Everyone has different perspectives about clothing. To many it's a necessary thing that they give little thought to. I have to wear clothes, so I'll do it with as little effort or care as possible. To others its an opportunity to be creative and show a bit of who they are. Sloane Men's goal is to allow men's style to stand out and not their white undershirt. We definitely lean more to the side of people expressing themselves via their clothing. I'll share the reasons why we think putting thought into your style is better than just trying to blend in.
Clothing Gives a Glimpse to What You're About
In the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell there's a great quote about how people perceive others. How your look ties very close to how people perceive you and your performance. A musician said, "Some people look like they sound better than they actually sound, because they look confident and have good posture.....There is always this dissonance between what you see and hear." I take this as people make snap judgments based on how you look and tie that to how you perform. It's better for you to look put together, clean and fresh than boring and basic.
Many guys have the attitude that they don't want to stand out. They see it as peacocking and arrogant. They'd rather be comfortable and dress like everyone else. I will admit I used to be this guy. Not make waves. Not have judgement cast on me before I say a word. I wore the "uniform". Pleated khaki pants. Same brown shoes. Same brown belt. Poorly fitting blue Polo button down. White Hanes undershirt. Basic.
I even had my work badge hanging from my pants like everyone else! I dressed like most the guys at my work. The problem is I wasn't like most the guys I worked with. I had more personality. I had different ideas. I wasn't the "numbers guy". I had more to offer. My clothes were saying the exact opposite of what I was all about though! My clothes were screaming "you're a standard dude".
Clothing Can Be Fun
When I started Sloane I started to read more magazines about style. I realized that style is kind of fun. It's not just for the 1% of "cool" guys that buy $500 Gucci t-shirts. There is a huge range of styles to choose from. I associated dressing well too much with the flamboyant peacocking guys I 100% didn't want to be associated with. I realized style isn't about that. It's about what YOU want to be.
Maybe you're not on the extreme side of style. That's ok. You can still stand out in your own way and not blend in with the herd. You can do that in a number of ways........
- Get slim fitted clothing instead of the standard fit everyone else has
- Buy a few different pairs of work shoes instead of the standard black and standard brown pair you always wear
- Buy a few pairs of pants outside of just the khaki and blue. J Crew, Gap and Bonobos offer a wide range. Get a little out of your comfort zone.
- Get some fun socks. Beige is the every man's sock. Happy Socks has a huge selection. Pick a few that show some of your personality.
- Get some button downs that are outside of your standard white and blue. You don't have to get anything crazy. Just take a small step to a fun plaid or a light pink. Start there.
- If you wear glasses find a style at Warby Parker that's different than the metal frames everyone else has. Glasses alone can make you look smarter and with it.
Here's an example of some subtle changes you can make to easily upgrade your style. I am wearing a short sleeved button down with a pretty basic print and some rust color pants from Gap. Nothing crazy here, but much better than the "uniform" I used to wear everyday.
Let Your Personality Shine
My attitude at work now is I want my clothing to tell people that I'm put together, different and fun. That's who I am and I want my clothing to express that. I am not able to get everyone to know me at a deep level, so I want my clothing to show who I am in the blink of an eye.
Some of my friends push back and say that they want people to get to know what they're all about before their clothes say anything about them. These guys wear the standard stuff I talked about earlier. The problem with that is that at work thing are too busy for you to have everyone to get to know you really well. You might only have a few conversations with your boss's boss a year! That person might see you scores of times though. Wouldn't you want him or her to think when or she sees you, "Wow, they dress well and look like they have it together"?
I mean if these two guys walked by you everyday in the office you would have different expectations of each one. The first one is the "before" me. The second one is the "after" me when I developed some better style and wanted some of my personality to stand out. The new me looks more detailed focused, more professional and more confident. Those are great characteristics just resulting from some minor changes to my wardrobe.
Sloane encourages you to look at your wardrobe and determine if it's saying the right things about you. If you think it could be improved, then start making some minor changes. You won't regret it!
We have additional blog posts that go into great detail into how to start making this style switch. Feel free to check them out!