January 5, 2013

Formal Wear Special: 5 Male Fashion Personas

Different personalities, different clothing styles

The look you choose for yourself often defines you. It’s what creates first impressions, images, and labels. I know we all consider ourselves to be individuals – what we choose to wear is our choice alone. That is true, no one can force you to wear something that you don’t like. Guys, on occasion, are particularly adherent to this belief. However, there are some iconic looks that have been adopted by many. Here are 5 fashion personas for men that are apparent throughout society.

1. The Preppy College Kid

The preppy look is iconic and well known by many people. The term prep originated as a referral to those attending a preparatory school, and who are likely being groomed for an Ivy League college. Some staples in a typical prep’s closet are cable knit sweaters, polo shirts, nice vests, and chino pants. As for formal accessories, prep schools are typically if not always uniformed. With a nice blazer you are also likely to find a pocket square. During their free time is when the polos come in, often matched with cargo shorts.

Nothing shouts "preppy" more than pink trousers.

2. The Yuppie

Somewhat similar to the preppy look is that of the yuppie. Standing for “young urban professional” or “young upwardly-mobile professional,” the yuppie never hesitates to show off his assets. Some believe that this is what teenage preps grow to become. You can spot them wearing designer suits with sleek blazers. On more casual occasions, they are likely to be seen in a pair of khaki pants and a tuxedo shirt, often with a loose collar and rolled up sleeves. Some also carry a sweater just casually draped over their shoulders. Whether they ever actually put it on is a different story. Yuppies like to add a dash of bling to their outfit, so nice watches and classy cufflinks are likely to be present.

Probably one of the most memorable yuppies of American cinema - Patrick Bateman.

3. The Bad Boy

Taking a sharp turn away from the last two personas is the bad boy look. No matter what any girl might say, this look will always turn heads. Now, the term “bad boy” certainly doesn’t mean badly dressed. In fact, the look can be highly flattering. The typical attire that fits this heartthrob’s look often involves a nice leather jacket, a fitted t-shirt, denim jeans (often ripped), and scuffed up boots. The shirts tend to be in solid colors while the jeans are most likely dark blue or with a gray tinge. Accessories can range from aviator shades to leather arm bands. The look may shout trouble, but it doesn’t stop the girls from taking an extra peek.

Brilliant M.D. + Bad Boy Look = trumps McDreamy in our book anytime.

4. The Cowboy

Here we can see President Obama carefully observing Sen. Ken Salazar's Cowboy look.

Taking another considerable jump, the next persona is that of a cowboy. He may be seen in different looks, depending on the occasion. While working, they are likely to wear faded blue jeans, steel toe boots, and a plaid shirt. Sometimes, a cowboy hat or a leather belt with a big metal buckle completes the ensemble. However, they clean up nice as well. Their formal wear attire is often composed of a black tuxedo suit and a tuxedo vest. On rare occasions, they might up the ante and wear a bolo tie to enhance their character.

After getting some fashion tips from Sen. Salazar, President Obama decided to try the Cowboy look himself.

5. The Hipster

The last persona we will look at hardly needs any introduction. The hipster look is one that started back in the 90’s and has since evolved into a cultural phenomenon. Their shirts range from checkered, button-up shirts to t-shirts with random sayings or old cartoon characters. Many hipster guys will rarely, if ever, be seen without skinny jeans – also, the tighter the better. As for accessories, some must-haves include knit hats, thick framed glasses, scarves, and neon colored belts. Some will also add suspenders to their wardrobe that can range from black and white checkers to all the colors of the rainbow. Layering is also essential. They tend to go for the “I don’t really care” look, which ironically, can be harder to achieve than it sounds.

NBA hipsters - now that's ironic.

These are only a few defined styles of male personas that grace society. Men’s fashion trends are ever changing. It’s possible that you may find yourself in one of these categories or you may not. One thing they all have in common is each persona wears their look with pride. If you ever choose to follow any of the looks above, enjoy and embrace it no matter what it might be.

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