Men dress like shit. Simple fact. Faux pragmatism weaves its way through a morass of laziness when it comes to the actual clothes a man wears day in and day out.
Many and most will go to this as some sort of badge of honor when criticized or even simply in the presence of those talking about dressing properly let alone well. It’s a tired and simpleton’s masculinity that fails to know how to dress itself.
But all this is a tad too negative. The purpose of today’s post? Fashion.
From the top. Every man should have a proper hat. And when I say ‘hat,’ I don’t mean a baseball cap. A baseball cap is the hat of a child.
You needn’t wear you hat(s) all the time, but a hat gives your whole body a true presence. Be careful, however. A poorly chosen hat can have you look an imbecile.
First, know what your options are.
I find that my personality isn’t suited for a porkpie and a cap simply won’t do. Both of those types of hat convey douchebaggery. A Panama or fedora is my preference, but even here things get a bit dodgy. When I say fedora I do not mean a trilby which is the standard hipster fail of hat choice. A proper fedora is made of good fabric, fits your head (seriously, it’s not difficult to find out your hat size), and is in proportion to you body. Find a hat style that suits you and embrace it.
I have two hats. A black straw Panama and a black fedora. I wouldn’t say I wear them frequently but rather regularly. My Panama is my warm weather casual hat; my fedora is my cooler weather hat. Remember, you can’t wear a fedora with a t-shirt. You don’t have to be wearing a suit, but I tend to only wear my hats when I wear a buttoned shirt.
Also, take your goddamn hat off when you enter a building.
Since you should avoid wearing a hat with a t-shirt, what can you wear it with? Well, you can wear it with a t-shirt, it just has to be a nice shirt or sweater. Shirts that could be worn with a hat:
Let’s remember we don’t wear a hat every day. T-shirts are the default garment for men and women. Don’t be overly clever with your t-shirt. No one wants to read your shirt. If a person can’t take it all in at a glance, you’re trying too hard to garner praise.
My own style prefers dark color t-shirts and pairing them with cardigans or, on occasion, hoodies. In fact, my hoodie preference of late has gotten to be rather weird looking.
And this brings us to my favorite kind of garment–the coat. Were I a man of means, I would have a wardrobe entirely devoted to coats. Short, but mostly long coats for every season. Fortunately, the recent Cumberbatch-ing of entertainment media has sparked a love of coats.
A proper coat, not a jacket, can give even jeans and a t-shirt a dash of panache. However, what a good coat does best is house your suit. Again, were I a man of means, I would have a glorious wardrobe of suits.
Finally, we come to the shoes. Most men wear sneakers, crocs, shower sandals, or work boots day in and day out. The more competently dressed often have a pair or two of black ‘work shoes’ for the office. It can be a sad affair. Your shoes don’t have to be bleak. You can recognize a low-class individual by assessing two things–quality of teeth and quality of footwear.
Sneakers aren’t a bad thing. But be honest with yourself. You’re not a runner or a jogger or an athlete. You’re ordinary. So get sneakers that have a bit of life to them.
Shoes don’t simply fall into one of two categories–casual or formal. There is a slew of gradations. You shouldn’t wear the same shoe every day. You needn’t have a shoe closet, but you should definitely give yourself options.
But when you do go formal, go big. There’s no reason to not have shoes that will make your suit explode.
My point? Just think about what you’re wearing. Clothes are as much a composition as anything else and sloppiness shows. But more importantly, crafting a style means developing an aesthetic, a taste and the ability to judge what is and is not appropriate for the moment and into the future. It’s not about looking good or being attractive to others, it’s about garbing yourself in confidence and being self-satisfied. I’m still some ways away from achieving the style I’ve suggested here. But I love being able to know what I want and why. So I’ll keep gladly being fashion conscious and deliberate in my actions.