Have you ever wanted to look more distinctive? Rather than trying to look more handsome or more professional, looking distinctive is about setting yourself apart from the crowd. It’s about using your style and grooming choices as an expression of what makes you “you,” and as a helpful way to help you stand out, whether you’re in a job interview, in a networking environment, or are trying to make a bold impression with a date.
So how can you give yourself a more distinctive look without going overboard?
Step One: Understanding the Golden Rules
There are a few “golden” rules to keep in mind when trying to build a more distinctive look for yourself:
- The dress code comes first. No matter what style you’re trying to achieve, the dress code of the event must always come first. If the event requires you in a suit, don’t break the rules—even if you’re going for a more-casual-than-usual look.
- Unique isn’t always good. Distinctiveness is about originality, but just because something is unique doesn’t mean it looks good on you. You’ll need to find a balance between clothes, haircuts, and accessories that are objectively fashionable and those that help you stand out.
- There’s an internal and external “you,” and you need to flatter both. The internal you is your personality and your unique charm. The external you is your facial shape, body type, and other physical characteristics. Ideally, you’ll find pieces that flatter both these dimensions of yourself.
Step Two: Defining Your Key Characteristics
Spend some time evaluating who you are, inside and out.
Physically, look at your body shape and get your measurements. As you’ll soon see, having good-fitting clothes is a must if you want to look your best. You’ll also want to cater specifically to your body type. Are you chubby and slightly pear-shaped? The right pair of pants can help you look more attractive. Are you more on the athletic side? A good outfit can highlight the best features of your body.
You’ll also want to look at your face. Is it rounder, or more angled? Is it long or wide? What are the most prominent features of your face? Discovering these attributes can help you find the right hairstyle, groom your facial hair adeptly, and choose accessories that highlight the best in you.
Don’t neglect your personality. What makes you unique as an individual? Is it your carefree sense of humor? Is it your diligence and strong work ethic? Is it a hint of anti-establishment attitude? These traits can manifest in your accessory and clothing choices, so consider them carefully.
Step Three: Finding Good Fits
Next, you’ll need to spend time finding good “fits” both for your personality and your body. For your personality, what accessories or clothing items best reflect your personality? Are they luxurious and a little flashy, like custom gold grillz? Are they mature and a little old-fashioned, like a gold watch? Are they colorful and playful, like a cartoonish pair of socks?
No matter what you choose, it’s important that you find good fits for your body. In fact, this should be your number one priority. Even a cheap suit with a bland color can look good on you if you have it tailored to your measurements. Conversely, an expensive suit made of high-grade material can look like garbage if it’s loosely hanging off you. Don’t compromise here; spend the extra money on custom tailoring if you have to make something fit.
Step Four: Accessorizing
Accessories are where you’re going to have the most flexibility. With a solid outfit, you can fit into any dress code and ensure you look good, but accessories can add almost any kind of finishing touch you like. There’s also a wide spectrum of different accessory types, and designs within those groups, for you to consider. For example, watches, ties, cufflinks, and jewelry are all possibilities, and within each of those categories are literally millions of options. There isn’t a right or wrong answer here, with the exception of overaccessorizing; you just need to find one or two pieces that complement your style and add them.
The Importance of Experimentation
It’s hard to tell, exactly, what will look good on you and what will help you cultivate the distinctive image you desire. In many cases, the only way to definitively say “yes” or “no” is to try something on and see how it makes you look. You might even need to wear it out to a function once or twice before you get a “feel” for how you look. Only by experimenting and trying new looks will you cultivate a better sense for what works for you, so get out there and start trying some new things!
This content is sponsored by Larry Alton.
Photo credit: Shutterstock