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Menswear Protein: 4 Tips for Improving Personal Style

Friday, February 22, 2013Aaron Reese

I'm typically the last man to shout out commandments; however 2013 has proven to be a progressive year for the world of menswear, and it's about time  my gents are brought up to speed. Below you'll find 4 style commandments  I've given to clients of mine during my days as a personal shopper. Take them slowly and feel them out. I guarantee results will come naturally.

1. Know Thyself- Sounds simple right? You know how long it took me to realize that bootcut jeans were NOT made for me? As heartbreaking as it can be, one of the biggest issues men face is identifying what works for their bodies and what doesn't. It's not easy, and few of us want to admit that we have beer bellies and outrageous asses (my latest discovery) but it's something that should be confronted in the dressing room mirror. Body awareness is key for any style-conscious gent: this also includes knowledge of  colors, patterns and silhouettes that work for you.

Example- I'm 5'7/5'8 to be exact and I've got legs as long as stilts and skinny as flagpoles. My uniform of choice: skinny/straight leg jeans and a nice oversized top for a casual look. Since my torso doesn't measure up to my legs, the over-sized top conceals the lack of torso and focuses on my legs. In short, flaunt what you love, hide what you don't. If you've got an excellent upper body, but small legs go for the fitted shirts and allow your legs breathing room in your jeans. If you're smaller in build, try European brands like Ted Baker, Topman and H&M. If you have a stockier build go Americana like Ralph Lauren.

From left clockwise James Dean, Kanye West, Ryan Gosling, Jude Law, Steve McQueen,  Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig

2. Imitation is the biggest form of flattery-  From my days as a personal shopper, I couldn't tell you how many guys actually had style icons they looked up to. There's no fault in this, in fact I encourage it! You wanna try out a new look, but not sure how to pull it off? Look to Ryan Gosling for the casual understated, and Jude Law for the traditional modern. Kanye and Jay-Z are great if you're looking for elevated street wear. These men have stylists for a reason, and it's not to make your girlfriends swoon over them.  Some of my biggest style icons are superheroes and old hollywood stars.

Fun Fact- My latest inspirational pulls have come from Steve McQueen, Nightwing (The DC comics character,) Daniel Craig in the latest Bond series,  Sam Neil (Dr. Alan Grant) from the Jurassic Park series and Ryan Phillipe from Cruel Intentions.

March 2013 Menswear Mags

3. Do your Homework- Personal style is similar to fitness, you're not going to get results without putting in the work. Subscribe to a menswear magazine you're comfortable with and find a menswear blog to read weekly. Try working with a sales person or stylist at the retailer of your choice. Discover new brands and start identifying your personal style.

Source Material- GQ, Details, Esquire- Great for the classic/modern man who wants to stay ahead of the trend curve. If you love ties, wingtip oxfords, classic v-necks and raw denim, these are your mags. This is the best start for beginners,

Complex, Hypebeast, Nylon Guys- Still obsessing over Kanye's Givenchy tee-shirt? Look no further. If you're the ultimate  street-wear fiend these mags are perfect, while still covering luxury products and designer categories.

Essential Homme, V-Man, Vogue Homme, L'uomo- These mags are for the menswear bravados and designer enthusiast. You've understood the basic elements of style, and at this point GQ and New York Times are practically twins. These European based reads should offer some substantial protein for the menswear elite.

Givenchy Spring 2012 collection

4. Defy Gravity- By now you've had enough contact with magazines, blogs and rude Starbucks baristas to know what works for you and what doesn't. A lot of these sources have guidelines and rules, and they're meant to be upheld by those who aren't 100% established in the style realm. If you're confident enough that you can walk outside and get a shower of compliments, then go for broke! You have enough knowledge to break the rules. Now when I say break the rules, I don't mean wearing square toe shoes and affliction shirts *cringes*. Try mixing something up, like wearing a graphic tee underneath a blazer, or matching opposing color palettes. Consider this your experimental phase. This is where things get fun.

Fun Fact- My defying gravity phase was wearing leggings with practically everything. Not for everyone, but worked out beautifully for me. I was even mentioned in two types of media outlets on my enthusiasm on the matter. Check out my mention here in NY mag's "The Cut".

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