This week, some grooming, fashion and style faux pas commonly made by men. Yes, men.
Men, allowing clothing and grooming oversights can save time, sure, but those moments saved may cost you when catching the eye of someone you’re attracted to, getting positively noticed at work or being scrutinized by your mother. At those times, you may wish you’d shaved your neck and gotten the wrinkles out of that shirt.
Take some extra time in a mirror and use a kind and honest eye to critique and edit your look to ensure no dirt, mustard, wrong size or multinational corporation is stealing the show from your own inherent handsomeness and unique style. Have no idea what I’m talking about and/or don’t own a mirror? Ask a friend or professional (ahem) to check you for unflattering and distracting grooming and style unsightlies such as…
Yeti neck, how I wish you were as elusive as your namesake. Hairy throat makes that beard look sloppy and must make it hard to feel your lover’s kisses on your neck. The best beards communicate their entirely intentional presence with a smoothly shaved neck and under-chin. Work some beard balm up in that thing while you’re at it. Respect your beard, it lives on your face. Yeti-neck lives in a very rural place close to …
(Cue slasher-flick shriek). Clumps, tufts, haystacks of hair coming out your nostrils are distracting to say the least and horrifying to get close to. It is possibly the worst oversight on this list, if not THE ENTIRE WORLD. Easily eradicated on your own with scissors, mirror and eyes. Or ask the person cutting your hair to mow it all out and check your ears while they’re at it.
The wrinkled look
Keep it smooth, player. Wrinkles happen, but you are not an old newspaper or a Shar-Pei dog. I’m sane enough to know that suggesting you iron is crazy talk. But try these easy methods: Keep a spray bottle of water handy to lightly mist wrinkled shirts and pants, then kind of slap the wrinkles out. Or, if it’s really creased, lay the garment on the bed and press with your hands while damp. Tumble wrinkled stuff in the dryer with a damp towel to steam. Take shirts out of the dryer right away, give them a quick snap and hang up right away. Also, dry-cleaning is an option. You pay, but they do everything.
Too many logos
You’re a man, not a billboard! Nike, Fubu, Fox, none of these companies are paying you for your advertising space. (For more rant on this, see last week’s column). And rarely are their fonts or logos artful enough to rock them all huge on your T-shirt AND hat. Rely on your own individual style and clothing to communicate and “advertise” YOU and what you are about, not the boring name of some boring multinational corporation.
Too big is not the right size. Too much extra fabric will make you look bigger in an unflattering way and looks sloppy. Shoulder seams should be vertical; if they droop off your shoulder it is too big. Shirt hem hanging below your hips is too big. Pants that can be pulled down without unbuttoning are too big. Pants where half of your skinny, be-underwear’d ass is on display? Yes, also too big.
If you are having to go up a size to get the longer arm length you need, shop where they stock “tall” or “long” sizes. The sleeves will be long enough to reach between the bottom of your palm and wristbone and you won’t sacrifice a good fit in the chest and shoulders to get it.
There are many design details in shirts, jackets and pants that can add the look of broader shoulders and height, or to add volume to your form. Don’t just go up a size, as this tactic will have you looking like the shirt is consuming you. Also, rejoice, wiry small or medium man, because all of the most amazing vintage is in your size and the fantastic tailoring and uniqueness of vintage shirts will put your style quotient through the roof.
If you are feeling a little fluffy, get advice from that stylist about how to accentuate your best qualities and physical features. If you’ve recently gained weight, don’t worry about it, buy clothing for the size and shape you are NOW. I have heard this “I can’t buy clothes until I lose weight” nonsense for years from customers and it sucks. Properly fitting clothing needs to be the No. 1 consideration, withholding the right size from yourself is simply mean and results of this self-loathing b.s. will be uncomfortable and unflattering.
All of these considerations are for you, men, you rulers of the planet, you dads and lovers, you friends and brothers. We ladies love and respect you guys so much – help ease our views and clear our paths to your fine male frames by being aware of these wrinkly, dirty, flapping-fabric distractions so we can kiss your necks without tasting a mouthful of hair.
Heather Narwid owns Sideshow Emporium, a vintage and second-hand clothing store recently relocated to downtown Durango from Dolores. She thinks you look nice today. Ask her anything at [email protected]