That’s really my goal with this article. It’s to inspire you (yes, you!) to find your own sense of style that you feel happy and comfortable with. And I’m hoping to prove that all those excuses – appearance, age, money – don’t matter. They really don’t. If you’ve got the will, I’m going to show you the way.
Now as a disclaimer, I don’t consider myself to be a style or menswear expert. Far from it in fact. So, I decided to reach out to three guys who can definitely be considered experts in the field of style. I follow all three guys on Instagram, and as you’ll see, they each have a sense of style that’s unique to them, with some great tips that you might also be able to apply yourself!
If I had to describe the style and aesthetic that I like and go for in my own life in one word, I’d say it’s minimal. I’m a low-key, no-fuss kinda guy. I have a strong sense of what I like, and it usually tends to be black, white or grey in colour and a loose to medium fit. I have been buying some new pieces lately, but my only criteria is – do I like this or not? If it happens to be current or ‘in’, great, but it’s definitely not a deciding factor for me.
In some ways, I think that being in my 30s, and having a better understanding of who I am as a person, has helped me shape and define my style more. Which runs slightly counter to the common association that style is only for the young. Maybe there’s also room for the young at heart too?
Another thing that happens in your 30s is that you start changing physically. Your body begins to look and behave a little differently. Which leads to how you view yourself being different too.
I may till have a full set of hair, but it is tinged with light grey. For a while, I hated it. I thought it made me look older, so I dyed it. But then I felt like I was covering something up (I mean, I literally was), and it just felt disingenuous to me. I write a lot on the blog about accepting yourself, your body, your penis size and here I am covering up my grey hair. I knew I was being hypocritical.
So I stopped and let the grey do it’s thing. I figured, hey I like wearing grey shirts (they’re probably my favourite), now I’m getting the hair to match. And the funniest thing? The moment I let go of the fear of not ‘looking good’, I have received more compliments about my appearance in the last 6 months (with the grey hair), than I have for a long time.
The other thing I will say about style that gets overlooked a lot – and that was completely validated by my experience of chatting with these three lovely guys – is that good manners and politeness never go out of style.
So while it’s easy to look at these guys and just see them for their appearance, looks and style, I can personally vouch for the fact that they are all polite, professional and really lovely to deal with. And for me, politeness being so rare these days – is a pretty fucking awesome, sexy and supremely stylish quality to have.
Which brings me to Daniel (@mr.danielocean)
Daniel is the founder and creative lead of Daniel Ocean Designs, a carefully curated team of top multimedia and web development experts. He also spearheads the men’s lifestyle blog Mr. Ocean documenting his fashion visions, fitness lifestyle and experiences as a freelancer in Toronto.
As if that doesn’t keep him busy enough, he freelances as a personal stylist, project art director, social media consultant, fitness trainer and licensed realtor.
Here’s our chat:
Little Gay Blog – What does style mean to you and how has your own personal style evolved?
Daniel – I think style is so much more than “fashion”. Fashion to me is what’s happening collectively today while style truly is a reflection of how you interpret it.
Since I was a kid, I always had an appreciation for style. At 10 I was begging my mother to buy me Tommy Hilfiger crewnecks when most kids wanted candy.
With a grandfather who played pro hockey in posh NYC, his style of being a refined jock rubbed off on me. I was a sports kid but I appreciated classic menswear all the same.
I talk often on my blog about style evolvement because it’s just the most natural topic for me to open up about. Being chameleonic in your style from day is the epitome of style itself. Being able to adapt to different situations, weather, dress codes and to be open-minded to try new things is what makes fashion so fun.
While I appreciate those who have one signature style that they live and die by, I really do admire those who can roll out different looks effortlessly. You don’t have to put yourself in a box to be authentic. I always encourage men to evolve in their style every single morning when they open their wardrobe.
Style seems to be the domain of the young. What are some good style tips for guys in their 40s, 50s and over?
Style is as timeless as it is ageless. I do accept the fact that style can be more accessible and also more accepted by the young but it isn’t their property.
Some of the men I admire most are the ones who made it through the fads and crazes of their twenties and thirties to become a style guru in their forties and fifties. Men who have grown out of making style headlines and morphed into style consistency.
My advice for guys in the latter group is to remain classic and fitted. I truly believe the most memorable component of a man’s style is the fit. Don’t be eccentric, be meticulous. Keep your wardrobe classic and semi-basic, but wear it well-tailored and with great shoes and a handsome bag. And a good haircut, always have a fresh cut fellas.
