Are you at a point in your life where you want to try or adopt a new look, or are you just looking to upgrade your wardrobe? If you're lacking in inspiration, we bet that after reading this guide you'll be excited to go shopping - at an Ernest store, of course! - and go out and try on more clothes! Here's an overview of the top styles preferred by fashionable men of all ages and professions, and tips from men's fashion experts on how to avoid the most common mistakes.
What is clothing style?
From the outset, clothing style plays on the first look or first impression. Indeed, people tend to determine an individual's values, profession, personality or even musical preferences through his look. For example, a man in ripped jeans and steel-toed boots is most likely a manual worker, while someone in a suit and polished shoes is not likely to get his hands dirty at work! By choosing your clothes and accessories carefully, you can adopt a style based on the image you want to project.
Why is it important to have style?
Having style opens doors for you, as clothing can be a confidence booster in everyday life (e.g. at the office), at special events... or on a first date! That being said, remember that even though there are specific rules associated with clothing styles (you'll discover them as you read on), you are allowed to break them slightly, because after all, dressing up should be fun and enjoyable!
Developing your clothing style has several unsuspected positive effects, for example:
- Your family, colleagues and friends may have a more positive opinion of you;
- Your beauty (figure, complexion, etc.) is enhanced;
- Your clothing choices send a message;
- Your well-groomed appearance enhances your confidence (and others have more confidence in you).
Discover now the 7 most popular clothing styles for fashionable men!
The casual chic style
The casual chic style is somehow synonymous with everyday elegance. In other words, you make a good impression on a day-to-day basis, without having to wear a suit and dress shirt. With this style, people notice that you've made an effort to dress up, but it doesn't feel "forced".
For a successful casual chic style, your clothes must be impeccable and well cut. The chino is the perfect compromise between jeans and dress pants, and is the ideal pant for a refined yet casual look. Choose beige, gray, khaki, blue or black, for example. A pair of jeans, if they look neat, can be an acceptable alternative.
For the upper body, a plain t-shirt (e.g. white) with a round neck, zip or V-neck under a wool sweater, or a polo shirt under a cardigan is a good choice. However, avoid fabrics that are too tight or loose fitting, as this will detract from the elegant look you are trying to achieve.
For your feet, the shoes should be clean and comfortable, and their color should not attract too much attention (coordinate their shade with your pants).
In short, a harmonious layering of classic pieces (e.g., a jacket worn over a turtleneck sweater), a nice chino and quality shoes, and you have a successful casual chic style!
The casual style is definitely the most popular style of dress for men. This is the opposite of the three-piece suit: the goal is to have a comfortable and casual outfit. The watchwords? Simplicity and efficiency! This is a style that can be worn to go out for a drink with friends, to go shopping, to work (if it is not a job requiring professional attire), etc.
Selecting casual clothing is a breeze, as the vast majority of stores offer affordable pieces that fit this style of dress, including:
- Quality basic t-shirts;
- Jeans (blue or black);
- Cotton sweaters;
- Quality jogging pants;
- Sport shoes;
- Short sleeve shirts;
- Capris, shorts or Bermuda shorts.
When it comes to colors, choose those that highlight your skin tone (if you're not sure, go to the store: our experienced stylists will guide you!) Finally, with the casual style, avoid mixing patterns and forget about fashion accessories. In short, stick to the basics!
The sartorial style
The sartorial style is inspired by the supreme elegance of men who have their clothes custom made by a tailor. As you can imagine, it is for people who can afford a certain level of luxury! With this style, you are well dressed for any occasion and are admired for wearing a suit that fits you like a glove and great dress shoes (e.g. richelieus).
Whether you wear a classic suit, i.e. a jacket and matching pants (choose neutral colors and discreet patterns), or a three-piece with a jacket, the sartorial style implies choosing a dress shirt; as for colors, white is a sure bet, but a shade that matches your suit is also appropriate. Your socks should be as discreet as possible (e.g. black).
Not surprisingly, sartorial style strongly recommends wearing a tie or bow tie for a sophisticated look. It's the uniform of men of power or charisma (businessmen, politicians, lawyers, etc.): with it, you feel ready to conquer the world or captivate your audience! When it comes to accessories, don't overdo it, as showing off your wealth with an avalanche of flashy jewelry, for example, can quickly tip this style into bad taste.
