Shaping Your Style Identity in 2020


Fashion has never been quite so fluid as it is nowadays, and we’re tremendously grateful for that. Manly in pink? Absolutely. Animal print pants with sheer shirts? You go, bro. Suits that are no longer mundanely grey, but actually come in different powerful shades to bring out your personality? You betcha. We’re going to have a new episode of the roaring twenties on our hands in less than a month, and it’s time to bring out the big guns. Fashionable ones, that is, for the sake of creating your own style for the upcoming year.

Let’s take a look at some of the simplest, yet creative ways you can infuse your style with your own character and give it that authentic look and feel. Here are a few essential ideas to keep in mind for 2020, and how you can incorporate them into your look-book.

When it doubt, suit up

With today’s levels of suit diversity, you certainly shouldn’t restrict yourself to black, gray, or navy-blue suits. Although these classics will stand the test of time, some level of playfulness and versatility in your suit collection can make your upcoming year perfect for self-expression.

In addition to colorful varieties, think of different ways to dress your suit down, such as combining it with your sneakers, or wearing a simple t-shirt instead of a button-down. Then again, a turtleneck can be a winning choice when you want to stay warm during the upcoming colder months while you retain that sleek, sophisticated style.

Bring on the street vibes

Urban clothing is no news, since rocking athleisure has become the norm for the past several years, allowing men to introduce a sportier, more casual take on their standard wearables. Comfortable hoodies, clean white sneakers, versatile t-shirts, and tank tops, these are all absolute essentials in the wardrobe of a 2020-ready man.

The fashion world has started using gym-inspired items in their most haute collections, so even that casual Friday at the office can mean wearing something from this particular assortment. If you’re new to the practice, you can slowly develop a sporty selection of your own by getting a pair of simple sneakers that you can wear for a multitude of different occasions, whereas comfy pullovers and sweaters will be a breeze to wear and combine with everything else you own.

Purpose-driven accessories for a modern man

Too much fuss about fashion isn’t always a good idea, and you can easily pick a few go-to pieces that will add substance to your style without actually causing you any stress. That’s what 2020 will be all about – purpose and simplicity sans the stress. The easiest way to add purpose to your style and keep it classy is to rely on timeless pieces in your accessory selection.

For starters, adding a few engraved watches in your collection will help you choose a stylish timepiece for every occasion, be it a cocktail party, a Christmas dinner, or a coffee date. Get different hues to embody your mood, pastels for a more subtle look, while darker tones give you a more mysterious vibe. Add to that, find a pair of shades that fit your facial features, and you’ll have another accessory at your disposal that serves a purpose and gives you that authentic look.

Mastering effortless luxury

Not everyone has a dragon lair for a wallet, hence the need to think of your budget when you style yourself. Luckily, imagination is a priceless, invaluable asset to your style-making process, and you can rest assured that it’s more than possible to pull off a high-end look with low-cost items at your disposal.

For example, a pair of stylish leather shoes can instantly elevate your regular pair of jeans and a clean white shirt. Add a colorful pashmina into the mix, and you’ll look as if you’ve just stepped off a runway for a quick cup of java. Stick to the classics, but add a contrast piece as an accent to bring out your persona.

Diversify your palette

As we’ve already mentioned with all things pink and colorful suits, the modern man is no longer defined by his monochromes. While it’s more than recommendable to put on a sleek black tuxfrom time to time for those special occasions, there are ways to infuse your wardrobe with more vibrant hues. They can reflect your mood, add a touch of character to your style, and give you greater freedom to mix and match your pieces.

Go with your gut, but seek for inspiration among the best in the fashion world. Some of the most celebrated menswear trends include the addition of tie-dye to the mix, whereas neon and other vivid colors have also reshaped many a prominent collection.

Developing a personal style identity takes time, but it’s also a never-ending process. Let yourself explore new trends and imbue your look with fresh options, while you stay true to who you are style-wise. In the months to come, men’s fashion will become all the more versatile, and you’ll have plenty of exciting new choices to diversify your style!

Boys don’t cry ? The Modern Man-ual

Firstly, Happy New Year and welcome to 2020, how Sci-Fi does that sound???

As the saying goes,  ‘big boys don’t cry’. But in the last week, more than one in ten (13%) of men aged 18+ in the UK have had a good blub. And good on them!

We men should be encouraged to understand our feelings and express our emotions. With this in mind the second edition of the Modern Man-ual, is all about ‘The 2020 Man’.

Commissioned by menswear retailer Jacamo, the report highlights gaps in the conversation when it comes to men.. both inside and out.

Men need to be brought into modern-day discussions, to explore and normalise the topics of male body confidence, mental health and masculinity, in the hope of raising awareness and confidence amongst British men, to help them feel as good as they deserve to feel.

