Author Archives: Paul McGregor

Paul McGregor
Founder of MFM, Lecturer at the London College of Fashion and Online Consultant.
Depression Success The Way You Feel

The Lessons I Learned From Style Con

menfluential 2018

Last week I flew all the way from London to Atlanta to speak on the final day of Style Con, but most importantly to see what this event was all about.

I can say as I’m writing this, it was an amazing experience, and in this feature today I’m going to share the five lessons I learned from the two day event.

What Is Style Con?

If you don’t know what Style Con is, where have you been the last few years? Style Con is an event that has been put on by Aaron Marino of Alpha M and Antonio Centeno of Real Men Real Style. These two heavyweights combined to create Style Con.

Now Style Con has been running for a few years. I actually wanted to attend last year as well, but this year, I had the pleasure to speak to the Style Con audience.

Style Con

The above image is from last year where the audience grew to over 100 men. This year it grew to over 200 men.

But there’s no better reason for me to fly all the way to Atlanta to speak about a subject that I’m extremely passionate about, and it’s something that’s extremely close to my heart, I told the audience my story, I highlighted the huge issue surrounding depression and the response blew me away.

But here are the five things that I learned from attending Style Con.

Prefer video? Watch below.

1. Depression Needs To Be Spoken About

The first lesson is depression needs to be spoken about. It really is as simple as that.

I truly was blown away by the response that I had from talking about depression, from talking about my dad’s suicide, and I really can’t get my words out at this moment because the amount of people that came up to me after me giving my presentation really did blow me away.

paul menfluential

Everyone shared stories about how they’ve felt depressed in the past, they shared moments of adversity with me and also a few opened up about personal suicidal attempts of loss through suicide. A few people told me they felt like I was talking to them when I was speaking about my depression and speaking about my dad.

It truly blew me away, and it really did make me think that more and more people need to talk about depression. More and more people need to be open. They need to be honest. They need to talk more.

beforesuit-and-shirt4

The above is a small comparison of back to when I just lost my Dad to suicide, feeling depressed to now.

The physical transformation is obvious but the internal development would not have been possible without me opening up and dealing with my depression.

Now the audience at Style Con of course made me feel at ease because they are men wanting to better themselves. They’ve paid a ticket to go to an event which is based around self-improvement, based around growing them as a man and their business.

These were guys that were open to be vulnerable. They were open, they were honest. It made sharing my story, something that’s still extremely raw for me easier.

So the biggest lesson that I learned from my presentation was depression needs to be spoken about more, not just to a room of 300 men that were attending, it needs to be spoke about on a global scale. It needs to be spoken about if you go to the pub with your friends, if you’re at work. This issue needs to be tackled hands on.

It shouldn’t be stigmatised. It shouldn’t be something that you don’t talk about and something you ignore because you feel it’s a weakness.

If you take anything from this post please remember that depression is ok. If you’re watching this video and you’re someone who watched my presentation and you came up to me at the end with your own story, I truly, truly appreciate you.

depression understanding

2. Don’t Be Afraid Of Vulnerability

The second thing is don’t be afraid of vulnerability. Again, this is something that I spoke about in my presentation and something that I’ve just recently mentioned, but you shouldn’t be afraid of being vulnerable.

Being vulnerable actually opens you up more connections, to more relationships. The more closed you are, the less people you’re going to attract in your life and the less opportunities you’re going to open doors too.

The more vulnerable you can be, the deeper the connection someone is going to have with you.

For example, I stood on stage and became extremely vulnerable. I spoke about losing my dad to suicide, I spoke about my depression, I spoke about other things that I’m vulnerable about.

Honestly, I can’t even put up a shelf. I’m useless at DIY. But I’ll be completely open and honest about that, and that’s me not being afraid of being vulnerable.

paul menfluential

Now, the reason why I say people need to be vulnerable more is because if you’re in the audience and you’re listening to me open up and be vulnerable, it gives them the permission to open up and be vulnerable, too, but if I’m standing there closed off, not being honest, being someone that I’m not, they’re going to be closed off. It’s as simple as that, so be vulnerable more often.

A great example at the event was they had a grooming panel, and Eric who was hosting it said, “Come up if you want us to critique your grooming.” There was close to 50 people that stood up and queued up to stand onstage in front of everyone and get critiqued on how they looked.

That really put me at ease. I knew that the audience was open to be vulnerable, and that is something that I suggest to you.

If you’re reading this right now, don’t be scared of vulnerability. Being vulnerable will create a better connection with others and open doors to opportunities you won’t get if you stay closed off.

3. Surround Yourself With Positive People

Number three is an obvious one… Surround yourself with positive people. Luckily, I say luckily, at first I didn’t think I was lucky, I was the last speaker. I had the whole of Friday, the whole of Saturday and then I stood up to speak. At first this was a bit daunting for me, but it gave me the opportunity to speak to the audience, to work the room, to go and speak to people and find out their stories.

Now the greatest thing that I had from the event was simply just surrounding myself with positive people. I work from home, we can easily fall into our comfort zones by staying in the same environments we’re used too.

