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The 4 don’ts of cell phones

April 18, 2012

Today’s world – surrounded now in the digital universe – finds many of its inhabitants owning, carrying, and using mobile devices. Smart phones, flip phones, iPhones, and Bluetooth headsets fill the pockets and bags of most every man. In fact, more and more we discover our dependence on them growing.

While a helpful addition to life, a cell phone should never overplay its role. Moreover, learn to keep your digital devices in the background of your wardrobe. Here are 4 cell phone actions to avoid:

1. Don’t walk around with a Bluetooth headpiece on your ear at all times. I come across this all the time, almost every day. It tells the people around you, “hey, I’m too occupied with calls and other stuff to devote my attention to you.” Keep it simple – wear the device when talking on the phone. Take it off when the phone is off.

2. Don’t wear a “cell phone holster.” Your phone should not be attached to your belt. It distracts from the overall appearance and looks tacky. My first cell phone, bulky and red so as not to miss it, sat on my belt for all to see. At the time, I think I saw it as portraying importance. I was wrong.

3. Don’t sport bulging pockets. Keep from carrying 10 items in your pockets. This means staying away from a single pocket filled with a phone and keys and wallet and … and … and …

If it looks like you are carrying the entire contents of your desk with you, its time to unload the cargo ship. I am waiting for the day when cell phones literally shrink down to the actual size and thinness of a credit card. Some day.

This point constantly fights with me. Women have their purses. What do men have? Hands and pockets? In order to decrease the swollen look of full pockets, I have done everything I know to do. I removed ninety percent of the cards and papers from my wallet. I jettisoned all but an essential four keys from my key chain. I avoid stuffing my pockets with change, receipts – anything I pick up throughout the day. And, I am constantly surveying the marketplace for a thin phone.

4. Don’t cover your cell phone with crazy colors or themes. Believe it or not, people make judgments based on your phone – just like your car and clothes. So if you want to display a more professional or classic phone, avoid the Spiderman cover. However, if you operate outside of the business world or comparable sphere of influence, you may interpret this differently – it’s up to you.

Overall, you should see your phone as a tool. Keep it out of the spotlight. When someone walks up to greet you, a cell phone should not capture their first glimpse of you. Think about it – they will notice the Bluetooth or the flamboyant cover or the holster or the weighted down pockets. Make a few corrections and let them notice YOU overlooking your phone.

© Copyright 2012 Fashion for the average man.

123 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2012 4:59 pm

    I agree with this! Especially the Bluetooth. Though… bedazzling always gives me a good laugh! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. April 18, 2012 5:40 pm

    Jeremy, I love this post! These are great tips that I think all men should know! Great post man!

    • April 18, 2012 5:47 pm

      Thanks for the kind words.

      • April 18, 2012 5:49 pm

        No problem at all! I work with a lot of people in the area of careers, coaching, etc. These tips are needed in our industry.

  3. April 18, 2012 5:42 pm

    Oh god, wait… They still make cell phone holsters? Don’t men have fashion police too?? Keep fighting the good fight!!

    • May 5, 2012 1:40 pm

      Believe it or not, I saw a holster just this week!

    • JSW permalink
      April 3, 2016 5:29 am

      “Still”? As phones become ever-larger, they’re more convenient and comfortable!

  4. April 18, 2012 7:44 pm

    Great advice. Thanks.

  5. April 19, 2012 5:56 pm

    I love the humor all the while telling it like it is. Great advice. I especially like the “don’t” for the bluetooth. They remind me of the Borg.

  6. travisrr17 permalink
    April 21, 2012 1:44 am

    Could not agree more with these. Especially number 4. Granted it’s your own personal item, not going to look very professional with a zebra colored case.

  7. April 30, 2012 2:36 pm

    Good post, and thank yoy for the comments on my blog too.

    Another ‘don’t’ has got to be a funky ring tone. I was in a coffee shop a while ago stood behind a man in a suit and suddenly his phone started ringing away… with the Simpsons “Spider Pig” song. I found it funny but the other people he was with didn’t seem to agree. Guess he forgot to put it on silent.

    The phone holster thing depends on the job I think. I admit I did use one (just a little black pouch on my belt, not a showy one or anything) when I worked at an animal shelter, but that was only because my uniform did not have zip pockets and we had to carry our phones for safety reasons.

