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Improve Your Style WITHOUT Buying Any New Clothes

Maybe it was your thousandth day in a row wearing your trusty dad-chinos-and-polo combo to work.

Maybe it was when you were invited to a classy networking event – and realized you had eight hoodies hanging in front of one sport coat you bought ten years ago.

Whatever the moment is for you, sometimes realization dawns: You need to overhaul the way you dress.

Unfortunately, time and financial limitations can really put a damper on your dream wardrobe makeover. But don't give up – it's easy to transform what you've already got into a sharper, sleeker version of itself.

This article is brought to you by KK & Jay's shirt stays – a favorite company of mine. Want to know how they make you look sharper and sleeker? They keep your shirt perfectly tucked. All. Day. Like it was made for you by a bespoke tailor.

No matter how much you're moving around, billowy muffin-tops and shoving your hand down your pants in public will be a thing of the past. Click here to check out KK & Jay and use code RMRS for a great discount.

Click Here To Watch The Video – Improve Your Style WITHOUT Buying Any New Clothes

Ready to upgrade? Follow these steps:

1. Purge Your Closet

Getting rid of what doesn't work isn't just about stopping yourself from wearing old, ill-fitting, or outdated clothes. Once you've whittled down the pile, you also have a chance to find great pieces you'd forgotten all about.

Decide what kind of style you want and what image you want to present.

If there's no way in hell that an item could fit into that image – ditch it. Basic pieces that could integrate into a lot of outfits are a different story. Interchangeable shirts, trousers and jackets are important if you want to create a lot of outfits from a small, streamlined wardrobe.

striped dress shirts

Your essential criteria should be:

Do I LOVE this? Does it look GREAT on me? Will I wear it often? (Doesn't apply to clothes that are clearly occasion-specific, like black-tie formal wear or ski clothes.) If I didn't already own it, would I pay for it again? 2. Get Clothes Tailored

Getting your current clothes tailored to fit you will drastically improve your style. Check our infographics to learn how suits and shirts should fit. You should also find out what your tailor will and won't do (hem and sleeve lengths can usually be adjusted; jacket shoulders and shirt collar sizes can't).

tailors

Choose your tailor carefully. Have a particularly well-dressed friend or relative? Try asking him for a recommendation. Don't skimp on the price, make sure there’s a money-back guarantee, and remember…

The tailor who offers the fastest turnaround probably has the fewest customers.

On your first visit, just take one garment and get a simple alteration to try the process out. Get in writing what the tailor is planning to do and make sure it matches up with what he expects you to pay for.

Once you've found a tailor you trust, set a monthly budget and plan to gradually bring him your entire core wardrobe. Even casual button-downs. Even jeans. You'll improve your style more than if you'd dropped hundreds on a closet full of new clothes.

3. Develop A Clothing Care Routine

Get committed to washing your good clothes whenever they clearly need it, and at least every 2-3 wears – not so often it wears them out, but often enough that they always look clean. You should also be air drying clothes as much as possible. Tumble drying causes shrinkage and faster wear – air-dried clothing tends to look much more crisp.

air dry clothes

Learn how to iron, and work it into your weekly laundry routine. Store your clothes correctly (if you don't have wood hangers, get some!)

And don't forget your shoes. Storing them using shoe trees, polishing them regularly, and putting them on with a shoehorn rather than letting your heels crunch the backs down will all make them look better and last longer.

4. Experiment With New Combinations

Study the color wheel to find out what goes with what and what will look best on you. It also helps to learn about your contrast level – the degree to which your skin and hair colors differ.

If you're low contrast, that ‘too similar’ navy jacket and jeans could be your best outfit. Fresh color combo ideas can make clothes you've had for ages feel exciting again.

color wheel

Already know what colors complement each other? Real Men Real Style shows you how to combine colors in your wardrobe using the color wheel.

You can also try mixing formal with casual. If you have well-made t-shirts in classic styles (NO graphics), dark colored jeans with no rips or decoration, and classic sneakers in a good-quality material, congratulations – you have all the makings of a dress-uppable wardrobe. Any of the pieces just named can pair with a blazer, button-down, or other sharp-but-casual item.

Another possibility for changing things up: turn out-of-season clothes into layers. Have a cotton jacket that's not obviously a “spring” thing? Try wearing it over a warm sweater in late autumn.

5. Improve Your Grooming

The simplest upgrades to your routine can really improve your style. For instance, studies show that badly stained teeth make you look 10 years older, 20% less attractive, and EARN 10% less. Try home teeth whitening or an electric toothbrush – or cut back on the coffee. The positive effects could go way beyond the dentist's office.

Manicure Men's Set

Get a manicure kit and learn how to cut and file your nails properly. And how are the palms of your hands looking? If they're covered in hard calluses, you'll want to soak those in hot water till they go white and puffy, then you can painlessly file or shave them off. (Just be careful not to go beyond the white puffy parts.)

I can hear some of you saying, ‘But Antonio, having calluses makes me feel masculine!'

Want to feel masculine? Wet shave like your grandpa with a safety razor or straight razor.

It'll give you a closer shave and less razor burn too.

