More hints By Ignacio Quiles

Ignacio Quiles Photo by Charles DavidReady to claim the lead role in your life? I’ve learned a few things that can help guys dress for the part that they alone were born to play.  Hopefully, these tips will inspire you to push the limits of your sartorial journey by helping you cultivate and ultimately celebrate your own sense of style.

Embarking on My Personal Style Journey

The style I’m known for is the result of many trials and tribulations of trying a look, going out in the world and getting a reaction – sometimes positive, sometimes not. But I always came home, learned some more, reengineered the look, and went right back out into the world.

I started experimenting at an early age. I was an old movies fan so that’s the source of a lot of my sartorial prowess. I’d sit at home and watch the Million Dollar Movie on television and want to dress like the cool guys on screen. All styles inspired me – from Fred Astaire and James Cagney to Ronald Coleman and Humphrey Bogart.

And having a mom who is a seamstress helped because I could buy vintage items and she showed me how to tailor them to fit a little skinny guy from Harlem like me. I learned not only how to sew, but also how to use the machine to taper – almost sculpt – the clothes. It didn’t happen overnight, but I watched and eventually I was able to rework my clothes into a custom fit. For me, fit is the basis of my style, but style is greater than that.

Photo by Gioncarlo ValentineWhat is style?

Style is the way you wear something, the way something looks on you, the way you move in your clothing. I believe stylish people are always evolving, but the basis to having style, in terms of fashion, is to know your body.

And the basis to exuding style is to know your mind and be confident.

How Do You Develop Your Own Style?

Start by learning your body shape. Do your shoulders slope? Is your back muscular? Do you have a belly? You get the idea. When I was young, I was super skinny and I had to learn to trick the eye to add bulk to my body. Now it’s the opposite, I need to leverage all the lengthening and slimming tricks in my arsenal.

Familiarize Yourself with Fashion Trends

As you learn about your body I suggest you learn about trends too. Understanding style and trend is helpful in developing your sartorial voice. Style and trend do not necessarily go together. You can follow stylish trends or you can have a trendy style. Knowing the trends will help you appear current and fit in. But slavishly following trends will not give you style. Often it will have the opposite effect.

Photo by Jeff BrummettI like to think about pairings. Knowing how to put things together. I pair stripes and polka dots. I pair different types of pinstripes: chalk, wide, and pinpoint. My style is about taking risks and wearing them on my sleeve. I have a big personality and it shines through in my style.

I encourage you to find your own style; don’t mimic mine. I have clients who fear that I’m going to make them wear wild colors and mix vintage with modern clothes or weigh them down with lots of accessories. That’s not what I do. I encourage you to dress for the role you are meant to play in life.

I Say Do You!

Take proverbial risks for yourself based on your body shape, your age, and your passions in life. Developing your personal style may start off following a trend: the skinny suit, baggy jeans, or full on hip-hop. Along that journey, you’ll find where you belong by learning what works well for you.

Study the Masters and Build Your Personal Style Team

My suggestion to someone just starting on this journey is to refine your sartorial selections. Learn from others, take a walking tour of the top men’s stores in your town, visit a local tailor, read Alan Flusser’s book Dressing the Man. In addition to Details, GQ, and Esquire, get your hands on international magazines like British GQ and my favorite The Photo by Rose CallahanRake. Follow blogs like or Read.

Also assemble your own style team comprised of a tailor, a cobbler and a barber. Once you have these trusted experts to back you up you can do no wrong – sartorially speaking that is.

My personal motto is: “Enjoy what you wear. Wear what you enjoy. Then go out and show the world what you’re made of.”

I encourage you all to do just that – take inspiration from others but blaze your own trail.

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