Saturday, September 26, 2009

Looking Good

There is nothing better as a guy than looking good. T-shirts, sweats, gym shorts, cargo's are all great things to wear. Incredibly comfortable, awesome for just hanging out, and generally mindless "go to" wear. They all have their place, but especially 20 something year olds exploit it to the limit. What many of us need, as guys (me included), is some advice/guidelines to make things easier. So here are the 10 basics I have derived.

1. Every guy needs at least two GOOD suits. It doesn't matter what your profession is, every guy will have the opportunity to wear a suit multiple times per year. There are the usual times (i.e. weddings, funerals, interviews, bar mitzvahs, retirement parties), but there are also spontaneous occasions (guys night out, dates, and even car test driving) where a good suit can turn great nights into amazing nights. Buying a designer suit off the rack is not enough though. Even if you have to buy a slightly cheaper suit to do so, spend the money to get it tailored. A well fitting suit can get you past bouncers, into exclusive areas, and test driving cars well outside of your budget.*Note- none of these are guaranteed, but a suit can only improve your odds* Almost every woman (and most importantly your mother) loves a guy in a suit.

2. Don't settle for T-shirts. Every time you can wear a T-shirt (except for they gym/running), you can probably wear a polo or a button down. It adds that layer that makes you stand out from everyone else.

3. Free T-shirts are good for painting, yard work, the gym, or sleeping. That is all.

4. Shoes and belts can be the most important thing in your wardrobe. A quick example. One of my friends was going on a date with his longtime girlfriend. This was a total surprise for her, he planned a romantic night, pulled out a great button down and a pair of relaxed khakis, and then realized he was between his sneakers and flip flops. Don't kill your look because you don't have the right shoes for your look. At minimum, you need a pair of black dress shoes and a brown pair (that arn't Doc Martins). And going back to number 1- find a suit you can wear brown shoes/belts with, it WILL set you apart.

5. If you have any doubt about what you are wearing, take a picture. Every guy has either a sister, or female friend that isn't your significant other who has some sort of fashion sense. Call them, ask them if they can critique your look if you email it to them. Takes 30 seconds for confirmation or correction, and it was painless.

6. Jerseys with names on them are only good to be worn with the guys watching the game/going to the game. Wearing them in public to anything else after college just makes you look sloppy.

7. Buy a dressier coat. If you live in the north, that means not a parka for the winter. Yes, parkas are great for skiing, snowboarding, shoveling, football, etc., but not for your date/going to the office. Pea coats have been around for ages, but if you can look beyond it, it will certainly help your look.

8. White socks do not work with dress pants, no matter what the color. They never work with sandals under any circumstances. And get a pair of boat shoes/docksiders/canvas dressy sneakers for summer- they look way better than sandals.

9. Take every opportunity to wear a tuxedo. If you get invited to something that says black tie invited/optional, wear it. Weddings, theater, charity events, etc. are all better when you wear a tux. Not only do you feel like James Bond, but how many opportunities do you get to wear a tux each year, 2 max? And always go with the bow tie in black (and the jacket in black unless it is specified otherwise)- its a classic look that will never go out of style.

10. Take your own initiative. Be creative when you go out. Wear a sweater when a hoodie could do. Doc's with jeans. Try colors you haven't worn. Or do what I do- pink tie fridays.

Till next time-

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