If you want to stand out, it’s not enough to just keep up with the latest trends anymore—anyone with a pulse (and Instagram) can pull this off. No, the modern man doesn’t simply follow what’s hot, and instead takes command of his personal style. This involves a lot more than picking clothes; it’s a process, so here’s a guide to mastering the intricacies of your game.
1. Stay consistent
It might be tempting to always spring for the newest fashion every season, but that can actually be counter-productive to perfecting your own brand. If your outfit’s message changes with the seasons, you’ll never be able to develop that one strong look that people—and women—will associate with you. Think James Bond, who is always perfectly tailored whether dressed in a suit and trunks, versus Kanye West, whose chill, deconstructed vibe combines artsy fashion and streetwear smarts. Whatever the image you want to craft, it must be consistent in its character.
2. Be experimental
Wait, doesn’t this contradict the advice you just read? Not really. Consistency should not mean conservatism. Every well-groomed man’s goal is to distill his look into the perfect daily uniform for work and play… and then constantly mix it up with new colors and fresh items to keep everyone paying attention. The last thing you want is to finally develop a personal look, only for people to eventually get bored with it.
3. Have a signature scent
There’s much more to building your brand than the visuals. Don’t underestimate the understated power of smelling good when it comes to attraction. Because after a successful night out, it’s not your clothes that will linger with your date–it’ll be your manly scent.
4. Subtly tie your fashion to your personality
You don’t want to just be a glorified hanger for your clothes; your personal style should be able to clue others in to who you really are. Show up to a casual weekend hangout in the shirt of your favorite football team. Keep your favorite NBA team’s logo as a keychain. “Carelessly” leave a pair of running shoes inside your car when picking up your date. Your style game will, as always, be the strong intro, but it’s these subtle personal touches that will become your conversation starters. For example: “Oh you like to run too? Maybe we should go for one this weekend.” Mic drop.
5. Develop a unique style move
It’s time you came up with your own style “signature.” This small but attention-grabbing tweak could be as simple as the way you nonchalantly fix your hair, or how your shirt collar will always be perfectly buttoned-up, or how you sport a rare pair of sunglasses that no one else has. When your style can be easily identified in a game of sartorial charades, that’s when you know your personal style is on point.