1. The Life Laundry
Take all your clothes and make three piles. The first is items that you can’t live without, the second is items that you are/should be ashamed of and the third is everything in between. Throw out the shame pile and put the keeper pile back into your wardrobe. Congratulations, your style just got a whole lot better. When you are ready to spend some cash again, gradually replace the in-between pile with fresh, but not necessarily expensive, stock. Fresh items go in the wardrobe and old items go in the trash.
2. New Thinking
Another great technique that’s absolutely free is to simply change your perspective concerning the items you already have. A lot of people tend to be quite habitual and stick to the same combinations. Don’t. Make some time to try new things out. Do it alone if need be and give yourself freedom to make a few mistakes. It’s all part of the process and nobody else has to know. Besides, it’ll be worth it when you find a new approach that’s fresh and personal.
3. How’s It Hanging?
Throw out the wire, throw out the plastic and invest in some wooden hangers. Not only do they make your wardrobe look a lot tidier, but they’re thicker than the other varieties. This means that your more fragile items are less likely to suffer from unsightly stretching. Your garments will all thank you for this small investment. For extra security, think about treating your most treasured items (such as leathers or suits) to a soft, padded hanger of their own. They can be found in most decent haberdasheries.
4. Know Thyself
While you’re saving money for your next investment item do yourself a favour and learn about what suits you. It’s not all a matter of opinion. The two key areas of investigation are coloring and body type. Depending on eye color, hair color and skin tone you will be pre-disposed to look better in certain shades. If you know your body type then you can start learning all the illusory tricks that make you appear leaner or broader, depending on what you need. Knowledge is power!
5. Starchy Goodness
Ironing with starch helps your clothes to retain the crisp look they had when they were new and helps them fight further creasing as you go about your day. Starch also makes ironing itself easier and quicker. Here’s the technique: get your iron to the correct temperature for the garment. Use a sturdy ironing board. Then, just before you iron, spray an even coating of starch from roughly a foot away. It’s deceptively simple.
6. Get The Horn
It’s disheartening to throw good money at a pair of shoes that you thought would last for years, only to discover that they quickly wear out around the back of the heel. Using a horn eliminates this problem by easing your foot into the shoe while maintaining the shape of the leather. Good footwear can last for years, but only if you take the extra care. You might also consider shoe trees, but plump for wood (usually cedar) over plastic. It absorbs moisture and odour.
7. Collar Me Bad
Collar bones (also known as collar stays or collar stiffeners) can be easy to lose and you may not notice they’re gone until it’s too late. Better to have some tucked away than not to have them when you need them. The same goes for collar extenders. A properly- fitted collar should allow no more than one or two fingers between cloth and neck, so it may be necessary at certain times of the year (after holiday indulgence) to discretely let your collar out. A tie will conceal it … the perfect crime.
8. Everything In It’s Right Place
If you don’t have them already, start thinking about single-purpose storage items such as tie-racks and cufflink boxes. As well as looking after your accessories for you, they also make it easier to take them with you when you travel. However, the most important thing that they do for you is allow you to see everything that you have in any easy glance, helping you to look great and save time. They don’t cost much and, if you’re good at dropping hints to family and friends, they make splendid gifts.
9. Back To Basics
A simple way to make a big difference without spending a lot of money is to re-evaluate your base layer, by which we mean underwear, socks and undershirts, including T shirts. There are a lot of guys out there walking around in a base layer that’s way too big. These items should hug your body but give you just enough room to move about without feeling restricted. There are few things worse to behold than a man with oversized underwear. It makes them looks like they’re borrowed … from a clown.
10. The Gift of Charity
Charity stores and second-hand clothing outlets have more to offer than you might think. By combining your regular look with a few sourced items you can bring a quality to your style that is truly unique. It’s also a great way to get your hands on some essential vintage leather. Remember to keep up the curiosity when you’re out of your local vicinity. It’s almost guaranteed that if you visit a more affluent area you will find a more luxurious quality of unloved clothing waiting to be discovered.
11. Altered States
If you’re paying full price for your clothes because sale items don’t give you the perfect fit that you want, remember your friendly, neighbourhood tailor. A new garment bought half-price, plus the cost of a minor alteration, is still a bargain. And don’t throw good items out just because of an accidental tear. A lot of alteration specialists do ‘invisible mending’. Find one that you like and build a rapport. They deserve your support.