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Yellow Pits or Bulls Eye for a Sloppy Look?

May 30, 2012

used with permission from

Every now and then, I happen upon someone in a shirt that has outlived its intended lifespan. Let’s see if I can paint a picture. Over time, this shirt has developed not a yellow, but brown ring lining the collar. It may be ironed, but the extended use has frayed the cuffs. Lastly, the fabric has stretched itself thin. But, I bet it’s comfortable and the owner’s favorite.

If your clothes have spots, tears, inappropriate fraying, or old-looking fabric, get rid of them. Who cares if it’s comfortable? It looks terrible. Open your closet door, take a deep breath and honestly evaluate your clothes. If most of them possess that ratty quality, then phase them out over time as you can afford it. Imagine driving a brand new BMW sports car through the city – the paint job is new, the interior is immaculate, but it is covered in mud. It’s the same concept. Your image suffers with worn out clothes.

For the clothes that survive the cut, protect them. Because of all the money that you invested into your wardrobe, you should take extra care to preserve their appearance. For starters, create a barrier between your sweat and your shirt with an undershirt. They prevent soiled armpits in your shirts. Next time you find yourself in a clothing store, buy v-neck undershirts. Personally, I only like crew neck undershirts with crew-neck shirts or sweaters. A v-neck stays more appropriately hidden beneath a dress shirt or a polo shirt.

Eat messy foods with caution. They have the potential to ruin a shirt. In the past, I have spotted shirts with spaghetti sauce, hot and sour soup, mustard, and oil. It never occurred to me that I should take care when enjoying meals. I know you’re thinking that this is common sense. You’re right, but a reminder helps too. If you do drop oil on your white shirt, attempt every spot removal process you know. If it’s still visible, stop wearing it or wear that dress shirt beneath a sweater. Much to my regret, I continued wearing some of those spotted shirts even after ineffective treatment.

The condition of your clothing speaks almost as much for you as your choice of clothes. You may be telling your supervisor that you are sloppy, unkempt, and oblivious to quality. When your superiors contemplate your promotion, don’t you want to make the best impression possible? Then, assess your clothes right away. Clean quality untarnished clothing keeps your image fresh.

© Copyright 2012 Fashion for the average man.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Sid permalink
    May 30, 2012 2:08 am

    Ugh! There goes half my wardrobe.

  2. May 31, 2012 2:16 am

    Excellent post. I forwarded it to my husband with a recommendation that he become a follower of your blog.

  3. Weichen permalink
    May 31, 2012 1:50 pm

    It’s kinda a dilemma when it comes to washing my best set of suits. With each round of cleaning my suit would be cleaner, but more worn out at the same time.

    • May 31, 2012 2:15 pm

      I understand your problem. Suits require dry cleaning which can be harsh to them over time. For the average man’s use, a cleaning once every year should be fine. However, at a certain point it just becomes necessary to retire that favorite suit. Tough to do some times!

  4. fivecats permalink
    June 2, 2012 2:55 am

    I conduct most of my meetings by video web conference. A stain or fraying can be easily detected in those type of meetings. In matter of fact, it is magnified and draws your attention to that spot … much more than an in-person meeting.

    Thanks for the sound advice on maintaining and building a professional and a casual (and crisp) wardrobe. Though we should know this, it is good to be reminded.

  5. lolettesebren permalink
    June 3, 2012 12:08 am

    I work in an industrial setting. I may get dirty and greasy and look utterly like something the cats drug up, but away from home and going out I always try to look my best. Thanks for the advice on men’s clothing. I am pretty sure I will be able to impress some of the guys I work with at some future point with some advice I get from you !!

  6. June 23, 2012 2:37 pm

    I’m sending this to my husband right now!! Love it!

  7. June 28, 2012 2:56 pm

    Because of this post I just removed 6 dress shirts and some khakis from my closet to donate to the Salvation Army. Those shirts you were to work because you like them, but perhaps they’re a bit too small or faded.

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