Men’s Style: Plus Size Men’s Style Tips

A reader recently reached out to me and wanted advice for plus size guys. Our conversation was mostly about fit and it inspired me to write this post. I work with all types of men including those who wear XXS to those who wear 3XL and I understand the struggle in finding the right clothes. Fit matters no matter what size you are.

Before I begin, I just want to say: no matter what shape or size you are, you are amazing the way you are. Gone are the days where women need to feel like they need to be a size 0 or men need to look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club. Instead, it’s all about individuality, personal style, how your clothes fit and your character that gets compliments and positive attention.

I also want to acknowledge brands that have been introducing inclusive sizing in their clothing and ad campaigns. In fact, I’ve been seeing some plus size style bloggers I follow pop up more and more in ads for brands like Bonobos, Target, Express, DXL, ASOS etc.

I want to dedicate this post to all my plus size fellas out there. I appreciate each one of you and would love to make shopping fun and easy for you.

In order to achieve a modern style, clothing should fit well, which often gets confused with “my clothes should fit tight”. Instead, when you are plus size, there’s a sweet spot between too loose and too tight you want to nail. In this post we’ll talk about how to achieve a fitted look by honoring body proportions and tips and tricks for appearing more stylish.

Lesson 1: Balance is Key

Use your clothing to balance your upper and lower body. What does this mean? If you carry more weight on the top part of your body, don’t go for tight skinny jeans. Why? This creates the “popsicle” effect – two small sticks at the bottom (legs) and way more volume at the top (upper body). Instead, ditch the extra tight jeans and go for a tapered leg or slim fit. “Tapered” means the pants slowly slim down from knee to ankle, giving you the slim/skinny look, without being too snug in the seat and thigh. You can get a tailor to taper any of your current jeans that you feel have too wide of a leg.

Below is an example of a balanced look. The top body and bottom work well together because neither is too tight or too loose compared to the other.

Photo Credit: @chubstr

Below is an example of what you should avoid. The pants are too slim at the bottom and don’t balance with the top half of the body. Instead, if the leg opened up a bit, there would be more balance.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Lesson 2: Clothes Should Follow Your Body, Not Hug It

Wearing clothes too tight isn’t going to achieve the modern look you think it might. Instead, tight clothes hug and define each curve, which can sometimes be unflattering. Instead, get clothing that follows along your body. You want your clothing to slightly shape you, but still leave things to the imagination. For example, a t-shirt should shape your shoulders and arms, but when it comes to your stomach, it should falls straight, not define each curve.

Tip: You might need a tailor to take in your shirt to give you more shape – whether it’s in the waist or length. This is a better option than buying a shirt slightly too tight.

The example below shows how a t-shirt can shape you, but keep things smooth and straight.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

This is an example of what happens when a shirt is too tight. It starts to define each curve.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Below is an example of jeans being slightly too tight. Instead, like the examples above with slim or tapered jean, you want a little more room and your clothing to follow your leg, not hug it.

Photo Credit: ASOS

Lesson 3: How to Tuck Your Shirt

You can totally tuck in your shirts. However, make sure you wear your pants below your stomach for a more flattering look when tucking. Otherwise, your pants will cut you right in the middle of your stomach creating extra dents and folds in your stomach.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Tip: Cuffing your tapered pants, like in the photo on the right, is a stylish touch you can add to your look.

Lesson 4: Untucked Length

You can also untuck your shirt, but be careful with length. You don’t want the shirt too long or it will make you look like you have shorter legs. You may have to get your shirt hemmed to the right length to achieve this modern look. The length int he photo below is perfect (middle of your zipper)

Photo Credit: Extra Inches

As you go up in size, manufacturers sometimes make shirts longer. This doesn’t mean you have to wear your shirt that long. When considering the length of your shirt, think about two things: your height and what looks flattering.

If your shirt is going past your zipper and into thigh territory, there’s a chance it’s too long. You don’t want your upper body to appear way longer than your legs. In the example below, the shirt is too long. I want to see it about 4 inches shorter.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

When deciding the length of your shirt, you should also consider what is going to look flattering. If you carry more weight in your upper body and your jeans hold the bottom of your stomach, consider having your shirt cover that area for a more flattering look. It could be your pants are a bit tight in the seat and thighs if your lower stomach is well defined in your pants.

The example below explains what I am referring to when I say your pants hold the bottom of your stomach. This example is with joggers and it looks okay because the joggers aren’t super tight at the top. However, once you get into jeans, especially skinny jeans with stretch, it will start to define each curve in the bottom of your stomach. That is the part I recommend covering with your shirt. Again, you can avoid the unflattering definition by going for pants that have more room in the seat and thigh.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Lesson 5: Create Vertical Panels 

Not only are vertical panels elongating, but they look stylish too! What I mean by vertical panels is wearing an open shirt or a cool jacket to break up the top half of your body into vertical lines.

