted to knw how to improve personality by clothing n which colours will suit me…

    • Robert says:

      Hi guarav,

      the clothes you wear can make you feel like a different person. Looking great makes you feel great, and you just become more confident and positive overall. It’s a process though, so don’t expect magic to happen.

  • Umar says:

    I recently wore…a dark blue jeans with maroon formal shirt and a lemon yellow broad formal tie( with some maroon and yellow design)…i want to know if this matching was good…and does formal shirt and tie looks good with jeans…??

  • jay says:

    what colour of dress will fit on wine suede shoe? Coz am confused

  • Yagya acharya says:

    Hey robert,,what will b suitable to wear in summer..plz tell me the total outfit!!

    • Robert says:

      Hi Yagua,

      it depends on the temperature. But on a hot day, and you’re not attending any formal occassions, you could simply wear a T-shirt, shorts and a pair of nice shoes.

      Alternatively, you could wear a linen shirt and/or linen pants.

      Hope that helps.

  • V says:

    Great tips to start with.

  • Kalr says:

    Hello Rob! my wardrobe usually consists only of v/round necked t-shirts, with jeans that fit my legs, i rarely put on jackets or suits, it is usually very hot where i live so multiple clothes are an option only in the winter, which i tend to keep light with just a Hoodie on top of my Tees…now all that being said, what can i improve on? (halp plx

    • Robert says:

      Jackets shouldn’t be much hotter than a hoodie, and if they are, try one in a lighter-weight fabric, like linen. Swapping your hoodies for a jacket is an easy improvement.

  • Mayank says:

    I always get confused when it comes to shopping clothes and dressing sense. I just can’t decide what kind of stuff to buy and dress. Whatever I wear I always wonder how I am looking. Help me.

  • ahmad says:

    you r really good my deprassion tomuch comes down after reading this steps thankyou so much

  • Quan says:

    Will this look good?
    Denim shirt, red chinos, leopard bow tie, brown dress shoes? I have a good bit of clothes and can pretty match them with anything. I want to get your opinion on that.

  • Rj Ronghang says:

    I read it and i liked it.. i hope it will help me.. Thank you

  • Claude Taillefer says:

    I would add to that list that you should consider the climate you live in. For example if you live in Canada or the North East. Your wardrobe essentials now become more numerous and onerous. Instead of an expensive shoe you may want to invest in a quality dressy brown boot with a synthetic sole and look at the shoe at the end of Spring. Pay attention to the season you start your capsule… Cheers

    • Robert says:

      Good point, Claude. I’d say every piece of style advice should be taken with common sense in mind. You should always apply it based on your own specific situation.

  • Tom says:

    Hey,
    I’ve just found your site and loving it!
    It’s always a pain looking for clothes, because I’m not slim. Often things I try on only accentuate this fact. My ultimate goal is to walk away from hoodies, of which I have two that I wear on my regular basis. Going into university this year, I want to transform the way I appear so I’m not ‘that guy’ at Uni, if that makes sense. I will definitely be trying more on though, that was a great suggestion!

  • Raghav Dhawan says:

    I m 23, sim, weighing 64, 5ft 11inches.
    Being a sailor I have not got time to see myself how I m and who I am
    Because life was in academy only. But now as I m I look to myself
    I feel I m not confident, the reason is I don’t know what to wear .
    There are many people giving different views so it is difficult what to choose.
    Some times I don’t go out for party or any occasions because I don’t have clothes.
    I don’t buy because I don’t know what to wear.

    • Robert says:

      Hey Raghav,

      you need to go out to some stores and experiment. Read through the advice on this site before you do, nd absorb as much as you can, but then go out and try stuff out.

      You´re not gonna figure anything out by sitting around worrying, while you could be out partying. Partying is way more fun.

  • Robert says:

    Hey Kyle,

    if you’re open to new things like you say, you should experiment a lot. Try clothes you never thought about buying before, and try to pair clothes you never thought about pairing before.