You want to always try and build your network, but most importantly surround yourself with the right people, because if you’re not surrounding yourself with the right people it’s going to be harder to grow.

positive people

If you want to improve as a person, go to an event with a room full of guys that want to improve. If you want to become successful, surround yourself with successful people. It really is as simple as that.

So the third lesson is surround yourself with like minded and positive people.

4. Action Outweighs Logic

Number four is something else that I mentioned in my presentation and that is action outweighs logic.

Now, the reason why I included this is because over the past two days, there was a vast amount of great speakers. You had Dan Lok talking about high ticket sales, you had Ryan Masters talking about fear and how to overcome it, you had people talking about YouTube, people talking about Instagram, people talking about grooming routines, me talking about depression… There were so many pieces of knowledge that you could pick up from the two days.

suffered

But what I’m trying to say here is the people that are going to succeed after that event are the people that actually act upon it. For example, if you’re writing notes throughout the whole event or any event that you go to and you try and act upon all of those notes, it’s going to be extremely difficult. But taking the few notes that stood out to you the most and acting upon them right away will help you achieve more than trying to do everything perfectly.

Whether that’s starting an Instagram account, whether it’s starting to face fears, whether it’s starting to be more open and vulnerable… whatever you got from Style Con or any event, you want to start acting upon.

The example that I used is self-help books. Self help books aren’t good for you.

self help books

That may shock you at first (as I’m an avid reader of self help books and even wrote one) but the logic behind it is simple. Self help books are useless if you read them and don’t act upon them.

If you read a self-help book and you put it back on the book shelf, you read another self-help book and put it back on the book shelf… you’re not applying any of that knowledge.

You really need to understand that action outweighs logic and you need to start applying everything that you learn.

5. There’s No Room For Arrogance

Number five, the final lesson, is there’s no room for arrogance.

Aaron is someone that I’ve known for a while, probably about five to six years. He did a sponsorship video for me back in the day when I owned Brighterman. Antonio again is someone that I’ve known for a few years. We’ve spoke on and off and I actually went and visited him in Ukraine, Kiev at the beginning of this year.

These two guys are heavyweights. These two guys have people looking up to them. They admire them. They inspire them. There combined audience is fast approaching 4 million subscribers on YouTube alone.

aaron marino youtubereal men real style

With all of this being said they are both just so down to earth. They have time for everyone. People were asking for photos, they gave them time. People were asking them questions, they gave them time. They literally weren’t arrogant in any way.

So many people when they hit a certain level of success become extremely arrogant, but Aaron, Antonio, all of the other speakers, everyone else in the room as well gave people the platform to speak. They gave me the platform to speak and share my story.

There was no room for arrogance, there was no room for ego, so at whatever level you think you’re at or you’re trying to get to, remember that arrogance is wasted.

arrogance

You need to always be open to people, you always need to be giving time, giving value to people, because that’s always going to outweigh arrogance.

Menfluential 2018

How can I end this? Well hopefully I’m going to be able to get the full presentation for you guys to watch, but Style Con has recently changed their name to Menfluential. I personally believe that’s a much better decision because there wasn’t a lot of style involved in the event and it’s always going to be very hard to do a two day event just based around style.

Tanner from Masculine Style did a very good presentation on style, you had grooming panels, you had Instagram panels, there were a lot of stylish guys there so you still are going to get a lot of knowledge in terms of style, but it was more about self-improvement. It was more about becoming a better version of yourself.

So Menfluential 2018 is now booked in Atlanta so if you get the chance to go, I highly recommend it.

Hopefully I will be flying out there again next year. (Get Your Tickets Here)

Hopefully we can catch up?

If you enjoyed these lessons let me know in the comments below and if you attended, let me know what your lessons were.

If you didn’t attend Style Con what events have you been to recently and what were the biggest lessons you learned?

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for 3 videos a week by clicking here or the banner below.

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This post was originally featured on MFM. Read it here: 5 Lessons from Style Con 2017

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Style The Way You Look

Dressing For Your Body Type

body type

Body Shape is not generally something us men sit around a table with a latte in hand discussing; it is our female counterparts who seem to obsess over the latest diet or how to lose weight.

Yet while us gents are, in the main, more comfortable with carrying a little excess baggage or do not get too hung up on being a little on the tall or short side, maybe we could learn a trick or two from our female friends.

The crux of the matter is, it’s not the clothes we’re wearing that let us down but the ways in which we wear them; we fail to think about our bodies proportions and simply grab the standard size from the rail.

So with that in mind and bypassing the science of ectomorphs and endomorphs, along with the jargon of squares and triangles, here are a few simple ways to rectify those easily made errors of judgement…

Understanding Your Body Type

Are you a square kind of guy or are you a triangle kind of guy? It sounds strange but understanding your body type will allow you to dress better.

Fit is the number one principle when it comes to improving the way that you look but knowing your body type and knowing what looks good on you is extremely important.

As a man, you’re typically going to fall into one of the five body types. The inverted triangle, the rectangle, the triangle, the oval and the trapezoid.