Note that the sartorial style is also recommended to make a good impression at an event where being elegant is essential: wedding, ball, gala and funeral (if you were very close to the deceased).
To look good, avoid clothes that are worn out or don't fit perfectly. If you do, get alterations - it's an investment you won't regret!
The rock style
No matter what your age, you can sport a rocker look sprinkled with boldness and raw authenticity. The material that characterizes this more sought-after men's clothing style than you might think is black leather, but other colors can work, like denim blue or red (if you like to attract attention on the street, go for it!).
Some of the clothing and accessories associated with rock style include:
- The cult perfecto;
- The leather jacket;
- The denim jacket;
- The plain or patterned t-shirt (or with the effigy of a famous rock band);
- The plaid shirt (e.g. tied around the waist);
- Black (or dark blue) jeans;
- Leather pants (guaranteed to turn heads!);
- Leather shoes or boots;
- The hat (preferably black);
- The long necklace (leather and metal);
- The leather strap (e.g. with eyelets or rivets).
A well-thought-out rock look isn't really office friendly, but it's perfect for weekends and outings (pub crawls, music shows, festivals, etc.). So what are you waiting for to express your inner rocker?
The bohemian style
Are you a romantic, free-spirited person with creativity in spades? The bohemian style, which originated in the 60's and 70's, could be just right for you. The modern version of this hippie-inspired clothing style rejects minimalism and embraces the joy of living!
The basic upper body piece: a light linen shirt with buttons near the neck that are not fastened, but without revealing too much of the torso. That said, a light, loose-fitting shirt with a print (e.g., floral, paisley) is just as appropriate. For pants, a beige, cognac or khaki chino with the hem rolled over the calf or a sarouel (reserved for the most daring!) are appropriate.
Favorite accessories for bohemian men are beaded bracelets, long necklaces, hats, suspenders and assorted rings (especially in aged silver). And if you're sporting a beard - or just a mustache - you're right in style!
In fact, many men's haircuts are associated with a particular style of dress. The man bun, the shaved head, the mid-length hair, the undercut, the business cut... it all says a lot about your personality! [insert link when article is online].
The bohemian look is favored by creative and sensitive men, including writers, actors, photographers, painters and sculptors. But even if this list doesn't really fit your profile, there's nothing to stop you from trying this trend if you feel like it!
The streetwear style
This street inspired style is full of possibilities and deserves to be known! Generally speaking, this trend is characterized by stylish sneakers (many people worship certain brands), extra wide cuts, padded fabrics and various colors (almost anything goes).
To create a streetwear wardrobe worthy of the name, you need:
- Sneakers with the taste of the day (vintage or modern, sober or bright);
- Jogging pants (e.g. with visible logo or contrasting stripes);
- Cargo pants (with plenty of pockets);
- Black or blue jeans;
- Loose t-shirts, or almost too loose;
- A cotton sweater (with or without a hood);
- A windproof jacket;
- A denim jacket;
- A trench coat for a more chic street style.
This style of clothing is ideal for enjoying the urban excitement in comfort!
The sportswear style
This style, which has been gaining popularity for several years, blurs the lines between what a man wears when he plays his favorite sport and what he wears for everyday life. Interestingly, it's not "stuck" to any one sport. In other words, depending on your favorite activities, you can create your own sportswear style!
Hip-hop culture is a big influence on this trend, as many of its followers are into basketball, break dancing and its derivatives, or skateboarding. But if you're more into tennis, hiking, golf or running, you can get a sportswear look by combining classic pieces (e.g., sport jackets) with sporty pieces such as :
- A polo shirt;
- Jogging pants;
- A sporty t-shirt;
- A hoodie;
- Basketball shoes.
Good point for this trend: materials that let perspiration escape offer superior comfort, especially in summer! Finally, when it comes to colors, opt for neutral tones.
10 tips to follow
No matter what men's clothing style you're in the mood for, it's important to avoid certain faux pas. Here are 10 tips from our experts to make sure you always make a good impression!
1. The right size
If you don't know your shirt or pant size, it's never too late to remedy the situation! Once you have this information, your shopping is easier and your comfort is optimized! Keep in mind, however, that there is a fine line between a close-fitting garment and a tight-fitting garment, and that a loose-fitting garment should never leave enough room to accommodate another person! To find pieces that will fit you every time, grab a tape measure, paper and pencil and check out our size guide.
