One of the most common comments I get from guys who want to work with me is this:
“I don’t know where to start. I don’t know what style is good for me.”
Style doesn’t really work that way. It’s not like I’m going to say “If you are a 25 year old black male living in San Francisco, this style is for you.”
Style is something you need to develop, and the best way to develop that is by taking what works and molding it into something of your own.
Look at guys that kill it and get inspired.
But you have to be careful, because there is a good and bad way to do this.
Let me show you what I mean.
GETTING INSPIRED ISN’T THE SAME AS COPYING
The first question I always ask my clients is if there’s a celebrity, musician, even a fictional character, whose style they like. That’s always a great place to start.
But for guys that feel like they have good sense of their personal style, seeking new style inspiration helps you evolve and break away from the same tired look. And let’s be real, it’s fun discovering and buying something new.
There is an art to getting inspired.
Take too much inspiration, and you’re treading Halloween costume territory. (See Kanye kid above)
When incorporating someone else’s style into your own, treat it like a trend. Less is more.
Think of it like trying out a new hot sauce, you don’t want to dump it all over your food the first time you try it. You add a little and see how it works. And a great way to do this for your style is to use “The Swap Trick”.
“STEAL” FROM MORE THAN ONCE SOURCE
Steal from one source and you get “Skating with Celebrities” vs “Dancing with the Stars”
Steal from multiple sources and you get “Stranger Things”, a style that feels familiar while at the same time feels completely original.
This is one of the best ways to avoid looking like the Kanye kid above. One of my favorite sources of inspiration? Instagram.
Today, I’m going to share with you 5 of my favorite Instagrams to get style inspiration from to get you started.
Anthony Bourdain is the New Yorker I want to be when I grow up. What I love about Anthony’s Instagram is that it’s not about style, yet he’s one of the most stylish people I follow. He’s a perfect example that you don’t need to pick between t-shirt and jeans or suits – a man can pull off both while staying true to his personal style. He travels, eats amazing food, is a fan of punk rock and american muscle cars. There really is no better Instagram to follow.
Luca was born into menswear. His grandfather opened the original Rubinacci shop (then known as London House) in 1930, where they’re famous for their soft shouldered jackets, a signature of Neapolitan style. His style is a bit eccentric, but the best part of his Instagram are his video tips where he shows you things like how to properly iron shirts, how to pack your blazer, even how to do the “Rubinacci tie knot”.
Here’s why I love J.Crew Men’s Instagram: They show you how to wear their clothes. J.Crew is my default recommendation to all my clients because of their classic designs, great price point and accessibility. You can go into any major city and find a J.Crew shop. They also share a great blend of non-clothes related pics that are equally inspiring, like travel destinations and cocktail and food recipes.
Kenji is 1/2 of the Japanese men’s shop Bryceland, who he runs with Ethan Newton. Bryceland is the quintessential Japanese menswear shop. They stock vintage military gear and jewelry alongside italian style suits and Japanese produced american style denim. Kenji’s Instagram is one of my favorite examples of a classic vintage style that doesn’t feel old.
Ethan Newton’s Instagram, the other half of Bryceland, is a great source of inspiration for the man that isn’t rail thin. Ethan has always been quite open about his larger frame online and the style challenges it creates. He handles it perfectly, especially by wearing higher rise pants with a more generous leg. For all you larger guys out there, I highly recommend following Ethan.
Steven Ononja is Nigerian born, New York based photographer who has a great knack for mixing colors and patterns. What Steven also does well are accessories, especially his hat game. If you’ve ever wondered how you can wear hats without looking like a douchey pickup artist, Steven is the man you need to be looking at.
Tailored suits. Slicked backed hair. Sunglasses and cigars. Sprinkle in screenshots from movies like Goodfellas and Eastern Promises. That’s HVRMINN’s Instagram in a nutshell. HVRMINN is what you’d get if the Yakuza decided to start a menswear line and got really, really, good at it.
I highly recommend you follow some of these guys, scroll through and start screencapping some images for inspiration.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear if there’s anyone I missed. Who are your favorite Instagrams to follow for style inspiration?
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