While we're looking at your face – is it shiny or matte? Matte skin means it's dry, so you need to use a thick creamy moisturizer and slather it on. Shiny skin means it's a little greasy. You should still use moisturizer, but make sure it's light and oil-free, or you'll get acne.

More than 40% of men in their 20s suffer from acne, according to a University of Alabama study – but most can be 100% cured. All you need to do is use face wash morning and night with 2-3% salicylic acid, or glycolic acid for sensitive skin.

6. Try A New Hairstyle

Check out our infographic on the 10 most attractive men's haircuts – a good haircut will dramatically improve your style.  Once you’ve hit 40, upgrade to a hairstyle with more gravitas – it should be interview ready with a quick comb through, not hours and gallons of product.

new haircut

Click here to read my full article on the most attractive men's haircuts.

Choosing a good barber instead of a cheap one is a great way to improve your style for just a few dollars. Bring your barber a photo (ONE photo) of what you want, watch what he’s doing, and COMMUNICATE throughout – if you don't like something, speak up as soon as possible.

7. Try A New Facial Hair Style

What you do with your facial hair TRANSFORMS your appearance – s0 make sure it expresses the message you want to send to the world.

According to a 2013 study by the American Mustache Institute (!) a mustache suggests you’re well-groomed, work hard, and play hard. Beards project masculinity, maturity, aggressiveness, status, and dominance. Clean-shaven faces look friendly, approachable, and good at teamwork.

Men with stubble rate as both ‘dirty' and ‘sexy'.

Facial hair may affect employability in conservative professions like law and banking, but give you a boost in creative professions or if you have a baby face. As a bonus, it helps you FEEL more masculine and hence act more assertive.

beard and leather jacket

Make sure you choose the right facial hair for your face shape. Go for short sides and a longer chin for round faces, stubble or a partial beard to show off your jaw for square faces, and a wider chin and less length for triangular faces.

8. Find Your Best Cologne

63% of men aged 18-64 wear cologne at least occasionally, 23% all the time (according to research by the NPD Group in 2013). So that’s 40% who are OKAY with cologne… but are MISSING OUT on most of the benefits.

A pleasant smell makes people rate your personality traits more favorably (Social Behavior & Personality, 2013) and can get you nearly twice as many phone numbers (University of South Brittany, France, 2012.)

Don’t wear cologne? Look for a versatile signature scent like Acqua di Gio Profumo.

If you wear cologne but only have one, try two – summer and winter, or smart and casual. If you have two try more. Share with buddies by decanting and start a collection for less money.

Don’t blind buy (that means buying a cologne before you try). And always test fragrances on yourself – everyone’s skin smells different.

9. Use Invisible Tricks To Improve Your Style

There are several small items the truly sharp dressed man uses that cost only a few dollars but invisibly set him apart from the herd.

Shirt stays or shirt garters are a genius hack I discovered in the Marines. They're basically two pieces of elastic that attach to the bottom of your shirt and the tops of your socks – so your shirt stays perfectly tucked all day with no ‘muffin top' and as a bonus your socks stay up.

shirt stays kk and jay

Click here to see how it's done at KK & Jay.

Collar stays fit inside your shirt collar to keep it looking crisp, and placket stays go inside the placket (the part with the buttons and buttonholes) just below your collar to avoid that weird shirt flop when you go tieless.

Undershirts prevent you from sweating through your clothes in hot weather (and also keep your chest hair and nipples from showing). This not only saves you embarrassment but also makes your shirts last longer.

Suspenders instead of a belt make you look slimmer (a belt is a bulky horizontal thing at your waist, after all) and make your pants hang better – especially on bigger guys.

10. Use Accessories To Make Your Outfit Look Intentional

Glasses are your most important accessory – people look at your eyes 30% of the time in conversation. Investing in new glasses will do more to improve your style than new clothes. Choose the best glasses for your face shape – aviators and wayfarers suit almost every man.

Buy some pocket squares – or just a single basic white one to start with. Learn a few different folds. Learn different tie knots. Wear a tie occasionally when you don't have to.

Add a tie bar – they improve your style and also stop your tie hanging in your food.

Get a watch that’s inexpensive but looks luxury (NOT a fake Rolex or Patek Philippe – people will know, and more importantly, YOU'LL know). This makes everything you wear look better quality.

Try out some bracelets. The rule is metal for smart outfits, rope, leather, or beads for casual outfits. One wrist bare looks better than both occupied, so you might want to put your bracelet on the same wrist as your watch.

So to recap – here are the ten things you can easily do to improve your style without buying ANY more clothes. In my opinion – doing all of these will create a better impression than buying a new wardrobe.

Purge Your Closet Get Clothes Tailored Develop A Clothing Care Routine Experiment With New Combinations Improve Your Grooming Try A New Hairstyle Try A New Facial Hair Style Find Your Best Cologne Use Invisible Tricks To Improve Your Style Use Accessories To Make Your Outfit Look Intentional

Speaking of invisible tricks – don't forget to check out KK and Jay for the BEST shirt stays in the business. I wish I'd had these in the Marines! The ones we had were always getting twisted – but my KK and Jay's never do.

Click here to check out KK and Jay shirt garters so YOU can stay tucked. Use promo code RMRS at checkout to claim your exclusive discount.

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