Understanding whether you fall into the category of tall or short and overweight or skinny is also important as what looks good on a short overweight man will differ from a tall, muscular man.

Knowing your body type is simple. What shape does your body best represent? If you personally struggle ask for someone to help but simply lining up the below examples to your body type will help you discover what looks good and what doesn’t.

body types

The Inverted Triangle Body Type

inverted triangle body type

The first one that I’m going to be speaking about today is the inverted triangle. With this body type, it’s all about balancing the proportions.

You’re obviously someone who likes training upper body, you’re someone who likes to go and train shoulders, back, and chest, but with this body type and how you can dress for it, it’s all about balancing it as well as you can.

The focus, the attention, is going to be on your upper body therefore it’s all about drawing that attention towards your lower body as well.

What can you do to balance the proportions?

Do

One of the things you can do is wear a belt. Break up your outfits by wearing a belt. What this is going to do is it’s going draw the attention down towards the hips, which will take the attention away from your upper body.

belt

Double-breasted jackets are also something else to consider because this is really going to widen your torso. The double-breasted jacket has a lot of the detailing going on in the middle of the body. Again, this is going to draw the attention down and it’s going to widen your torso.

V-neck jumpers and V-neck T-shirts will, again, have that same effect. They’ll draw the attention down and make your body more proportionate. All of the attention is going to naturally be on your upper body because this is your body type, so you want to be wearing things that are going to draw the attention down to make things more in proportion.

v neck jumper

Don’t

In terms of what not to do, don’t wear skinny jeans. Don’t wear anything that’s very, very slim-fitting on the leg. This is simply going to focus and highlight the obvious imbalance that your body type has.

skinny jeans

The other thing is to avoid any jackets with extreme shoulder padding. Maybe an unstructured, very relaxed, sports jacket is going to be good for you. You want to avoid anything with a lot of shoulder padding because that’s just going to add to more of the focus being drawn towards this area here.

Your body type of the inverted triangle is all about creating more of a proportion, drawing the attention down towards the hip area, and that is going to be the best thing for you.

The Rectangle Body Type

rectangle body type

The second body type is the rectangle, probably the least flattering body type out of the 5.

The rectangle is where you’re exactly the same width in terms of the shoulders and the hips and the waist. With this body type, it’s all about broadening the shoulders.

You want to go complete opposite to the first body type and draw the attention up. You want to do all that you can to create more of a focus and broaden and widen your shoulders.

The reason why you do this is because the trapezoid is the most flattering body type and broadening your shoulders will create a similar silhouette.

Here’s a few options in terms of how to do this.

Do

The first way is to wear jackets that have a lot of shoulder padding on them, so the complete opposite to what I’ve just said. You want to wear jackets with shoulder padding on because, again, this is going to broaden the shoulders.

Also, wearing jackets or blazers with wider lapels is going to draw that focus up to your shoulders, again, really creating a better proportion.

shoulder padding

Layering up is something else to consider, and wearing a button-down shirt underneath a crew-neck sweater is something that’s great for really drawing the attention upwards.

The other thing is making sure that your clothes fit you at the waist. What I mean by that is let’s say that you’re wearing a shirt, and the shirt is simply cut to just go straight. If it just goes straight down, all that’s going to do is highlight that rectangle shape.

You want to make sure that if you’re wearing a shirt or a T-shirt or anything on the upper body that it’s tapered. It needs to be more fitted at the waist and more fitted at the hip area.

You can easily get any item of clothing tailored or altered to just simply come in and be tapered more down towards the waist. That is going to really broaden the shoulders and really help with the proportions of this body type.

Wearing horizontal stripes across the upper torso is going to draw the attention upwards and also accessorising with scarves will help too.

Don’t

In terms of what not to do, do the complete opposite to the first body type.

Don’t wear double-breasted jackets. Double-breasted jackets is going to just draw the attention towards your rectangle shape. You want to avoid double-breasted jackets at all costs.

double breasted jackets

Avoid clothes that are shapeless and avoid clothes that mirror that rectangle shape. You want to go for things that are extremely more tapered, more fitted, and this is going to really help you with your rectangle body type.

The Triangle Body Type

triangle body type

The third one is the triangle. This body type doesn’t mean you’re fat, but the triangle shape has more of a emphasis towards the belly area. With this body type you’re wider at the hips and waist than you are on your shoulders and chest.

If this is you, simply stop drinking so much beer, lay off the cake, and start exercising. No, honestly, what you need to do is draw the attention upwards. You want to draw the attention away from that belly. You want to draw the attention away from your waist and draw it up towards your shoulders.

Here’s a few ways to do that.

Do

Wearing vertical stripes on your clothing is a really good way to streamline this body type. Vertical stripes are going to draw the attention upwards.

vertical striped shirt

Also wearing horizontal stripes on the upper torso is going to draw that attention up towards your shoulders rather than your waist.

This body type is very similar to the last body type. You can also wear jackets with a lot more padding on the shoulder area, making sure that if you’re wearing a blazer, a sports jacket, an overcoat or even a casual jacket like a Harrington jacket, that you’re focusing on it being more structured on the shoulders and having maybe some padding to really broaden that width.

