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Finding your style

Date

Stitched Up

Benjamen Judd looks at how clothes can make or break the modern day man.

View more entries from Stitched Up

Russell Brand: has a killer sense of style. Click for more photos

Style icons

Male icons with a strong sense of style can teach us a thing or two about dapper dressing. 

When it comes to developing your own sense of style, inspiration can be found in the most unusual places: your grandfather reading the Sunday paper in his undershirt and suspenders, or the epaulettes sewn onto the jacket you wore on Halloween that one time.

In fact, this is where you can get your best ideas. While runways, men’s mags and blogs – such as this one – are great for general guidance, your gut instinct can also go a long way.

Conversely, you’ll occasionally see a guy dressed in such an initially unappealing way that he becomes something of a cautionary tale. But, don’t just smirk and look away – sometimes these men could teach you a thing or two about dapper dressing.

Let’s take a look at some of the most unlikely style guides for men's fashion and their inadvertent lessons.

Get the basics right
When Steve Jobs took to the stage to discuss how the latest Apple product was going to revolutionise the way we communicate, we’d marvel at the latest innovation assembled by longsuffering Chinese factory workers. Then one might wonder, gee, doesn’t Jobs own anything other than black turtlenecks? Certainly not for everybody, it suited the man. Also, the simplicity of his public look made sure the focus was on the product and not his sartorial selections.

Real guy rule: Our bodies are all different, figure out what silhouettes and fabrics you look good in and build your wardrobe around that.

Confidence is 95 per cent
Anyone else wearing a mohawk and copious amounts of gold chains would be mocked into an early grave, but not Mr T. Not only did he demand satisfaction and command respect, he was completely awesome and remains so to this day. The man could wear a sparkling tiara and tutu if he so desired and no one would dare question it. It goes to show that with the right attitude you can pull off any look.

Real guy rule: From coloured shoes, a chunky watch to a loud tie, as long as you have the confidence to pull it off the rest will take care of itself.

Play to your audience
I don’t care what anyone says, Russell Brand has a killer sense of style. Though if tighter-by-the-day black jeans, singlets and flowing scarfs are not to your taste I can see how he might raise eyebrows. But, much like our friend Mr. T, the distinct look is 100 per cent him. He wouldn’t be the same without it nor would he have carved out the profitable career niche he has if he were getting around in a three-piece suit.

Real guy rule: Dress to your audience. If you want to come off as suave and sophisticated, lead with your wardrobe. Ditto if you want to look like a rock star.

Evolution is important
While Justin Timberlake has been referred to as a style icon in the traditional sense, he wasn't always considered so fashion forward. We only need to cast our minds back to the eye-catching double denim suit he wore to the 2001 American Music Awards – complete with matching denim cowboy hat. He shows us that while taking a chance is great, it's equally important to let your style evolve.

Real guy rule: if your wardrobe consists entirely of jeans, T-shirt and jackets from 10 years ago you might want to rethink your approach.

What unlikely guys do you look up to for inspiration?

6 comments so far

  • A fashion article still finds an angle to talk about Apple. Well done. Really well played. Next challenge, squeeze it into a discussion on, let's say child minding services.

    Commenter
    davedrastic
    Date and time
    May 24, 2012, 5:01PM
    • throwaway style thought - comparing what works well for women, e.g. Japanese multi-layered/textured look with multiple accessories and scarves - I have a feeling that what tends to work for men is smooth simplicity with fewer bits, e.g. the straight blue jeans/white t-shirt, the simple jacket, in which case the tailored cut and quality of the fabric is more important than distracting accessories.

      Commenter
      Frank
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      May 25, 2012, 9:59AM
      • Russell Brandt as style icon? Puhlease. Hasn't anyone seen those photos of him wearing pooh-catcher yoga pants in the streets of NY. Blech. I think most women believe he needs a good scrub and a trim, and clothes dating beyond 1972.

        Commenter
        JayneK
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        May 25, 2012, 2:42PM
        • It's Brand not Brandt.

          Commenter
          Kaytee
          Location
          Sydney
          Date and time
          May 28, 2012, 1:12PM
        • Sorry mate, but you are not right. He is a style icon if only because he is nothing BUT style. He isn't particularly talented, everything that has made him what he is is based off his style. That is what very good, individual style can do for you. And, yeah, I hate his style as well. But it is a style.

          This equally applies to Lady Gaga; mediocre talent, all style.

          Commenter
          Bill
          Location
          Sydney
          Date and time
          May 28, 2012, 3:23PM
      • I think someone who had a great personal style was Keith Richards in the 1970's. A combination of Rock, Glam and still kept his masculinity. A great style even when he was wearing scarves and his girlfriends blouses.

        Commenter
        The fountain
        Location
        Hornsby
        Date and time
        May 26, 2012, 2:29AM

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