2. The quality
At Ernest, we pride ourselves on offering our customers quality clothing. In this age of over-consumption and fast fashion, we believe that it is better to buy less, but better. In short, getting 20 quality pieces that you will take good care of is more cost effective than having 60 low-end pieces that you will have to get rid of prematurely!
3. Get rid of your old clothes
You have lost (or gained) weight and your clothes don't fit anymore? You had a thematic period (tropical, gothic, etc.) and don't feel like wearing those clothes that remind you of your former life? You have a nice winter coat, but you haven't worn it for at least 5 years?
There's no need to clutter your closet: donate your unused clothes to charity. Not only will you be doing a good deed, but your drawers and closets will be filled with new pieces that you'll want to show everyone!
4. Get out of the "jeans" avenue
We agree: having jeans in your men's wardrobe is a must. But it's a shame to limit yourself to jeans! The chino is a great alternative, as are capri, dress pants or cargo pants, for example, depending on the season. Explore your options, you might be pleasantly surprised!
5. Do not hesitate to make layers
Layering, when done with taste, always adds character to a look. Ask our specialists to learn how to master this most aesthetic of techniques!
6. Not too many fancy or flashy patterns
Unless you're attending a fashion or contemporary art event where exuberance in clothing is highly encouraged, exercise restraint with embellishments, glossy finishes or patterns (stripes, polka dots, checks, floral prints, etc.). That said, it is acceptable to mix patterns, but the result must be harmonious... If in doubt, consult a stylist!
7. Have good basic essentials
No matter what style you decide to adopt, it is very beneficial to have a wardrobe that contains the basic must-have clothes (you'll find several tips on this subject in this blog post).
8. Comfortable underwear
Wearing underwear that's too tight around the waist, that has a bunch of bulges in the bottom, or that keeps getting caught in your gluteal fold (or "butt crack" if you will!) can be as bad for your morale as it is for your looks. So, choosing beautiful, luxurious and stylish boxers is a great way to boost your confidence, even if no one can see them. Check out our great styles from SAXX, Timeless and Anthony of London!
9. Do not forget the accessories
Once you've chosen your outfit, you can add the accessories that change everything! Even though the time is displayed everywhere, especially on smart phones, real men of style wear a nice watch to add elegance to their manly wrist! Take a look at our watches and bracelets and you're sure to find the perfect match for your shirt or jacket, for example.
Depending on your outfit, a tie or bow tie always looks good! Just make sure you know how to tie them properly, or have someone else do it for you. And depending on the occasion (prom, wedding, gala, etc.), a pocket handkerchief is the final touch that stands out!
In addition, men of taste can carry their wallet, keys, tablet, etc., in a messenger style bag or briefcase that is as chic as it is practical. As an added bonus, your pants will look better with pockets that aren't cluttered with various items!
And we can't stress this enough: belts are not for holding up baggy pants, and suspenders are not accessories to keep your pants from falling down on your ankles! Rather, belts and suspenders are the centerpieces of a man's clothing look and for that reason, they must be selected with care. A leather or woven belt in a neutral color like black or cognac will define your waist with elegance, while suspenders will make your ensemble look irresistible!
Have you noticed how men who wear headgear are the center of attention? Wearing a cap or hat (e.g. Fedora style) that matches your outfit is sure to get you compliments!
Especially in the summer, quality sunglasses are also a must, and in the colder seasons, a scarf or wrap adds character to any outfit. Visit your local Ernest Boutique to find 1001 trendy accessories for men!
10. Staying in your comfort zone
To show your style with panache, you have to embrace it! Therefore, for some of the bolder items, for example, it's best to take it easy. Otherwise, you'll feel "dressed up" and it will show!
Bonus tip: stay on top of trends
To develop good taste in men's clothing styles, you'll need to keep an eye out (check out websites like YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest to see what's hot, among others) and be prepared to apply the rules laid out in this guide or in other print publications and websites from here and abroad (e.g., Homme Urbain, Vogue Hommes, Prestige, L'Officiel Hommes).
Now you know which style interests you most - casual chic, casual, sartorial, rock, bohemian, streetwear or sportswear - or do you want to explore more than one depending on what you do? You'll find everything you need to get your style just right at Ernest! We've handpicked clothing from brands known for their quality, and have collections of shoes and accessories for every taste and budget.
We look forward to meeting you!