How to make a bad impression – Ten fashion don’ts
Another excerpt from my book Fashion for the Average Man:
I attended a college with a dress code – the school required all male students to wear a shirt and tie to class, breakfast and lunch, and chapel. They handed me a wonderful opportunity to dress well and I blew it big time. For example, I frequently sported an all tan outfit – tan pants, tan shirt, tan tie, tan shoes, tan belt, and of course white socks. I looked like a young collegiate Jack Hanna. Anyone see any lions? My friends would tell me that they could spot me walking across campus. I did not appropriately understand the concept of matching. Fortunately, no pictures of the tan outfit have survived. Unfortunately, I botched up other outfits – some of which captured in photos to remind me of my exodus from terrible fashion. One more example, I wore decent black slacks with a white shirt and an okay tie, but torpedoed the look with brown wilderness hiking boots!
To keep you from stumbling through the same fashion mistakes, I have compiled a short list of fashion don’ts:
1. Don’t wear all the same shade of the same color – so, no all tan, all red, all blue, or all green outfits. There are exceptions to this, but we are talking about the basics.
2. Don’t go without a belt. If you have belt loops showing, fill them with a nice belt. I disobeyed this rule in college too many times. And, it was not until a friend pointed it out that I started regularly wearing a belt. Now you know – buy a belt if you need one.
3. Don’t wear the wrong size – find out your size and wear it. If you fit well in a medium shirt, don’t buy a large or extra large. I see men swimming in shirts more times than I can count. This will probably improve your fashion the most.
4. Don’t wear wrinkled clothes – iron them.
5. Don’t wear scuffed shoes – polish them regularly. At an absolute minimum, polish once a month (preferably, twice a month).
6. Don’t wear the wrong kind of shoes. Each outfit has an appropriate shoe. For example, avoid wearing tennis shoes or hiking boots with slacks.
7. Don’t wear a white short sleeve hard-collared shirt – it only looks good when paired with a name tag and paper hat.
8. Don’t wear white socks with anything besides white pants. Your socks should match your pants. Black pants = black socks.
9. Don’t mismatch your shoes and belt. They should always match. Black shoes = black belt.
10. Don’t go without an undershirt. Avoid soiled underarms and protect your wardrobe investment.
If you make the list of fashion offenders, then forget it and relax. Today is a new day and the past is behind you. I certainly wish that I could go back and advise my old self about white socks, but it’s gone now. Besides, I can share my mistakes to help others. For you, start changing the areas that need improvement one at a time. Whatever you do, start today.
© Copyright 2014 Jeremy Gradney.