My friends know that I love a good Friday night out, and these thoughts came to me while recovering from last Friday night’s antics over the weekend. Let me start by saying that I don’t expect all people to agree with this list so I will preface it (and hopefully curb one avenue of attack) by giving you my definition of style. For me a man’s style is much more than just the clothes he chooses to wear. A man’s style is the outward projection of his inner self. You project yourself through the clothes you wear but also through the way you behave, the way you carry yourself and in the manner of your interactions with others.
With that preamble done, here is my list:
1. Think for yourself: I see young men roving in packs and they look like they went out on a shopping trip together and bought roughly the same things. The ability to think for yourself and to decide on what is right for you is paramount to being a man of style. Learn to choose your own clothes, learn to make your own decisions, learn to be a leader not a follower.
2: Your shoes are important: They should always be well maintained and the general rule is that they should always be darker than your trousers or suit. You know what this means right? That’s right, white shoes are an ungodly no, no. Other no, nos include shoes that are too boxy (think Windsor Smith), anything that is too pointed (think women’s shoes) and anything with an overt amount of decoration such as contrasting stitching.
3: Tread lightly when it comes to cologne: Don’t be so liberal with your cologne that people across the room from you can sense it. One or two sprays of quality cologne will suffice to keep you smelling good all night. While where at it cheap deodorants smell cheap no matter how you cut it and the distinct tinny smell they produce will alert everyone to the fact you’re wearing it. Despite what the Lynx ads lead you to believe, you will not be chased down the street by hundreds of attractive and libidinous women.
4: Jewellery is for women: Why do many men insist on wearing gold chains, massive zirconia encrusted watches and bling rings? Keeping it simple is the best way to go here. A simple watch and a wedding band (if you’re married) is all a man needs. Remember we are men and we don’t compete with women here.
5: Learn to dress for the occasion: I cannot recall the number of arguments I have seen out the front of bars and clubs when men are rejected for not meeting the dress code. Rather than get angry with the security, learn the dress code and make sure you meet it next time you visit. This also extends to restaurants. I went for dinner to a nice restaurant the other night and was surrounded by people in jeans and t-shirts. This serves to bring down the entire feel of the restaurant and makes me wish restaurants still enforced dress codes.
6: Prints are dead (almost): This one just made it on the list as I believe that, thankfully, the trend is dying, but for those that are still dragging it out, hear me now: stop wearing prints. This includes t-shirts, shirts, and jeans. It is especially awful when the print is the manufacturers’ brand.
7: Take pride in your denim: This means no ripped jeans, no jeans with splotches on them and no skinny black jeans. Also wear your jeans around your hips not half way down your ass (this trend apparently came from prisoners who were not allowed to wear belts – one other source indicates that this allowed other inmates to know you were, ahem, available – is this what you want others to know about you?). Denim should be dark and clean, and trim not tight – look to brands like Nudie and APC that are readily available in Oz.
8: Going the distance: It is important to look good not only at the beginning of the night but also at the end of the night. This means keep your shirt tucked in, keep your tie on if you have one and keep your jacket on if you brought one.
9: Embrace colour: I know the Melbourne uniform calls for dark sombre colours and this means guys wearing black shirts a lot. If you’re going to wear black know this: faded black looks especially terrible. Otherwise, learn to embrace colour especially in the summer. Look at expanding your wardrobe with lighter blues, greys and even greens for pants and jackets and pale yellows, blues and pinks for shirts.
10: Manners: Without this last point all else is worth nought. On too many nights out I see guys that get drunk to the point where they slur, fall over, fight and expose themselves in public. They will argue with bouncers, bar staff and fellow patrons. They will pick fights with other males and they will harass females. No matter how well you do the other elements of style if you have no manners and don’t know how to behave toward your fellow man then you have no style at all.
Any glaring omissions? Please let me know in the comments.