Men’s fashion is a curious beast. Often focused on sharpness and subtlety, there can also be a sense of repetitiveness and dullness that comes from a limited pallet. After all, there’s only so many variations on a three piece suit. Streetwear allows more variation on fashion choices, but it still feels slightly stilted. Where can guys go for inspiration? How about trying on some of what the girls are wearing. There are plenty of clothing options and style options that fit all identities, and I’m not talking about androgyny here: these are styles you can pick up on without anyone mistaking you for who you are.
So versatile, so comfortable, and yet not embraced by enough people, jean jackets are proof that denim never goes out of fashion. Paired with flannel, leather, or classic white undershirts, these jackets are a great way to boost your casual streetwear look. And yet the best jean jackets are criminally under-worn by guys. It’s not to say that guys don’t wear a lot of jean jackets, just that they wear the wrong kind of jean jackets.
More often than not guys tend to wear jean jackets that are gigantic, bulgy, and roughly hewn. This is one of the instances where shopping in the women’s section will come up with some great finds. A slightly shorter bottom cutoff will help you look taller, and a tighter fit will accentuate all the right parts and hide the beer belly a little better. If you don’t mind the buttons being on the wrong side, it’s a great addition to any wardrobe.
There’s a maxim that musicians have lived by for half a century: if it was good enough for The Beatles, it is good enough for you. That can be applied to fashion as well (although if you’re going to try some of the psychedelic hippie outfits, that’s your prerogative), especially when it comes to footwear. A variation of the classic Chelsae Boot, John Lennon and Paul McCartney commissioned a couple pairs of sharp pointed cuban heeled boots to match their new suit wearing personas, and to this day those kinds of shoes are still universally known as Beatle Boots.
Cuban heels aren’t high heels. In fact, they more closely resemble wedges, even if they still fall into the heeled boot category. If that doesn’t make you feel any better about wearing them, then maybe the extra boost that the heels give you in the height department might. Almost all dress boots have some kind of heel, but sometimes bigger really is better, so next time you’re shoe shopping, why not give these a chance?
This will probably be the most difficult idea for guys to truly embrace. Call it toxic masculinity, call it ignorance, call it whatever you want, but for some reason guys have a strict aversion to makeup. Well, straight guys at least. There are the obvious factors: makeup is traditionally associated with women, and unless you are frequently working in theatre or in front of a camera, there aren’t many situations where things like concealer and foundation are either necessary or expected.
But here’s the thing: if you do it right, no one will ever notice. If you’re thinking that a little bit of foundation will suddenly turn you into a Jeffree Star, you most likely have never actually had anything to do with cosmetics in your life. And that’s fine! For most men the issue will be lack of familiarity and inaccurate preconceived notions that will drive them away from trying to cover up some of the less flattering parts of the face. I’m not suggesting that all men should find the best shade of red lipstick, but for all the dark circles under the eyes, acne, red marks, and other unsightly facial features, there’s no shame in asking your girlfriend or a female friend or a guy whose done it before to show you how to subtly improve your appearance.
Picture this: it’s cold, it’s windy, you’re wearing your sweet jean jacket and a nice wool knit beanie. Life is good, but there’s something missing from this outfit. You take a look around, but all the other guys are still dressed like it’s the middle of summer (shorts should be outlawed when the temperature dips below 55 degrees). But the girls know where it’s at. They’re looking both stylish and warm. Why? Probably because they’ve got a scarf on.
This might be the peak of guys being afraid to accessorize. Anything extra added to an outfit runs the mental gamut from unnecessary to completely unowned in any fashion. And make no mistake: every guy should have a scarf, maybe even two. One for practical use, one that works in the context of an outfit. Scarves are great subtle touches that make an autumn outfit appear more complete. They can be dressy, sophisticated, goofy, flowing, elegant, and most importantly, really interesting. Steal one from your girlfriend if you like. She’s stealing your hoodies anyway, so make it a one for one transaction.
Go ahead and get it out of your system now. Murse. Yes, for what can only be estimated as the past millennium, one word has cut down any attempt for a man to carry a satchel, a bag, or a haversack without being derided and taunted by his fellow man. How unfair is that? We can carry briefcases and backpacks, but a slight variation on those somehow turns into an open opportunity for ridicule?
Just like any other aspect of fashion, finding the right bag is all about finding the kind that fits with your outfit and your aesthetic. And you know what? Maybe you’ll just have to brave those shouts of “Man purse!” No one ever said bold fashion choices were easy. Just like with every style choice on this list, the most important aspect is having enough confidence to pull it off. If you’re self-conscious about what you’re wearing, then you’re in a prime position to be made fun. But if you carry yourself with a sense of conviction, you’re going to look good. Even if you’re faking it, no one is going to be able to tell, because fake confidence looks exactly like real confidence.