Photo Credit: Extra Inches 

Lesson 6: Layers are Awesome

Not only is layering fashionable, but its great for plus size men. Jackets pull everything together and create vertical panels for a more streamlined look. Jackets make a person look more stylish anyway, so as soon as fall rolls around, layer away.

Photo Credit: Pinterest, @adydelvalle

Lesson 7: Yes, You Can Wear Patterns

Don’t be afraid of wearing patterns. Patterns add style and individuality. However, it is good to note that bigger, bolder and high contrast patterns will make you appear bigger. If you don’t want to appear bigger, go for low contrast patterns (I.e. small spaced out prints, dark on dark patterns etc.) If you love bold shirts, you can create balance by not going too tight in your jeans and/or adding a layer on top to create vertical panels. You can also consider leaving your shirt open and wearing a t-shirt underneath with bold patterns like the photo in the vertical panels example.

Photo Credit: @StayHomme

Lesson 8: Add Flair Through Accessories

Have fun with things like patterned socks, bracelets, hats, belts, suspenders, cool backpacks, shoes and scarves. These little details are what makes someone appear stylish. Even if you want to wear dark colors, adding in accessories makes you look more modern and fun.

Photo Credit: The Big Fashion Guy


Lesson 9: Customize Your Clothing

There are more and more brands creating inclusive sizing, which is great. However, if nothing is floating your boat, check out custom options. Brands like Pacific Issue offer nice custom button down shirts for under $150. You will be wearing these clothes for a while, so consider your cost per wear.

If you don’t want to go custom, not a problem. Find clothing off the rack and then get it tailored to fit YOU. Alterations are not expensive and will make you look so much more put together and polished. It’s worth the extra $10-$20 you’re putting into your clothing. You can easily make pants and shirts shorter and take in shirts and leg openings. It’s hard to adjust shoulders on a shirt, so keep that in mind.


Lesson 10: Follow Stylish Guys on Social Media

Get a dose of inspiration from plus size guys making moves on instagram. This is great way to see how people are wearing different pieces and how they look on them. The point is get inspired and ideas on what you can add to your style.

Here are a couple of my favorites…


Kelvin Davis on Body Image and the Power of Fashion

LOVE this guy! I love his body positivity, style, smile and energy. Every time I look at his photos, I get inspired.


346 mentions J'aime, 19 commentaires - EXTRA-INCHES | Claus Fleissner (@ extra_inches_plussizeblog) sur Instagram : "A big … | Moda masculina, Homens gordinhos, Moda

Claus dresses so well! His modern and casual style is one to take note of. I love using his examples in my blog posts.


TheCurvyFashionista on Twitter: "Check out @The Big Fashion Guy rocking his @JCPenney! These Big & Tall Influencers Show You How to Rock JCPenney!…"

Michael-Anthony has a classic style with hints of boldness. I love how we incorporates accessories in his look to add flair.

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

Men’s Style: The Modern Style Statement

Do you love fun prints that stand out of the crowd? Are you not afraid to mix two opposite colors to create a noticeable look? If so, your style statement is “modern”. Modern menswear takes classic pieces and adds interesting details, prints and colors to make them stylish. For example, your classic button downs are worn half sleeve, your polo shirts have accents and your chinos are colorful and cut slim.

Modern Look Examples

Photo Credit: @rules_of_thumb, @iamcharisteas

Photo Credit: Pinterest, What My Boyfriend Wore

Ironically, modern style has elements of the 1950s, when menswear consisted of fitted clothing and clean lines. Remember Back to the Future? That was set in the 50s! Modern menswear takes the 50s look and makes them current by adding a little flair to the pieces. The modern man’s image says he’s creative and doesn’t want to blend in with the crowd.

Key Pieces

The modern guy’s wardrobe consists of classic pieces like button downs, chinos, jeans, and polos, but they all have a twist. Your prints are fun and bold, your jeans are colored and slim, and if your socks are exposed, they usually have an eye-catching pattern showcasing your personality.

Button Down Shirts

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Your button down shirts come in long sleeves, but more importantly short sleeves! You don’t care for classic prints like plaid or stripes, instead, you go for repeated geometric, floral, and novelty prints. Your shirts make you feel like life is a vacation!

Polo Shirts

Photo Credit: Ted Baker

You embrace the preppy look of polo shirts, but make them modern with stand out details. Whether it’s repeated patterns, interesting pockets, fun collars or details like stripes across the chest, modern style finds a way to bring a polo shirt back to life.


Photo Credit: Bonobos, Ted Baker

You could wear jeans like everyone else, but why do that? Instead, chinos are the go-to for the modern man. Your chinos should fit slim and can even be ankle cut from time to time to add a little flair. One of your favorite outfits is a colorful chino paired with a fun printed shirt.