Wearing brighter colours on the upper half of your body (from the chest upwards) is going to draw that attention up. Having more detailing on your clothing on the upper half is going to have the same effect.

You can also get away with wearing more slim-fitting colours on the lower half. That’s going to make the mid area of your body look a lot slimmer by wearing colours such as dark grey, navy, and black. These colours are going to create more of a slimmer effect on the area that you’re trying to hide.

Don’t

In terms of what not to do for this body type, I advise avoiding wearing roll necks and also avoiding polo shirts. The reason why I say this is because this is going to slenderise the neck and also the shoulder area and it’s really going to accentuate the roundness in your waist.

Also wearing horizontal stripes across the stomach will really accentuate that area, alongside wearing heavily tapered trousers. If your trousers are heavily tapered at the bottom, it’s really going to widen the central area of your body.

The Oval Body Type

oval shape body type

The fourth one is the oval shape, more of a rounded shape. If this is you, you want to focus on lengthening the torso, broadening your shoulders for more of a defined look.

A few ways that you can do that is wear vertical stripes or even pinstripes. Vertical stripes and pinstripes are not only going to draw the attention up towards your shoulders, they’re also going to lengthen your body.

suit-and-shirt4

Also making sure that you wear trousers that fit you is another thing to consider. The reason being is because if you’re wearing trousers that are too long for you, it’s going to leave a lot of unwanted fabric when it breaks at the shoe and that’s going to draw the attention towards that. Not only that, but that’s going to shorten your leg length. It’s going to shorten your overall length. Like I’ve said with the oval shape, it’s all about extending it as much as we can.

In fact the main thing that you need to focus on with this body type is making sure that everything fits well. If your clothing doesn’t fit well in terms of the sleeves, the overall fit, the trouser length and so on badly fitting clothing is going to make you look out of proportion.

mens tailoring

You want to make sure that everything fits to the finest detail that you possibly can. If everything fits well it’s going to give you more of a defined look. That’s what you need to be doing if you’re an oval shape or a rounded shape.

Don’t

In terms of what not to do, don’t wear boots. I know a lot of guys do like wearing boots, they think it adds a bit of masculinity to an outfit, but you want to avoid it because if you’re a rounded shape and you’re very short boots are going to shorten your leg length. You want to do all that you can to extend it.

Also don’t wear coloured or statement belts because this is going to draw the attention towards that rounded shape. You want to avoid wearing statement belts. Go for something a little bit more classic, a brown leather belt or a black leather belt. This is going to be more understated, and it’s not going to draw attention towards the areas that we don’t want it to.

statement belts

Don’t wear double-breasted jackets as well. This is really just going to accentuate the oval body type that you already have rather than balancing the proportions.

The Trapezoid Body Type

trapezoid body type

The final one is the most desirable body type, and that is the trapezoid. This really is you being sample size, you being able to walk into any store, picking out a shirt and it fitting you almost perfectly.

This body type is all about having broad shoulders, a broader chest, but then a gentle taper down towards through the hips and through the waist.

With this one, I’ve got some good news. You don’t need to worry about the dos and the don’ts. All you need to focus on is making sure that your clothing fits you well. Focus on the principles.

The Short Man

What about height? What about weight? Here’s some additional advice if you’re struggling to pinpoint what body type you are.

For the man who is a little on the short side, it’s all about accentuating the height you do have. The key is to wear slim fitting clothes.

There is no point wearing a large blazer and baggy jeans, keep the shape skinny or slim, wear boxy, shorter length t-shirts or sweaters. Also keep cuff and hem lengths short – something which happens to be all the rage at present and will ensure you are not drowning in excess fabric.

body 11

The Tall Man

This may seem somewhat obvious but it’s basically about doing the exact opposite of what a short man would do. Leave a little more excess in your shirts and t-shirts, anything too fitting will just make you look taller and try not too wear anything too slim, unless the beanpole look is the one you are after; there is nothing wrong with going a size up.

You should also avoid long, pointy shoes, they will just exacerbate the problem, the round toe shoe is most certainly the way forward for taller men.

body 22

The Large Man

For you larger men who think that by wearing baggier clothes you’re hiding those extra pounds, you’re not. If anything you just look a little unkempt and those excess fabrics rolling around just add to the problem.

Keep your clothes simple, do not add lots of stripes or checks in your choice of shirts and keep your fabrics lightweight – especially in those summer months.

body 33

The Muscular Man

The muscular man may be incredibly fit and spend his spare time down the gym in lycra but when it comes to everyday dressing, those bulging muscles can often get in the way of a stylish outfit. Those broad shoulders and large biceps can often hinder a man’s style, so once again it’s all about proportions.

Avoid skin-tight tops and skinny jeans, they really aren’t too flattering, while horizontal stripe tops help to spread the bulk of your frame. Light colours and plain fabrics will also help in lightening the load and there is nothing wrong with buying products that have a little stretch fit in them to ease the load.

body 44

A Final Note…

We can quite often get lured into thinking that style is all about the clothes you wear and the brands you are wearing. In actual fact, the essence to good style comes down to knowing your body shape and admitting that, on occasion, no matter how much you may like a particular item of clothing, it just does not suit your frame.

