Did you know everyone has a style they are innately attracted to? Yes, even you! Whenever I work with a new client, I make them do an exercise where they share a couple of images of style THEY think is attractive with me. From this exercise, clients learn so much about themselves and what details they care about. It’s also fascinating to see how different everyone’s aesthetics preferences are.

Understanding what you like is very helpful when it comes to updating your style because it gives you a direction to follow and build on. I call this your style statement! That being said, there are a couple of men’s aesthetics out there, so i’ve decided to do a series of posts defining each one to help you better understand what yours is. The beauty of understanding different aesthetics is you can mix and match them to create a look truly unique to you.

This week we are focusing on the “rugged” look. What is “rugged” style you ask? Men who like the rugged look keep their style practical and casual, however they add in hints of edginess through a military aesthetic.

Men’s Rugged Style Examples

Having a couple of button undone on your henley shows your casual side

Denim jackets in grey and black help achieve a rugged look

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The boots have a distressed feel to them

Field Jackets are a must-have

Photo Credit: Zimbio, Pinterest

The rugged guys’ boots look broken in, his clothes have a bit of distressed detail in them, and he doesn’t care to look so clean cut. Rugged guys like their color palette consisting mostly of earthy and neutrals colors like olive green, burgundy, burnt orange, grey, blue, black and white. A couple of pieces that stand out in the rugged aesthetic are: jeans, denim jackets, field jackets, henleys, bracelets, leather, boots and sneakers.

Key Pieces for the Rugged Look

The rugged aesthetic takes casual clothing and adds a hint of edge through subtle patterns and focuses on small details like the style of buttons. The Rugged guy’s boots say he isn’t afraid to get them dirty, his jackets have a military touch to them and his prints and patterns are muted and subtle.

Here are a couple of key pieces that can help get your look started…

Jeans

Photo Credit: Bloomingdales

Going for jeans and pants neutral and earthy colors can help you achieve the aesthetic. Rugged guys dress for the outdoors and their color choice reflects that. Guys with a rugged aesthetic avoid bright colored bottoms.

Shirts

Henleys

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Going for henleys with interesting closures at the neck is a subtly edgy detail that brings out a masculine style. Additionally, going for textures in your henley makes it not look so clean, for example, a ribbed or waffle henley is a great choice.

T-Shirts

Photo Credit: Bloomingdales

Solid t-shirts are an easy go to. However, t-shirts with subtle patterns can help your otherwise muted look stand out a bit more. Again, rugged guys avoid bright colors and stick to muted and earthy tones like olive green, blue, grey or burgundy.

Polo Shirts

Photo Credit: Bloomingdales

The rugged guy can totally rock a polo shirt without looking like he’s going golfing. The key is to go for some cool details like edgy buttons or no buttons at all to make the polo look very casual.

Button Down Shirts

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Being rugged doesn’t mean you avoid button downs, you just go for a specific style. When the rugged guy dresses up, he’s not afraid to have a bit of sheen in his shirts like the blue example above. Plaid shirts totally work, but the key here is to make sure the colors stay in the muted, earthy or neutral categories. Rolling up your sleeves is always a great idea for the rugged guy.

Jackets

Field and Shirt Jackets

Photo Credit: Bloomingdales

Field and shirt jackets are perfect for the rugged aesthetic. Field jackets have a military look to them and can be paired with any casual tops. Alternatively, if you want to dress up a bit, a suede brown jacket will be the perfect layer.

Casual Blazers

Photo Credit: J. Crew

The rugged man keeps his blazers unstructured and in casual fabrics like knit and cotton. He likes the look of a blazer, but wants nothing to do with their formalness of it.

Suede and Leather Jackets

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Leather is a great addition to your wardrobe, especially when trying to achieving a rugged style. Leather works for dressing up your outfits, while suede can help keep them a bit more casual.

Boots

Photo Credit: Bloomingdales, Thursday Boot

Casual boots are an easy go-to footwear choice. When it comes to the style of boot, you can go for a hiking, combat or work boot. Wearing your pants over your boots or tucked into the top of the boot are both great options.

Sneakers

Photo Credit: Frye, John Varvatos

When going for sneakers, rugged guys like to go for something a little different. The two examples above are unique because of their color, distressed feel, pattern choice and small stand out details. You want your sneakers to look broken in, brown leather or black and grey patterns helps achieve that.

Accessories

Photo Credit: John Varvatos, Etsy: Hagar Talmore

Don’t be afraid to accessorize a bit! Going for cool scarves with muted colors, interesting blends and subtle patterns makes your look stylish and unique. Your look embraces the outdoors, so leather bracelets go hand in hand with it… no pun intended!

…and that’s how you achieve a rugged look! This is a great choice for the understated guys out there who still want style, but not take it over the top. The overall look is pretty casual, but the key is to have hints of unique details to keep it stylish.

Supreet Chahal

Supreet is a Fashion Stylist from San Francisco, CA. She helps both men and women establish a sense of style and dress with confidence. If you want to work 1:1 with Supreet, visit StyleBySupreet.com. If you're a guy looking to learn more about style, check out PocketStylist.io, a site dedicated to teaching men how to dress well.

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