    Other than that, comfortable is perfect, but baggy is not. Don’t wear clothes that are too large. You’ll be shooting yourself in the foot.

  • Kyle says:

    I usually go more alternative to my outfits because that’s who I am, I’m very open to new things but I’m very shy and self criticizing. Is there any advice you could bestow upon me that might help with my situation? and as a side note I do tend to where clothes that are comfortable that’s my biggest concern. Any help will be appreciated :)

  • gio says:

    The Restart Capsule is my first goal, I am understanding very well these rules thank you!

  • Sambhav Mehta says:

    I am 17 and i have an image of always being relaxed all the time. I always wear jeans n nly jeans with simple checkered shirts n polo. Rule 12 is what i needed because i was extremely bored with my style. This link is super awesome. I wanted my restyling process to be cost efficient. The problem with me is colour match. I wear dark n dull or plain white colour. Help me out with colours.

  • […] A more in-depth style guide can be found here: Restart Your Style 20 Rules […]

  • […] even if you’re ready to take your first steps to restart your style, you can’t find clothes off the rack that fit. So you’re at a […]

  • […] We just need to destroy a few of your false beliefs. (Remember Rule #2?) […]

  • Gerard says:

    I know that you mentioned white shirts, dark blue jeans, grey sweaters and black shoes, but what if I just altered one thing in this list? Could I replace those black shoes for chukkas or desert boots perhaps? What would you recommend?

  • Jesse says:

    Very glad I found this link! I’ve been working on upping my style for a while now, since coming to terms with the fact that I was going to be working in IT for a while yet so I wanted to stand out from my torn jeans and t-shirt wearing coworkers.

    To make this journey more interesting, and to hit on a topic you don’t cover, I’ve lost 80+ lbs and counting over the last 2 years. Trying to find pieces that polish my new style, stay in budget, and don’t make me cry when I shrink out of them has been touch and go to say the least.

    I’ve settled into a closet that works for me for now, and I have a list of items I will be adding once I reach my goal size and know I’ll be able to keep them around for years.

    Thanks for the great post!

    Jesse

    • Robert says:

      Congrats on your weight-loss, Jesse!

      Have you tried to get your clothes tailored when you shrink out of them? I don’t think your shoulder shrink as much when you lose weight, do they? (I’m not speaking from experience)

      The shoulder are the hardest to get altered. A tailor should be able to take care of the rest.

      This might be more cost-efficient than buying new ones every time. Look into it.

  • […] Rule #6 states to keep it simple. There’s no need for extravagance. The best style for a man is a simple […]

  • […] Now you may not think you’re doing this, but I suggest you read through this article anyway. A lot of men think they get this right, but their perception of what good fit means is wrong. You may very well be one of them. You haven’t forgotten about Rule #2 yet, did you? […]

  • Yes! Number 1 and 15 ring true for me especially. Don’t worry about the naysayers. They’re just jealous that you have the balls to grow your style while they keep wearing those American Eagle cargo shorts from college.

    Epic post!

    • Robert says:

      Thanks Brock!

      I believe the prime reason guys don’t work on their style is fear of judgement from their peers. It’s something that you need to learn to deal with.

      Getting defensive will only add fuel to the fire. Just laugh it off with them.

  • Izzy says:

    Bookmarked!

    Awesome post man. Very helpful. In particular, I have struggled with feeling overwhelmed when it comes to choosing new clothes. I am basically as beginner as is possible. But sometimes I think I try and get too creative. Like you say, I need to start with the basics.

    Number 18 was a good reminder too… It may take a while :)

    • Robert says:

      Thanks Izzy!

      I think it’s great that you’re a beginner. Guys like you are exactly who I want to reach.

      Creativity is good, but you know… Someone who’s never wielded a pencil is unlikely to start drawing a masterpiece. I suggest keeping it simple for now.

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