Dr Chris Morriss-Roberts, discussed the effect media and advertising has on self-image and body confidence.

“Traditional ideas of masculinity when it comes to the body is all about size and muscles and the beef. There was no way around it, it’s ingrained in our heads that bigger is better. But the truth is you can’t force your body to be a certain size or shape if it’s not meant to be like that. That’s a message which is important for well-being, and which doesn’t get talked about enough – that for a lot of people you’re never going to be that size, that big. It can play games in your head that your body is important and defines you. It’s taken me 25, 30 years to accept my body as it is.”

With the Female Body Positive Movement in full swing, and infact 41% of men wanting to see a similar movement for men, the report highlights a need for the conversation to expand, with 38% of those who we spoke to admitting they do not feel positive about their bodies.

When asked about what they think are the most important qualities in a man, 74% say honesty and 73% say good manners. And to add even more substance to the ‘it’s what’s on the inside that counts’ debate, 74% of men stated they do not think physical strength is key to ‘being a man’.

With the report finding that almost a quarter of men do not feel comfortable speaking about their feelings, it’s time to open the debate.

2020; the year for men to stand, be counted, celebrated, understood and get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Key findings from the Man-ual.

Get practice in early – Tips for buying THE right present

There is no worse feeling than thinking you’ve bought someone the perfect gift, only to find out you got it wrong. Unfortunately, this seems to be a common occurrence, with recent research from WhatWeWant revealing that over half (53%) of UK adults have received an unwanted present within the past 12 months. With the mounting pressure to buy loved ones something they actually want, perhaps it’s unsurprising that WhatWeWant’s research also found that 47% of Brits find buying a gift for a friend or family member stressful. 

Yiannis Faf is co-founder of the crowd-gifting app, WhatWeWant. The app, which Yiannis created alongside his family, allows users to create a gift for an upcoming event for themselves, or for someone else. Users can contribute to gifts as well as notify their friends and family to contribute to their own gifts. Once enough has been raised, users simply use the money to buy their dream gift, cutting out a lot of stress, wasted money and unwanted gifts.

So, the question is, how can you redeem yourself after buying an unwanted present? Drawing on my own experiences, as well as those of my brother, I have developed my top five tips to help you overcome your gift-giving error.


1 Frankness is your friend!

Take initiative and talk to your friend or family member who received the unwanted present. Naturally, many recipients of unwanted gifts might not be forthcoming about the fact they don’t like the gift you bought them, so if you get the sense that they don’t seem happy with their gift, bite the bullet and ask them yourself. Once prompted, they might find it easier to tell you how they feel. Of course, it’s never nice to hear when you’ve misjudged a present, however, the only way to learn is by having an open and frank discussion with your loved one. It’ll help you avoid mistakes next time round


2.Join forces

If you’re struggling for a gift idea in the future, why not collaborate with other friends and family members. In the past, some have been put off the idea of joining forces because of the hassle of organising a big group payment. However, this needn’t be the case! At WhatWeWant, we took the hassle out of collaboration by creating an easy-to-use app, which allows you to organise the whole gift giving process – from collecting contributions to the final purchase. The benefits speak for themselves: nobody overspends and, most importantly, it allows you to buy someone something special that they’d never purchase for themselves. Win-win

3. Next time, plan ahead 

We all lead very busy lives and it’s too easy to leave your present purchases until the very last minute. However, failure to plan ahead of time could result in a last-minute panic and an impulse purchase – inevitably resulting in an unhappy recipient! Give yourself that extra time to do your research and find out exactly what your friend or family member want

4. Don’t overcompensate

As the saying goes, “money doesn’t buy happiness” and this is definitely the case when buying gifts for friends and family members! According to WhatWeWant’s research, over a third (34%) of Brits overspend when they are unsure of what to get someone. This is counterproductive, as neither party is happy with the final result. So, in future, just remember the golden gift-giving rule: an expensive present does not automatically make it a good one!

5. Pay attention to hints

Another easy way to become the perfect gift-giver is to sit up and take notice of hints and tips. Believe it or not, 50% of consumers drop hints to friends and family members, according to WhatWeWant, so perhaps being a little bit more vigilant could go a long way. When it comes to special occasions such as birthdays, or Christmas, take note if the recipient mentions a certain activity, clothing line, or book (etc.). Noting various hints will inevitably make gift-giving much less stressful

From all of us to all of you, have yourself A Very Merry Christmas

A little Christmas Quiz for you

To get you in the Christmas mood, Carrolls Irish Gifts have created a fun interactive Christmas Tree quiz. Light up the tree with your knowledge and be in with a chance of winning a €100 online voucher so you can pick up some beautiful Celtic jewellery, fine Aran knitwear or any of the array of top-brand Irish produce available.

Play the game here: