Mastering the art of Men’s Styling is essential for any personal stylist looking to specialise their skills. In-depth knowledge of male-specific client needs and wants is an important skill to have under your belt. From assessing a client’s lifestyle to understanding different suit styles, there’s much to learn when it comes to dressing male clients.
Here are our top 5 tips to help you master men’s personal styling:
1. Lifestyle assessment for Men’s Personal Styling
It is important as a Personal Stylist to get to know your clients. You can do so by having regular client consultations.
In these meetings, it is important to uncover what the client WANTS as well as what their NEEDS are. Here, the Personal Stylist would need to discover the occasion that the client is dressing for as well as the kind of activities the client would be involved in.
For example, if your client is going be running around – you must consider that restrictive clothing is a no-no, regardless of how stunning the outfit maybe!
These consultations are important as it ensures that you are on the same page with your client.
2. Male Body Shapes
There are 5 distinct men’s body shapes: the oval, triangle, rectangle, rhomboid and inverted triangle.
It is important to identify different body shapes in order to style an ensemble that will be most flattering to your client’s body type.
The beauty of fashion as an art form is that clothing may create the illusion of different body shapes. Through the science of ectomorphs and endomorphs, you can make a client appear taller, shorter, slimmer, bulkier, curvier or more muscular. This simple trick does wonders should your client wish to enhance or reduce certain aspects of their outer appearance.
For example, opting for well-fitted items over ‘baggy’ clothing gives the appearance of a taller physique. The ‘loose fit’ may cause your client to look smaller in build and wider in body shape.
3. Colour Analysis
Ever wondered why some people suit certain colours and not others? By mixing and matching the right colours you are able to make your client look younger and healthier, and enhance their natural complexion.
There are 2 colour groups we look at for men:
Clients in this group usually have a medium to strong contrast between their hair, skin and eyes.
They have alabaster white, olive, yellow or brown to black skin with a blue or pinkish undertone.
Their eyes are typically dark brown, dark blue, clear blue, grey, violet or light green and often have a dark rim around the iris.
Your clients in this group will have hair in cool ash tones and range from platinum blonde, ash blond, brown to black.
Bright jewel colours with a blue undertone such as emerald green, bright turquoise, royal blue, shocking pink, cardinal purple and blue red are most flattering for cool-toned clients. They also suit cool icy colours such as ice blue, baby pink and pale lilac. Their best neutrals are black, white, navy, taupe and grey.
Silver or gunmetal coloured jewellery complement this group the most.
Warm-toned clients usually have a low to medium contrast between their hair, skin and eyes.
These clients usually have warm creamy looking skin (often referred to as peaches and cream) with a yellow-orange undertone. They are often pale or have a reddish freckled skin with warm brown, hazel, green, amber or blue eyes with golden flecks.
Their hair has golden or red tones and ranges from honey blond, strawberry blond, rich warm brown, auburn, ginger to fiery orange.
Warm-toned clients look best in autumn or earthy colours with a yellow undertone such as tomato red, dark tobacco, rust, mustard, warm burgundy, orange, lime green and teal. Their best-suited neutrals are brown, beige, khaki, camel, olive green and cream as well as gold or brassy coloured jewellery.
4. Dress Codes For Men’s Styling
Pay attention to the dress code. It’s important to style your client for the occasion or they could attract attention- and not in a good way!
Different dress codes entail different attires. To name a few:
Black tie –
Suit with a black bow tie
Cocktail party –
Suit and optional tie
Suit with tie
Smart casual –
Chinos, denim or suit pants with a shirt or with a smart T-shirt (no ties!).
Always remember to style your client to fit the dress code, however, don’t be afraid to add a unique flair to the ensemble to make him stand out from the crowd!
5. Men’s Suit Styles
When it comes to men’s suit styles, as a stylist you simply cannot ‘wing it’, there are unspoken rules with regards to suits that influence the overall ensemble.
Different physiques and occasions call for different suits. For example:
Basic suit –
This can be dressed as a 2 or 3-piece suit. This style is more informal which means that there are less restrictive ‘rules’ with regards to details such as pockets or the lapel.
Wear this ensemble in complementary colours such as blue and orange but avoid black as it is usually reserved for formal occasions.
Dinner suit –
This is also known as a tuxedo. A proper tuxedo is always made in navy and black.
The lapel should be faced with grosgrain, satin or in a shawl or peak shape rather than notching. In addition, the buttons should be covered in the same fabric as the lapel rather than plastic, metal or horn.
Avoid pairing a belt with this ensemble, instead, attach a cummerbund or alternatively, braces to hold up the trousers.
Tails are often worn for white tie events as it gives off a very formal look.
The jacket has a long, rounded back (like a tail). All other details mimic a dinner suit.
Style with a bow tie or cravat and perhaps a waistcoat. Furthermore, consider a top hat and dress shoes for a very elegant look.
Sports jacket –
This ensemble is more ‘laid back’ than other suits. Its constructed with a softer finish such as cotton, wool and linen.
The sports jacket also has notably less shoulder padding.
This suit style can be worn in many different colours and is a great way to inject some creativity through prints and vivid colours. Additional details such as elbow patches and multiple pockets (be it patches or flaps) can also add an extra flair to the look.
Are you looking to learn more and master the art of Men’s Styling? The Academy of Fashion Styling offers a comprehensive Men’s Styling course that will boost your skill base whether you’re already working as a professional stylist or as a men’s fashion retailer. See our course breakdown for more information!