By Luc Wiesman
Look, we were all there at one point. None of us popped out of the womb dressed in Tom Ford (except maybe Jay Z). We all had to learn the ways and we’re not afraid to admit that we made some missteps. The good news is, there’s nothing stopping you from becoming a sartorial savant. The first step is admitting you have a problem. Once you’ve copped to making rookie style mistakes, you’re ready to enter treatment. Recovery and some sound fashion advice begins now:
1. Tie not done up properly / poorly tied
The Problem:We’ll skip the part where you have to choose the right tie in the first place, because that’s an art of its own, and go straight to its implementation. We’re assuming you already know how to tie a tie, ideally in several different ways, but can you do it properly? Things to watch out for include length (either too short or too long), haphazard knots that do not fill the gap between the collar, and knots that expose the narrow end of the tie in any way.
The Solution: Hit YouTube for tutorial videos if you haven’t yet mastered at least one knot. Aim for the tip of the tie to just tap your belt buckle. Always make sure the knot fits snuggly against the collar and doesn’t leave gaps anywhere. And for the love of God do not tuck it into anything or give in to the urge to wear a novelty tie – you will look like a tool and/or someone’s visually impaired grandfather.
2. Unshined shoes
The Problem: Want to know what kind of man you are? Look down. The state of your shoes says it all. If they look like they’ve been dragged cross-country behind an off-road vehicle, you’ve got a problem. If you actually have recently been dragged cross-country behind an off-road vehicle, you’ve got way more problems than we can tackle here. If you can see your reflection staring back at you, give that handsome mug a smile and keep on doing what you’re doing.
The Solution: First, stop buying crap footwear. When replacing your cheap-o shoes seems easier than performing a little maintenance on them, it’s time to adjust your priorities. Spend the extra cash to get shoes that inspire you to treat them well. Second, check out our guide to caring for your shoes like a real man. Shine on you crazy diamond.
3. Putting large objects in suit lining / pants pockets
The Problem: We understand that a man of your stature probably has plenty of important things to carry with him – a bulging wallet, a top-of-the-line mobile, business cards that would make Patrick Bateman seethe with jealousy – but there are limits. You’re not James Bond, no matter how well you wear that suit. There’s absolutely no need to stuff your pockets with more gizmos and gadgets than Q could invent in a lifetime.
The Solution: You don’t want to ruin the lines of your suit, so pack light. If it’s not essential, leave it at home. If it is essential, make it as streamlined as possible (e.g. get yourself a nice money clip instead of a thick leather wallet). This would also be a good time to invest in a briefcase or a high-end bag of some kind.
4. Limp and lifeless shirt collars
The Problem: Your drinks should be stiff and so should your collars. The “I just stepped out of Saturday Night Fever” look is never the answer unless you’re actually John Travolta and have just magically walked out of a television, in which case WOAH HOW DID YOU DO THAT and maybe we should cut back on those stiff drinks after all.
The Solution: When some things go limp, there’s a little blue pill to fix the problem. In the case of limp shirt collars, that little blue pill is collar stays. You may already feel a plastic version in your shirts, but those are often ineffective. Spring for the metal-and-magnets version that will keep your collars standing to attention all day long.
5. Thinking that caring about your style is for ‘poofs’ or David Beckham
The Problem: Do us a favour. Check your smartphone. See that place where it tells you the date? See how it says 2015? So don’t you think it’s about time to take your head out of that place you’ve put it? That can’t possibly be a comfortable position.
The Solution: Style is for any man who gives a damn, and it’s about damn time you recognized it.
Step one: spend as many hours as it takes combing through our archives until you’ve brought your Neanderthal ideas up to date.
Step two: shopping spree.
Step three: find yourself drowning in job offers and hot dates.