well-dressed couple

I've always considered myself very lucky that Nate knows how to dress well. On pretty much any typical day when we're going out in public he's wearing a nice polo or dress shirt and accessories like sleek sunglasses and a snazzy hat. It seems almost inherent that he has really great taste. I credit his mom. I'm not sure why…I just figure that moms always have something to do with how their kids dress, right? Nate also has a deep appreciate for all things well-made (a fascination that I know he got from his Dad), so that also has a lot to do with the fact that he knows how to dress well by always investing in well-made clothing that lasts.

How to Dress Well

How to Dress Well

There are a few essential tips for how to dress well that will have any guy looking like sharp in minutes (of course, getting a hair cut and a decent shave won't hurt either):

  • Dress shirts are key: Make sure you're stocked up on a variety of long sleeve shirts and polos in neutral colors like white, blue, grey and black. These are easiest to match. And always wear an undershirt beneath your dress shirts.
  • Dark, fitted jeans: These are easy to dress up or down. A good pair of jeans (that isn't too baggy or too tight!) will be the most essential item in your closet.
  • Branch out with your pants: While jeans are one of the most important items to own, they won't always cut it at every occasion. Invest in some nice khaki chinos, cargos or corduroy pants to instantly take your look up a notch and show everyone that you know how to dress well.
  • Wear nice shoes: The wrong shoes can instantly kill any outfit. You don't necessarily need to be wearing shiny leather every day. You can pair a good pair of sneakers or loafers with jeans and a nice shirt – just make sure they're clean and stylish, and don't look like an afterthought.
  • Accessorize: Add a watch, belt, hat or scarf for a put-together look.
  • Match: Your belt should generally match the color of your shoes. And never, ever wear athletic socks with dress shoes, or dress socks with tennis shoes.
  • No holes, rips or stains: You can have the snazziest outfit in the room. If it's beat up, you'll look unkempt. It's also important to make sure your clothes fit well. A good tailor is worth his weight in gold.
  • Don't go overboard: You may happen to see neon vests and army boots taking over guys' looks on the runways in your girlfriend's fashion magazines. Ignore the trends. Fashionable men know the key for how to dress well is in a classic, versatile look.

Putting it all together

Dressed up Dude

Dressed-up Dude: Pair dark denim with a dress shirt and crisp sneakers. A pea coat gives this ensemble a sharp look for any date night. dENiZEN from Levi's Men's 285 Relaxed Fit Jeans ($25 at Target), Merona Men's Tailored Fit Dress Shirt ($23 at Target), H-26 by Haggar Men's Wool Pea Coat ($90 at Target), Men's Mossimo Ricky shoe ($30 at Target), Merona Gradient Smoke Lens Sunglasses ($17 at Target).

Casual ManCasual Man: Light chinos and a basic white tee are paired with a rugged-looking grey dress shirt and matching belt and shoes. This is how to dress well for a look that's laid-back, but very put-together. Merona Men's Tailored Washed Chino ($28 at Target), Mossimo Supply Co. Men's Short-Sleeve Tee ($10 at Target), Converse One Star Men's Long Sleeve Shirt ($25 at Target), Men's Dickies Casual Oxford ($75 at Target), Dickies Men's Cut Edge Reversible Belt ($17 at Target).