I want you to begin our style adventure today by quickly taking stock of what you’re wearing right this second now.

Personally, I’m in a white t-shirt and deep indigo jeans with black cotton socks and blue underwear.

I want you to take a good look at your outfit, and ask yourself a really important rhetorical question:

“Is this honestly the best thing for me to be wearing?”

Maybe you are wearing what you are for a very good reason. Perhaps you’re wearing a work uniform, or attempting to pull off a particular look. But ask yourself what you’re doing wrong

In my case, you’d probably think that I’m safe with such a simple look. However, due to my size and shape, a regular white t-shirt is just about the worst thing I can do. It’s drawing attention my chunky upper body, and looks shapeless and ill-defined. Now ask yourself another question:

“What ONE thing can I do today to solve my clothing dilemma?”

Don’t just guess your answer. Consider it carefully for several minutes. If I were to blurt out ‘slim black tee’ I’d be reacting in a mechanical knee-jerk way – that has just as much potential to make me appear badly. Instead, I think about what it is I’m looking for; something light, summery and figure defining.

I could try light grey, or perhaps beige, to give me some brightness in my palette, but I fear these would also have a negative impact against my skin tone. I think a medium/light taupe could help immeasurably, but it hardly feels very summery.

So what’s my solution? Well, a correctly-sized fitted tee would definitely help matters, and I think a very mild blue would work given the requirements I set down. Finally, I ask myself:

“Is this something I can change today? If not, why not!”

I can walk towards my closet right now and find a light blue shirt, but this isn’t always a plausible solution. If you’re a stuck in a uniform, for example, flexibility is difficult. If this is the case, focus your attention on fit and fabric; hopefully by now you’ll be all too aware that both can have a radical impact on your look.

If you need to wear black trousers/pants, then consider whether pleats would be more flattering, what about a slimmer fit or a shorter rise, how about thick cotton instead of lighter wool, would buying a pair without rear pockets make your behind look smaller.

Consider everything about your look, and don’t be afraid to change those elements that you do have control over.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

5 Responses

  1. Blank Blog

    well currently I am in my underwear (brown and navy). but today i was wearing maroon jeans, a baby blue t-shirt, and flip flops. i feel pretty content with my outfit. although I definitely should have opted for real footwear and not Reef flip flops.
    interesting article. thanks for the post!

  2. Johnathan

    Thanks for your comment:

    It’s good to hear that you thought about what you were wearing, even if the ultimate conclusion was complete contentment!

    The purpose of the article wasn’t to make people strip down and change their outfit – it was to get everyone thinking about what they were wearing. Too often we don’t stop to consider the everyday – including fashion and style! It’s more a matter of “taking stock” and thinking how tommorrow you can improve for the better…

  3. ripvanwinkle

    well, i’m at work, wearing a a blue piqué polo, sort of grey washed jeans and blue flip flops with a crazy design on the top. To top it all off, because my office is freezing, I have a zip-up hoodie that has black and white horizontal lines (think prison uniform).

    The polo, which i love, has definitely seen better days (2 years old, as are almost all my piqué polos) and the washing has left it a little shapeless- i guess a trip to get a new set would probably be a good idea. The flip flops were insanely dumb as they have a really ugly design and I’m cold. Should’ve gone for some tennis shoes- my grey Converse probably. The hooddie I’m happy with as it adds a much needed funk to my otherwise boring work day.

    Great article, I like the ease of your suggestions to looking good! (or at least, thinking you do and that’s the important part, right?)

    • Johnathan

      I like the ease of your suggestions to looking good! (or at least, thinking you do and that’s the important part, right?)


      Glad to hear you got something out of the post. I think you might also enjoy my upcoming article that basically flips this one on its head (“Why Fashion Mistakes Can Be Good For You”). It essentially says we should enjoy and embrace our mistakes, rather than letting them rule what we should or shouldn’t wear; style rules were made to be broken 😉

      Thanks for your comments rip – hope you continue to enjoy the articles!