Next up is Charlie (@unphoenix)
Charlie is based in Brisbane, Australia. I really love his sense of style. He’s adventurous and likes to mix and match different styles, prints, materials, colours, as well as sizes.
There’s such a huge emphasis on everything being perfectly fitted and tailored these days. While I agree that a fitted look does look great and really masculine, I probably feel the most comfortable in looser style clothing myself. Charlie’s living proof that you can be stylish and still comfortable too!
Here’s what we chatted about:
Little Gay Blog – How did you first discover style and who were some of your early style role models/inspiration?
Charlie – Discovering my style didn’t come easy. I grew up up in a normal house in the suburbs and didn’t come out to my family until I was a late teen.
As soon as I could, I got my first job at a pizza parlour just so I would have my own money to buy my very first pair Diesel jeans that were covered in rips.
I discovered my style in my late 20s when I became more comfortable with myself after experimenting with different styles.
Social media plays a big part for my inspiration these days. But growing up I looked towards anything that I could find. Whether that would have been a television show, an ad in a magazine, new music.
Guys who might feel they’re that they’re ‘plus size’ might understandably feel a bit uncomfortable wearing tight or revealing clothes. What style tips would you give to these guys to help them feel – and look great?
Some advice I would give to the guys who feel they are not the standard size would be to try and stay away from prints on the front of a shirt you don’t won’t to emphasise certain areas.
Another tip is to wear darker tones. Blacks, navvy blue or even an olive green are perfect.
And for down below, try a fitted pants or denim. Straight leg pants or flared denim don’t give you any shape.
But my biggest advice to anyone whether they are plus size or not is to make sure you feel comfortable in what you are wearing.
Confidence is the key. If you feel comfortable in what you are wearing it shows and the confidence shows.
You can follow Charlie on Instagram.
Say hi to Aaron (@themodernotter)
Last, but definitely not least we come to Aaron Wester. Aaron is the Founder of The Modern Otter website. His aim is not just to show an image of a great piece of clothing, but to also explore and share the story behind it as well. Who made it? Where did the fabric come from? What inspired the design?
I really love this approach, as it’s so different to the fast paced, mass produced, disposability that has become so prevalent in so many areas of life.
Currently based in NYC, Aaron has spent time living California, Arizona and UpState(ish) New York. With a background in theatre and costume design, (as well as 10 years as a merchandising manager for a major retailer), Aaron is now a dedicated, very successful full-time menswear style and lifestyle blogger.
Here’s what Aaron and I chatted about:
Little Gay Blog – How do you define your own sense of style and what ‘non-fashion’ areas of life inspire you in general?
Aaron – My style is a mashup of rugged adventurer and minimalist city-goer. I don’t wear a lot of colour, but instead look for classic silhouettes with interesting details (ex: a grey sweatshirt with zippers up the sides).
I think suits are boring. I have never been interested in being the best dressed or the most dapper.
You can have style without wearing bright colours or extra accessories. Put things together in an interesting way and you’re good to go.
I’m inspired by photography and interior design. A lot of the people I follow on social media take really beautiful photos and I particularly appreciate when the perspective is different than my own. There’s so much beauty in the details, lighting and composition.
Some guys might think that looking good costs a lot of money. What are some of your money saving hacks to help guys look great – on any budget?
There are two major components to this answer: fit and mixing highs and lows.
Fit is king above all. If you are buying a suit and you’re on a budget, purchase an affordable suit and splurge on the tailor. If it’s tailored well, it won’t matter where you bought it and you will always look amazing. Style is how you put an outfit together, not what label is on the inside.
My other big style tip: mix high end pieces with low end. I splurge on one expensive coat every winter. It’s an investment piece for me. I know I will wear it a ton and it makes a statement, but I’ll pair it with more affordable basics.
And never shy away from the end-of-season sale. It’s the best time to buy cashmere.
So there you have it guys. Three of the most stylish menswear/lifestyle experts proving that every gay guy can have style. It’s not something that’s out of your reach or belongs to anyone else. If you decide you want to focus on your own style, do it.
Be comfortable. Be bold. Experiment. Have confidence. And most importantly, have fun! At the end of the day, it’s just about enjoying and expressing yourself!