Friday, July 30, 2010

Issue # 7 - Guygiene

Issue # 7 - Guygiene
I received a request from a female reader to PLEASE talk about Hygiene for guys. Apparently far too many men are lacking sorely in this area, and well according to her, it just needs to stop. So i have decided to honor her request and touch upon the basic hygiene rules that every guy needs to abide by.
1 - Just because you've showered doesn't mean you're clean. This is especially true if you pick whatever shampoo or body wash or soap is on sale, instead of making a smart choice out of it. You want products that are good quality, and smell fantastic. Make sure they don't dry out your skin, and leave you refreshed, as this will ultimately affect your overall mood and demeanor during the day. Laugh at that if you want, but it's true; When you feel fresh, people perceive you better. Don't just use whatever soap you find, use something hydrating, especially for your face. I personally don't use bars of soap if i can help it, i find it dries my skin out. I use Clean and Clear facial wash in the shower, and body wash instead of soap. When it comes to the type of body wash, i like having a choice, much like i do with fragrances. Personally i find the body washes from Bath and Body Works to be excellent in both scent and cleaning power. I recommend them. My favourite? Sea Island Cotton. Check it out.
Once YOU are clean, make sure your clothes are! The pick up off the floor-sniff test only works here and there. Not 6 days a week. Wash your clothes, make sure they are non wrinkled and clean. Think no one will notice that stain? Women will. Every time. So be clean.
2 - If you're prone to sweating as I am, then plan ahead. Put an extra shirt in your car, Keep a bottle of cologne with you, and for the sake of us all, keep a stick of deodorant with you, and make sure it doesn't just smell good, make sure it WORKS. Body odour is a huge turn off, so be conscious of it.
3 - Pay MUCH more attention to your face. Far too many men think spending more than 4 minutes in front of the mirror makes them girly. Newsflash: it doesn't make you girly, it means you care about what you look like. Your face is the first and most important thing that will connect you with want that first impression to be a positive one, not a negative one. So spend more time on your face, and much less time on what techno mix you plan on blaring when you drive by girls on the street. Make sure you're shaven or at least neat and tidy. If you're a clean shaven type of guy, then make sure you're CLEAN SHAVEN. If you have a patchy beard or your facial hair grows unevenly, then don't try to pull it off. Personally, i am a 3-day stubble guy, and use a beard trimmer to keep it that way. If you are a constant stubble guy, then more power to you. But pay attention to when it's too long, and keep it in check. That leads me into a very important topic:
4 - Really bad facial hair. I could write for hours on this topic, but i will have to attempt to keep it short. So we will do it this way. If it looks like you spent 5 hours perfectly sculpting every curve and line, then it's really bad. If it looks like you're a pre pubescent 12 year old trying to grow a mustache or goatee, then it's really bad. If you're attempting to pull off something that is outdated by 6 centuries, then you need to make sure you actually pull it off...otherwise it's really bad.
5 - Eybrows. Very simply put gentlemen, clean them up. Wax, pluck, lazer, threading, it doesn't matter. get them done, and make sure you are sans Uni-brow. It's not feminine to not want to look like Bert from sesame street.
6 - Hands are a big thing to a woman. They like hands. So you sir, need to do everything you can to make them like yours. This means manicures, or at the very least, some form of nail filing and cleansing. Guys with dirty nails and hands might say "rugged working man" to some women, but to the majority of women (and the rest of the world), it says "dirty lazy man". So fix it. Same goes for the toenails.
7 - Body hair. This covers ALL body hair. This is ultimately a matter of preference, but remember your body hair is a lot less for you than it is for your lady counterparts. So keep it neat and tidy. You know what i am speaking about. If you only knew what women said about this topic you would quickly purchase a pair of clippers (which i suggest you do anyways). On the chest hair topic, it has definitely made a comeback from the trend of being completely hairless, and is totally in style, within reason. Use Bradley Cooper in the A-Team as a guide...any more chest hair than that and you should consider trimming.
8 - Mouth cleanliness is a huge issue. Brush your teeth. Floss. Make sure you have gum handy, and be conscious of what you've eaten, drank, etc. Not sure how your breath is? Try this simple test: Lick the back of your hand. Wait 5 seconds or so (the time it takes for saliva to evaporate), then smell the spot you licked. If it's bad, then you need to freshen up. If it's ok, then you're set.
Basically guys, think about all the things a woman would notice if you're in close with her at a bar, a restaurant, whatever. Think about all these things BEFORE you get to that spot. And above all, think about what would turn her off...and fix it. And to my female reader, I hope this gets the point across...if there is anything i missed, let me know!
Hope this helps guys