    • May 5, 2012 1:43 pm

      With any rule, there are always exceptions. I am sure there are a few instances where a holster may be appropriate.

      • May 9, 2012 3:41 am

        Yes, ‘no holster’ is valid as a fashion statement, but on the job a person needs proper gear not necessarily fashion related. I like the observations in this article showing the phone has a ways to go in its conquest of perfection, lol

  8. Jamie Weil permalink
    May 5, 2012 1:07 am


  9. May 5, 2012 4:43 am

    Love your insights. Though I’m a jeans and shirt kind of guy, I like my shirts freshly pressed and lightly starched. But I do find fault with one of your suggestions, namely number 3. Don’t sport bulging pockets? Heck, that’s how I pick up women!!

  10. Chasing Fifty permalink
    May 5, 2012 1:30 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Somehow cell phones have gone from a necessary evil to a status symbol. I refuse to wear a cell phone holster. The gunslinger look loses its punch when the side arm is an iPhone.

  11. May 7, 2012 7:14 pm

    Hello Jeremy, thank you for liking our blog. The pictures of you are great,
    are they professionally done?

  12. May 8, 2012 11:50 am

    good common sense-Will

  13. JennyO permalink
    May 8, 2012 12:13 pm

    LOL ohhh my – you know this is interesting. We have been stationed overseas for several years and the “Handy” aka Cell Phone just doesn’t seem as predominent here in Germany. At least our little part of Bavaria. But I must absolutely agree that for both men and women – the bling bling and the ring ring of your phone can be amusing as well as a first impression that you can never take away [ not always a good thing ]. I keep mine hidden, I don’t answer it if I am engaged in other situations [ caller ID allows me to call back whoever it was, nothing is THAT important that I drop everything I am doing , and if it is they will call again quickly to alert me to the need – aka my Teen will not stop if its a 911 ] Great tips and thanks for popping by my blog!

  14. May 9, 2012 1:49 am

    Hell, I guess I violate #1 I thought it was bling. This needs to broght to men’s attention.

  15. May 9, 2012 6:22 pm

    Thankfully, being a woman, I can get by with carrying my cell phone in a little necklace purse when I’m out and about. I made a few of the little pursettes to coordinate with various outfits so I can still have my cell phone handy without it being the center of attention. I don’t know what to suggest for the guys, but you are right, just about everyone does have a phone these days.

  16. May 9, 2012 7:45 pm

    Good points!

  17. May 10, 2012 6:36 am

    and don’t live where there’s no signal, ahem. Bluetooth cooks your brains (just thought I’d throw that in). Walking round with one makes it look as tho you’ve been watching too many police procedural/spy progs – real poserdom lies that way. 😉

  18. May 10, 2012 10:23 pm

    I agree with every one one of these. 🙂

  19. May 10, 2012 10:55 pm

    “Make a few corrections and let them notice YOU overlooking your phone.”

    Then again what if your persona requires hiding behind your snazzy phone? 😉 That might be the message, too. (and a valid one at that!)

  20. Margie permalink
    May 12, 2012 7:55 pm

    My husband has a phone holster for when he is on the move – much safer place for the phone that anywhere else when he is on the work site!

  21. May 14, 2012 8:06 am

    Fashion tips for men! Great idea! There’s no point I don’t agree with in this post.
    Thanks for coming by my blog 🙂

  22. May 14, 2012 2:37 pm

    Agreed on all counts! Please men of the world… listen!

  23. May 15, 2012 1:00 am

    Love your sense of humor. I agree with all your points. Another thing that peeves me is loud conversations. Oh, and using your cell phone when you’re on the toilet in a public restroom is not a cool move, either.

  24. May 15, 2012 3:45 am

    Jeremy, I like what your doing on this site. It made me laugh, as I know people like that. Keep up the good work.

  25. May 16, 2012 12:23 am

    I find these tips quite hilarious! I thought I was the only person in the world that found the things you mentioned irksome. 😆

  26. May 19, 2012 2:46 pm

    I agree with this list! Thank you for the like on my blog! If you try this recipe, let me know how you liked it!

  27. May 26, 2012 3:44 am

    Thanks for liking my post on Thai street food.
    I agree about the cell phone etiquette – I used to be guilty of talking too loudly when I got in an elevator on my way to a meeting!


  28. May 29, 2012 1:57 pm

    Thank you Jeremy for checking out what we do with the developmentally disabled. We are always trying to teach them proper etiquette and manners, some rules that the ‘fully abled’ have sometimes forgotten.

