Long gone are the days when a man could only have a stylish wardrobe if he was a Wall Street tycoon. Now men have adopted a similar consciousness as their female counterparts when contemplating what they wear. Although men's fashion hasn't changed too much over the 20th century, innovation in the menswear industry is beginning to take place. For men, fashion has crawled out of the cage of function and is roaming free on the plain of form. And now Esquire Magazine is devoting an annual contest that showcases men of exceptional style and taste who are real men working as realtors to college admissions counselors. So if you're a guy who's looking to step up your swagger, then take a look at this year's finalists and what inspires their sartorial status.
"Italian men in general, I'm so intrigued and astonished with their art of dressing. It's so effortless and normal for them to continuously look stylish and elegant, with such a touch of nonchalance." - Angel Ramos, Realtor
"My grandmother is and has been the biggest influence on my style. She worked at a dry cleaner for 35 years. It was her message to me of always having your clothes cleaned and pressed. She made sure my clothes fit properly, too." -Sabir Peele, College Admissions Counselor
"There was a time when the average American man made a genuine effort to dress well before he left his home. For some reason, many of the Japanese (and gentlemen in other countries) still embody this sentiment. The fact that, left and right, I left was floored by average guys who were just on their way to work was more than an inspiration; it was an awakening. As a general rule, I have since chosen to 'Do Better.' - Wale Oyejide, Lawyer
"The first style conscious memory I have is when I was four years old I saw a really hardcore punk teen standing in the middle of a very conservative town square. He had on combat boots, skinny black jeans, leather jacket and a six inch tall, spiked Mohawk. I saw him and was immediately enthralled. I turned to my mother and said, "Mom, I want to do that!" -Zeph Colombatto, Student