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Fashion is more than just clothes and accessories; it’s a form of self-expression that allows you to communicate your identity without uttering a single word. For many men, however, finding a personal style can seem daunting. If this is you, it’s time to let go of that misconception. Here’s some unconventional advice: learn by copying. Sounds controversial, but it’s how we learn most things, from painting and playing piano to fashion. This article will help guide you through the process of finding your unique style by learning from others.

Embracing the Art of Stealing

Artists learn to paint by drawing step-by-step from books and observing other artists’ shading techniques. Similarly, budding pianists learn by practicing others’ songs and mastering scales. The same principle applies to fashion. If you’re clueless about your personal style, start by borrowing ideas from those whose fashion sense you admire.

The beauty of this process is that humans are inherently imperfect copyists. As we start to glean ideas and derive inspiration, we naturally deviate from the source, replacing one piece with another or preferring one shade of color over another. This deviation is where your unique style begins to take shape. It’s a reverse-engineering process that culminates in the creation of your unique style.

Cultivating Your Aesthetic

1. Identifying Your Style Icons

Start by selecting three people whose style you admire. These could be celebrities, fashion models, or even characters from history or fiction. Ensure they have similar physical attributes to yours, as this will make it easier to replicate their style in a way that suits you.

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Sources of style inspiration can be diverse, including but not limited to:

  • Reddit’s r/malefashionadvice subreddit, especially the ‘inspo albums’ section
  • Celebrities who have similar physical attributes to yours
  • Pinterest’s plethora of style boards
  • Fashion models with your build, from whom you can pick out what resonates with you
  • Icons from the past or present, such as Ernest Hemingway or David Bowie, from whose eras you can borrow stylistic elements.

2. Focusing on the Right Elements

When you’ve identified your style icons, it’s time to dig deeper. Note what specifically appeals to you about their style. It could be their color palette, the way they layer clothes, or even their choice of accessories.

Start compiling images, pieces of clothing, and brand names that reflect your taste. This curation process will gradually shape your aesthetic. Perhaps you might find yourself mixing the rebellious vibe of Rock n Roll with the sophisticated touch of Ivy League fashion. In the end, only you can create your own style.

As it’s said, “When you copy from one person, it’s plagiarism. When you copy from multiple people, it’s research.”

3. Keeping a Style Archive

To keep track of your fashion journey, create a dedicated space where you can gather all your style inspirations. This could be on platforms like Pinterest, Notion, Evernote, Google Drive, or any other tool that works for you.

In this space, you can add clips, links to items and products, brand names, influencer styles, and social media accounts that inspire you. This visual mood board will help you refine your style further.

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Embrace the Journey

Starting your fashion journey doesn’t require you to have a full understanding of yourself. In fact, it’s through experimenting with fashion that you discover more about your tastes and preferences. Don’t shy away from taking risks, experimenting with bold patterns, trying new fits, or playing around with accessories. Mistakes are a part of the learning process, and the journey is often more enlightening than the destination itself.

In the grand scheme of men’s fashion, be audacious, take risks, and most importantly, have fun with it. As you begin this journey of exploration and expression, you’ll inevitably find your own unique style—one that authentically represents you.

Hey, my name is Matt Edward. My life changed when I started dressing better and taking care of my appearance. I wanted to share that enthusiasm and passion with you through these carefully curated and designed blog posts about men's fashion and lifestyle improvements. Cheers.

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