Clothes are essentially about looking good and therefore feeling good. The same can be said for our body shapes; if you wear something that suits our frame you are going to feel far better than something you’ve squeezed into or looks like you’re wearing a tent.

Basically, be yourself.

If you enjoyed this article let me know in the comments below!

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This post was originally published on MFM: How To Dress For Your Body Type

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Style The Way You Look

Need New Jeans? Buy These

selvedge denim jeans

Denim jeans are a staple in any mans wardrobe but the options are endless.

Grey or black? Straight or slim? Selvedge denim or vintage denim?

In this article today I’m hoping to simplify the selection process by showing you what to look for in a pair of jeans alongside the 3 pairs every man needs.

There’s a big misconception around jeans. A lot of men believe jeans are an unstylish choice but when choosing the right style and when worn correctly they become a style staple in any mans wardrobe.

If you prefer video format everything discussed in this article can be watched below.

This video is from my YouTube channel where I’m putting out 3 videos a week right now. If you want to be the first to find out about them click to subscribe.

paul-mcgregor-youtube-channel

Now before I show you the 3 pairs of jeans that every man needs I’m going to give you some advice in terms of choosing the right pair.

The Fit

The first thing that you need to think about is the fit. If you don’t consider the fit of the jeans it’s going to have a huge impact on how good they look.

If you have a pair of jeans that fits into one of the categories I’m going to show you below but they’re oversized, they don’t fit you well and they’re too long they’re not going to look stylish.

baggy jeans

There’s a vast selection available to you and although it does come down to personal preference there’s a few things to consider. Personally I always recommend a slim fitting jean over something slightly looser as it looks more elegant and you can easily dress it up or down. A looser more relaxed jean typically can only be worn with casual attire.

Just because they’re typically a casual trouser it doesn’t mean your attention should shift away from how well they fit you. Treat your jeans like a pair of formal trousers with the length, the waist, the seat, how well they fit on the thigh and even how tapered they are.

paul mens jeansgood fitted denim jeans

This really is a key principle to dressing better but more importantly focusing on the fit of your jeans will in turn give you more options to wear them alongside improving how good they look.

Below is a guide to follow which will help you understand how your clothing should fit.

Click To Download The Easy Guide To Fit

Remember any item of clothing you buy can be altered to fit. A lot of specialist denim stores alongside some high street stores offer free alterations to jeans when you buy them. Make sure they fit as well as possible when you try them on and then alter the minor details to improve the overall fit.

The Denim

The other thing to consider is the denim itself. If you’re investing in a good pair of jeans thats made from good denim it’s going to last you years (if not decades), but if you’re investing in a pair that’s manufactured from cheap denim not only will they look cheap they’ll also only last for a short period of time before they don’t fit or the denim wears.

Selvedge (raw) denim is a personal favourite of mine but alongside the type of denim you also want to pay attention to how they’re manufactured. Cheap manufacturing can lead to your jeans easily being ruined after numerous wears and washes.

denim fabric

Dependent on the denim you choose washing your jeans isn’t always necessary. A lot of men over wash their jeans and this can lead to shrinking of the denim alongside damaging the denim. For example raw denim (selvedge) should be worn for a good six months before washing. The denim changes with every wash and the jeans will typically shrink with raw denim.

If they do get dirty simply use a damp cloth to remove stains or hang them up outside on a windy and sunny day to reduce smell.

There’s a saying with jeans… “Wear them ever, wash them never.”

The Style

When choosing a pair of men’s jeans you also want to make sure they suit your overall style and lifestyle as well.

For example if your day to day attire is quite casual and you’re more street style than tailored you could opt for a distressed pair of jeans. On the other hand if you’re a corporate guy and you wear more classic items of clothing and you decide to go for a distressed pair of jeans it isn’t going to fit into your lifestyle or your overall style. For you choosing something more classic with little detailing would be the better option.

5 types of jean fit

Image by Real Men Real Style

Make sure you consider the overall style of your jeans and make sure they fit in with what you wear day to day. Sure you might like a pair of distressed jeans because you think they’ll make you look ‘cool’ or ‘youthful’ but how often can you wear them with the items already existing in your wardrobe?

Don’t be drawn into trends, focus on choosing a pair of jeans that fits in with your existing wardrobe and daily style.

Brand Loyalty Is Ok

One final point before we dive into the 3 styles of jeans that every man needs, with jeans it’s ok to be loyal to a specific brand. If you find a brand or a designer that fits you well then you can be loyal to it and invest in more jeans from that brand.

For example UNIQLO do some extremely affordable selvedge denim. The slim fit style fits nicely on me and the only alteration I ever have to make is the length (they offer this for free). Therefore I’m quite loyal to UNIQLO for my jeans.

uniqlo mens jeans

Specialised denim brands such as Levi’s are also good to stay loyal too once you know the cut and size of the jeans.

With any item of clothing make sure you try it on (plus a size up and down) before you buy. Try the jeans on, feel how the feel and then glance in the mirror to see how they look.

