When it comes to men’s fashion, there is no better place source of inspiration than from New York City. As one of the “Big Four” fashion capitals of the world, the Big Apple seems to corner the market on effortless street style, from the Upper East Side to Brooklyn and beyond.
Even more impressive is how New Yorkers can appear refined and polished in all kinds of weather, from the summer humidity to freezing cold temperatures. It’s a sartorial feat that deserves acknowledgment. Luckily, you can easily emulate their edgy fashion and unleash your inner New Yorker with a few style tips from the masters.
A Lesson in Minimalism
The fashionable men of New York are confident and don’t resort to flashy clothes to assert their presence. Instead, they opt for minimalistic designs with clean lines and simple colors.
This is good news for the average gentleman because this look requires only the standard menswear essentials, like navy chinos, white sneakers, and a tailored blazer, etc. If you don’t already have these fashion staples in your closet, then consider this your gentle nudge to start adding these pieces into your wardrobe.
How to Wear
While some men might think this simple approach to fashion is boring, it’s the opposite. Minimalism is extremely versatile, and it gives you the ultimate freedom to dress exactly how you want. When everything goes together, it’s easy to form a fashionable outfit with a touch of personal style.
Start off by purchasing a good pair of white leather sneakers. Those who live in the Big Apple do a fair amount of walking, which is why you won’t catch fashionable New Yorkers wearing impractical footwear.
Navy chinos and dark denim jeans are classic menswear staples that can be worn in an endless number of ways. For casual streetwear, pair them with your white sneakers, a plain tee-shirt and an oversized coat during the fall and winter.
For a more formal, minimalist look, keep things simple with a monochromatic palette. Play up your look by adding different textures and fabrics. You don’t need to wear a suit to nail the business casual look. Just take a style tip from Kit Harrington and stick with navy chinos, a white-linen shirt, and double-monk strap shoes.
Mix and Match Designer Pieces
New York City is home to some of the most world’s best sartorial masterminds, like Michael Kors, Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, and many more. While fashionable New Yorkers love their designer brands, they also aren’t afraid to mix Valentino shoes with a shirt from H&M.
Again, this is great tip for men who want to look stylish but can’t rationalize spending $150 on a Versace tee-shirt. In fact, you don’t even need to wear any designer labels to look like a New Yorker. As long as your clothes are high-quality, stylish, and give the appearance of a designer brand, then no one needs to know what the label says.
How to Wear
Mixing high and low fashion pieces isn’t done to just save money. Even celebrities wear affordable brands such as Topshop. Rather, it’s because fashionable New Yorkers free themselves from labels.
When it comes to mixing designer brands with non-designer brands, there are two things you should keep in mind. First, don’t flaunt the designer label. New Yorkers may love their designer brands, but they stay cool and modest about their high-end pieces.
Second, wear designer clothing only when it makes the most sense. Designer brands tend to offer higher quality items, which is why you will often see celebrities mix designer shoes with an affordable top or accessory. Wear a designer item as your anchor, and then mix in more casual brands to create your signature style.
Perfect Your Wall Street Style
The men of Wall Street have always occupied positions of power, and their suit styles reflect the promise of the American dream. This isn’t to say that your suit should flaunt your wealth. The well-dressed men on Wall Street have a simple secret to looking sharp—they know at least one good tailor.
Whether you work in the finance industry or not, it pays to look sharp. With a few tweaks to your suit style, you can start looking and feeling like a million bucks.
How to Wear
It’s easy to go overboard with your Wolf of Wall Street look if you aren’t careful. To avoid looking like you’re trying too hard, keep your menswear accessories simple and sophisticated, not flashy. A nice watch, a tie, a tie bar, and maybe a pair of stylish cufflinks are all you need to look sharp.
When it comes to your suit, we can’t stress the importance of being on good terms with a professional tailor. Men come in all different shapes and sizes. If you want to look and feel your absolute best, get a bespoke suit tailored just for you.
Unless you actually work in the finance industry, we typically don’t recommend opting for a pinstripe suit. Although they look sharp, it doesn’t make sense to get one unless it is your 6th or 7th suit in your closet. Otherwise, people may notice you wearing the same pinstripe suit and wonder if you have anything else to wear to the office.
Last but not least, don’t forget to invest in a high-quality pair of leather Oxfords and/or double-monk shoes. Care for them properly, and they will last longer, no matter how much mileage you clock wearing them.
