Get up get dressed; personal style tips for men

Personal style on a budget

If your day starts with slugging around the house, then it’s likely you’ll continue to look, and feel, that way all day. Sharpen up and everyone, particularly you, will benefit. Your personal style is important, it shows who you are.

In earlier years I worked from home for a US-based IT company, as an Account Manager. I worked in 7 different time zones including the US. My day would typically start in NZ and end in WA, that normally meant 7am to 7pm for me, often earlier starts, often later finishes.

On too many days, I would rise, go make a cup of tea and tell Jan “I’m just going to turn on my computer”. I lost count of the days that wound up with Jan making and bringing breakfast into my office for me after repeated attempts to get me to the breakfast table. Yes, if you must know, I WAS still in my PJ’s at lunchtime far too often.

I was always highly appreciative (not) of the little joke from my head office colleagues who would ask if I was out of my PJ’s yet at 11am… actually, no I wasn’t. Perhaps their jibes were early aversion therapy to looking sloppy.

Now I do understand that sometimes you gotta do messy things; gardening, lawn mowing etc. and I don’t dress up for those activities. I like to put on my messy work clothes first thing in the morning and get into it! By the way, if you are wearing something respectable, don’t go do something dirty!

For the other days, its tea, into the shower, shave, and dress for the day, looking neat and tidy; who knows who may turn up at the door!

Personal style tells the world who you are

So the point is, have a care about how you look and what you wear. Does that mean having expensive clothes and always looking spiffy. No, not really. If you can then that’s great, but some of my favourite shirts have come from op shops.

personal style with a bow tie
A bow tie can express your personality

Two things we look at if we stop somewhere in our travels are real estate offices, looking at stuff we can’t afford and in op shops finding stuff we can. You don’t need a King’s ransom for a decent wardrobe; the shirt I am wearing in the image at the top of this page is second hand.

Damaged clothing is never a good look, but hey, if the item’s a favourite, find someone adept at very inconspicuous repairs.

Billy Connelly once described the past – oops I nearly said “old” when I meant “younger” – me. Believe me it can be very disturbing to find yourself described in a Billy Connelly sketch. But there I was …

… Mr Beige! That was my personal style (or lack of it)

Shock horror, I had creams, light browns, olive greens, in shirts, trousers and coats. I was almost camouflaged and certainly did not stand out in a crowd, to the point where I blended well into the background. You know when you see a spy movie, the people undercover “on a tail” are not wearing a bright scarlet scarf and a tangerine fedora. Okay, so if the more moderate, blend-in tones, are your choice, people may think you’re a spy! I must admit that I can’t say if I was ever mistaken as one, but you definitely don’t draw attention to yourself and so I’m asking, “Might people think you’re a spy?”.

Add a little colour to your personal style

So then, think about how to mix and match what is in your wardrobe. Now I’m not going to suggest colour guides, if that’s what you were hoping for, but I would suggest wearing some bright colours or patterns. Shine a little, stand out. Ask someone you trust what they think of what you are buying and wearing. If you are uncertain take a trusted female companion, maybe your partner or sister, with you; they know about these things and they like you to look your best.

Colour adds energy to personal style
Wearing a little colour can brighten up your day

I don’t have overly bright gear, but a bit of thought on colour matching and something with some style about it – no, sorry, a safari suit is not making the grade – appropriate to the occasion, will make you feel better about yourself and perhaps elicit some ego boosting comments. I don’t always need to be stroked, but it is nice if someone acknowledges you’ve made an effort.

Looking good is not effeminate or ego driven, it merely says I care about myself, and so should you. In this way “clothes maketh the man” makes sense, and the attention it draws may simply be subtle appreciation which you won’t hear, but you may just feel it in people’s reaction to you. Clothes also “maketh the woman” Jan talks about that too.

Guys, do you have recollections of “stepping out” as a younger man and feeling good about yourself for that Saturday night dance? Do your think about what you are going to wear for the day ahead? Are you trying to escape Mr Beige?

Older and Wiser