One thing I always hear from my girlfriends is about how wonderful their guy is; he buys them flowers, cooks them dinner, and opens the door. He’s perfect in every way, except for one teeny tiny thing they wish they could change—his style. Whether it’s the schlumpy college sweatshirt he can’t seem to part with, the scuffed vans that should have been thrown away a year ago, or ripped jeans that Kurt Cobain would have rocked, his overall style is do for an upgrade. If you and your special fella fall into this category and you’re looking for a way to slyly and subtly improve his personal style, these tips will help you begin the transformation.

Why Does He Dress the Way He Does?

Before you begin trying to change his style, you need to figure out why he dresses the way he does. Is it lack of fashion knowledge? Easy enough to educate. Is it because he’s lazy? Happens to the best of us. Or is there an underlying reason he selects his clothing? You never know if he might be dealing with insecurities and dressing in the things that make him feel the most comfortable. In cases such as these, it’s time to cut your losses and realize you may not change his sense of style because it’s a result of deeper-rooted issues.

Begin with the Basics

If your guy is a skinny jean offender—I’m talking tighter than anything you’ve ever worn, then it’s time to get him on the road to a normal pair of jeans that will flatter his body and really help his overall look. Dark wash, straight leg jeans are a classic denim choice, well-fitted khakis can take him from casual to professional, and a classic blazer will help him spiff up in a jiffy. It’s all about slowly incorporating these different pieces—don’t throw a purple silk shirt at him and expect him to gladly throw it on.

Modern Items Make the Man

If you’re looking to transform your guy into a dapper man that even James Bond would envy, you’ll need to go modern. From sports coats to suave leather shoes, the more modern, the more likely he is going to transform into the suave man of your dreams. Injecting some modern flair into his style might be as simple as a few well-selected accessories. A statement watch will definitely get him noticed in business meetings, a suave pocket square will have him the talk of the room at your next office party, and you can sweeten the pot with cool modern gadgets that will make him more open to accepting your new fashion choices.

It’s All About the Tailoring

If his issue is sizing, you need to help him figure out the benefits of tailoring. It’s amazing how much fit can change the look of each piece of clothing, and many fashion experts claim that fit is the single most important aspect of style. Men typically wear clothing that is oversized, which can result in a sloppy, lazy appearance. Tailored clothing is much more flattering. Instead of telling him to go get his clothes tailored, consider buying him some pieces that are the correct fit so he can see the proof in the pudding right away. The right fit can make him look slimmer and taller, so lay out the benefits and see if he takes the bait.

Notice His Efforts

If your guy is putting in the effort, wearing the things you buy for him, and making better choices in the fashion department, make sure you appreciate him for it. Flattery works wonders, and he’s bound to respond better to positive noticing over repeated suggestions. Positive reinforcement is your friend—remember honey works better than vinegar. Give him compliments, be affectionate, and tell him how attractive he looks when he wears this or that item.

Take it Slow

Transforming your guys’ style won’t happen overnight, but don’t get discouraged. Over the weeks, slowly incorporate new looks into his wardrobe, buy clothing for him as just because gifts, and make sure you affirm his great choices with some loving. You never know which pieces he might love and incorporate on his own in the future.

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