I'll begin with the disclaimer that you can absolutely wear anything you want, but if you want a fighting chance of looking good when you leave the house, here are five things you should avoid. Yes, these are automatic deal breakers for being seen as a 'dude of style'.
“You know the message you're sending out to the world with these sweatpants? You're telling the world, I give up!” That was Jerry Seinfeld admonishing George Costanza back in the 90's for wearing sweatpants. Here in 2016, we now have tapered, slim styles that are miles better than the baggy numbers George was wearing. Still, I say they are strictly for looking better while at the gym, or maybe quickly picking up dinner on your way home. Where are you going that you need to be that casual or comfortable besides the gym? Walking the dog? Sure. Touch football game? Okay. Anywhere else? Nope.
2. Pajamas And Slippers
How did this awfulness begin? Go anywhere in this country (especially college campuses and big department stores) and you are bound to see people wearing nightwear in public. (I'm fairly certain this is a felony in Italy.) If people can't be bothered to put on actual clothes in the morning, how can we possibly solve the world's more pressing problems? So, please, get dressed and take your place in society!
3. Flip Flops, "Mandals" Or Those Hideous Adidas Things
The vermin of footwear. Nobody wants to see your feet. Even if you get regular pedicures (and I’m guessing you don’t), no one still wants to see your feet. We also don't want to hear the awful, grating sound that flip flops make. They are appropriate (and advised!) for the shower at the gym, and at the beach. That’s it. If you’re looking for something easy to slip on your foot, try a pair of Vans in just about any color you could want.
4. Shorts, During Fall, Winter And A Good Chunk Of Spring
One of the easiest ways to look noticeably bad is to wear clothing that is not appropriate for the temperature. Somehow, shorts have become fairly common for guys year ‘round. But you wouldn't wear a parka in July, so skip the shorts while there are no leaves on the trees. When it is time to show your legs, go as slim as possible. Thankfully, the Spanky McFarland looks of the recent past have largely been replaced by slimmer styles. (Think Don Draper goes to a barbecue.)
5. Bad Underwear And Socks
When your underwear begins to get holey and saggy, get rid of it. Wear underwear that you'd want to be seen in your underwear in. (Does that make sense?) The science has been settled on men’s underwear, and the boxer-brief is the only acceptable choice. Boxer shorts are bulky, a bit geriatric, and offer nothing in the way of “support.” Briefs – as bad a word as panties – might be acceptable if the wearer has the body of David Beckham. The boxer-brief solves all of this – more flattering on most forms while keeping things in place. Also, socks matter. Grab some vibrant ones, roll a cuff, and flash some color. If you can't do color, make sure your socks match your pants, and not your shoes.
More About David Santos
David is a husband, father, real estate professional, and singer/songwriter with the Boston-based band Eddie Japan (2013 Winners of the prestigious Rock 'N' Roll Rumble). He also loves clothes. Be sure to click over to his FB page - Dress Like A Man, where you'll find grooming, health and lifestyle tips for the modern gentleman with an edge.
Photo Credits: Photo of men's items courtesy of Getty Images.