With father’s day just around the corner, once again I find myself in a conundrum: what to get my dad? While I never seem to run out of gift ideas for the women in my family, men are always a bit of a challenge~ I mean, how many pairs of boxer shorts and razors do they really need?! Usually I would brainstorm a list of popular or staple menswear items (guys tend to appreciate practical purchases over creative ones!) but this year, I have decided to approach the problem a bit differently…how many of you know a man (or more likely, “men”) who could use a few pointers to straighten out his “fashion faux pas” when it comes to wardrobe styling? Instead of criticizing and embarrassing the poor guy, why don’t we try to correct his outfit blunders with gifts! This way, you can solve two problems with just one solution! So I have come up with a list of fashion mistakes that men commonly make and hopefully this will inspire you to think of the perfect gift for the special man/men in your life this weekend! And if you’re still at a loss for ideas, just remember ~ wisdom is invaluable…and plus, fashion wisdom benefits us all!
COMMON STYLE MISTAKES MEN MAKE:
- The Oversized Leather Jacket: While it is true that leather gets better with age, this does not mean that your father’s leather jacket that fits both you and your German Shepherd is a great hand-me-down. Break in your own jacket by investing in good quality leather that fits properly; keep going down a size until you cannot comfortably get it on (zipped/buttoned up) then buy the next size up. It should feel snug ~ remember that leather will stretch out and mould to your body shape over time. A popular modern style is the bomber jacket.
- The Erkel Jeans: Not only are high-waisted and white-washed jeans a little (okay, A LOT) dorky, they are unflattering on most male body types. Opt for medium-rise denim jeans (a darker denim will be most versatile) that sit comfortably on the hips and follow your legs (instead of the balloon-effect that is created when worn up so high!). The most universal fit would be a boot-cut shape that is form fitting but unrestrictive.
- The Clip-On Tie: Unless you are under the age of 5, it is time to take yourself seriously and invest in a quality collection of ties. Ties are a great and cost-effective way to expand your wardrobe look without shelling out big bucks for a new suit. A cheap thin silk tie will result in a tiny knot so make sure to go for a sturdier silk with an understated pattern. Stay tuned for a future blog that will highlight the different ways to tie a tie.
- The Oversized Suit: Do you recognize a common theme? When it comes to menswear, superior tailoring is key. No matter what suit you purchase, it needs to fit comfortably yet FITTED. Sagging suit pants and schlumpy blazers will ruin any look. Find a good tailor and the next time you take in your pantsuit, ask him to hem it “with little or no break”. When trying on suit jackets, keep going down a size until it feels uncomfortable, then buy one size up. Custom tailoring the shoulders, waist, and arm length may be necessary and worth the extra effort to ensure a long-term purchase.
- The Pancake Collar: This is what happens when a dress shirt is worn without a tie and without collar stays (yep, those little plastic things that come with most dress shirts)…consequently, the collars will flatten and go into hiding under a blazer ~ never a good look.
- The Shoe Color: Select shoes that complement the color of your pants (pair black suits with black shoes; gray suits with black or camel shoes; brown suits with brown or camel shoes; and navy suits with black, camel, or tan shoes). If you want to keep it really simple, follow the age-old rule: match your shoes to your belt.
- Nice Suit, Wrong Belt: Matchy-matchy is not what we’re after, but good coordination goes a long way; there is a difference between casual belts and dressy belts, make sure to pair them with the proper outfit. A worn-in, studded belt with a Cowboy-esque belt buckle may look good with jeans and graphic tee, but it will not do justice with your sharp business suit. Find a buttery leather strap that is an inch to an inch and a half wide in solid colors with a simple and subtle buckle.
- White Socks: Unless it’s for active wear, there is never a need for white socks. Period. A good rule of thumb is to match your socks with your pants or shoes. Subtle patterns are fine but the cotton Champion socks that you bought in bulk from Costco really do clash with almost everything hanging in your closet (unless that consists of track pants and gym shorts…in which case, we’ll have to chat more later!). If you’re not Kobe Bryant, you do not need that many white socks (most of which are probably stained and chafing your poor toes). Make room for a nice collection of black, blue, brown, and gray socks that will serve your adult wardrobe much better.
- Socks with Sandals: I am embarrassed to even mention this, but while we’re on the subject of socks…no one does this anymore, right? RIGHT? This is a crime with no just cause. End of discussion.
10. Over Branding: Don’t get me wrong, being selective with labels are a good way to get proven quality products but avoid looking like a walking billboard.
11. The Seinfeld: Jeans/Khakis/Dress pants + running shoes = NOT COOL. Reserve the runners for the gym. If you’re auditioning for a role in ER, I’ll let it slide…but otherwise, there’s no need for runners. Instead, look for some cool retro sneakers or leisure shoes as a stylish casual alternative.
12. Backpacks Over Briefcases: If you’re job requires you to lug around a bundle of textbooks each day, you can disregard this. If not, ditch the pack.
Can you think of other common fashion-faux-pas? Do you have any questions regarding men’s fashion? What would you like to learn more about? We would love to hear your suggestions, email us today!
Happy Father’s Day to all the special men out there!