Photo Credit: Rag and Bone, 7 for All Mankind

Alright, fine…you’ll wear jeans, but they can’t be boring! Going for non-blue jeans is the perfect way to make your look modern. Try colored jeans like white, burgundy, green, and khaki.


Photo Credit: Ted Baker, Michael Kors

When it comes to jackets, you like going for style forward options like bomber jackets, shirt jackets, and suede. Adding color through your jacket is totally an option! You want clean lines and minimal pockets for a sleek and modern look.


Photo Credit: @matthewzorpas, Paul Smith

The modern guy makes a classic suit look pretty cool! Whether it’s pairing it with sneakers, a fun printed shirt or going for a bold all over print, your look isn’t an ordinary black or grey suit.


Photo Credit: Paul Smith, Common Projects

Dressy sneakers help you dress down your otherwise polished look, but still keep it style forward. You go for interesting details and colors in your shoes too! If going for a busy shoe, it’s important to create the outfit around the shoe (i.e. don’t have too many competing prints and colors in your outfit).


Photo Credit: Taft, Johnstron and Murphy

You stick to classic silhouettes and even go for dressy options when it comes to boots. You want your boots to be slim cut and keep up with your polished look. A brogue boot with interesting materials or colors is a great choice!

Oxford and Derby Shoes

Photo Credit: Admirateur, Common Projects

If you need to dress up a bit, you’ll go for classic oxford or derby shoes. Going for details like a wooden outsole makes the look modern. To keep the look fashion forward, you’ll roll up your slim chinos and throw on some no show socks.


Photo Credit: Ted Baker

If your socks are exposed, they are bold, bright, and show your personality. Fun socks are a stylish detail more men need to rock! The modern guy isn’t afraid of being daring, especially with his socks.

…and that’s how you dress if your style statement is modern! Again, a big piece of the modern look is to have fun with prints, details and colors that are out of the ordinary. Your stand out style shows you’re an interesting person who has a lot to say through their clothes. This is one of my favorite looks that can be easy to achieve with the right pieces, and now you know what they are.

Men’s Style: Why You Should Have Dressy Sneakers

Nothing kills an outfit like the wrong shoes. I see it all the time, guys wearing running shoes with a giant athletic logo splashed across the side with their day to day outfits. Guys, please don’t do this. Save your running shoes for the gym, there’s a much better looking and equally comfortable solution that should have your attention instead: The Dressy Sneaker. You’ve probably seen me mention “dressy” sneakers as a wardrobe must and they are! In this post, I’m going to dive a little deeper to explain exactly what is a “dressy” sneaker and how and when you should wear them.

Don’t let the word “dressy” throw you off, it’s just a way to describe a sneaker not meant for the gym or other athletic activities. Instead, dressy sneakers are great for day to day wear like hanging around town, coffee shops, brunch, bars, casual dates, picnics, running errands, day parties, casual work environments, traveling etc. Alright, let’s dive in to the wonderful world of dressy sneakers!

What Are Dressy Sneakers?

When the word sneaker comes to mind, it’s easy to think of your classic Nike or Adidas brightly colored running shoes. There is nothing wrong with those shoes, but I don’t want those to be your go-to shoes for casual wear. Dressy sneakers are more sleek and subtle by usually being solid in color, made of leather or suede, and have a 1 inch flat rubber sole.

Compare the footwear in the image on the left and right…. Good Example


Photo Credit: Pinterest, I Am Galla

The right looks so much better and way more intentional and put together. The one on the left looks amateur.

How Do You Wear Them

Whenever you want to dress casually or dress down a dressy look, your sneakers can help you achieve this without sacrificing style. Whether it’s t-shirts, henleys, button downs or jeans, chinos or shorts, your sneakers will work with all your looks. To better explain how to put your outfits together, let me breakdown a couple of looks for you.


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Outfit Breakdown: Sweatshirt, joggers, white sneaker

Note: The white sneakers make this very casual look very well put together.

Photo Credit: Primer Magazine

Outfit Breakdown: Henley, cardigan, jeans and sneakers

Note: This is such an easy and comfortable look and the rolled up jeans and sneakers pull the look together perfectly.

Photo Credit: D’Marge

Outfit Breakdown: Bomber jacket, t-shirt, shorts and sneakers.

Note: The beauty of sneakers is they can go with shorts and make a very casual outfit look very stylish and sophisticated.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Outfit Breakdown: Casual denim shirt, white t-shirt, rolled up black jeans and white sneakers

Note: If you’re into the unbuttoned shirt look, your sneakers will work really well with it.

Smart Casual

Photo Credit: He Spoke Style

Outfit Breakdown: Leather jacket, tucked in button down, chinos and leather sneakers.

Note: If you like looking a little more dressed up, your sneakers can keep the look relaxed, but still sophisticated.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Outfit Breakdown: Crew neck sweater, casual slacks, brown leather slip on sneakers.

