A Basic Man’s Guide on What to Wear


“I want to look better, what should I wear?” I get that question all the time. My answer, however, might surprise you. I don’t point people towards a store, a brand, or even a personal stylist. Here’s my advice:

a man's guide for dressing well and looking good

You have to “feel” good before you can “look” good. Your outlook and attitude have more impact on the way you look than what you’re wearing. You can dress up in the most expense designer suit, but if you’re a miserable, unhappy person, you’ll still come across as, well, miserable and unhappy guy with nice clothes on. If you buy something that makes you feel sharp and well-dressed, you will carry yourself much better every time you wear it. But before you decide that the double-pleated, stone-washed jeans is your best “look,” ask a trusted source if they agree.

It’s all about the fit. Beyond style, well-fitting clothes will make you look your best. I cannot tell you how much better a man looks wearing clothing that fits, instead of over-sized shirts and ill-fitting pants. I wrote more about it here.  This is more about how to wear it than just what to wear.

Know your body. No matter the current trends, find styles and colors that work best for your body and skin tone. There are some universal rules in fashion that one should not break. If you are carrying extra weight, for example, you should avoid wearing horizontal stripes and solid whites. They make you look even bigger. Black, on the other hand, covers a multitude of sins.

Say “no” to fashion pressure. If you are not comfortable in it, don’t wear it. If you don’t think you can “pull it off” then walk away from it. There’s nothing more unattractive than a man who’s uncomfortable in his own skin. And if your wife, girlfriend, mother (boy that’s a therapy session line up!) buy you something you just cannot see yourself wearing, be true to  yourself, be a man, and just say “no.” Often, “hell no” is an appropriate response depending on how offensive the purchase is, like the bedazzled jeans your girl thought would make you look hot. It doesn’t. It will only get you beat up. And rightfully so.

What other suggestion would you offer to help a man figure out what to wear?

  • Carl George

    Certain fashions are not for everyone. Men over 40 should not wear skinny jeans. It’s just not right.

  • Bob

    Some men try too hard. They wear all kinds of jewelry, unusually shaped facial hair, tons of product and the such. At one point you stop looking cool and look like an idiot.

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