Guy Files: 5 Tips For Accessorizing Your Wardrobe
As the temperature starts to cool down, wardrobe choices become broader, and the shift from summer to fall brings with it a whole new category of choices to complement a man’s personal style. Best-dressed men accessorize an outfit with items that can take an ensemble from ordinary to extraordinary in the blink of an eye. However, choosing those accessories isn’t always easy—especially if you’re new to the idea. Follow these five tips, and get your accessory game right every time:
1/ Mix and match patterns
If there’s one fashion faux pas that drives me crazy more than any other, it’s matching accessories too closely. Nothing will cause you to stick out like a sore thumb more than an exactly matching tie, sock and pocket square combination. Guys, it’s the difference between dressing like a fashion-forward adult or looking like you’re an eight-year-old.
Choose patterns that coordinate, but do not match exactly. For example: A straight tie with a blue and white polka dot pattern pairs brilliantly with a blue and white check or a classic blue and white bandana as a pocket square. The same can be said for socks: A bold sock with a stand-out pattern is a continuing trend this year, but it can look a bit misplaced without a little coordination. Go ahead and wear your socks with the bacon motif printed on them, but choose a scarf with a solid coordinating “bacon” color to balance it out.
2/ Pick a pop of color
A surefire way to stand out (in a good way) is to draw attention to a pop of color. For example, a navy suit can look amazing paired with a bright orange bow tie. This style choice would draw attention toward your face, and can actually encourage conversation at a networking event where that’s the goal. A French cuff with a bright or shiny cufflink at a business presentation can draw attention to your hands, and helps you look confident when pointing to a flip-chart or a product in your presentation. A nice pair of basic black leather dress oxfords can be made a lot less basic with a pair of colorful laces. This one is a favorite of mine—putting a bright red lace in a pair of Aldo or Steve Madden oxfords, and everyone asks me where I bought my shoes. If I leave them laced with the basic black they came with, no one notices my shoes at all.
3/ Layer for success
Fall weather can be tricky, as it is easy to wear clothing that quickly becomes too hot—or not warm enough—as the temperature rises and falls throughout the day. The most important fall wardrobe piece for me in this case is a blazer. You can easily throw on a blazer with slacks and a dress shirt for a professional look. That same blazer can join a fitted pair of denim and a t-shirt, upgrading your style to classy from casual. Every man should own a black blazer that is well-fitted, but you don’t have to spend a fortune on the right fit—a basic blazer from H&M can be tailored for a perfect fit at a fraction of the price of a high-end suit piece.
4/ Choosing the right footwear
Men oftentimes put little thought into their feet. I know a number of guys who own only three or four pairs of shoes: a pair of tennis shoes, a brown casual shoe and a black dress shoe seem to be the essentials. In order to coordinate with everything you wear, your basic shoe arsenal should expand to include a couple shades of brown (try matching with your belt color) dress shoes. You should also own a navy option (navy looks great in a loafer or a suede oxford). A clean, white plain sneaker is another great choice for your wardrobe and keeps a casual, dressed-down look from being too casual.
I love sunglasses and the right eyewear can really complete a look. Aviators look great on every face, and a silver or gold framed aviator will complement almost any outfit. I rarely spend a lot of money on my sunglasses, because I tend to lose them everywhere I go. I always find great shades at Nordstrom or H&M for under $20 (save your Ray-Bans for special occasions). If you wear glasses, consider a few frames that add interest to your style: a brightly colored edge, or a trendsetting shape will add a big statement.
Josh Nichols is a 15-year industry veteran who is a nationally recognized expert in hair styling. A St. Louis native, Josh attended Current Trends Academy and went on to become a top revenue stylist at the award-winning American Image Salon in Chesterfield. Josh opened his first salon—Josh Nichols Studio—in 2010. He has since expanded his services, added employees and relocated to Clayton, renaming his salon KINK Salon in 2012. His latest project, Notch, a men’s barbershop concept, opened August of 2014 in The Grove.