Note: If you want to make the most of your slacks, you can dress them down by wearing no show socks and sneakers. If you hate laces, this is a great example of slip on sneakers instead of lace ups.

Photo Credit: I Am Galla

Outfit Breakdown: Button down, chinos, brown leather sneakers

Note: If you love a classic button down and chinos look, your sneakers can help make this look weekend friendly.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Outfit Breakdown: Casual blazer, t-shirt, chinos and white sneakers

Note: This is the perfect example of how sneakers can make a casual blazer look very comfortable, stylish and weekend appropriate.

Photo Credit:

Outfit Breakdown: Half sleeve button down, rolled up chinos, no-show socks, and white leather sneakers

Note: I love this look for summer, it’s so stylish and easy to wear. You will be sure to stick out of the crowd in a very stylish way.


Outfit Breakdown: Casual suit, dress shirt, sneakers

Photo Credit: Lifestyle By PS

Note: If you’ve ever wanted to wear a suit casually, your dressy sneakers will help you achieve it.

Photo Credit: Lifestyle By PS

Outfit Breakdown: Casual suit, dress shirt, sneakers

Note: Curious to try a t-shirt and casual suit look? Throw on a pair of dressy sneakers and you’ll be good to go! Jay-Z (the rapper) wears this look a lot and I love it. The key is to wear a cotton or other casual fabric suit.

No Show Socks

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Wearing no show socks when you’re wearing joggers or rolling your pants with your sneakers is going to earn you 100x style points. This small detail shows you know how to rock a pair of dressy leather sneakers the right way. No-Show socks can be purchased from anywhere. The key is to have a rubber backing in your sock to prevent them from slipping. Trust me, the most annoying thing is when you need to constantly pull up your no show socks. Here’s what I found on Amazon!

How To Lace Them

Some laces end up being very long and you end up getting a giant bunny loop situation happening in your shoes, which throws off the clean and sleek look. It happened with a client of mine, he had these beautiful black dressy leather sneakers on and every time he’d try them on with an outfit, something was putting me off. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was that made them look very amateur and young. I took his shoes and hid the bunny loops behind the tongue of the shoe and he slipped them on. Boom! There it was, the amateur look was gone and a minimal sleek sneaker was shining in all its glory. He was even blown away of how big of a difference this small detail made.

Photo Credit: Pinterest,

The laces on the left look terrible, the laces on the right look so sleek!

To achieve this clean look, try the “Display” shoelace method.

Photo Credit:

“Display” refers to how stores set up their shoes to look nice and sleek. The key have the very top of the laces go into the lace hole rather than come out. You can tie the laces behind the tongue and make them slip on shoes. Additionally, you can get Shoelace Lock Clips, so you don’t have to constantly re-tie your shoes.

Slip-On Sneakers

If you hate the thought of laces all together, you can go for dressy slip on sneakers. You can wear them exactly the same as lace up sneakers.

Photo Credit: The Style City

Slip on sneakers look slightly more casual than sneakers with laces, however, they can achieve a very similar effect. Who doesn’t want shoes that are easy to slip in and out of?

Hybrid Sneakers

Hybrid sneakers are interesting mix of dress shoes and sneakers. They offer a stylish and unique look if you’re ready to step up from a simple sneaker. Hybrid shoes have the look of a dress shoe (i.e. oxford, derby, monk strap etc.) at the top, but the sole of a running shoe. My personal favorite is the hybrid monk strap sneaker.


Photo Credit: Cole Haan, Florsheim

The photo on the left is an Oxford Hybrid Sneaker. The photo on the right is a Monk Strap Hybrid Sneaker.


Photo Credit: DG Manila, Pinterest


The key is to wear no shoe socks and ankle pants to make this look modern and sleek. You can wear this style of sneaker with a blazer and chinos for a Smart Casual look as well.


My top recommendtions for dressy sneaker colors are: white, black, grey or brown. These neutral colors will go with almost all of your outfits. Let’s look at the colors in more detail!


Photo Credit: Common Projects

White is pretty classic when it comes to dressy sneakers. You will notice the majority of my photos had white sneakers because those are the ones that look the freshest. However, they do require a bit more maintence because you want to keep them white and clean. If you’re up for the challenge, I personally say white sneakers look the most stylish.


Photo Credit: Greats

If white makes you feel overwhelmed, go for black sneakers instead. They’ll go with everything and be easier to maintain.

Brown or Burgundy

Photo Credit: Magnanni


I personally love brown sneakers, especially when they have a “wood” finish like the example above. They are great for breaking up dark outfits and are more rare than black and white.

Photo Credit: To Boot New York

If you want something softer than black, but not as bright as white, try grey! Grey shoes are very neutral and will go with a lot of colors. Grey suede is a favorite of mine because it has a softer effect and looks very classy. However, you never want to wear suede out in the rain because it will get ruined. Alternately, grey leather is a great option if maintaining suede scares you.