So let’s dive in to the 3 pairs of jeans every man needs in his wardrobe.

Dark Denim Jeans

So the first pair of jeans that I recommend is the obvious choice and that’s dark denim. Personally I’d opt for raw (selvedge) denim with little distressing or wash.

Dark denim jeans really is a style staple every man should own and if all of the factors shared above are on point they’ll go with everything in your wardrobe.

They can be dressed up or dressed down and are going to be one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe. From wearing them for a formal occasion with a sports jacket, a button down shirt and a pair of brogues to dressing it down completely with a black t-shirt and a pair of white sneakers… the opportunities are endless.

dark jeansdark denim jeans

These really are your go-to pair of jeans. I’ve just come back from Ukraine in Kiev and I wore these, if I go to London or have business casual meetings I’ll wear them, if I need to get dressed quickly I’ll throw these on with a sweater and some suede boots… these are my go to jeans and they should be yours too.

Black Denim Jeans

Some guys don’t really like black denim jeans as they see them more as a formal trouser but you want to make sure you invest in good denim. Cheap, thin denim will leave you looking like you’re wearing leather trousers so it’s important to focus on the choice of denim.

Just like dark denim they can be dressed up or dressed down but personally I prefer to dress them up. I can go out on an evening wearing them with a button down white shirt and a sports jacket but at the same time I can easily wear it with a t-shirt, a suede jacket and a pair of Chelsea boots.

paul wearing black jeansmens black denim

Again black denim is something you should be investing in and it really is a timeless alternative to the dark denim jeans.

Light Denim Jeans

Last but not least (you probably guessed it) light denim jeans are another staple in any mans wardrobe.

Dark denim, black denim and light denim are really versatile and this is what we’re looking for to simplify our wardrobe.

Now light denim is slightly harder to pull off and you can go wrong with these if you choose the wrong fit or the wrong combination. An oversized fit will really make it look like you’re wearing something from your Dad’s wardrobe and pairing it with light denim will also make you look like Justin Timberlake back in his boy band days.

Light denim has less of a rugged look to them compared to black and dark denim so choosing the right combination is important.

With this being said they’re a great casual alternative and if you want to dress an outfit down go for these instead of the black or dark denim jeans.

casual light denim david gandycasual light denim

Every man should have these 3 pairs of jeans in their wardrobe. They’re versatile, they’re classic and the opportunities to wear them are limitless.

What About Distressed & Ripped Jeans?

So I want to chuck in a bonus here and that’s distressed or ripped jeans. This is something you’re seeing more of right now especially with the street style trend being very prominent through the industry.

Distressed or ripped jeans are something to consider if you’re looking for more of a casual alternative. If I wore these with a formal outfit it isn’t going to look good at all but if I wore these with a white t-shirt and a leather or suede jacket it’s going to add a little bit more of a casual alternative with an edge to the other pairs of jeans.

ripped light denim jeansmens black ripped jeans

Personally I’d keep the detailing very minimal. Showing a touch of flesh with a rip on the knee works for some but showing 70% of your leg hair through multiple rips doesn’t work for anyone.

So don’t be afraid to go for something that’s distressed or ripped if your style suits it.

Your Jeans…

So there we have it 3 pairs of jeans that every man should own. I believe you should have all of these jeans in your wardrobe as it gives you options.

Light denim is great for casual wear where as black denim and dark denim are really your go-to staples which you can dress up and dress down. There really isn’t any limits to what you can do with dark denim and black denim.

So make sure you have these 3 in your wardrobe and don’t be afraid to go for distressed or ripped jeans if that’s your style.

What jeans do you own?

Do you have a go-to pair?

Let me know in the comments below.

If you haven’t already make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel by clicking the image below. I’m currently putting out 3 videos a week and you’ll be the first to see them.

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This post was originally featured on MFM. Read it here: 3 Pairs Of Jeans Every Man Needs

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Style The Way You Look

10 Items Every Man Needs

wardrobe

What would you say if I told you you could build a versatile wardrobe around just 10 items?

These 10 items can make up an outfit for a wedding, a casual trip to the bar, a job interview and even a first date.

Don’t believe me?

The issue is most men overbuy and hoard clothing they rarely wear. Menswear is all about quality over quantity and in this feature today I want to show you how it can be done with just 10 items.

I call it the ’10 Items Wardrobe’…

I’m hoping this feature inspires you to start building a wardrobe around versatile, timeless pieces alongside stressing the principle that style doesn’t need to cost a lot.

The 10 Item Wardrobe

So these are 10 wardrobe essentials, 10 versatile pieces that you can get from anywhere and any one can own. With these 10 items I’m going to build various different looks for various different occasions showing you how versatile they are.

Now, you’re going to have to give me a little bit of leniency here. I haven’t included underwear, I haven’t included socks and I’ve kept the accessories to a minimum.

I’m firstly going to highlight the 10 items and why you need them and then showcase various different ways to wear them.

The Navy Suit

The first thing to invest in is the classic navy suit. The Navy suit really is versatile and it’s extremely timeless.

