As I was exploring the clothing stores early in September, as I do at the beginning of every new season, I couldn‘t help but be surprised by what I was seeing.
Normally when autumn hits, menswear stores start looking like a stage of a depressing movie: the colors are dark, joyless and the designs look like they have but a single purpose – removing all and any sex appeal from the wearer.
And while yes, there‘s definetely plently of clothes that match the description in this season‘s collections, I saw something that made me genuinely smile with joy – a whole lot of color red!
Did the designers finally find out about „The Wow! Factor“?!
Now, if you are a student of The Wow! Factor, you know that red represents passion, status and ambition. It‘s a challenging and attention grabbing color that makes the competition look bland, disintresting, lifeless.
Oh, I love this color so much!
However, there is a problem with red. Well, two problems to be exact:
- Because it‘s so attention grabbing, it‘s a difficult color to wear in an outfit
- Red menswear can be damn difficult to find
But since the latter problem has been solved this year, I figured I should make a style inspiration article that shows how you can rock red pieces of clothing in very different situations.
I have three outfits prepared for you in this article and I hope you‘ll find useful ideas you can implement in your own outfits (or you can just copy mine haha)
Let‘s go play outside
The base of this outfit is a red faux leather jacket, navy lace up boots and light blue jeans. This base was inspired by the iconic James Dean look in „Rebel Without A Cause“, so you know its cool as fuck. Light colors makes this outfit most suitable for day time and casual environments.
But in contrast to most casual outfits that are this simple, it‘s anything but boring. To put it simply, it cannot be ignored!
- Red faux leather jacket from Zara. Got it for only 25 euros on a sale haha
- White crew neck T-shirt from Zara
- Skinny light blue jeans from Blend
- Navy boots from Fabi. My most expensive pair to date, but damn it, I love them!
The outfit has a surprisingly huge number of variations available to us.
From simple changes in color like rocking a black t-shirt instead of white, or wearing a black leaher jacket insted of red to changes that completely transform the overall image:
- Black biker leather jacket + muscle cut scoop neck t-shirt would make the outfit look aggressive, sexual, much more suitable for night game
- On other hand, I could swap the jacket for a blazer to give me a much smarter look
One variation I like in particular, especially since its getting colder now, is rocking a white untucked buttoned shirt with a navy V-neck jumper in slim cut. It‘s still a very catchy look overall, but can easily be mistaken for smart-casual once the jacket comes off, so you can wear it to most modern workplaces.
A little over the top?
When I originally designed this look I planned on wearing a grey blazer and socks in another bright, playful color, maybe something with polka dots.
This would‘ve made the whole look a bit more subtle, less flashy.
But then I remembered: 1) „understated is overrated“ 2) I don‘t have a grey blazer and don‘t really want to buy one at the moment.
So I dug through my closet and found that hey, I still have that blazer from the cover of „Nerdy to Sexy“ – let‘s use it!
This is a variation of an outfit I sometimes wear to work. Admitedly its a ballsy look for an outfit that‘s supposed to be smart but as long as you can handle the attention, it really does its job superbly well!
- Slim fit blazer in deep blue from Zara. If you have a keen eye, you should notice that the fit is not perfect, but I would say good enough to illustrate the look.
- Muscle fit turtle neck jumper from Asos
- Only & Sons super skinny smart trousers – admittedly a little too tight for my comfort but I really wanted to try it out and I think it looks quite good overall
- Red socks
- KG By Kurt Geiger Melton loafers in navy. Sadly the season of wearing loafers is almost over, but I‘m really excited about all the outfits I‘ll be able to build around them in Spring/Summer as the design itself is timeless
As noted earlier, the color scheme could be toned down a bit and it might even be a good idea to do so, if you‘re a little shy ;)
To do so, just change the color of the blazer to something less bright. Grey, navy (like the shoes), would do the job very well.
If you do so, you can then pick a different color of playful socks to rock, because who wants to look serious anyway
The outfit is also easy to adjust to make it more suitable as it gets colder – just swap the loafers for a pair of Chelsea boots and add an overcoat (or you can wear a coat instead of blazer). Similarly, once you swap out loafers for Chelsea boots, you can pick a racer leather jacket and end up with a really cool elegant – edgy image.
Let‘s go for a ride
I couldn’t do our first 3rd gen style inspiration article without a proper tribute to our fan-favorite „bad boy“ look. Inspired by the old school rock culture the outfit is dark, tight and sexual – having extra buttons open on a shirt is a must when wearing it!
One thing to point out, given the theme of this article, in this outfit we’re using color red for details and highlights, not as a core color, which is black. I wanted to showcase this approach as an example of how you can wear red without it dominating the rest of the outfit.
- Kubon biker denim jacket (yes, it‘s denim, not leather). I could only find this brand through Asos.com
- Plaid shirt in red and white from Zara
- Washed skinny black jeans from Zara. Yes, I do like Zara
- Chelsea boots from Ted Baker
- 2 x leather bracelets and one bead bracelet, all from local craftsmen
When I was first building this outfit in my mind, my original thought was to use the red muscle fit turtle neck you saw in the second outfit – and yes, it would work very well, giving the whole outfit more of an elegant – edgy image.
If, however, you want to say in the Edgy terittory, there aren‘t that many changes we can made:
- T-shirt instead of a plaid shirt (or under the plaid shirt, just keep it unbuttoned in that case)
- Converse instead of a Chelsea boots
- Leather jacket instead of denim
You get what I mean. It‘s a simple outfit with few moving parts. One thing that I wanted to add here but couldn‘t find in time is a belt chain – I think it would‘ve been a very suitable and cool accessory to add.
Before finishing up, I wanted to share why this particular article is so important to me.
About this style inspiration
The first style inspiration I ever made for Sexy Style for Joe was called „how to dress like a bad boy“ and in it, I took a photo from pinterest of a guy in stylish outfit, then deconstructed and explained the outfit. That article sucked.
First, I was borrowing someone else‘s photo to make a point. I didn‘t even know who the owner was to give proper credit.
Second, explaining someone elses outfits doesn‘t give much creative freedom and you‘re bound by what you‘re able to find online.
To address these issues, the second generation of style inspiration articles were created. And probably a lot of you found this website because of them.
You know what I‘m talking about – a collage of photos of clothes. And yes, while this approach addressed the copyright and creative-restrictions problems it had a different issue altogether – you couldn‘t see how the clothes actually looked on a person. Oops.
But today we have our first 3rd generation style inspiration article. With outfits on a real human being (yes, I’m real), and very few creative restrictions!
You see, since I started working in digital marketing full time earlier this year, this site was no longer responsible for covering my bills. So now I can just reinvest everything the site makes into making better content. Which is awesome.
This means that you guys made this article possible and before everything else I want to thank you for it! This also means that if you have ideas how we can improve this series even further, please don‘t hesitate and let me know via e-mail or in the comments below.
(And yes, in case you‘re wondering, I do have a vision how the 4th generation style inspiration pieces should look like, but we‘ll get to that someday in the future. Probably.)
As you might have noticed, in this style inspiration piece I didn’t really dig into the technical parts of why I chose certain pieces, etc., etc. – all of those “how to” details of building an image for yourself are fully explained in The Wow! Factor.
So if you want to learn how to build outfits that suit your personality, goals, lifestyle and can transform your image, make sure to check it out and give it a try!