The hardest challenge for men who want to dress better is veering away from Instagram influencers and hot fashion trends. It’s easier to ‘cop the look’ instead of finding your unique style. Yet, that is the true key to dressing better. Once you get your own groove, it would be easy to fill up the closet with staples and know what to wear wherever, whenever, even without peeking at Instagram profiles of A-listers. The truth is, you only need to consider these three things when building your own style:

Physical Characteristics

What makes one style distinct from the other is primarily the unique body characteristics one has. Someone who has a larger build can’t have the same outfit as those who are lean. In the same way, the suits that look impeccable on skinny men might not exactly have the same effect on those who are big-boned. There are clothing cuts that best fit unique body characteristics. That’s why it’s important to know your body type.

If you have a triangular body, larger around the waist and hips with respect to the upper part of the body, your goal is to form balance and shape. Checkered blazers, Bogner men’s vests, and polo shirts with vertical stripes can help you with this. Clothes that define the shoulders — let’s say, bomber jackets — are also staples.

On the other hand, if your body is more on the inverted triangle shape, your aim is to highlight further that proportional shape. You can do this with slim-fit shirts, v-neck sweatshirts, and straight-leg pants. The bottom line, dress for your body type.

Lifestyle Habits

The everyday style you show off would depend largely on where you live, what your job requires, what the weather is like, etc. A man who works in a corporate setting will have a different style from someone who works in the film industry. The former will have a more clean-cut, straightforward look, with suits, fitting trousers, and leather shoes as his staples. The latter, on the other hand, leans towards an informal (sometimes experimental) ensemble, crew neck shirts and denim jackets in varying colors as his everyday go-to look.

Your lifestyle is, of course, influenced not only by your job, but your environmental context. Take this also into consideration. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself sweating so bad in a nylon polo shirt, under the humid Midwest’s summer.

Persona Goals

woman holding a pink bag

Finally, the image you want to project is important in building your style. How do you want to be perceived by people around you? Smart? Laid-back and chill? Authoritative? Feminine? The colors, patterns, details, and accessories you choose in your ensemble will give off the kind of personality you want to show off to the world. One exercise you can do to find style pieces appropriate for your image is doing a mini photoshoot. Dress up, pose for the camera, and see if the images reflect the character you’re hoping to achieve. From there, tweak, add accessories, or edit out stuff, if necessary.

With so many tools for inspiration making ‘steal the look’ so incredibly easy, it’s hard to find that unique style that you can call yours. But by looking within, starting with yourself, you can create something that has your signature all over it for sure.