As a wardrobe consultant, part of my job is helping clients determine their personal style. I’ve been doing this so long that I can give them a fair assessment by the car they drive or their favorite ice cream.
Example, a BMW or pistachio gelato lover is going to like tailored suits, fitted shirts, and diagonally striped ties whereas a Volvo driver or vanilla ice cream eater is going to lean more towards cotton chinos and polo shirts.
It’s simple psychology, and most retail clerks can tell what someone is willing to spend on an item within 30 seconds of greeting them.
I spent years at Nordstrom watching and learning from some of the best salesmen as they sized up customer’s wants, needs, and desires. Rarely did someone enters their realm and leave empty-handed.
Because these talented men were in tune with their potential long-term customer’s psychological makeup, they were better able to serve them. So, that comes to the first thing in determining your personal style, who are you and who do you want to be?
By identifying who you are and what you value will aid you in finding your personal style. I am, for lack of a better word, materialistic. I like things. I enjoy buying stuff - mainly clothing, but I have a beautiful watch and cufflink collection too.
My personal style stems from creativity, and my wardrobe reflects my artsy side. I dress to be noticed, respected and fitted tailored suits line my closet alongside bold pattern brightly colored shirts. You need to know yourself before you attempt a successful shopping trip.
Believe it or not, color pallets are scientific and can reflect your personality. Fair-skinned people look better in colors like bright blue, royal blue, sapphire, emerald, amethyst, dark purples, and lavender. Olive or darker complexions should lean toward warmer greens and blues, olive, deeper turquoise, green moss, and red-purple. Color can also say a lot about you.
If you’re attracted to red or black, you are probably ambitious and driven whereas blue and yellow are more passive colors which reflects a more laid back and easy going person. Be careful with color though as you don’t want to throw out the wrong signals at work or potential love interests.
Cut refers to how your clothing is tailored and is a crucial part of your personal style. As a rule, average sized men should wear trim fitted suits whereas larger or portly men should wear suits specifically tailored for them to ensure a proper fit.
There are generally, though not always, like-minded suits in big and tall as well as portly sizes. No baggy or tight-fitting clothing, period.
The patterns you choose will say loads about your personality. Pinstripes suggest confidence and prestige; plaids give off a casual vibe and patterns are associated with a whimsical artistic energy. I mix it up with plaids and patterns which is inline with my ISPF psychological type personality.
What are your goals is something you need to ask yourself. If your goal is to climb the corporate ladder, you need to dress for the job you want. Always be one step ahead of fashion and be a trend setter - not a follower.
Do you have a style icon or someone whose fashion sense you like and can identify with? I lean towards John Waters, Jon Batiste, and early John Lennon. Hence, I wear a lot of turtleneck sweaters, printed blazers and pattern suits. However, it can be anyone - even Michael from The Office, though he would not be my first recommendation.
Your budget is sadly or gladly going to play a part in how you dress. Though, if you follow the rules I set out in previous articles, you can find deals on your desired look.
Some websites offer free style advice such as Cladwell. I heard about Cladwell from Alpha.M - a YouTuber who focuses on all things male. Basically, Cladwell uses algorithms to identify your personal style.
When all options are exhausted, consider a fashion stylist. I hear Anthony Starr is pretty good.