Photo Credit: Amazon

Get a protect all spray (left) and an odor spray (right) .


The more you take care of your shoes, the longer they will last. Clean your shoes every couple of months (or when they start looking a bit worn) and spray them with a water-repellent protector. Protectors are great because if you spill anything like red wine on your white shoes, the drops will slip right off. I like the Jason Markk spray because it doesn’t yellow your shoes like some sprays can.

Dirty laces are a style killer, so make sure your laces look fresh. You can wash your laces if they start to look dirty. However, if they are really looking worn, replace them.

If you have a tendency to ruin your shoes because of odor, keep a odor fighting spray around and spray them after a couple of wears or more often if you need to. I personally like this Spray. It’s normal for shoes to smell eventually, especially if you are wearing thin socks. Don’t ever not wear socks for the no-show sock look, you will ruin your shoes much faster.

When Are Dressy Sneakers Appropriate?

Just because they are considered a “dressy” sneaker, doesn’t mean you should be wearing them at formal events or parties. Save your leather sneakers for your casual and smart-casual outfits. If your workplace is casual, you can wear them there.

The casual suit look with sneakers is best for weekend or vacation, when you want to look sleek and relaxed. Day time parties are great for this look as well!

When Are Actual Running Shoes Okay?

For the most part, save them for the gym or athletic activities. However, if your outfit is very casual like joggers or sweatshirts, you can wear your running shoes out and about. When you are wearing jeans or chinos, don’t wear your running shoes. I know sneakerheads won’t agree with me on this, but we’re aiming for smart and classic styles, not trends.

My Top Sneaker Picks

Dressy leather sneakers can range anywhere from $50 to $500, depending on what you are looking for and your budget. The most important thing to look for is comfort since you’ll be wearing these instead of your running shoes. Try a couple of different brands on to see what fits your foot the best. There are new brands popping up everyday specializing in dressy sneakers, so it’s best to order a couple of pairs and see what fits the best. Here are a couple of my top recommendations going from the lowest to highest pricetag:

Adidas Stan Smith or Neo ($45+)

Photo Credit: Adidas

Adidas is a classic brand that comes to mind when it comes to sneakers. They have their Neo white on white sneaker that is super clean and at a low price point. The Stan Smith is their more popular one, which will run you about $75.

Cole Haan Crosscourt ($70+)

Photo Credit: Cole Haan

Cole Haan makes really lightweight classic dressy sneakers at a good price point. You can typically find them for $70 to $100, depending on if you can get them on sale. Cole Haan also plays around with hybrid sneakers a lot.

Ecco Soft 8 ($150+)

Photo Credit: Ecco

Eccos are one of the most comfortable shoes you will probably try on. I especially like their Danish collaboration for very minimal and sleek sneakers. Eccos will run you about $150, but you can sometimes find them on sale.

Greats Royale ($180)

Photo Credit: Greats

Greats is a Brooklyn based brand that has been around for a couple of years and produce excellent quality Italian sneakers. They have a weatherproof version too! Greats will run you about $180 for the classic leather sneaker, but you will get free shipping, free returns and great customer service. If you sign up for their email list, you can get 10% off.

To Boot Knoxx ($325)

Photo Credit: To Boot

If you’re ready to invest in your sneakers and absolutely love quality and crafttmanship, To Boot makes an excellent dressy sneaker. If you love the suede look, they have a couple colors out every season. They will run you about $325. Keep a look out for them on sale.

Magnanni Elonso ($325)

Photo Credit: Magnanni

Common Projects ($400)

If you’re ready to splurge, Magnanni is an Italian brand that nails the dressy leather sneaker as well. I love their wood finish sneaker I showed in the brown category as well as the clean look they offer. You can sometimes find them on sale, so keep a look out. These will run you about $325.

Photo Credit: Common Project

If you’re looking for the trendiest brand and quality dressy sneakers, Common Projects could be for you. They are handmade Italian sneakers that became very popular in the last couple of years. Be prepared to spend a shiny penny, but they do look pretty sleek and have a cool logo. Common Projects will run you about $400.

There you have it, one of the easiest and most comfy swaps you can make in your wardrobe to look modern and stylish. Hope you enjoyed the post! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want me to tackle other burning questions you may have.

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Men’s Style: The Perfect Smart Casual Starter Wardrobe

Not knowing where to start is a huge pain point for anyone trying to get their wardrobe together. It can feel overwhelming and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! Whenever I have a client that is starting from scratch, meaning most of their wardrobe is outdated and they want to start anew, I have a formula I like to follow. The formula ensures their needs are met and they have numerous combinations to wear day in and day out. The formula is as follows:

Starter Wardrobe = Perfect Dozen Shirts + 3 Pairs of Jeans + 1 Chino + 1 Jacket + 2 Shoes

This formula allows for a minimum of 50 outfits to start off with and, moving forward, we can add a piece at a time to create more. That number can be doubled if we stick to a specific color palette, making it more of a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is when all the tops go with all the bottoms, but it limits you with what colors you can work with. With my system, I like for my clients to have a variety of colors, so I go as capsule as I can with a few easy exceptions.

