How much would it cost to look and feel like a fine gentleman? A hundred dollars for a streetwear clothing with a small logo? A pair of genuine leather shoes that cost a month-worth of groceries? A wristwatch made of gold?
The answer is, it could cost nothing. You can wear a good $10 suit you found in a thrift shop and still look classy AF. It’s not about the price – it’s about how you carry yourself.
From finding the best tailor in town to paying attention to your grooming, here are 10 hacks to looking dapper every day without wasting money on expensive clothing.
Find clothes that fit properly
Try before you buy. Rule of thumb: If it doesn’t fit and you can’t do anything to adjust it, don’t buy it.
Clothes that are too baggy can look cheap and sloppy, while clothing that’s too tight can be uncomfortable and unsightly. From low range to medium range ready-made clothing can look high-end if you nail it right.
Get it tailored
Whether it’s from a top clothing brand or a great steal from the thrift shop, there’s nothing a well-fitted outfit can’t do for your look. But what if you find a great piece of clothing that’s not your size?
Before letting that good stuff go, think about paying extra for alterations. If you happen to know a great tailor, get them altered for a better fit. Those tiny adjustments can make all the difference.
Think about the drape of the fabric
The drape of the fabrics – this may be an afterthought but get this thing right and everything else will follow. Drape refers to how the fabric hangs off your body.
You know the fabric is of high quality if it’s supple, providing structure to your look while draping smoothly. Cheap fabrics, on the other hand, tend to hang very stiffly, resulting in unsightly wrinkling and creasing in the garment.
When in doubt, go for low-sheen clothing
Sheen depends on how much light is reflected off the fibers in the fabric. Upscale fabrics, including wool suits, tend to have a low sheen. Whereas polyester, low-cost fabrics are always high-sheen.
Avoid blatant branding
Here’s one foolproof trick to look rich on a branded clothing: don’t let anyone know you’re wearing branded clothing.
Most prestigious men wear brands in silence – that’s why the top brands have small, minimalist logos (like that tiny alligator logo in a popular clothing brand) or have all of the brandings inside and hidden. That said, clothes with large logos and brand names that scream “hey, please notice how expensive my shirt is”, should be avoided. These not only cheapen your look but make you look so vain.
Pay attention to little hardware on your clothing
Oftentimes, the tiniest of elements have the power to transform a standard dress shirt into a high-end one.
First off, let’s talk about the quality of your zippers– they should have a smooth pull and a firm hold.
Secondly, check your buttons. In case you’re wearing a cheap shirt bought from the street market, spruce it up by changing the buttons. Replace those cheap-looking plastic buttons with mother of pearl or horn buttons.
Finally, cufflinks. Look for dress shirts with French cuffs, which does not often cost more than barrel cuffs, then accessorize with cufflinks. That’s a quick fix to looking prestigious.
Have these key accessories
The right accessories can give your standard outfit a luxurious touch. For pulling off a high-end look, here’s a cheat sheet of the key accessories you need to have your wardrobe:
- A metal or a leather dress wristwatch,
- A leather belt
- A leather bag
- A good leather wallet or cardholder
- A pair of sunglasses
- Neckties in classic colors
- No more than two pieces of jewelry
These accessories give that luxe final touch on your look. When shopping, don’t focus on the brand – invest in quality.
Level up your shoes
You may get the cheapest options of everything – shirts, pants, bags, and hats – as long as they fit. But there’re something you shouldn’t scrimp on, that’d be your pair of shoes. They don’t only need to be stylish and polished – they have to be durable too.
Looking dapper is just one hair pomade away. Or clay, or gel, or whatever suits your fancy. Make friends with a good local barber to trim your hair the way you want it. You may grow your beard too but always keep it neat-looking.
Rocking your façade isn’t enough – you need to pay attention to hygiene. Step up your dental hygiene with a good teeth whitener kit and long-lasting mouthwash. Make sure your deodorants won’t let you down. Lastly, choose your fragrance wisely. Gentlemen wear perfumes, not colognes.
Make your clothing and accessories look polished
People won’t give a damn whether you’re wearing an expensive designer shirt or not. What they’ll notice, though, are the wrinkles, holes, and stains on your garment.
Next, to grooming yourself, you should also pay extra attention to your clothes. Make sure to wash them well, treat the stains and other imperfections, and freshen up with a good fabric conditioner. Then, don’t go anywhere without ironing your clothes (I know we’re all guilty of this). Lastly, make sure your shoes and other accessories polished.