Lifestyle, Style Advice / March 28th, 2016

The 80/20 Principle For Style Improvement

Looking like a million bucks consistently takes hard work.

There’s no denying that fact.

For men – we amplify our problems by approaching our style the wrong way.

And I mean completely the wrong way.

The culprit is how you allocate your time and energy to style. If you find yourself putting as much effort into your tie as you do your blazer then there’s no doubt you’re in need of some serious help.

That help is in the form of the 80/20 principal.

If you never heard of the 80/20 principal, I’m going to give you a quick rundown on what it’s all about.

The 80/20 principal was created by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto back in 1896 and essentially states that 80% of all outcomes come from 20% of the causes.

Examples of this are:

Business – 80% of profitability come from 20% of a companies products

Sports – 80% of the touchdowns scored by a football team are caused by 20% of the players

Academics – 80% and above grades stem from 20% of the students

As you can see, you can pretty much take this rule and apply it to any area of life and the result will be pretty close to an 80/20 split.

I love the 80/20 principal and use it myself to make sure I get the most results with the least amount of effort.

I definitely use this approach with my wardrobe as well.

You should too.

Dressing sharp can get complicated in a hurry and take a bunch of your time without you even noticing. Instead of focusing your energy on every item you buy/wear, why not focus your effort on the 20% of clothing that will make the biggest impact?

I’m talking about the foundational items in your wardrobe that will get used the most often and are highly versatile.

My 20% look like this:

Navy Blue Blazer

An item that should be in every man’s closet is the navy blue blazer. I good chunk of your effort and budget allocated to style should be spend on this iconic garment.

You can easily wear a navy blue blazer to work or on a casual stroll in the city. Since the navy blue blazer is such a versatile garment it can easily be worn many times throughout the week without looking stale.

White Dress Shirt

Is there anything more confidence boosting than wearing a well fitted white dress shirt? If there is, please let me know what it is, I dare you.

It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a tie or not, the white dress shirt will make you look like a man of style, power and success.

Throw on a pair of jeans if not in a work environment and you will look sharp. Oh you are heading to work? Swap the jeans for a pair of charcoal dress pants and your good to go.

With a few white dress shirts in your closet it’s easy to look great consistently without much effort.

Light Blue Dress Shirt

Yes, dress shirts are an important component of men’s style but I’m limiting this list to just two. The white dress shirt mentioned above is a no-brainer but a light blue one is a very close second.

You can mix a light blue dress shirt with darker shades of blue, brown, grey and countless other classic colors. The guesswork in choosing color combinations is greatly reduced with light blue.

Grab yourself a few of these.

Brown Oxford Shoes

Talk about classy

Brown oxford shoes hold their own just fine in pretty much any corporate event. Just the most formal environments would be two much for these stylish workhorses.

I tend to wear my brown oxfords in business casual environments the most, especially when meeting clients.

Put on a pair of brown oxford shoes with any of the items listed above and you will look super sharp.

A Charcoal Suit

I could easily make a case on choosing the navy blue suit over the charcoal counterpart but I’m spicing things up this time around. You can’t really go wrong with either one anyways.

The charcoal suit is the very definition of sophistication. It’s simple, elegant and a statement piece.

If your charcoal suit is tailored, watch out. You will easily be the center of attention and on the room wherever you find yourself.

A Black Briefcase

A timeless classic that will still be around even after your grandkids are long gone.

If there ever were an accessory that gives off the hint of power, the black briefcase would be it. Its subtle perception of dominance when worn with the right outfit is truly a thing to behold.

I always find I’m more confident and get more respect when carrying a sleek black briefcase.

Make sure the briefcase matches the rest of your outfit. You would need a pair of black shoes (not mentioned in my top 20%) and a size that matches the fit of your clothing. In other words, a slim briefcase calls for a slim fitted suit.

Classic Timepiece

Technology is here to stay and I’m super cool with that.

What I’m not cool with is the new generation completely brushing off the relevance of the classic luxury watch.

The smartphone, in my opinion will never replicate the sheer sophistication of a watch.

Take my advice and choose a watch style that has a replaceable leather strap with a white face. This way, you can swap out the strap to coordinate with any outfit you can imagine.

If you want to learn more about the luxury watch, check out this guide I created, its one of my favorites.

Putting the best version of yourself out in the public eye consistently doesn’t have to be hard work. If you focus your effort and money on the 20% of your wardrobe that matters most, you will get the most return on your investment.

Be honest with yourself, what’s better than a high return with minimal input?