I have strong opinions. Shocker, I know. But I try to lay my thoughts in front of people as just opinions and keep the word “should” to myself. Who am I to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, after all?
That being said, I still have my peeves that drive me crazy. And if you catch me on certain days at certain times and in a certain light, I might just should all over you.
For example, the other day a male acquaintance was justifying some clothes choices because it’s “easier” and he “doesn’t want to think about it.” He was wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and a hoodie on his way to a work meeting in a business casual office.
|Banana Republic: Pants, shirt, jacket, done.|
Now, I'm not against a casual look. I wear hoodies as much as my activities allow. But he was going to a meeting that his boss, his boss’s boss and his boss’s boss’s boss were going to be at. His reasoning, and I almost quote, “It takes me about 2 minutes to get dressed: pants, shirt, jacket, done.”
I could not let this slide, because it would take the same time and it’s just as easy to put on a pair of non-denim pants, a button up and a better casual jacket or sports coat (Well, it’s just as easy if you have them in your wardrobe.)
In the end, I believe it’s all about the old “people fear what they don’t know” adage. He knows how do dress casually, and fear keeps him from doing otherwise.
But here’s the deal, it is comparatively so easy for men to improve their appearance. I’ll probably be eternally frustrated that most men (at least most American men) just won’t spend a one-time, relatively small time investment to figure out some lifetime knowledge regarding clothing that would absolutely not make getting dressed any more difficult or time consuming or less comfortable.
So here are five general beginning tips that aren’t overwhelming and scary for you men to improve their appearance.
1. Ask for help. A sales person’s job is to help you and most of them have a lot of experience and know what will fit you best. I used to be one myself, and I would take great relish in truly helping someone find something they look and feel good in. Bonus tip: If you’re super nice, many sales people will bend over backwards to get you what you need.
2. Wear slimmer pants. I did not say wear skinny jeans. (per se) What I mean is wear pants that fit and have a modern, slim cut. You may have to try on a few pair to find what size and style are for you, but that will potentially take you only 20 minutes in the right store. And if you like skinny jeans, go for it.
3. Leave your gym shoes at the gym. There are plenty of choices that are just as comfortable but look infinitely better, from Vans to Italian leather.
Teva chukka built for comfort, looks good too.
4. Ask your wife or a trusted female friend. I bet you dollars to doughnuts that many have had thoughts about your appearance and can pull up viable choices that will not offend you in less than 3 minutes on the internet. However, I would leave moms out of this unless your mom is particularly in touch with modern styling.
5. Last, but not least, don’t underestimate the power of basic hygiene. I believe I speak for a fair number of women when I say that this is very important to how attractive you are to them. Here is a simplified list:
- Trim your nose hairs (we do)
- Pluck those stray hairs between your brows (we do)
- Keep your nails trimmed and clean (we do)
- There is no shame in face moisturizer, use it (we do)
- Use chapstick, don’t let your lips crack or peel (we don’t)
- If you can’t grow a beard, don’t grow a scraggly, wishful beard
- If you can and do grow a beard, shave your neck
- Bathe at least every other day (yes, many still must be reminded of this)
I will happily address any specific questions you have about men’s styling, comment away.