How to Shop Your Closet: 5 Elegant Outfits Inspired by Men's Fashion
I love finding new outfits within my wardrobe without spending anything extra. Follow along to see how to shop your closet, creating new outfits from old clothes with a menswear touch.
Start by dissociating consumption from style. Look at pieces in your closet as tools to build multiple outfits based on the main elements of style: color, texture, proportion and silhouette.
Today, let’s tackle menswear in the traditional sense: suits, tailored button-up shirts etc.
I’ve created a mood board for inspiration, ranging from classic to contemporary menswear fashions.
One of the through-lines I see in all of these styles is that they feature timeless pieces and menswear staples.
One major element that makes them timeless is a structured silhouette.
Even with the modern looking, bootcut pants, they still have a structured shape.
I love the sharpness of a tailored silhouette. Notice a mix of linens, plus a layering effect with accessories.
Even in the photo of Paul Newman (below, upper left) wearing the V-neck, the top is paired with a super-structured pair of pants.
These looks are all very polished, with tucked in shirts and closed-toe shoes. Plus, there are tons of neutrals.
1. Tailored separates
This look is based around tailored separates on the top and bottom. I’ve gone a bit heavy with the penny loafers:
One swap can totally change the vibe. Feel free to play with that line between masculine and feminine by adding heels.
A shoe that’s patterned or wild might feel out of place here, so I’ve kept the neutral color palette.
Add a layer with a chic neck scarf. Watch the video at 5:10 -5:20 to see how I tied it.
I recommend choosing 3 words to define your style. Mine are: classic, minimal and undone.
Staying true to those words, I’ve left my hair down and the style feels true to me.
2. The Paul Newman T
This look is inspired by the Paul Newman photo, featuring a basic T with fitted pants and high contrast.
The slingback heels marry nonchalance with a touch of elevation.
Since my T-shirt is black like my hair, there’s not a lot of definition, so I’ve put my hair up.
I went with a high ponytail since a low style might look too rigid.
Although most of these looks can be deemed timeless, this look here with the paperbag waist is more vintage.
Note the way I’ve cuffed the sleeves past the elbows.
Here, I’ve moved away from rigidity since both of these pieces, although tailored, have a flowing quality to them.
The belt adds some feminine, waist definition.
After adding pumps, I decided to balance the proportions with something heavier on top: a structured blazer.
4. Pleated chinos
The pleats in these pants add an element of tailoring, mixed with the feeling of summer ease thanks to the light top.
Is this too Indiana Jones? Maybe he should’ve been on this mood board!
Here’s another, super cute option with the chinos.
This look works because I’m wearing something fitted and feminine on top with more structure on the bottom.
Stripes are considered classic, and I love the mix of brown with black and tan.
You might try a textured top instead:
I love this mix of textures and silhouettes: the top is slouchy-cozy while the bottom is more rigid.
I like the penny loafers with this since the knitted, cap sleeve top feels sufficiently feminine.
It’s an older “rule” to match your belt with your shoes, but it works here.
5. Inspired by a summer suit
In the absence of a summer suit, I decided to mix 2 tailored pieces.
What worked best was a slightly tapered blazer on top of a tucked, button down.
Heels add definition while rolling up the blazer sleeves adds an undone feel.
Hair up or down, it doesn’t really matter here, as long as it doesn’t feel too severe. In lieu of a suit, this tailored look works.
I like this even more with the silk scarf! It feels like an ascot tie, but less stuffy.
Outfits inspired by men's fashion
Now that you’ve learned how to shop your closet, let me know if you enjoyed the menswear inspiration in the comments.
Next up, try out 11 super elegant Italian outfit ideas.
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