We’ve spoken about suits in great length before but every guy (no matter what your day to day style consists of) should own a good suit. Why? There’s always an occasion to wear a suit.

suit-and-shirt4

As with everything recommended in this article focus on the fit of the suit alongside the fabric and quality. A wool 2 button navy suit with peak lapels is going to be more versatile than a linen double breasted navy pinstripe suit. I’m not saying the latter is a worthy investment but versatility is all about keeping it simple.

Navy not for you? Opt for Charcoal grey.

See the 4 Ways to Wear a Suit

Here are 9 Rules to Follow When Wearing a Suit.

The Blue Dress Shirt

Opting for a more formal dress shirt will allow you to easily dress up for certain occasions. Pale blue is a very versatile colour and offers a more casual feel to the crisp, white shirt.

A cutaway colour will allow you to easily wear the shirt with or without a tie and opting for a lightweight cotton will make it suitable all year round.

Again as with the suit the fit is extremely important so don’t be afraid to use a tailor to alter your purchase or opt for made to measure or bespoke.

pale blue shirt

The White Button Down Shirt

You’ve then got the white button down, another timeless essential. This bridges the gap between formal and casual making it the perfect addition to any mans wardrobe.

I personally would recommend an Oxford shirt, it’s a lot more casual and you can easily dress it up or dress it down.

mens white oxford shirt

Looking for a shirt to wear with jeans on a night out? Reach for your Button Down Shirt. Looking for a shirt to layer underneath a sweater? Reach for your Button Down Shirt. Looking for something to wear with your suit? Reach for your Button Down Shirt.

This is a basic essential every man should own and you can of course find them stocked by most brands and retailers. Focus on quality, fit and also comfort.

Dark Denim Jeans

Next up is a pair of well fitted dark denim jeans.

Everyone knows how versatile a pair of jeans are and at times we can often overwear them. Opting for dark denim over lighter denim will again allow you to dress them up or dress them down.

selvedge denim jeans

Treat your jeans like a pair of suit trousers focusing on how well the fit and how they’re made. Choosing cheap denim and avoiding the length, how they fit around your waist and how tapered they are is a huge mistake. You can easily get them altered to fit as they should with most brands and retailers offering a free alteration service with every purchase.

You can’t go wrong with selvedge denim and remember good denim doesn’t need to be washed as much as formal trousers.

White T-Shirt

The next item is a white t-shirt. Nothing is more classic or versatile than a white t-shirt but again getting the right fit plays a huge part in how good it will look.

No one wore the white t-shirt like James Dean did and even when worn with a simple pair of jeans he still looked effortlessly stylish.

james dean

The issue is with t-shirts is we often go for the cheapest option avoiding how well it’s made, meaning after a few washes it’s either starting to shrink or the material is starting to wear.

With the white t-shirt look for a mid to heavy weight cotton as this is going to give you more wears and last longer.

Navy Knitted Tie

Now this is the only accessory I’m including in the 10 item wardrobe but depending on your day to day style it might be something you rarely use.

Wearing a tie isn’t as popular as it once was with even more creative based office jobs not requiring ties to be worn. With this being said the Navy Knitted Tie bridges that gap between a tie that looks corporate and one that can be easily worn with more casual attire such as the White Button Down shirt I’ve already recommended.

navy knitted tie

Pay attention to the finer details focusing on the knot you use (I recommend a simple four in hand), the length of the tie alongside mastering that dimple.

White Sneakers

In terms of footwear nothing is more versatile than white sneakers. Now before you make any judgements I’m not talking about a pair of running shoes or flimsy plimsolls, I’m talking about a classic pair of minimal white sneakers.

Opting for a tennis shoe such as the Adidas Stan Smith’s will offer versatility allowing you to wear them with all of the items I’ve mentioned in this article already.

A leather pair will add elegance to a pretty casual item but the main thing you want to focus on is minimalism. Keep the detailing to a minimum and you’ll get more wears from them.

white sneakers

Don’t forget to look after your white sneakers as well, clean white sneakers look stylish but dirty, battered white sneakers look cheap.

Brown Double Monk Strap Shoes

For the more formal side of things I’ve decided to opt for some double monk straps.

The double monk is a real classic shoe and again can be worn with the suit or they can be worn to dress up your jeans.

Now this is where you can step outside of the box slightly and go for something you personally feel would suit your style as the double monk strap isn’t the only option you have.

Double-monk-strap-shoes

A Brogue, a Chelsea Boot, an Oxford or Derby and even a Loafer are all options you could choose from.

Make sure you focus on the quality of construction alongside the choice of leather. I personally would opt for a tan or dark brown (chocolate) and I wouldn’t be afraid to spend a bit more on quality.


Shoes are an investment piece, if you invest wisely they’ll last you for years to come.

A Sweater

The choice of colour is opt to you but keep it neutral. I’ve gone for a camel sweater for this example but navy, grey, stone and even lighter hues could work well.

Merino wool is the obvious choice in terms of fabric but cashmere will offer a more snug and comfortable fit.

sweater

Again as with every item already recommended make sure you focus on how well the sweater fits.