Add a European Touch
New York City is a giant melting pot, which is why it shouldn’t be too surprising that its style characteristics borrow from across the world. In particular, European fashion has made its way across the pond and into the streets of NYC.
What does European fashion look like? If you follow men’s fashion trends closely, then your outfit most likely has hints of European style in it already. In fashion capitals such as Paris and London, men tend to favor timeless classics that give off an air of sophistication and elegance to their attire. You’ll often find European men wearing classic pieces like the camel trench coat, crisp white button-downs, and thick woolen scarves.
You won’t see many Europeans wearing athletic clothes as they grocery shop. Americans tend to favor the said to favor the athleisure trend, but Euro-inspired fashion is focused more on appearing dressed up without looking over-the-top.
How to Wear
To add more Euro-inspired pieces, the easiest thing to do is simply shop European brands that have stores in the United States. These include affordable brands such as Topshop, Zara, and Primark, as well as designer brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel.
There is such an overlap in European and New Yorker styles that you aren’t going to have much trouble nailing the look. Aim for dark denim (Europeans aren’t big on washes) and favor neutral colors. David Beckham is a good source of style inspiration because he opts for simplicity and always looks effortlessly put together.
For a quintessential European outfit, you can’t go wrong with a pair of leather toed boots, dark denim, a wool scarf, and a dark brown pea coat. Just like NYC, Europe can get brutally cold.
Another thing to keep in mind is that both Europeans and New Yorkers tend to be well-groomed. The rugged man in flannel (hello, Portland) isn’t really a thing in the Big Apple. New Yorkers are generally well-groomed, with clean haircuts, and they don’t have a problem getting assistance with their grooming needs.
While New Yorkers are known to sport clean, minimalist styles, there is another portion of NYC that isn’t afraid to have fun with their outfits. You will still see plenty of black-on-black in the Big Apple, but this is so stereotypically New York that it has become unoriginal and boring.
Today, New Yorkers aren’t afraid to buck the rules and embrace their own individuality. They are masters of mixing and matching colors and prints. They don’t overthink their outfits and wear what feels right to them.
Feel like wearing a sports jacket with shorts? Do it. How about a peacock feather embroidered blazer? If it captures how you feel in that moment, then wear it with confidence.
How to Wear
You might be surprised at what fashion styles you can get away with in NYC as long as you feel confident with your attire. However, embracing this sense of style can be difficult for some men.
To reach New Yorker-level confidence, start small. Incorporate menswear accessories that show off a hint of your personality. Are you a Star Wars fan? Wear a pair of Star Wars cufflinks to work and add some pizazz to your office style. Did you receive a funky pair of dress socks for your birthday? Pull them out of your sock drawer and sport them with pride.
Once you grow accustomed to taking small fashion risks, you can begin to work your way up. Blaze your own trail and sport unique styles that embrace your individuality. This is the mindset of fashionable New Yorkers, and it’s why you will see a variety of edgy looks in the Big Apple.
Black on Black
You’ll hear arguments that New Yorkers don’t wear black on black nearly as much as they’re portrayed, which may be true. However, you would be hard-pressed to find a fashionable New Yorker who doesn’t own at least a few all-black ensembles.
Wearing black on black is harder than it looks, which is why New Yorkers deserve praise for making it look both elegant and edgy. One wrong style move, and your outfit could look utterly boring or too gothic.
How to Wear
How does a man wear all-black attire without looking like a vampire? For this particular style, look to Justin Theroux for your fashion cues.
Anyone doing a quick Google search on Justin would conclude that the man only has black pieces in his wardrobe, but to be fair, he always looks amazing in his black denim, biker jacket, and high-top sneakers.
If you want to look effortlessly cool like him, then you simply need to stick to a few essential rules. First, wear different fabrics and textures. A black leather jacket and black denim always work well together because they are completely different textures.
Second, don’t be afraid to incorporate a neutral color or funky pattern to set off the black. See how Chris Pratt pairs a polka-dot pocket square and paisley tie into his all-black outfit? The result is a man who looks effortlessly posh and stylish.
Finally, make your outfit seasonally appropriate. Wearing black on black is common in NYC, but you won’t see many New Yorkers wearing all-black on a hot summer day. It just looks silly and unseasonal. Fall, winter, and even gloomy spring days are fair game for all black attire, but be sure to choose pieces that are breathable for warmer days and cozy for the winter.
Now that you know the trade secrets of the iconic New York style, you can add them to your repertoire to take your wardrobe to the next level!