Those that have learnt photography will be able to immediately grasp this next concept about fashion. However, if you’re one of those who are not as familiar, let me take a moment to bring you up to speed.
Aperture is the opening in a DSLR camera that lets light pass through and onto the picture itself. On the camera it is represented by “F” and then a number. The lower the number, the more focused the picture will be on one specific area thus slightly blurring the rest of the picture so that you are immediately drawn to that focal point. This is a beautiful concept that has created some of the most mesmerizing photos in National Geographic, GQ and ESPN.
This same concept of Aperture should be at the centerfold of your personal styling.
Why? Because how you dress is a reflection of who you are and, as such, it is essential that you bring my attention to exactly what you want me to see. This helps me understand your personal brand and what you’re trying to say about yourself.
Let me offer an example. Recently, I purchased a brand new pair of red denim CADOGAN SPECTRA Jeans, which features black leather trim as a design detail. To bring the focus to this piece, I decided to pair it with a black shirt and a pair of black shoes. Immediately, the color juxtaposition brings emphasis on the red denim jeans.
So, when I walked into Starbucks this morning, I’m pretty sure that men, women, children and baristas swiveled their heads to catch a glimpse of the flash of red that just passed by. Today, my outfit signals that I am not afraid to yell out to the people of Starbucks that I am bold, and that I am not afraid to maybe live a little dangerously. You see, any man can wear dark blue denim jeans and play it safe. But today, I am not just any man. Today, I have made a conscious decision to stand out from the pack.
You may laugh, but the reality is that we all create an immediate perception about someone based on our initial impression of their appearance. Based on my outfit, I am guiding you down a certain path of how I want you to perceive me. Quite frankly, today I would love it if you were slightly intimidated by my confidence to be bold.
While this idea of aperture is simple, it can make a world of difference in your presence. Just by spending a few minutes at Starbucks this morning, it is obvious that men have not fully grasped this concept.
To get started on this concept, pick out the piece that you want everyone’s eyes to first gravitate to when you prepare a look. Just to clarify, a look is the head-to-toe ensemble you put on yourself. Some may not call it a look, but I promise you do this every day before you exit your flat.
It is important to be cognizant of three options before you choose which outfit you are going to present yourself in. You can’t go wrong with either three and more importantly you can change it up throughout the week.
1. Clothing – Say you just bought a new leather jacket, shirt or a pair of jeans that you are proud and excited about. Don’t hesitate to let the world see it too. This is something that is easily accomplished. All you have to do is to wear primary base colors, such as white, black or grey. Then, add on your prized possession. It’s the simplest way to bring the focus to that particular new piece. Trust me the garment will be yelling at people, “Look at me, aren’t I sharp!”
2. Accessories – This is my personal favorite and one I use the most. I am a watch enthusiast and I have several watches that are rather loud and deserve to be the center of attention. For example, my Rose Gold DateJust Rolex speaks for itself. If you ever see me wearing this watch then you will also find me in primarily a heather grey outfit. The contrast between the rose gold and heather grey is subtle, yet polished, which is in-line with my own personal brand. Alternatively, if you’d like to be a bit more outre and aggressive, then I suggest wearing black as a contrast to the rose gold watch. This will make your wrist candy pop.
3. You – You are a badass who has built a name for yourself. With your inner confidence and friendly face, there is no reason to want to overshadow this with clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking you go streaking in the streets. All I’m saying is that you should be wearing quieter colors and those with a simpler design. This allows your face to be at the center of attention. I especially recommend this for people with green or blue eyes. Let people be drawn to your eyes first. You accomplish this by solely wearing black, grey or white. Think: James Bond. Now, Bond is a legend and one of the most ferocious men in espionage. This is a man you will always find in a black suit, white button down. Why? Because the producer wants you to focus on his chiseled jaw line and the intensity in his eyes. He is set out to complete a mission and you do not want to be the idiot in his way.
Unfortunately, I am not aware of an algorithm that allows you to score 10/10 with an outfit but by taking note of the littlest things, I can promise you that you are already finding ways to stand out from the pack. Once again, it is important to note that the devil is definitely in the details. You need to understand who you are and then figure out how you can present the best version of you.
In the coming weeks, I will be sharing some complementary anecdotes to this post. Stay tuned!