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Clothing is a language. Stop mumbling.

“I dunno, I’m just a normal guy, I guess.”

Empower yourself to dress stylishly by letting the world teach you how.
Empower yourself to dress stylishly by letting the world teach you how.

If you want to learn how to dress well, the best way to start isn’t to turn to style experts. It’s to pay attention to the people around you. Develop an ear for what people say with their clothes and you’ll have an army of strangers providing free lessons every time you go outside.

Here’s how I learned style: I started translating people’s outfits into words. You should try it. Go somewhere crowded. Pick a subject. Imagine they put together their look to deliberately say something about themselves. Write it down.

You’re going to hear a lot of different sentences. Everything from “I have never untucked a shirt” to “I’m a rapper from the sixth dimension who came back in time to sell you Xanax.” It’ll be confusing for a while, until patterns emerge.

With men, it boils down to a handful of statements. About 2/3 of them are a variation of “I dunno, I’m just a normal guy, I guess.” You’ll also hear a lot of “Please, please, please look at me,” with the occasional “Behold how rich and powerful I am, peasant.”

Occasionally, someone will say something captivating. Along the lines of “I know exactly what I’m doing,” or “I am successful but have nothing to prove.” Commit their outfits to memory.

Now, go to thrift stores and find clothes that mimic their aesthetic. With time and effort, you can have the same wardrobe for about one fifth what they paid for it. You probably have a Goodwill or a Salvation Army close to you. All their San Diego locations have large clothing inventories. Expect to pay around $7 for shirts, $12 for pants, and $5-15 for shoes.

Learn the language of apparel, then speak it clearly. You’ll belong to the tiny minority of people who can.

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Empower yourself to dress stylishly by letting the world teach you how.
Empower yourself to dress stylishly by letting the world teach you how.

If you want to learn how to dress well, the best way to start isn’t to turn to style experts. It’s to pay attention to the people around you. Develop an ear for what people say with their clothes and you’ll have an army of strangers providing free lessons every time you go outside.

Here’s how I learned style: I started translating people’s outfits into words. You should try it. Go somewhere crowded. Pick a subject. Imagine they put together their look to deliberately say something about themselves. Write it down.

You’re going to hear a lot of different sentences. Everything from “I have never untucked a shirt” to “I’m a rapper from the sixth dimension who came back in time to sell you Xanax.” It’ll be confusing for a while, until patterns emerge.

With men, it boils down to a handful of statements. About 2/3 of them are a variation of “I dunno, I’m just a normal guy, I guess.” You’ll also hear a lot of “Please, please, please look at me,” with the occasional “Behold how rich and powerful I am, peasant.”

Occasionally, someone will say something captivating. Along the lines of “I know exactly what I’m doing,” or “I am successful but have nothing to prove.” Commit their outfits to memory.

Now, go to thrift stores and find clothes that mimic their aesthetic. With time and effort, you can have the same wardrobe for about one fifth what they paid for it. You probably have a Goodwill or a Salvation Army close to you. All their San Diego locations have large clothing inventories. Expect to pay around $7 for shirts, $12 for pants, and $5-15 for shoes.

Learn the language of apparel, then speak it clearly. You’ll belong to the tiny minority of people who can.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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