  29. May 31, 2012 4:34 am

    Hi Jeremy, I agree about the bulky pockets, I especially try to carry nothing in my pants pockets, except on the golf course.

  30. May 31, 2012 9:06 pm

    Jeremy, you sold me on #1 and #2. I cannot stand it when I see people wearing a bluetooth at all (unless they are working with their hands getting directions on how to fix something), and the belt strap as well.

  31. June 6, 2012 5:55 pm

    These are all excellent tips and I’m not even a man. I’m surrounded by rednecks now and I say that with love ;), but not too long ago I was out in the business world and saw all offenses of the above. Thanks so much for stopping by to visit my blog!

  32. June 6, 2012 10:04 pm

    In full agreement with your views, Jeremy. There is, however, one item that I do like to keep snugly holstered on my belt – my trusty Leatherman multi-tool. If only I could combine its steadfastly analogue functions with the many electronic and digital functions on my mobile phone into one totally invincible mega-tool! Might have trouble getting it through airport security, though.

  33. June 8, 2012 3:23 pm

    I enjoyed reading your article. I agree about using the cellphone as a tool. In practice, I am more into function rather than fashion. Loved the insite into the subject and it does make sense to follow this tips in a professional atmosphere.

  34. Jennifer Wurst permalink
    June 12, 2012 3:56 pm

    so agree with all your suggestions and comments! bravo.

  35. Tara permalink
    June 15, 2012 10:44 pm

    My whole childhood my dad had a man purse. He called it his bag. It embarrassed me like crazy. But I have to admit, it was practical.

  36. June 17, 2012 7:29 pm


  37. June 17, 2012 7:31 pm

    I would hate to not be able to carry a purse. For men I suggest very fashionable messenger bag. Only cool. hip, and young can carry it off. LOL

  38. June 23, 2012 10:43 pm

    First, thank you for stopping by Keeping Up With Carol! Now, I’m not a guy, but your blog is really good. This post is so true!

  39. June 25, 2012 11:21 pm

    Great post Jeremy, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

  40. Yamini permalink
    June 26, 2012 1:57 am

    Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed.

    All of these things bug me, but you can relate the first one with females also (they do that quite often as well). good points! 😉

  41. June 26, 2012 2:45 pm

    Jeremy, I totally agree and have blogged the same. However I favour the simplified format:

    Holster = tosser
    Bulky pockets = tosser
    Bluetooth headset = tosser
    Novelty accessories = tosser

    Nail extensions too long to type = bimbo
    Novelty cartoon cover = bunny boiler
    Crystal phone cover = bimbo
    Bluetooth headseat = Wears comfy shoes

  42. j3ssi33ss3x permalink
    June 26, 2012 5:40 pm

    Reblogged this on The Three G's.

  43. June 28, 2012 10:11 pm

    As a gay man I approve of this blog. 😛

  44. July 1, 2012 3:28 pm

    All agreed, but it’s so much simpler now than when I had my first mobile (as we call them in the UK) in the late 1980s – it was the size of a brick with an aerial!

  45. July 2, 2012 3:27 pm

    I DON’T own a cellphone—DON’T want a cellphone–DON’T need a cellphone and I DON’T want someone screaming on one near me–that’s my 4 don’ts!!! LOL

  46. July 9, 2012 12:32 pm

    ive solved all cellphone problems in one easy swipe……ive left it in the draw next to my bed and havent turned it on for well over a year… perfectly for me……….

  47. July 14, 2012 5:43 pm

    Also do not talk on your cellphone when checking out at a store. It is so rude to the person helping you.

  48. July 16, 2012 2:16 am

    This is great and you have a good sense of humor. Last Thanksgiving I had a lot of nieces and nephews over, all with iPhones (me too!). I said, “Okay, dinner is served, please bring your phones to the dining room so we can all text each other during dinner. That got a big laugh. Thanks for liking Kelley Hospitality. I’ll be back to your blog soon.

  49. July 17, 2012 7:47 pm

    Jeremy, I have to admit that I need a lot of your teaching. Hopefully I share some of your expensive taste. Otherwise, my trousers left pockets carry a wallet with inside my entire administration. It looks like a huge leg tumor. My trousers right pockets carry a very basic cell phone made for the third world market that nobody would dare to take out, so that I need to bend down to answer a call. I guess you inspired me to downgrade the wallet and upgrade the phone, changing some money from one to the other pocket could do the trick.

