The Art of Outfits That Stand Out Subtly

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If there’s one good thing to come out of the 21st Century, it’s that we men have finally figured out a few things about street fashion. For one thing, baggy jeans have finally died a long-overdue death. For another, we have much easier access to outfits and styling inspirations, without even paying. And of course, we are more open to looking as edgy as our favorite movie stars, celebrities, and social media sensations. In the early 2000s, 20-year-old wearing khakis would have looked out of place. In the 2020s, however, out there is where you want to be. Hence, khaki cargo pants are not only street-acceptable but a pretty sensible wardrobe addition.

Brave but Disastrous Fashion Efforts

So, we know that men are finally open to putting a decent amount of effort into how they look. That includes trying out new looks, experimenting with different clothes, and so on. This is usually how we keep up-to-speed since trends change every day. The trick to looking good without going over the top is to structure your wardrobe. You need clothes that help you stand out, and clothes that support these stand-out pieces.

But the problem is, some of us still have a long way to go when it comes to consistently pulling together an outfit that works. Like it or not, some of us are walking fashion-disasters. Brave, certainly, but disasters nonetheless. This broadly goes one of two ways:

Guys Go Overboard with Too Many Stand-Out Pieces

We all like to be noticed. I get it. But the single worst mistake you can make with street fashion is to look like a pretentious goofball. Guys who don’t know when to stop, this means you. You wear bling, skinny jeans, loud shirts, designer shades, fur-lined jackets, bracelets, watches, and so on. All the time! While I give you all an A for effort, this really isn’t helping you stand out. In fact, it’s doing the opposite. It’s actually making you look like a try-hard. People may be noticing you, but it’s likely not in a very good way.

Guys Blend in With Too Many Supporting Pieces

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At the other end of the spectrum are guys who have entire outfits consisting of supporting pieces. Unless you’re a serial killer or a chameleon, I don’t see any reason you have to “blend in”. All you end up doing is limiting yourself. Your outfit won’t look bad, but it won’t be remarkable either. Do you really want to be giving off that bland, can’t-be-bothered look in this day and age? Sure, it’s not nearly as painful as looking like a try-hard, but it’s not helping you either.  

Why You Need Stand-Out Clothing Articles

Now, before you start snickering at the guys who are trying too hard, understand this. The problem is not that they own too many stand-out pieces. It’s that they are wearing too many of them all at the same time. That doesn’t mean your wardrobe doesn’t need a fine pair of men’s khakis or custom Air Jordan’s. Every male wardrobe needs a statement piece. This should be a bold article of clothing that will define your overall outfit. This is the attention-grabber, the eye-turner, the compliment magnet.

The beauty of modern male street fashion is that you get to be far more adventurous. Your statement piece can be anything from a rugged leather jacket to a brightly striped shirt to brown chinos. Think of it as the icing on the cake that will make your outfit pop. Don’t know what a statement piece should look like? Guys, just trust your instinct. You know a statement piece when you see one. It’s the article of clothing that catches your eye the moment you see it in a store or advertisement. And that’s exactly what it is designed to do. Of course, while trying to dress better, men often end up combining too many statement pieces into one outfit. Avoid this and you should be good.

Why You Need Support Pieces for Your Outfit

If supporting roles were of no importance, there wouldn’t be an Oscar category for them. A good actor delivers much better performance with a good supporting cast. Similarly, your statement pieces will make a much weightier statement if they are supported by the rest of your outfit. Supporting pieces should always be carefully chosen to direct attention to the statement piece. Yes, this means grey cardigans, white tees, and other basic items. But don’t think of them as useless. Think of them as minimalism. They still serve an important purpose, even if it is not directly obvious.

Despite what you think all supporting clothing is not made the same. You may want to save money for statement pieces. This can often tempt you to buy a cheap off-the-rack shirt at a convenience store. Don’t! There is plenty of American-made clothing that looks good while still being subtle.

If there’s anything you should take away from this blog, it’s this Golden Rule. Only 1 statement piece per outfit. That’s right, just one! This is by far the safest and most sensible approach for someone new to current American street fashion. You won’t need to buy too many statement pieces for one thing. For another, you’ll learn a lot more about outfit ideas this way. Try doing this for the rest of this week, and see the reaction you get from friends, family, and colleagues.

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