Before you attempt to makeover your man, consider this your mantra: Every man is different. Each one has a different body, a different personal style and a different response to change. While many women jump at the word “makeover,” men often resist. To pull off this delicate style maneuver successfully, you need to finesse your approach, focus on teamwork and rely on as many near-universal fashion staples as you can get your hands on.
All in the Approach
To keep both parties happy, approach the makeover process as a team -- no full-grown man wants to be dressed like a child on his first day of school. Be open and attentive, and mind his likes and dislikes, discovering the styles that he responds to. Among them, there are bound to be some savvy options. Always encourage, and focus on telling him what looks good rather than what doesn't. If your man doesn't have a particular style of dress, look for inspiration in films, TV shows, magazines and fashion blogs. To reduce the shock, make the makeover a gradual process; go issue-by-issue, and approach the wardrobe season-by-season, so as not to appear as though you're going on a rampage through his closet.
Never Underestimate Fit
Once you've got your approach down, establish a strong foundation. Start with the all-important issue of proper fit -- you'll be amazed at the difference it makes. As a primer, know that shirt seams should sit on the shoulder bone, cuffs shouldn't stray more than an inch from the wrist, pants should fit without a belt, pant legs should never billow, and hems should break right on top of the foot, excepting cuffed jeans. For formal wear, take your man to a tailor. This not only makes him feel like James Bond, it transforms his suit into a bespoke ensemble that fits like a glove.
While you'll have to do some research to find out which duds suit your guy's personal style and frame, you can always rely on masculine wardrobe items that continue to stand the test of time. For pants, dark denim, neutral chinos and flat fronts -- not pleats -- do the job well. White and pale-blue button downs or oxfords serve as versatile staples and go well with the essential navy and light-colored single-breasted suits and brown leather oxfords or loafers. Appeal to a rugged aspect with a classic denim jacket, brown leather bomber and matching suede or leather boots.
Color and Accessories
Break out the color wheel to get down the basics of complementary colors, or stick with neutrals for virtually surefire matching. Along the way, establish ground rules such as coordinating accessories, ditching white socks on dressy occasions and never wearing suspenders with a belt. Get your man the perennially in-style and extremely versatile slim-profile brown leather belt, which suits everything from loafers to desert boots. On the formal side, a slim, woven tie in burgundy, charcoal or deep gold and coordinating cuff links, tie clip and pocket square make virtually any suit look polished.
The Finer Things
While wardrobe is essential, it's only one part of a total makeover. To drive home the details, update your guy's grooming game. Treat him to the male equivalent of a day at the spa with a trip to a modern barber with an old-school aesthetic, complete with a straight-razor shave. Transform his skincare routine with a classy new shaving kit complemented by male-branded versions of items that haven't yet hit his medicine cabinet -- think moisturizing lotion, a good nail file, an exfoliating scrub and blemish-fighting pads. Many manufacturers now offer these products with guy-friendly scents and packaging, offering an ideal opportunity to make them a part of his regimen.