Does any of the following sound like you?
-You're wearing the same clothes and hair style you did ten years ago.
-You aren't happy when you see yourself in the mirror.
-You look in your closet every morning and are unsure what looks good on you or what to wear in a given situation.
-People don't respond to you in the ways you'd like them to.
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it's likely time for a style upgrade.
Updating your style can include anything from a complete wardrobe and grooming overhaul to simply adding a handful of outfits to your closet. It all depends on your particular needs.
There are 3 routes you can take to achieving your upgrade:
1) DIY - Look through magazines and at blogs and earmark guys with styles who you like. Make a list of the individual elements of their looks that appeal to you specifically. Put that list in order of priority (you don't want to try everything new all at once, or you could go down the path of fashion victim). This list may also be affected by your budget, i.e., if what you like is going to be very expensive, say a certain type of suit, that may need to go lower on the list than something less pricey like trying out some cool patterned socks. Make your way down the list incorporating one new element every few weeks. You can also check out this piece on how to define your personal style if you're unsure even of what appeals to you.
2) Semi-Assisted - There are online courses which will teach you how to become self-sufficient with styling yourself with varying levels of individual help. You can search on google, and also check out my courses and see what resonates for you. Many of these courses (including mine) offer satisfaction guarantees and are therefore completely risk-free to try.
3) Fully-Assisted - Find an image or style consultant to help you one-on-one. Working with someone who is seasoned and knows what he or she is doing is a serious financial investment (my average client spends several thousand dollars to work with me). I would also highly recommend working with someone who specializes in consulting for men. You want someone who lives and breathes this stuff, and in my experience many image consultants who work with both men and women only work with men a small fraction of the time and therefore aren't necessarily on top of the menswear market. Do a google search for "men's image consultant/style consultant/personal stylist/personal shopper [where you live]" and see what comes up. You can also go to AICI.org and check their listings for accredited image consultants in your area.
You should be able to tell pretty quickly from the person's website if they're the right fit for you. The aesthetic of their website is a direct reflection of his or her taste, which, given the visual nature of the business, is key. If you can't find anyone you like in your area, then look for someone who does online consultations, and you might also consider traveling. I've had people fly coast-to-coast to work with me, and it makes sense if you think about it: the amount of money you spend on airfare and hotel could very possibly equal the amount of money you spend on mistake shopping purchases if you choose with the wrong consultant just because he or she is located near you. If it's in your budget, you may also consider flying the consultant in to see you. It's certainly more convenient if you can swing it.
Finally, if one-on-one seems like it's going to be out of your budget, then contact a local fashion school with styling programs and ask if any of their students are looking for practice clients. Many up-and-coming stylists actually are looking for people to style, and they'll help you either for free (in exchange for images for their website and/or testimonials) or at reduced rates. I worked with a practice client when I was at FIT, and it worked out great for both of us!
Are you ready to take the plunge to upgrade your style? If so, let me know in the comments below what you're going to do first.