So you’re not much of an expert when it comes to men’s style and fashion. You don’t know what goes on in those million and one fashion weeks every year and you certainly haven’t a clue as to how many buttons your jacket should have this season for your to be considered worth living in this fashion crazed world—you’re just a regular guy trying to live a regular life in your regular off-the-rack clothes.
But seriously, how long do you think you’ll last like this? Wandering ignominious and prone to falling into the unforgiving trap of the most flagrant fashion snafus?
No body said standing abreast your suave, lacquered-to-perfection homie was going to be easy, and if you’re ever going to look your best and strut your way into people’s I-like lists, you need to use a dash of commonsense and take the first step towards style enlightenment by avoiding the following ten most conspicuous style faux pas men are susceptible to making without ever knowing it…
- Short-shorts in public –Let’s face it, you’re no Anna Kournikova. Nor are you that emaciated kid from ’70s Bollywood flicks that almost always grew up to be Amitabh Bachan. The truth is you’ve recently celebrated your 35th birthday and you look downright ridiculous with your dirty kneecaps blatantly on display. Even more so if they’re also kind of knocking. Seriously, no dignified man would ever wear short-shorts (that are actually just fancy boxers) in public and be able to hold his head up. And despite what you believe, scrawny legs speckled with patchy fuzz are not sexy, they’re offending. Especially if you wear them with draggy flip-flops and just-out-of-bed look to the local ‘achi wali’ supermarket post 11 pm. My only advice: don’t.
- Unkempt facial hair– Beards are cool. They’re one of the few things that make you a man and instate your manliness. Incidentally, there’s nothing wrong with sporting a beard—if it has a shape. Feral outgrowths of hair that start below the eyes and run right into that angry turf of chest hair were more in fad thirty years ago. Today, they’re just sad and widely unacceptable.
Subtly tweeze, thread or wax your cheekbones and make sure the skin on your throat area is clearly visible from afar. Trim the growing hair regularly and don’t be afraid to try new shapes and styles until you find the one that defines you perfectly. Also, avoid going for the two-day-beard look if you have a dark tone to your skin because it will make you look—and I’m saying this politely—unwashed. Imagine Sunil Shetty in one of his early films. Not a pretty sight, right?
- Color (dis)coordination– Repeat after me: I shall not play around with the color palette if it’s something I know nothing about. I shall only wear colors that suit my age and not under any circumstances put together an outfit that has more than three screaming colors in it for I have no right to steal the limelight from the local clown nor am I some sort of a fashion maestro who can go around abusing people’s eyes just because I simply know better. I shall also to my fullest capacity try and avoid wearing red pants, or pants the same color as the shirt I’m wearing them with. Any piece of fluorescent clothing I might still have left over from the 80s shall also be thrown away or burnt at my earliest expediency. ..
- Not owning enough shoes– Most men think lusting after shoes is a woman thing. Most men are wrong. I go wobbly in the knees every time I come across a pair that I absolutely must have and never quite understand guys who abuse one pair of filthy sneakers or loafers every day, every occasion for a year and a half and have the nerve to boast their uncanny flair for saving money where they just shouldn’t. What’s worse they’re not half as bad as those who wear old fashioned loafers or—horror of horrors—sandals with semi formal and formal attire! I say go ahead and buy as many different kinds as your budget allows you without feeling guilty because the shoes you wear have the same weight in your style repertoire as your shirts and pants put together. Besides, your shoes are one of the first few things a woman will notice about you. Isn’t that reason enough to invest?
- Wearing skin tight (t)shirts when you have no body—or too much of it- If I got a Rupee for every time I saw a man wear clothes that were either too tight or unforgivably loose and shapeless, I would be relaxing with a good book in the orchid behind my French chateau right now instead of writing this article. Seriously, men need to understand that nearly everybody has some aspect of their body that they think is utterly hideous and totally responsible for not making them look enough like Wahid Murad or Ameer Zeb Khan or whoever it is they fancy looking like these days, and wearing wrong size shirts to conceal the wobbly tires of flab hanging from places they shouldn’t will only serve to make things fester. If you’re a large-sized man, getting your shirts tailored is your best bet. Wear darker shades and pinstripes instead of huge patterns and bright colors that will unnecessarily highlight your man curves. If you wear tees though, make sure they end somewhere down the middle of your fly and the sleeves never ever cover your elbows.
- Label pimping– The only thing worse than not being able to afford your favorite designer labels is being able to afford lots of designer labels and then wearing them all together and automatically assuming you da man! A piece here and there isn’t a problem of course, but it’s when you start looking like a walking-talking advertisement for rip off designer retail brands that the real problem starts. I suggest staying clear of in-your-face designer labels if you want to maintain a sober, dignified look for yourself because blaring logos are rather cheap and don’t necessarily equate to stylish. There are better and more sophisticated ways to flaunt your riches, like opening up a coffee place or buying a cricket team.
- Six-hair comb-overs & Devanand style toupees– Look, the only reason Devanand was such a hit with the ladies was because he was the original jewel thief. His road kill toupee definitely didn’t have anything to do with it and neither will yours. Elaborately combing over those six hairs on your head and expecting everyone to be fooled by your extraordinary draping capabilities is also just about as low as you can fall when it comes to the deadliest of fashion and style sins, so let’s not even go there. Men should age with dignity, not low self-esteem. If you’re follicly challenged, live with it. Crop your hair short like everyone’s doing these days. Its hip, looks cool and beats the hell out of spending an hour every day on your hair when you could be spending that much more time watching the new Rabi Peerzada music video!
- Combination shalwar-kurtas– For the love of god no! It was weird enough when men started wearing heavily sequined chiffon and georgette kurtas with kamkhoab stoles to every function they got an invitation, but this new trend I see of men hitting mehndi’s and family get-togethers in printed kurtas with mix-match shalwars is absolutely bonkers! What’s next, big flowery patterns in satin and lace? Nothing—and I mean nothing—pronounces your style and elegance better than a nicely fitted white cotton shalwar-kameez worn simply with your natural charm. All the better if it’s freshly laundered and well starched to add that sparkly final touch.
- Skin flinging- Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe there are still guys out there who think spending time and money on their hands, feet and skin in general is ‘gay’! Yes, you read right, that’s exactly the word they use—gay. And it’s hard to argue with these nincompoops because they obviously don’t understand the importance of petty, unmanly activities like scrubbing and moisturizing and cuticle removing, and would rather continue living like a slightly cultured (albeit sweatier and pimplier) version of their wild hairy cousin because if nothing else, they will at least be staying true to their oh so precious masculinity. The rest of you not-such-nincompoops-after all can religiously devote around ten minutes to a cleansing, toning, exfoliating, moisturizing routine every day and also pay your manicurist/pedicurist regular visits because right now’s all about nice clean feet, firm supple hands and beautiful impeccable skin—even for men.
- Bling– Nothing says “bold fashion statement” like covering your body in expensive metal and stone. Of course, nothing says “you’re creepy” more than looking like another Bappi Lehri in the making, but that’s really not your concern, is it? Pity for us you took your mama’s advice quite seriously and decided to literally outshine everybody you’ve ever known. Be a man and gift it all to the woman in your life. She’ll love you for it and you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off you—literally. Keep a ring or two if you absolutely must, but that’s it. No chains, no bracelets, no studs and definitely no gold teeth!