Ever been caught up with a crowd?
Swept along with everyone else…
Realizing you want to go a different way…
Ever turned around and pushed against the crowd?
Are you a man who goes against the grain?
That’s what today’s video is all about—ten unconventional style rules for the man who dares to be different.
I put out a lot of information about men’s style. Sometimes I contradict myself.
In today’s list, I’m going to tell you to break my most fundamental rules. Read on to find out why, and how this can work for you.
This post is brought to you by Original Grain—makers of watches that break the rules with style, panache, and true originality.
They innovatively combine wood and stainless steel to create beautiful timepieces that are real talking points.
Use code “RMRS” for a special discount.
#1: Make Style Mistakes
What’s the No.1 thing that separates the masters of style from the students? They know exactly what works for them. You can only find that out by learning what doesn’t.
Finding your signature style is like target practice. You learn to hit the bullseye through a series of mistakes.
If you wear safe, neutral outfits all the time, you’ll never develop any flair. The more you experiment, the more mistakes you’ll make—and the more things you’ll find that make you look and feel great. That’s simple math. You can’t have one without the other.
When you have the courage to make style mistakes, you show that you’re a risk-taker who doesn’t depend on others for approval—instead of a man who’s scared to step out of his comfort zone. Do you want to avoid ever looking bad, or do you want to look as good as you can?
#2: Don’t Go To A Tailor
This might just be the MOST controversial advice I’ve ever given! If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I insist on getting ALL your clothes tailored—right down to your jeans. Have I finally gotten sick of saying‘fit is king’ and ‘know the name of your tailor’?
Not quite. I just want to encourage you to think for yourself.
You’ll have noticed that some brands fit you better than others. If you’re a man of reasonably typical build, there will be brands that fit your body type almost like they were tailored for you.They’ll complement your build and emphasize your best features.
You’ll probably find shirts from one brand fit you, pants from another, and maybe jackets from a third. You won’t find ‘your’ brands overnight. But when you do, stick to them.
Don’t use this as an excuse to spend less on style. Instead, take the money you save on fit, and spend it on the other two sides of the style pyramid—fabric and function. Choose the highest quality fabrics, and expand your core wardrobe to include something for every occasion.
#3: Wear White Whenever You Want
Is it Labor Day yet?
The rule of wearing no white after Labor Day is an outdated piece of social snobbery that almost nobody follows to the letter anymore.
Back in the early 1900s, white clothes were an expensive luxury. Wearing white meant you could afford to ruin it. Then the depression ended, and suddenly a lot more people could afford to wear white.
Feeling that this had ruined their exclusive white-wearers’ club, the rich elite came up with a new rule—no white after Labor Day. If you didn’t know the rule, everyone would know you were ‘new money’ and didn’t belong in the club.
Even today, you still see less white in stores in the fall and winter. Of course, that’s partly practicality – white and mud don’t mix well. But there’s no need to avoid white religiously after Labor Day. Wear it when you want.
#4: Wear Long Sleeves In Hot Weather
Long sleeves are cool. Literally. Short sleeves can leave you with a painful sunburn—and even if your skin is too dark to burn, you’ll still feel the heat more with bare arms than in a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt.
Long-sleeve shirts are smarter. They’ll set you apart from the majority of men, who become sloppy (or sloppier) dressers in the heat.
If you’re a bigger guy, short sleeves make you look flabby. If you’re slim, they make you look scrawny. Long sleeves rolled up give you the look of broader shoulders and bigger biceps.
Make sure you choose a lightweight shirt in a fabric like linen or cotton with an open weave, and a light color to reflect the heat. Walk around in it for a few minutes to get a sense of the weight before you buy.
#5: Wear A Short Sleeve Polo Under A Jacket
The rationale behind wearing long sleeves under a jacket is that your shirt cuff should extend beyond the cuff of the jacket. So if you wear short sleeves, the telltale lack of cuff showing means everyone will know.
I would definitely NOT recommend wearing your saggiest, cheapest old polo shirt with a suit jacket on a smart occasion. But as long as you choose a polo in a good quality fabric so it’ll drape well and the collar won’t lose its shape, you’ll be fine.
