The first step to identifying your signature style is to help you create the image you desire. This doesn’t mean you can’t venture out of your individual style. You can find the best ways to get out of your rut when it comes to dressing up.
When you get bored with your wardrobe, it’s easy to feel frustrated when looking for something to wear. We at The ManualWe have created a method to help you find your signature style. This will allow you to revitalize your look and, more importantly, to grow from it.
If you’re looking at this and feeling overwhelmed, it’s ok. I mean, who doesn’t feel like they are all over the map? Just because you don’t work in an office, doesn’t mean you don’t wear suits. Just because you find yourself on Wall Street Monday through Friday, doesn’t mean you don’t know how to rock a flannel and escape to the wilderness.
This isn’t about fashion and what you wear. It’s about your lifestyle. Your signature style is a reflection of what you value from your wardrobe. Many different types of clothing can be worn in many ways. You should also remember that Indiana Jones and Frank Sinatra both wore a Fedora, although they wore them very differently.
There are three primary archetypes – The Adventurer, The Socialite, and The Dapper, and three secondary archetypes – The Creative, Commander in Chief, and Bond, James Bond. The seventh archetype is the one we should all strive for: the well-balanced combination of all of the above. The Debonair Man. You may bleed in and out of a few at a time, but most of us will find ourselves planted in one more than the others. Here is what each one means.
This is a man of action. He doesn’t have time or patience for fluff and pleasantries. He bends the world around him through brute force and mastery of skills. His style is rugged, valuing function over fashion. If he wears a smartwatch, it isn’t about status; it’s to keep an eye on his health. He wears the fedora like Indiana Jones, not Frank Sinatra. He cares little for trends but deeply for long-lasting garments that assist his lifestyle.
Examples: mountain men, outdoorsmen, Indiana Jones, Bear Grills, and blue-collar workers
Image is everything to this person. They see their status in this world reflected in their appearance. They believe that dressing to the nines actually makes people treat them better. They rule their world through money, influence, and connections. They value impeccable tailoring, timeless classics, and the highest quality. These men won’t always be wearing three-piece suits, but they will always be the best dressed in the room.
Examples: CEOs, Titans of industry, hedge fund managers, the elite 1%, Harvey Specter
This person bends the room to his will using his charm and charisma. People are attracted to him; his magnetism is how he has made it through most situations in his life. He doesn’t concern himself with the rules of society as he would much rather just make his own. His style is fashion-forward, opting to stand out with bright colors and the latest trends. Others often compliment him on his attire, and he values his look’s impact on his sphere of influence.
Examples: salesmen, party hosts
A combination of The Dapper and The Adventurer, this is the man most of us wish to be in some capacity. This is the action hero, the gentleman spy, and the man that values himself above all, and not in an arrogant way. He knows his worth and spends time improving himself. He values quality and impeccable tailoring but needs a high function to help him live his lifestyle. This man is just as comfortable wearing a three-piece suit in the boardroom as he is donning a plaid flannel and catching his own food in the mountain wilderness.
Examples: James Bond, Ivy League collegiates, alpha males
A combination of The Socialite and The Adventurer, this man is career-focused and values his freedom. He is the tech giant or the industry leader that commands the admiration of many followers. His style is less dapper and more street wear and smart casual. He enjoys indulging in the latest fashions and usually sets his own standard and trends. He values the functionality of his wardrobe and likes to keep it simple, letting his focus be on changing the world.
Examples: Steve Jobs, Ralph Lauren, musicians, actors, and tech wizards
A combination of The Dapper and The Socialite, this man is acutely aware of the message his image sends and has spent his life learning how to make others love him and believe in him. He enjoys timeless classics with a dash of trendy. His look is more of a tool to accomplish his goals than a genuine part of his personality. He is comfortable in a suit and driving progress. His look is a uniform, an extension of who he is.
Examples: politicians, talk show personalities like Steve Harvey and Jon Stewart
This is the ultimate goal of all the above men: Become a balanced specimen of all archetypes and find yourself comfortable and impactful in all situations. You know the difference between quality and imitation. You find the items that give you the function you need and determine the trends that affect you and those that don’t deserve your attention. You have your fingers in all areas of style and can competently navigate them.
Examples: David Beckham, Barack Obama, JFK
You may have a little bit of yourself in each of these areas, and that’s great. You have a head start on finding balance. Once you discover where you are most comfortable, you have a base for expanding your style. Sticking to the areas closest to your signature style and perfecting those will set off a chain reaction to a well-balanced sense of style.