First step: have a plan.
Now that you've done your research and found your style inspiration, it's time to write down everything you need. Make a quick list that you can write on a piece of paper or type in your phone and take that with you to the store.
You have a game plan, you know what you need, and you can get into the store and optimize your experience.
It's important to know what you have and what you need. This way you won't duplicate or buy unnecessary items. If you need new jeans or shirts for work, write that down so you can take it with you to the store and stay on track. On the other hand, if you have a favorite pair of jeans, write down the style number and fit too. Even better, wear your favorite item while shopping, so you have an idea of the fit and style that works best for you.
A lot of guys wander around a store hoping some inspiration will hit them, but there's a better way. Ask for help! The associates are there to assist you with finding exactly what you need and they're also aware of styles and trends and can point you in the right direction, or tell you if something looks flattering. Definitely take advantage of them because they're there to help you. This will speed up the time you have to actually spend in the store.
This is perhaps the single most important thing you can do while shopping. Trying things on is crucial. "Always get in the fitting room. I know most guys don’t have time for that," Konrad says. "But if you have time for one thing, make sure it's to try things on. It's about making sure the fit is right that’s super important."
This is an essential thing when shopping. You don't want to have to go back to a store and return or exchange something because you eyeballed a fit.
Konrad suggests, "Always bringing in two sizes into the dressing room. I'll pick out the size I think I am, and one that's more ambitious." Keep in mind that "with mass brand stores like Old Navy, Gap, or J. Crew, the sizing can be more forgiving, versus a European brand, which might be more tailored," he says. So make sure to get something that fits your body correctly and you'll save time after the fact.
Stores like Topman and Macy's nowadays have entire personal shopping departments, specifically meant to help curate and personalize your shopping experience. Don't be afraid to take advantage of them. Most stores offer them free of charge, too.
If you absolutely don’t want to go to a store, a service like Trunk Club might be a good alternative. Trunk Club picks out clothes for you based on your preferences and sends you a box of options to try.
Tailoring is crucial and is often the difference between looking sloppy and looking much cleaner and more presentable. No matter what your size is, sometimes things off the rack just don't fit as well as they could with tailoring. Find a local tailor you like and take your suits, jeans, and other things you already have to give them a fresh update that's made specifically for you.
Trends are great — they offer fun and new ways to express your personal style. But when building a wardrobe that will last you for years to come, make sure you're aware and careful when it comes to buying trend pieces. Konrad says, "I’m not one to shy away from a bright pattern floral shirt,” Konrad says. “[But in my experience,] most guys are looking for something classic that they can wear from the office to a date or a lunch. And while there’s a time and place for trends for sure, I wouldn’t go overboard with them. Normally I'll get my prints or floral shirts from a place like Old Navy and dress it up with something more classic that I have to make an outfit really pop."
Now get out there and get some new clothes!