  50. vivilinh permalink
    July 20, 2012 5:12 am

    LOL i agree with all these points!

  51. July 28, 2012 1:38 am

    This is really good advice regarding the cell phone. I had no idea but all of your points are well worth thinking about. But when you think about it, you are so right! Next time I see someone’s cell phone case I will be checking out their design a little more carefully!

  52. August 8, 2012 7:12 pm

    But option one is just so Star Trek.

  53. August 12, 2012 1:13 am

    Great article … so … where should a guy carry his cell phone? My husband carries his in his pocket.

    • August 12, 2012 9:50 pm

      Depending on the itinerary, you can use a bag such as a briefcase, messenger bag or gym bag. You can also use your pants pockets with a thin phone.

  54. August 27, 2012 3:59 pm

    So funny and true. I must have my husband read this! I am always teling him to “unload the cargo ship,” which he does – into my purse!

  55. August 29, 2012 5:57 am

    Hi Jeremy, great article. I am in the business world and agree that keeping a lot of items in the pockets is a no no for appearance. I put more weighting on the front pockets but that’s not to say minimalising the rear pockets from bulging out is not important. First appearances can be vitally important.

  56. September 10, 2012 5:13 am

    Thanks for liking ‘Tomato Season’, bro. Your blog is boss.

  57. September 12, 2012 2:09 am

    Hahaha, cell phone holster- people actually still do that? This is definitely good advice!

  58. September 19, 2012 6:43 pm

    Love your thoughts on overstuffed pockets! Some men really do look sloppy and poorly proportioned because of all the stuff they carry in their pockets! Ruins a whole look! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  59. September 21, 2012 12:12 am

    Nice! I’ve been saying #1 and #2 for years. Just couldnt explain as well as you did

  60. never2late2change permalink
    November 1, 2012 2:08 pm

    Being sent to my husband stat!

  61. AmyS permalink
    November 2, 2012 1:51 am

    I totally agree on all of these. It makes me chuckle when I see people in public with any or all of these things! 🙂

  62. November 11, 2012 1:25 am

    Very perceptive! We should be judged by who we are, not by our cell phones. Thank you for liking my blog.

  63. November 20, 2012 5:18 pm

    Haha!! Love your advice!! 🙂

  64. November 21, 2012 2:44 pm

    Its a shame that people would not know this common sense stuff!!!

    • November 21, 2012 2:47 pm

      Before I understood fashion principles, I was one of those people.

      • November 21, 2012 3:15 pm

        Even with the bluetooth? I did not consider it being a fashion thing via the blue tooth or the cell phone / fannie pack.

      • November 21, 2012 3:18 pm

        Okay. So I did not have the Bluetooth on my ear all the time, but I did wear the holster.

  65. permalink
    November 25, 2012 1:03 pm

    I admit, I’m guilty of the belt clip for my iPhone…..but where the hell else am I going to put it?! In a pocket, it looks pretty bulky and feels like my pocket is pulled down a foot or so. I don’t wear a jacket often, so the inside pocket idea is moot. I don’t have a case for it, though I should for protection. Yup, I’m clueless. Help?

    • December 2, 2012 1:35 am

      If possible, I suggest trying to use a bag such as a briefcase, messenger bag or gym bag when appropriate. If no bag, use your pants pocket. It’s better than a holster.

      • permalink
        December 18, 2012 6:03 pm

        Thanks Jeremy…..I know….but the iPhone 4 is SO bulky in the pockets!

  66. December 5, 2012 7:27 pm

    Reblogged this on The Sweet Wife and commented:
    I recently read a post on a men’s fashion blog (don’t ask…). I tend to agree with many of the things the author wrote. What are your thoughts on cell phones?

  67. December 23, 2012 12:52 pm

    1. Don’t walk around with a Bluetooth headpiece on your ear at all times. I come across this all the time, almost every day. It tells the people around you, “hey, I’m too occupied with calls and other stuff to devote my attention to you.” Keep it simple – wear the device when talking on the phone. Take it off when the phone is off.—–>>>>> absolutely agree with this point. i hate it when people attached that bluetooth all the time…

  68. December 30, 2012 3:17 pm

    Excellent advice, Jeremy.

