There's no great secret to achieving a distinctive personal style. The key is to build a wardrobe of garments which compliment you and wear them without allowing them to wear you.
In short? Avoid flights of fashion fancy, stick with flattering colours and shapes, and don't be afraid to wear the things that suit you – and most importantly, you like – time and again.
1 | Pick A Colour
It may sound obvious, but the essence of good personal style is to wear shades that compliment your complexion. If you have warm colouring (tan easily; dark blond or soft brown hair) shades with yellow undertones such as brown, green, tan or red will suit you. If you have cool colouring (dark or grey/white hair; dark eyes; olive or pale complexion) any garment with a blue undertone will look good on you. Once you've found the colour that works best on you, adopt it into your wardrobe wherever you can – without overdoing it, of course.
2 | Get To Grips With Your Body
Certain garments suit certain body shapes. If you have heavy calves you should opt for a pleated trouser with a sharp taper. Broad shoulders? Go for a deconstructed jacket with a nip at the waist. Short and stocky? Opt for a jacket that fits closely, with a hem which skims your hip. Tall and lean? Choose a blazer that covers your behind and nips at the waist. The sooner you learn that types of clothing that suit your frame, the fewer style faux pas you will make.
3 | Buy In Bulk
If you find a garment – a pair of trousers, say – which fits perfectly and you will wear regularly, buy a few to keep in stock. Though it may seem a frivolous move at the time, you'll appreciate it six months later when the crotch wears through and they've gone out of production.
4 | Don't Pay Too Much Attention To Trend
Trends from the menswear runways – if they make the commercial cut – take at least three seasons to filter into the mainstream. The best thing to do? Avoid paying them too much heed. Just because the designers are telling you that florals are big this spring doesn't mean that they'll make you look good. In fact, the likelihood is, if you've never worn florals before, they might make you look a bit of a wally. If you are going to embrace a trend absorb it into your wardrobe in a small way. A floral tie with your trusted navy blazer, for instance.
5 | Remember That Classics Are Classic For A Reason
White sneakers, slim jeans, well-cut white shirts – certain garments stand the test of time for the simple reason that they suit pretty much everyone and will always look good. Stands to reason then that you should invest your money in key classics which suit your shape, and build your wardrobe around those. A foundation of classic items complimented by more experimental pieces built over the seasons will, invariably, a strong wardrobe make.
6 | Vary On A Theme
Why mess with what works? If you enjoy wearing slim navy trousers with desert boots, crew neck jumpers and bomber jackets, stick with those and add variation with fabrics, tonal changes and the addition or removal of layers. The tricksier a look is, the less likely it is to stick.
7 | Accesorise Sparingly
In menswear, less is invariably more. A simple outfit complimented by a couple of strong, high quality accessories which you use regularly will work wonders. A perfect pair of sunglasses for instance, or a simple leather briefcase. Even a pair of bold socks in contrast to a more muted outfit will add a depth that demonstrates imagination and your appreciation of subtle statements.
8 | Find Your Style Cornerstone
Whether it's a blazer that fits you perfectly, a pair of sneakers which you can't bear to be apart from, or a pair of jeans that make your legs look like Beckham's, find your favourite item and work it into your outfit as regularly as you can. Think James Dean's white T-shirt, Paul Newman's penny loafers or Steve McQueen's Persols. A signature item is the cornerstone of a signature style.