10 Things We’ve Learned About Style
We’re a little over a year into A Curated Style, and while just about all of our newsletters have been about clothing (naturally), we thought it would be a good idea to pause and tell you about some of the top lessons we’ve learned on our journey to find our own style. In no particular order…
1. Style is a Long Term Game
You aren’t just going to wake up one day and decide you want to dress well, buy a bunch of clothes, and mission accomplished. It takes a lot of time, if not forever, to hone your true style. If taken seriously, your style will always be evolving and progressing. That’s not a bad thing.
2. Patience is Key
Sometimes I get it in my head that I want to add a certain type of clothing to my wardrobe. And once that happens, I’ve got to have it RIGHT. NOW. That’s not good for me. I used to find myself buying items that looked close enough, but that either ended up being a poor fit or poor quality for the price. So, the biggest lesson for me was learning how to take my time when looking for items – try things on and make sure they fit well, getting a feel for the item in person, and making sure it was exactly what I wanted before settling with it.
3. It's More Than the Clothes
Pants, shirts, and shoes…those are the obvious things with your personal style. But over time I’ve learned that it goes deeper than that. It’s the accessories you wear, the bags you carry, the dopp kit you keep your toiletries in, the decor in your home, the car you drive. All of those things, and even more, work together to create your own personal style. Keep that in mind the next time you buy something.
4. Learn When to Return
Another part of my impatience involved seeing something on the internet, buying it, then wearing it out once and relegating it to the back of the closet where it would sit until I donated or threw it away. I’ve recently gotten into the habit of utilizing the customer service link on clothing sites and sending items back – either for a better size or for a refund/store credit. This may seem like an obvious one, but when you’re on the go sometimes you just can’t be bothered with the whole process. Well, let me tell you – it’s not nearly as bad as you think and it’s well worth it not to have wasted money on barely worn items.
5. Forget Your Comfort Zone
If you settle into a comfort zone, it will be hard to evolve your style. This doesn’t mean to wear a bunch of crazy stuff you don’t feel comfortable wearing, but every so often try out something different. I try to do this at least once a year. Sometimes it doesn’t work out (like jogger pants for me), and other times it does and I’m glad I took the risk.
Want to see the products we like?
We come across a lot of products that catch our eye, look good, are just generally cool, and, often times on sale. Some of these we actually end up purchasing ourselves. And we’d like to share these items with you on an infrequent, spontaneous basis. Jump on board to see the products we find.
6. It Never Hurts To Ask
I purchased a watch with a fragile band not too long ago. And recently the band started to fray. The old me would’ve just accepted that as life and left it at that. The new me sent an email to the watchmaker’s customer service. They didn’t replace the band for free, but they did give me a coupon for 50% off the cost of a replacement band for the watch. Apply this philosophy to returns, exchanges, discounts and it’ll serve you well.
7. Confidence is Everything
8. It's 90% About Fit
There’s a reason it’s called “personal style”. Style is subjective – what one person loves, another may hate. Sure there are universal classics, but everything else is fair game. However, the one thing I’ve noticed that consistently makes or breaks an outfit, no matter the other particulars (i.e. colors, patterns, or layers), is the fit. Too baggy, too tight, too short, too long. Those are the details that are the difference between “I put some effort and care into this” and the wrong kind of “I woke up like this.”
9. Good Style Doesn’t Mean Expensive Clothing
This might be the most important lesson I’ve learned. I’ve been a long time subscriber of GQ mag, and in the early days I associated good style with expensive taste. This is wrong. You don’t have to empty your bank account to dress well. Down the road you may spend more money buying higher quality items, but that’s not a requirement in having good style. It’s what you put together, not how much you spend.
10. Go With What You Love
As John stated above – confidence is key. And you’re going to feel the most confident in the things that you feel the most comfortable in. Don’t just follow trends because they’re trendy. If you see something that resonates with you, go ahead and incorporate it into your wardrobe. Just make sure that it fits you and your personal style.
I’m a casual guy – if you’ve been following, you know that I love my hooded shirts. For me, getting into mens’ style doesn’t mean that I’m suddenly going to start wearing blazers and button-ups every day. It just meant that I began being more conscientious about the choices I made. I still wear hoods – I just make sure that they fit me well and that they are styled/designed appropriately for the situation in which I want to wear them. At the end of the day, you just have to wear what makes you happy.