    In addition to my iPhone, I generally carry only one key (car) and have switched from a bulky rear-pocket wallet to a minimalist front-pocket money clip/wallet. I look forward to a “wallet etiquette” post from you someday.

  69. January 14, 2013 6:54 am

    Hmmmm … amusing … I already practice everything you said here. Nice confirmation of my policies

  70. January 19, 2013 11:29 pm

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I agree with the pocket and holster.

  71. January 30, 2013 12:40 pm

    The title of this blog is epic. Also, cannot express the intensity of ‘no no’s’ to cell phone holsters enough. NO, no, no. We understand it was the iphone accessory of 1999 but I hope it’s one trend never to return. Such a witty write up! Great!

  72. February 8, 2013 3:25 pm

    Oh boy, i feel for you guys! Girls in general glam phones up as much as we want, and people could only say: “oh Such a girl!”; i guess they cant do the same to guys. Haha. You are right with these 4 don’ts!

  73. andra carter permalink
    February 18, 2013 3:30 pm

    awesome advise. we need to send 95% of men here to read your thoughts!

  74. VictoriaJoDean permalink
    March 3, 2013 9:18 am

    In the world of casual dressing that permeates so much of the everyday people – it’s great that someone is giving advice on how to be the best you can be – as well as showing that a guy really can have some class. Love it. Thanks by stopping by my blog so that I could find yours.

  75. March 11, 2013 6:48 pm

    I agree with Andra. ^ ^ ^ This was an excellent article. Thank You! 🙂

  76. March 26, 2013 12:27 pm

    bluetooth earpiece…we call it a “Borg implant” and make fun of everyone who wears one!

  77. March 30, 2013 12:39 pm

    I have to have a pink cover lol it’s just me. Thank you for reading x

  78. May 9, 2013 8:15 pm

    I agree. The holster was fine back when phones were getting smaller. Now that they are getting bigger again the holster has got to go!

  79. June 16, 2013 2:08 pm

    I totally agree. They look like aliens with that thing attached to their heads.

    • June 16, 2013 4:27 pm

      Maybe someday it will even be implanted directly into the ear. Crazy to think about.

  80. June 28, 2013 4:42 pm

    In all the comments, there are very few dealing with the “man purse.” I avoided having one for years, thinking they looked silly or “fussy.” Then a friend got one. Then another friend got one. And finally, I did — and I love it. It has a side pocket that easily holds my cell phone; a side pocket for change; a sort of wallet area for money and credit cards and ID. Now I don’t need anything in any pockets — no bulky keys, no clunky change, and so on. Okay — a thin comb in one back pocket. My purse is dark brown leather, not very big, and easy to handle. I really think that if more men tried them, they’d be converted.

    • June 28, 2013 4:59 pm

      I am a big fan of messenger bags and briefcases myself. A bag can provide a solution for the man with weighed down pockets. Thanks for reading.

  81. July 5, 2013 2:28 pm

    Good advise, I hate to see the Bluetooth headset in the ears of people. It reminds me of cockroach jewelry.

  82. September 23, 2013 1:08 am

    I see people with Bluetooth headpieces at the gym. It just cracks me up!

  83. November 1, 2013 3:22 pm

    I have always envied a man’s pockets specially the inner pocket in a coat. Women don’t have that. Sometimes I don’t feel like carrying a purse and at that moment I am truly envious.

  84. May 6, 2014 4:03 am

    I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This paragraph posted at this
    website is actually pleasant.

  85. September 18, 2014 2:50 pm

    I enjoy the post. people always display these gadgets for their self importance, stupidity or both. Thanks for your visit.

  86. January 21, 2015 4:01 pm

    I enjoy the perspective. 🙂

    They call me a Boy Scout for always having be-ready things with me, but nowadays I make it a point not to put anything in my pockets – not just because it looks awful, but because it’s uncomfortable for me. I hold my phone in my hands wherever I go so I can easily use (or play with) it, and only when I’m walking somewhere rather shady or populated will I put it in my pocket.

    Thank you for dropping by my blog. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  87. August 23, 2015 5:49 pm

    I have read several of your posts and find them wonderful.I am very sorry that it has taken me so long to return your visit. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  88. August 15, 2016 4:09 pm

    Real important

  89. May 3, 2017 11:57 am

    Phones are really vital and cases like these will definitely help in protecting our favorite asset from any kind of damage.
    I liked the post very much as it is very informative.

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