If you are doing this on your own, you don’t have to buy everything at once. Instead, use this formula as a blueprint to make targeted purchases and not get distracted by sale or bargain items that don’t serve you. It’s really fun to plan and research your next purchase and get a couple of high quality items that will last you a long time versus a bunch of cheap things that only last a couple of wears before they start looking beat up.

Perfect Dozen Shirts

Nailing your perfect dozen shirts allows you to have a shirt for every occasion. Your perfect dozen can be a mix of button downs, henleys, polo shirts, and/or t-shirts.

Here’s an example of a perfect dozen I’ve created:

For the average guy, I like to break it up by: 4 button downs, 3 henleys, 2 polo shirts and 3 t-shirts. However, your lifestyle and personal taste dictates how you would distribute your dozen. For example, if you would never wear polo shirts, but love button downs and henleys, go for 5 button downs and 4 henleys.

Why these shirts?


Polo shirts are great for dressing up or down and go well with a range of bottoms from chinos to shorts. When picking out a polo shirt, go for something a little more modern and fun like the burgundy polo I picked with the subtle pocket detail in my example. If you like to keep it simple, go for a soft cotton or cotton-blend unstructured polo (unstructured = loose collar) and avoid the textured sports polos you see everywhere (remember, you’re not playing tennis in this). I went for burgundy and army green because these colors look great both at night and during the day.


Once you do find the perfect t-shirt, grab a couple of colors. You can never go wrong with having a classic black and grey t-shirt. For your third t-shirt, go for a bit of color, in this case I picked deep green. The color you pick can vary on the season you are in. Remember, you can always make a t-shirt look fashionable by wearing it with a pair of boots and fitted jeans, so don’t underestimate the power of a good t-shirt! Make sure you focus on fit and quality.


I love henleys! In case you don’t know what a henley is, it’s a long sleeve t-shirt with a couple of buttons at the top. Think of it as a step up from a t-shirt and a nice change of pace from a button down. They come in a variety of fabrics and styles, letting you dress them up (i.e. cotton-blend fabric with subtle stitching) or keep it casual (i.e. 100% cotton with more obvious stitching). In my example, I went for grey, cream and medium blue. Cream and blue can be dressed up by wearing them with black jeans and brown boots, while the grey would still look casual with the same combo.

Button Downs

It’s always good to have a couple of button downs in your arsenal. When picking out your shirts, go for a range of prints and colors. In this example, I went for plaid, micro-print (blue), a pop of color (red with a white pattern), and a solid one (light grey). Whatever your mood or occasion, you’ll have a button down for it. You can wear these untucked and tucked.

Look at that… your perfect dozen shirts, smart-casual style! Again, you can distribute yours based on what you personally like and where you live. In my example, I picked these because San Francisco has a temperate climate ranging from 50s to high 60s, so muted colors work well here. However, if you live in Florida, long sleeves might not make sense, so you could go for short sleeve button downs and henleys. Also, your color palette might be a bit brighter for hotter environments. Take your time finding the perfect tops. Start with one from each category. Once you find a brand that works for you, see what other styles and colors are available to keep building up. Now that you have your tops, let’s gets your bottoms squared away!

3 Pairs of Jeans

Having 3 pairs of jeans that go with your perfect dozen is the next step. All jeans don’t have to go with all your shirts, but make sure at least two pairs of bottoms go with each top to get the most out of them. For example, all the tops work with dark blue and black jeans, making 24 different outfits. If I were to add in another pair of jeans, I would pick dark grey since they would easily go with all the shirts I picked. Note: the light grey henley works with the grey jeans for a monochromatic look, I would just make sure the shoe breaks up all the grey (i.e. your shoe can be white, brown or even black). Now you have 34 different outfits!

Note: If you live in a warm place and wear shorts, you may want to start with 2 pairs of jeans and 1 pair of shorts.

Note: If you have a harder time finding pants rather than tops, you should start by finding your 3 pairs of bottoms and match the tops to them.

A Pair of Chinos

It’s always nice to have a chino in the mix to switch it up from wearing jeans all the time. With the shirts I picked, I would add in a light chino since it would work with all of my button downs, t-shirts, polos and henleys. Since Spring is around the corner, this light stone chino can take me into Spring and Summer, but still work in Fall and Winter with a darker top.

Again, if you live in a hot environment, you may want to opt for chino shorts.

A Minimal Jacket

Nothing breaks a look like the wrong jacket. I see it all the time, a perfect outfit topped off with a bright orange North Face jacket that doesn’t go with the rest of the outfit. Your jacket doesn’t have to be anything over the top, instead, the more minimal the jacket, the more it’s going to go with. Going for a minimal jacket is not only going to complete all your looks, but gives you a stylish go-to layer you don’t need to think twice about.

