Style mistakes are a bit like bad breath. So much easier to spot on someone else.
Regardless how management evangelists bang on about the merits of self-evaluation there are some things about ourselves that we just don’t see. Therefore, sometimes we could all do with a friendly word whispered gently in our ear. None of us are above rebuke. We have all fallen foul of the style gods and allowed things to get a little sloppy. Even the great style icons of our time have erred.
So don’t think for a second that there’s anything smug about our endeavour. We’re all in the frame for a spot of finger wagging. Think of our list of 10 style mistakes best avoided as an aid to best practice or a checklist. You’d service your car so maybe you should service your style just to make sure you’re not getting things horribly wrong.
One – White Socks
White socks are only ever acceptable in a sporting context. This may be a small detail but their very whiteness draws the eye to them for no good reason. They beam out from the ankle region like a shining declaration of the laziness and good-for-nothingness of the wearer. It’s not the worst offence but it’s pretty bad because it’s just so easy not to do it.
Two – Ill-fitting Clothes
The importance of wearing clothes that fit properly is best illustrated by the sausage. A sausage’s skin fits it perfectly just like a person’s. However if you were to force a second tighter skin over it – say a little sausage sized t-shirt, or a skinny checked shirt – all that sausage you’re squeezing the t-shirt over has to go somewhere. So it’s going to start squidging out the bottom. Or between the gaping buttons. Not a pretty sight, uh? And that’s before we start imagining if sausages had bums and jeans, and big bums and tight jeans. Nuff said really.
Three – Shiny Shirts
If you intend your shirt to be shiny – in a ‘Hey, baby,’ pulling-night-in-Vegas way – then crack on. If however your shirt has developed shiny extremities, perhaps at the collar points, seams and cuffs then it’s time to reflect on your ironing practices and the synthetic composition of the material. A cheap poly-cotton shirt is only ever going to make you look cheap. See the A Hume Guide to Shirt Buying for more on the perils of the cheap shirt.
Four – Novelty and Affectation are the Enemy
It is one thing to wear a Christmas jumper, or on occasion wear something that will cause others to smile. It is quite another to persistently court affectation and novelty in the belief it makes you more witty or interesting. Step forward Christopher Biggins.
Five – Hirsute = Handsome
Thankfully the message on chest hair seems to be getting through. So much so that we’re almost embarrassed to mention it. One last time though just to be sure. Exposing voluminous chest hair does not make women pant and lose control. It makes them vomit.
Six – Inappropriate Sports Kit
This one could equally be termed No Lycra at Lunch but advising men, especially MAMILs (Middle Aged Men in Lycra) to change out of their cycling kit before engaging in any form of social contact doesn’t cover the full gamut of sins. Frankly, unless you are engaged in outdoor pursuits, or sporting activity your clothes should not rustle. This means no hi-performance gear for trips to town.
Seven – Polish Your Shoes
Clearly not your trainers, though having said that you are only rockin’ those Nike Killshots if they’re not covered in the overspill of last night’s pint. Doesn’t matter how micro the brewery was get them washed. And whilst you’re at it polish those shoes.
Eight – Stains, Threadbare, Bobbled or Faded.
After number seven we are warming up to our theme and it’s all about grooming. Peter Faulk as Detective Columbo was one of the few men who turned scruffy into an advantage . Scruffy men are generally regarded as untrustworthy and lazy. Why would anyone make the effort with you if you can’t be bothered to make the effort with yourself? If it’s stained, threadbare, bobbled or faded then best not.
Nine – Hair Where Hair Has No Right To Be
OK, so we’re clear on chest hair but there are other issues of concern. We know as men get older things can get a little hairy but men of any age could do with keeping an eye their neck. Just saying.
Ten – Bad Belt
Nothing says things are not what they used to be quite like a belt buckle clinging for dear life onto the last hole or two of a shabby belt that bares the scars of tighter times. Want to know how to wear a belt properly – and yes, there is a proper way – then watch the video.
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