Whether you’re a CEO looking at your wardrobe choices, a hipster wannabe pastor in search of cool threads, or a professional considering a look update, choosing what to wear can be daunting and, yes, even dangerous. I often get the question “what type of clothing should I buy, or what should I avoid?” But while my teenage son might disagree with my fashion-forward mindset, I have learned some universal dos and don’ts when it comes to men’s fashion. Here’s my best attempt at helping guys avoid looking like dorks.
If you keep the following rules, you should be OK. Break them, and you’re on your own.
The Do-I-look-Stupid? Rule. If you have to ask it, don’t buy it and by all means don’t wear it. Don’t ever decide to wear something because you think that it will make you more relevant or “hip.” That usually backfires. I have seen guys wearing white belts that should never call attention to their stomachs. Last year I was carrying extra weight and should have left the white belt in the closet.
The Vintage Rule. You need at least 25 years of storage before any of your clothing becomes vintage. Most of the time it’s not vintage, it’s just badly dated. And it’s only vintage when a young person wears it, anyway. If you don’t remember when you bought it, chances are you should donate it to Goodwill. The only person I know that can still wear his Member’s Only jacket from 1985 and look good in it is my pastor, Pete Wilson.
The Flag Rule. Horizontal stripes should only be worn by flags and really skinny people. If people salute you, get the hint and change shirts.
The Sausage Rule. Tight clothing doesn’t make you look smaller, it makes you look, well, like a sausage. Sometimes when referring to pants that are too tight the sausage rule is also known as the Muffin Top Rule. This happens when your tight pants squeezes your larger mid drift creating the spillage syndrome called muffin top. It can be painful as well as unsightly.
Black not White Rule. Black covers a multitude of sins. The older I get the more I love wearing black. There’s no better friend to those of us battling middle age than a black shirt to combat all kinds of wrong, including the aforementioned muffin top. A black shirt or blazer is also a great help for those with moobs, aka man boobs. And for the love, men, don’t wear a white t-shirts unless your body fat is in the single digits.
I could go on, but I want to hear from you. What other fashion rules should men not break?