With the palette I selected, a navy blue or black jacket will go with all the picks. I went for a collar jacket because it looks great with anything from a t-shirt to a button down and can be worn open to look effortlessly stylish. The style and weight of your jacket will depend on where you live and what your needs are. For example, if it stays cold until the end of Spring where you live, you may want to go for a peacoat or heavier wool jacket. However, if it’s pretty warm where you live and you sometimes need a jacket in the evenings, you can go for something thin like linen.

2 Pairs of Go-To Shoes

For your first two pairs of shoes, I would pick a pair of smart-casual boots and a sleek leather sneaker. Your sneaker will go with all your looks and keep them dressed down, while your boot can dress up even the most simple t-shirt and jeans outfit.

I went for a brown Chukka style boot for this example because brown goes with everything and adds a pop of color to my otherwise muted wardrobe. Alternatively, you can go for a black boot, which will also go with everything, but will keep things subtle. For my sneaker, I would go for black, white or light grey.

To me, a sneaker and running shoe are two different things. Save your running shoes for the gym and keep your sleek leather sneakers for day to day wear. You’ll always catch me saying “sleek leather sneakers”, and when I say that, I am refering to the black example above and the white one below. Your “running shoes” with a giant logo splashed across the side, on the other hand, makes your outfit look amateur. It’s the easiest and most comfortable switch you can make to step up your game.

Alright guys, there you are, your blueprint to master the smart-casual look. What’s awesome about these picks is you have an outfit for each occasion and can make so many different combos. When you are ready to expand your wardrobe further, you can add in sweaters (i.e. zip up sweaters, cardigans etc.) and “nice” sweatshirts (i.e. bomber style sweatshirts, zip up collar sweatshirts etc). Colored bottom are also a great way to expand your collection, for example, you can add in a green or burgundy pair of jeans or chinos to turn it up a notch. Green and burgundy go really well with white, navy blue, grey tops.

Remember, you don’t need to get all these things at once. By spreading out your purchases, you can focus on quality and not quantity. My clients spend a little more on their jeans, but they’ve been wearing them for years on end with no wear in sight. Also, investing in a nice t-shirt or henley ensures they don’t pill or look worn after 5 washes. You can always keep a look out for nice brands in discount stores like Nordstrom Rack or Off Saks 5th to get more bang for your buck. Shop smart my friends!

Still feeling overwhelmed? Check out my new Digital Styling Service where I personally make outfits for you, and once you approve them, you’ll get them shipped right to your door.

Men’s Style: How to Add More Flair to Your Outfits

Ever wonder how can you add a little more “flair” to your outfits? By “flair” I mean, when men have such limited pieces of clothing they can wear, how can you stand out of the crowd? Surprisingly, it’s the little details that can help you achieve a unique style.

Here are a couple of tweaks that I share with my clients to help them add some flair to their outfits!

Pocket Squares

Photo Credit: The Coolist

Don’t underestimate the power of a pocket square! It’s the perfect little touch that makes you look extra stylish. Some guys think they can only wear them at weddings or formal occasions, but they pair really well with a classic jeans, blazer and button down look.

When picking out a pocket square, make sure it compliments your outfit. By compliment, I don’t mean the same color (i.e. solid green tie + solid green pocket square = don’t do it!). Instead, use the tie to bring out a color in your pocket square. In the example below, you will see there is a hint of burgundy in the pocket square, which is then brought out with the tie. This is the easiest way to make sure you match. That’s the beauty of printed pocket squares, you can match more than one tie to the look.

Photo Credit: Anosart, Pinterest

Alternatively, you don’t have to have the color of the tie in the pocket square. However, you should compliment the two colors (i.e. burgundy tie and navy blue pocket square).

If you are not wearing a tie, make sure your blazer and pocket square colors compliment each other.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Here are 3 ways to fold your pocket square:

Photo Credit: Fashion Infographics


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Have fun with your socks! Next time you’re in the market for some socks, ditch the white ones and go for some pattern and color. Let socks reflect your personality, for example, if you’re obsessed with space, get some socks with astronauts on them.


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Next time you wear a suit, put on a pair of suspenders! Suspenders are the perfect addition to your suit that says, “I know style”. Some guys prefer them with suits only, and that’s okay. If you love the look and want to see how you can incorporate it into your other outfits, you can pair them with jeans and slacks.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

If you are wearing suspenders with a suit, they should be worn with a tie and match the tie as well. By match, I mean they can be the same color or a color that compliments the tie (i.e. navy blue tie, burgundy suspenders).

If you are not wearing suspenders formally, you don’t need a tie. If this concept is new to you, try a pair of leather suspenders like in the photo above as a “safe” place to start.