Stone Chinos

Last but not least, I’ve gone for a pair of stone chinos. Again these could be navy, grey and even black but I wanted to add some lighter hues into this wardrobe.

These are obviously going to help dress down a lot of the formal wear. These are still very, very smart and still very elegant as well.

Make sure they’re comfortable to wear, they fit well around the waist and leg and they’re not too long or short. Don’t be afraid to roll them up for a more casual feel and even go slightly looser with the fit.

stone chinos

How To Wear Them

That’s my 10 items, 10 items I recommend every man owns in their wardrobe.

Now I’m going to go ahead now and showcase various different looks using just those 10 items. I’m also going to mention where and what kind of occasion you could wear that look for too. This is again just to show you how versatile you can make your wardrobe, how simple, how classic, and hopefully you enjoy some of the looks that I come up with.

So here is the 10 item wardrobe.

10 item wardrobe

Again, just recapping, I’ve got the navy suit, the blue formal shirt, the stone chinos, the white t-shirt, the dark denim jeans, the brown/camel jumper, the white sneakers, the navy knitted tie and I’ve gone for the double monk strap shoe.

That is the 10 items I’ve got and I’m going to go and create various different looks suitable for multiple occasions. This is just to show you how versatile you can make your wardrobe if you make sure it’s very classic and you focus on quality over quantity.

Formal Outfit

This time I’ve gone for the navy suit, I’ve then teamed that with the blue formal shirt with a cutaway collar and I’ve accessorised with the navy knitted tie. Very, very simple, just suit, shirt, tie.

formal outfit

Of course, this outfit is going to look great if it’s well fitting so although it’s a basic combination the finer details have a huge impact. I’ve then gone for, obviously, the double monk straps. You could go for a brogue, you could go for an Oxford any well constructed formal shoe will work here.

If it’s a colder day I have the option to layer with the jumper or the sweater, so that’s there also. If it’s a nice day just leave the sweater at home and go for the suit, the shirt, the tie and the shoes. Very, very simple, but just using some of those items.

Casual Outfit

Now, here’s a casual outfit.

casual outfit

I’ve gone for something completely on the other end of the scale. I’ve gone for just the white T-Shirt, the dark denim jeans and white sneakers. Very, very simple.

Now imagine that this is a baggy t-shirt, a baggy pair of jeans and some really battered, scuffed white sneakers. It’s not going to look as good as if it was obviously a well fitted, well made white t-shirt, dark denim jeans, and a pair of white sneakers.

That’s the casual outfit. You can see the difference in the two. Again, I’m just sticking with these 10 items.

Casual Alternative

Here’s another casual outfit. This time I’ve gone for the white t-shirt but I’ve actually swapped the jeans for the stone chinos, just to dress it up slightly and paired it with the formal shoes.

casual outfit 2

Now I can also wear the blazer if I wanted to dress it up. Wearing the blazer from the suit with this outfit is going to add a little more formality to the look, but you could easily go for just the t-shirt, the chinos and the smarter shoes as the formal shoes will dress it up slightly.

Again, you can obviously go for the sneakers if you wanted to dress it down. I’m just showing you how versatile this is and how many options you have from just 10 items.

Business Casual Outfit

Here’s a business casual look. I’ve gone for the suit this time, but obviously I’ve taken away the suit trousers. For this example I’m going for separates and wearing it with the stone chinos.

I’ve then got the blue shirt which is obviously a little bit more formal and I’ve paired that with a jumper, and I can then choose how formal or how casual I want to make it. If you want to dress it up go for the brown double monks or whatever formal shoe you want to go for. If you want to dress it down you’ll want to go for the sneakers.

business casual outfit

Again, this is a really, really simple business casual look implementing separates which is obviously a separate jacket to trousers which I believe has that balance extremely well between formal and casual. That’s a business casual look. Again, just using 10 items.

Business Casual Alternative

Another business casual look. This time I’ve just gone for the jumper layered with obviously the shirt underneath, a pair of denim jeans and a pair of white sneakers.

business casual outfit 2

This is another classic, simple look that will look stylish if worn well.

Other Outfits

Here’s a few more options…

other outfits

You’ve got the jumper on its own with some chinos and the sneakers.

You’ve got the shirt with the suit trousers and the pair of double monk strap shoes.

You’ve also got the white t-shirt and the jeans which is then dressed up with a pair of double monk strap shoes which is great for a casual ocassion such as meeting friends at a bar or a cinema date. You can of course go for the sneakers instead but this will dress that outfit down completely.

Another option is the full suit with the white t-shirt as well. This is great for a creative office environment or an ocassion where a full suit may be too formal.

This is still scratching the surface on how many outfits can be made from just these 10 items.

It really does highlight how easy it is and also how effective it is when you have a very classic, versatile wardrobe.

Wardrobe Essentials Infographic

wardrobe essentials for men

Out of the 10 items how many do you own?

What outfits can you create?

Let me know in the comments below!

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This article was originally published on MFM: 10 Wardrobe Essentials Every Man Should Own

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