A short-sleeve polo will go very well with a sport jacket, chinos, and maybe some loafers.
#6: Use Electric Razors And Disposable Razors
I usually recommend shaving with a metal razor, like your grandfather used to do. It’s a manly skill that delivers a better shave, saves you money, and turns a boring chore into a masculine ritual that makes you feel good.
However, that doesn’t mean you should never let electric razors or disposable razors darken your door again. If you’re in a top hotel and call room service because you forgot your razor, they’ll send you a disposable one. It’s convenient and appropriate.
Do you travel? Keep a bunch of disposable razors in your car. There’ll be plenty of times when you’ll be glad to have them.
Do you find yourself in a hurry sometimes? Keep an electric razor around for a quick shave and your punctuality will improve. And being punctual is just as manly as a wet shave.
Most of the advice on this site is geared to creating an impression on others. But the science of enclothed cognition tells us the effect our clothing has on us, ourselves, may be the most important one of all.
Clothes and accessories that make you feel better, make you perform better. A great watch like these from Original Grain can even present you more punctual.When you dress in a way that makes you feel good, you feel like the man you know yourself to be—and you act like him too.
I like to compare men to diamonds. Men are formed under heat and pressure. But nobody’s going to see that diamond shine unless you take it out and polish it up.
So don’t dress to hide or falsify who you are. Dress to reveal your best self, to feel pride in yourself, and to put your best foot forward every day.
#8: Mix Formal And Informal Clothes
As long as you know the rules, you can break them.
The key to mixing formal and informal pieces is to nudge them closer together in formality.
For instance, if you’re going to wear jeans with a suit jacket or a tie, your jeans should be dark and well-fitted with no signs of distress—the nearest thing to ‘formal jeans’.
Ideally, your tie should be knit—the nearest thing to a ‘casual tie’.
And the suit jacket should be navy, blue, gray, or a small pattern, especially tweed—NOT pinstripe, NOT black. Those are too smart and formal.
If you want to wear a t-shirt with a blazer, choose a well-fitted, 100% cotton, plain t-shirt in white or a neutral color.
To wear a sweater with a dress shirt, choose a less formal dress shirt like chambray and a lightweight sweater – again, well-fitted rather than baggy.
The other way to nudge items closer together in formality is to wear them with something intermediate. For instance, jeans and dress shoes could be paired with a button-down shirt rather than a t-shirt or a dress shirt.
#9: Create A Uniform
Steve Jobs. Mark Zuckerberg. Christopher Nolan. Want to be more like them? Try creating your own uniform.
Choosing similar clothes to wear every day simplifies your life, gives you control and projects a consistent message. (For instance, Steve Jobs’ polo neck, jeans and running shoes gave the message that he was a regular guy, not a ‘suit’.)
As well as saving you time and money, having a uniform stops you wasting mental energy on decisions or getting overloaded by clutter, both of which can decrease your performance. That’s why a majority of successful men prefer to wear the same outfit daily.
A uniform you choose yourself can also be a badge of nonconformity, signaling that you are powerful and competent enough to get away with making your own rules.
Most style tips are geared to fitting in with those around you, and there’s a reason for that. It’s uncomfortable—even frightening—to stick out like a sore thumb.
So it takes courage to be the best-dressed man in the room. Here’s why you should do it anyway.
You’ll be seen as a potential leader. Dressing ‘above your station’ makes it easier for people to visualize you in a position of higher responsibility. This makes you more likely to get promoted.
You’ll inspire other men who wish they had the courage to dress the way you do. When a man dresses sharp, he begins to step up more and live as his best self, so your positive effect on the world will spread way beyond clothes.
You’ll earn more. Studies show well-dressed men earn about $232,000 more in a lifetime.
Of course, it won’t hurt your love life, either—and if you’re already married, you’ll look like a man your wife can be proud of and your children can look up to.
And yes, dressing well takes effort—but by making that effort, you demonstrate to those around you that it’s worth doing your best in life. You become a beacon of excellence.
The watches in the photos were made by Original Grain, one of my personal favorite brands.
Use code “RMRS” for a special discount.
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