How To Upgrade Your Man’s Style If You Secretly Hate It

By Alyssa Vandermeulen
·  5 min read
shutterstock 1189586422 (1)

Whether you’ve just started dating or you’ve been married for five years, your man’s style likely needs a refresh. Shopping is probably not his top priority, so you’ve seen a lot of the same worn out styles recently.

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Maybe he’s still wearing old, faded tee shirts to church or only owns basketball shorts. Maybe his go-to style is an old jersey and ripped jeans, or he can't quit his clunky tennis shoes. Especially if he’s busy, shopping is not something he’s going to do on his own, so offering judgment-free guidance is a great way to help him make those upgrades without insulting who he is. 

If your guy is one to wear his hobbies on his sleeve (quite literally), you’ve probably seen a lot of sports jerseys, gym clothes, and branded clothing since the start of your relationship. Just as we don’t dress for our workouts 24/7, he probably shouldn’t either! He might benefit from a neutral athleisure look or buying quality casual pieces from the same retailers, like the Lululemon ABC Pant

Lululemon ABC Slim-Fit Pant, $128
Lululemon ABC Slim-Fit Pant

One key tip is to avoid buying trendy clothing because it’s likely he won’t go shopping again for some time. Trends wear out quickly, so classic pieces and neutral outfit combinations will be better suited to his (and your) needs. Stay away from anything oversized, and find good basics that fit well and are comfortable for all-day wear. 

You can’t change him, but you can love him… and make subtle suggestions towards a better wardrobe! The key here is upgrade, not drastically change or force a new style aesthetic on him. Make loving suggestions that are coming from the right place and don't be too critical of what he likes. 

Upgrade His Basics

Basics are the foundation of any great wardrobe. Whether he’s reaching for the same two shirts or only wears one pair of shorts, he’s probably lacking in the wardrobe foundation he needs. A few well-fitting and comfortable basics might encourage him to wear them more often! 

He will need solid color tees in black, white, and gray, as well as a few muted tones or a navy blue, depending on his taste. Some men stick with darker hues, whereas others find earthy tones more agreeable. Everlane is known for their comfortable, affordable, and stylish tee shirts, so pick him up a few in different colors. 

Everlane Organic Cotton Crew, $30
everlane mens organic cotton crew

When it comes to pants, especially for the fall, he should have a few pairs of jeans (that fit!) and aren’t worn out. Black denim can also offer different outfit combinations and a few pairs of dress pants or chinos probably wouldn’t hurt either. Shoes should include basic solid color sneakers, as well as a loafer or dress shoe. 

For Special Occasions

When shopping, think about upcoming occasions or work needs. Weddings, work parties, upcoming vacations, etc. – these events have dress codes and clothing needs that his closet may not currently support. Think dress shirts, casual button-downs, dinner wear, etc. Take these opportunities to help your man define his style, with your help of course! 

Simple Combinations

Women have known about the usefulness of a capsule wardrobe for a while, but this closet setup could greatly help your man upgrade his style. Maybe he has the pieces but doesn’t know how to put them together to create solid outfits. Simple outfit combinations that are easy to grab and comfortable to wear are great options for men who need to spice up their look. 

A key basic formula is a solid color tee, jeans, sneakers, and an outer layer. Simple and casual, an outfit combination with quality basics looks great and put together, while still being masculine. That outer layer can be a blazer, bomber jacket, flannel, button-down, etc., which is the perfect opportunity for his personal style to show through! There are also tons of variations available in this formula, swapping out pant styles or collared shirts instead of tees. Experimentation will allow him to figure out what his style is now, not reminiscent of his younger days!

Have a Conversation

If you secretly hate the way your man dresses, it’s probably coming out in different ways (like general annoyance or anxiety about events or dress codes). Keeping secrets from your man can lead to a ton of other issues, so gently (and kindly) bring this topic to his attention. Stress the importance of matching vibes for pictures or showing up in the right level of dress for the event, or talk about how basketball jerseys are not your favorite look for date night! He will want to look good for you, just as you want to look good for him, so having the conversation can be beneficial for both parties. 

And remember, encouragement is key! Make sure to tell him he looks good when he puts in the effort! 

Closing Thoughts

He might not dress the best, but if he treats you well, he’s a winner. However, gentle nudges in the right direction can help him build a wardrobe you both love!

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