While some men enjoy the process of putting together an attractive, image-enhancing outfit, many more would probably prefer to avoid it. The fact is that fashion can be both fickle and fiddly, with minor changes sometimes producing large-scale effects that can make the whole undertaking seem hopeless. In practice, though, familiarity with some basic principles can help even the fashion-averse succeed where failure might otherwise be the norm. Thinking through the various choices that need to be made in a determined, diligent way can be enough, if not to shine as a fashion expert, but to get by in ways that plenty of men would be satisfied with.

One bedrock principle of this low-maintenance approach to fashion is that sticking to the right brands can make things a lot easier. Just about every well-known menswear brand will have its own character and approach to fashion, and understanding these can put any man off to a good start. In a great many cases, menswear companies will even group their offerings into collections that can be used to further narrow down the choices. By picking an appropriate item of clothing of each kind from such a lineup and being careful to avoid any of the most obviously glaring fashion mistakes, someone tasked with the tough work of assembling an outfit can be almost assured of doing fairly well.

It is not necessary to always be so rigid, though, even for those for whom it can seem impossible to succeed with men’s fashion choices. The same basic idea can be applied across the boundaries formed by different brands, as when a casual shirt from a company like bamboo cay is coupled with a versatile pair of pants. The key in such cases will typically be to make sure to stay well grounded by complementing the possibly controversial choice with something, like a simple pair of khaki pants, that is known to hold up well in a variety of applications. Instead of going too far out on a limb with several different fashion choices, sticking to the basics with regard to pants, men’s belts, and shoes might allow for a fair amount of freedom when it comes to the choice of a shirt.