Fads fade. Resolutions come and go. However, bad style moves are never forgiven nor forgotten. We’re kidding! You can be helped. I am here to clarify a number of common sartorial quandaries to help you have a more fashionable New Year. No need for debate, I’m here to fill in the gaps for those of you who may lack a degree of common style sense or for those sleep deprived mornings when you just aren’t sure!
New Year, Better Style
1. Shoes + belt Combos
To match or not to match? That is the question. Men often seem to get the belt and shoe pairing wrong in one of two ways—too matchy matchy or too much contrast. For formal occasions, a matching belt and shoe is important. However, it is not always necessary. Think variation in tone or texture (shiny with matte – uhm why not?!). A light suede boot and a deep navy belt “go” together. A XXL buckled light brown belt and black brogues do not. Think smart and the conversation between the shoe and belt will sort itself out! And if by chance you own a belt with a buckle that says anything, drive out to the desert, dig a deep, deep hole – throw it in and never look back.
2. Suit VS sport jacket
Breaking up a suit can be risky. Often men will break out the suit jacket and attempt to pull it off as a sports jacket. Sometimes it works; often it doesn’t (nice try, though!). The suit jacket can have a second life as a blazer depending on it’s fabric, colour, and cut. A fitted (note: fits you) blazer in a dark colour such as navy or black can often pass as a sports coat. Tweeds and classic patterned blazers also make the cut.
3. Too-tight jeans
Jeans are all about comfort. While tight jeans may showcase those long hours logged at the gym they can also reveal (ahem) secrets best kept to oneself. When the jeans you’re wearing leave little to the imagination, swap them for a pair that have an extra few inches in the crotch, seat, and knee area. Tight jeans also read very casual so it’s not the look you want to take to work if you’re gunning for a promotion.
4. Too-loose jeans:
Sag is never an element of superior sartorial style! Go for a straight-leg fitted denim that sits just above the hip. There should be no visible plummer action in the back. While a belt is useful in putting a look together, it shouldn’t be your means of keeping your jeans from falling down to your ankles! And if there is a band of visible boxers between your shirt and pants, turn around, go back home and try again.
5. Athletic wear
Sweatpants are for the gym and lounging on the couch. If you’re an adult, dress like it! If you’re really keen on wearing sweatpants, opt for a pair that are tapered at the ankle and fit throughout the leg. However, athletic wear should be donned for the sole purpose of its namesake –athletics!
6. Label Shout Outs
Style is not commanded by the label you choose to wear. While loyalty to a brand is understood (some lines just work for your body) , it’s important to wear things because they reflect your personality. Keep visible brand shout-outs to a whisper for a look you won’t regret a week from now.
7. Fat wallets
Put your wallet on a diet! An old friend of mine berated me for my keenness to carry every bankcard, business card, and burrito card (10th one is always free) in my wallet. Fat wallets don’t always imply abundance. Stop hoarding in the walls of your wallet and slim down to a cardholder. It’s sleek and emblematic of a well-groomed man who values functionality. Less is more!
Prints can work for or against you; choose carefully. A bold print can look flamboyant and exaggerate areas of your physique you might not want to draw attention to. When working with prints, opt for small to medium scale patterns and mix in a neutral for balance.
9. Pointy shoes
Shoes are meant to fit your feet. Are you an elf? Stop trying to cop their style! Consider a round toed shoe to match the actual shape of your feet. May I boldly suggest this Call it Spring KOBAYASHI? Fashion, function and comfort. Winner’s circle material.
Don’t. Let Justin Timberlake and Pharrel take the lead on this one. They are an emblem of 2008 and may we put them to rest until they have a throwback in 2018.