Men’s Fashion versus Men’s Style and how to overcome saying “Don’t outdress me.”

Men's suite outfit in MAN'edged Magazine ADVICE column for men's style

Men’s style advice

Whether or not you’re the ultimate men’s style expert, you’ll want to listen up to this.

Today, I’m tackling men’s fashion versus men’s style and sharing how to evolve your personal look.

The story

It all began when I found myself reading an odd text from a friend.

For the sake of this story, we’ll call him Larry. He’s straight, has a good job, fairly evolved, and is an all-around good guy. We planned to meet up at a restaurant for drinks and to catch up.

After a few texts back and forth, I received the dreaded text that read:

“What should I wear?” and “Don’t outdress me.”

It wasn’t until the 100th incident that I began to wonder, “Why do people feel the need to say this?” This has happened on more than one occasion and with different friends.

The first step in solving this mystery is to distinguish between two popular terms: fashion and style.

Men’s Fashion versus Men’s Style

We as a community must establish common ground around these terms if we ever want to evolve.

I’ve seen countless articles about the two terms, but they boil down to this.

Style is personal and unique. Fashion is more about trends and the latest fads.

Fashion: constantly morphing and changing. It’s keeping up with the trends, the latest colors, and textures. It can be a bit “out there” and at times wacky.

Style: all about you. It’s something that’s personal. It’s different for every person. Personal style is unique to the wearer.

Is it possible to be fashionable and stylish? Of course. It’s not black and white, but there are some differences.

How to evolve your personal style

Choose clothes that work with your body type. When we build something, we usually start with one brick at a time. The same logic applies here.

For example, just start off with shopping for pants. Let that be your focus for a month.

My personal fashion/style conundrum

The current trend I saw at the men’s shows were cropped loose-fitting trousers, which I totally dig. Unfortunately, the wide-legged silhouette makes me look like I gained 50 lbs. I don’t hit the gym every day to look like this.

I had to explore cropped carrot/tapered style pants to fit my body type.

That’s my personal style even though the trend is headed toward the baggy look.

Start off with one category at a time and build as you go. Adapt trends to your body type and know that not everyone should wear everything.

Why you should care about how you look and not about being “outdressed”

Style helps define who you are.

Whether we like it not, people are making assumptions about us the second they see us. Why would you want to give anyone the ability to assume negative things about yourself?

How cool is it that you can actually help persuade a person to believe that you:

  • Make more money than you actually do
  • Are more established than you actually are
  • Value yourself and are valued by others
  • Are highly educated
  • Maybe the most popular amongst your friends
  • Look like you’re in control of your life
  • Might be really good in bed
  • Pay your bills
  • Exude confidence

The list can go on and on. What do all these things have in common?

Well, most of the time they lead to more opportunities. That is why we should care.

My point

Men are at a disadvantage when it comes to style unlike our female counterparts.

We were not taught to openly discuss style. It’s not until our young adult life where we begin to notice that we need to “dress the part” in order to move forward and upward.

So, no I don’t judge people because of what they wear. What I do judge, is when people don’t take actions to enhance their life. Especially, when it’s right at their fingertips.

Don’t be that guy that says, “Don’t outdress me.”

Be the guy that gets told that.

You got this, bruh.

Men's suite outfit in MAN'edged Magazine ADVICE column for men's style