Navy Pinpoint Oxford Casual Shirt

Basics of Dressing Well

Men’s Style Guide

Great style according to Batch

Having great style is either the most simple or most complicated challenge. Like anything we must begin with the end in mind and apply some basic fundamentals, the 80/20 rule (Pareto’s Principle), Occam’s Razor, Parkinson’s Law all work wonders here.

Let’s discuss the end goal. “Style” is: individual to you, versatile to your needs, easy to maintain, timeless to a point, and influence your environment in a positive way. Here are the reasons for each need of style:

Individual to you
Your style should be personal, an extension of you. You are unique, there is not another person in the world with your exact life. Your style should state this, even if in the most subtle way. Clothing does not say a word while still communicating volumes. Communicating through personal style is one of the most powerful allies we have when used appropriately.

Versatile to your needs
Your style should assist you in your day. Not be a burden, or uncomfortable. It should be appropriate in multiple situations you encounter through-out your day and accommodate varied environmental conditions. It should be interchangeable, each pieces capable of creating a variety of looks.

Easy to maintain
With little effort you should be able to look great and modern. From acquiring the pieces you need to washing and wearing, your style should be easy. You should not be stressed about comfort, wrinkles, or color matching. 

Timeless to a point
In this fast changing world there is little that is truly timeless, especially in fashion. 2-5 years is a great goal. Aim to keep items in your closet for two to five years. Enjoy your style and evolve it on this schedule and you will look current but not trendy.

Influences your environment in a positive way
Personal style is your billboard, your secret marketing team. Your style announces to the world: status, confidence, affluence, vigor, intelligence – before you have a chance to open your mouth. There are few things in life that hold this amount of influence for the little effort.

Classic Style Laydown

Before we discuss the relationship of our favorite philosophers basic principles to defining your personal style, let’s be grateful. As men, we are extremely blessed to have limited choices: pants, shirts, t-shirts, shoes, socks, and jackets. You need a few of each of these to create great individual style. Please note, like all things in life there is an initial investment needed to start the ball rolling, liken is as a downpayment to a car. It is your choice how fun that car is to drive based on your initial investment. As with all things there are techniques to stretch your dollar. Knowledge should be your key ally.

 

Pareto’s Principle

Begin with Pareto’s Principle – The principle states “that 20% of the invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained.” In reality, we all wear one pair of jeans more than all the rest. We love one to two shirts the most. There are keystone pieces in each of our wardrobes that do most of the heavy lifting. To maximize Pareto’s Principle, first make sure your initial investment pieces are the best in class and then acquire more of them. For example: a few pairs of great jeans, a few classic color shirts that make you look great, and lastly one key shoe in a few classic colors. These choices can make your style very easy and manageable, and build a strong foundation to your wardrobe.
Blue Oxford Casual Shirt



Occam’s Razor

Let’s move on to Occam’s Razor, usually the simplest answer is the correct one. Easy and applicable to style. Which pieces make you feel the most confident? In which styles do you receive the most compliments? If you do not know the answer to either question, success leaves clues.

Follow a style icon or brand you admire. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, there are teams of people every day solving these challenges. Try on a lot of different styles and get a second opinion. When you find the winner, maximize it. Invest in every color that looks great on you. Don't try to find 10 different pants from 10 different brands – that is a time wasting disaster. Instead, take the time to find the correct one for you and maximize. Today, this task is simple with free shipping and returns on the internet. No need to endure the mall.

White Utility Shirt with Dark Denim

Parkinson’s Law

Finally Parkinson’s Law: It points out that people usually take all the time allotted (and frequently more) to accomplish any task. Let’s change this from time to materials and space. In reality, you do not need many clothes to have really great style, but in today’s “more is more” climate we often get off track. First, start with addressing one week of looking great, no more. You may find with your investment pieces you are able to mix and match for months. Thinking beyond your investment pieces, the best way to tackle Parkinson’s Law is to maximize versatility. Classic colors and plenty of neutrals mixed in help to grow your available looks.
Grey Utility Shirt Rolled Sleeves
White Oxford Button Down and Jeans

KISS

Keep it simple stupid

Once you have your basic style foundation layer, then it’s time to layer on the personality: your personal style. This can be as simple as the shape of your glasses, or an antique watch. You can even embrace a new cut of pants or patterned shirt. The idea here is to again go back to the principles (see above). KISS is a great design adage that we utilize here at Batch HQ. Keep it simple stupid. Usually one piece of interest in your style is enough. Like colorful socks? Great make that your thing. Do you collect a brand of obscure dark denim jeans? Perfect, keep the rest simple. Love your watch collection? Awesome, let them shine by keeping the rest of your clothing plain. Occam’s Razor is more true here then ever. The simplest answer is usually the correct one. There is no faster way to kill an outfit than to overdo it. Once you have your key statement, stick to it and repeat it. Turn it into your thing, but focus on one to two key statements. People will remember just one thing about your style, so over doing it is wasting your style and money.

Utility Shirt Classic Look
Classic American
Utility Shirt Classic Look
Modern Classic
Utility Shirt Classic Look
Color Classic
Utility Shirt Classic Look
Color Classic

The Key to Great Style

Understatement is the key to great style. It draws people in, makes them want to learn more about you. Small interesting details convey there are layers to you and often act as conversation starters. Accessories are a great way to add special details, and adding a luxury accessory can really polish your look. You can wear simple inexpensive jeans but add a luxury belt for great style.
Grey Oxford Shirt Back Detail



Final Thoughts

With millions of clothing options available style can be daunting. All too often guys are scared to take a style risk and continue to dress poorly. Like finances, style is not a life skill we learn in school. The necessity of dressing well and having great style is as impactful as our education. Like eating well and being financially savvy, style simply takes a little knowledge and a willingness to learn. And like any skill, the level of our knowledge today compounds our gains over a lifetime.