Unique Prints in Shirts

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Ditch the plaid and go for prints that have a little more personality. Now days, you see more and more fun prints in stores and it’s for a reason, they look good! You can go all out with bigger statement prints or if you like more of a subtle look, go for a micro-prints, which are tiny repeated patterns.

Photo Credit: Instagram: @rule_of_thumbs, Ted Baker

If you’re going for a black and white or grey and white print, you can play around with pant colors. If you go for a busy print with a couple of colors in the shirt, pick one color from the shirt to make it your pant color. You can also pick a complementary color.

Colorful Pants

Photo Credit: I Am Galla, Pinterest

Think outside of the box when it comes to your pant colors. It’s easy to fall into the pattern of neutrals chinos or blue jeans, but you should experiment a bit if you want to stand out of the crowd. If you’re new to colorful bottoms, stick to earthy or jewel tones like burgundy, burnt orange or green since you can pair them with neutral colored shirts.

Photo Credit: Bonobos

Photo Credit: Idle Man

Cuffing Jeans

Cuffing your jeans is an easy way to add some flair and something you can do tomorrow. You can cuff your jeans with any type of shoe, such as sneakers, oxfords, boots etc.

Photo Credit: Dress Code Clothing

You can cuff them a couple of ways:

(1) one simple outward cuff like in the photo below (~2 inches). Careful not to make it too thick.

Photo Credit: Articles of Style

(2) Or roll it one more time to have the style of cuff below

Photo Credit: Idle Man

(3) Thin roll your jeans, which is a thinner cuff (~1 inch)

Photo Credit: Gear Patrol

(4) Pin roll your jeans, which makes the ankle slimmer

Photo Credit: Gear Patrol

No Show Socks

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

If you are cuffing or rolling your jeans, try the look with no-show socks. Although discreet, this little flair shows that you made an intentional style choice. You can try this look with shorts, jeans, chinos or dress pants. In terms of footwear, you can try this look with anything from sneakers to dress shoes.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The key here is to get a good pair of no-show socks that grips the back of your foot so they don’t keep slipping.

Alright guys, there you have it, a handful of tricks you can do to stand out of the crowd! When it comes to looking more put together, sometimes it’s the small details that play a huge role in appearing more stylish.

Men’s Style: Rain Friendly Footwear for Men

It’s raining, it’s pouring… and you don’t have the right shoes to go outside. Sounds like a dilemma every guy has experienced before. Now, you could opt for a classic pair of rubber boots, or as the British call it, Wellies, but rubber boots can be a drag. The problem with rubber boots is they are heavy, not breathable, and require you to change out of as soon as you get to your destination.

Well, I have a better and more stylish solution for you: welcome to the wonderful world of waterproof shoes and boots!

Before we get started, please note: “water-resistant” and “waterproof” are two different things. Water-resistant means it can stand being in water for a limited time (i.e. walking from A to B while it’s raining), while waterproof means you can be in a downpour for extended periods of time and zero water will seep in. Keep these terms in mind when you are searching for your perfect pair and decide what your needs are.

Alright, let’s see what I have for you…

Waterproof Sneakers

Photo Credit: Zappos, Greats

All weather sneakers are pretty cool and are a subtle way to protect yourself from the elements. They look like ordinary sneakers, but are made with water-resistant or waterproof materials. You can go for a high-top, which goes up to your ankle, or a low top, which stops below your ankle. If you’re a casual guy and your go-tos for the weekend (or even work) are casual shoes like sneakers, these will work great for you.

If you prefer a water-resistant sneaker, opting for a sneaker made out of wool can deliver style, protection, and breathability. Best of all, you can wear your wool sneaker day to day and not just on rainy days.

Waterproof Casual Boots

Photo Credit: Zappos, Timberland

Photo Credit: ZapposClassic Work BootIf you live in an area where it snows, boots are a better option than sneakers, for winter at least. A casual boot, like a “work boot”, is perfect for the guy who has an overall casual style (i.e. wears jeans and t-shirts most of the time). These boots will give you excellent grip, protect your feet from wetness and make sure you look stylish. Bonus: you can take them hiking!

Waterproof Smart-Casual and Dressy Boots

Photo Credit: Nisolo, Cole Haan

What if I told you there is a stylish boot you can wear to work and it’s waterproof? They exist! Waterproof boots come in many styles including Smart-Casual and Dressy ones. Waterproof Chelsea and Chukka boots, for example, are perfect for those who don’t want to change into different shoes when they get to their destination. Going for a waterproof version of your favorite boot style will pay for itself because you can wear them day to day too.

If you want to learn more about different boot styles to see which one appeals to you, check out The Ultimate Guide to Boots where I give you the who, what, where on boots.

If you weren’t convinced before, there you have it: plenty of stylish water friendly shoe options besides rubber boots to get you through wet weather. Whether it’s April showers or severe winter weather, you’ll be ready to take on the elements best foot forward.