The Mailroom

Well, it's been a successful beginning to the Style Eye, and while there is only ONE actual follower of this blog so far, I have discovered that its being read by many people...some who love it, some who hate it. This was expected of course, and in this first installment of the mailroom, I will be answering questions, and replying to peoples' comments. Names have been removed, so no one gets too embarrassed.

I will begin with a word of mouth comment someone forwarded to me from a disgruntled reader. He explained to me that this person was very offended by my outlook on cargo shorts, flip flops and Aeropostale Shirts. Apparently he was upset since he is exactly the type of guy i was referring to, using fast food fashion instead of trying to actually look good. Apparently this person wanted to find me, and punch me in the face...

I will begin my reply to this person by asking a question of my own: Why are you so angry that you have poor style? It's no one's fault but your own. if that's your style, then so be it. I am not going to tell you what you HAVE to wear. I am simply pointing you in the right direction so you don't look like a lazy slob every single day. And come on man, Aeropostale shirts? Nothing that has the brand name Plastered across the front of it 99 times is attractive to anyone. Have you actually LOOKED inside the store? It looks like a Unicorn Ate a poison rainbow and vomited over ever article of clothing in there. Do you really want Unicorn rainbow vomit on you? In regards to wanting to punch me in the face. Well, that's your perogative. But isn't taking violent action just a really Dbag way of saying "I hate you because you're right"?...think about it.

Dear S.G. - what are your thoughts on wearing no socks with shoes and shorts?

My thoughts are that it looks fantastic. IF you have the right shoes and shorts of course. If you have a pair of slip ons with a good pair of well fitted shorts, then more power to you. I personally have a few pairs of slip ons in a variety of styles, and no socks is the ONLY way to wear them with shorts. Check out a cool pair of Sperry Top siders or some Steve Maddens. Now, if you are intending to wear any other type of shoes, please stay away from any sort of running shoe, especially the all-white basketball type. I saw a younger guy just a few days ago wearing a light blue button down with just-above the knee walking shorts in navy blue and a great pair of white lace ups with no socks. It looked fantastic, and everything was fitted and tailored perfectly. Use your discretion and work the look!

S.G.: Who do you think you are to tell people there bad dressers? Your full of sh?*t

Well, i am using the power of the internet to voice my thoughts just as you can. You don't have to read it, and you don't have to abide by it. This blog is just a point in the right direction. If you think i am full of excrement, then start your own blog and talk about your own things. Also, you may want to check out a few grammar and spelling blogs to figure out that tricky "there, their, they're" rule and the "your, you're" rule. Just putting that out there.

what would you suggest to a guy who wants one good summer time cologne?

Hmm, just one? That's a hard choice! If you're going to go with just one scent, test them out first. I would narrow it down to a top 3 - Dolce and Gabbana Masculine, Lacoste Red, and Dolce and Gabbana Light blue. Go find them, test them, love one, and make it yours.

That's all for today, keep the comments coming, and stay tuned for issue # 7 - Guy-giene.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Issue # 6 - Not all Baggage is bad.

Issue #6 - Not all Baggage is bad.
Hello again men. I would like you to take a look at the picture above. Take a couple minutes and really look at that picture. There is absolutely nothing un-masculine about this picture. Here we have Ryan Reynolds, an actor who undoubtedly portrays masculinity, sporting a burly beard, a badass leather jacket, and GASP! A shoulder bag. Yes, Ryan Reynolds is wearing what many a "manly" man call a "man-bag" a "Murse" or any other clever title they managed to come up with while reading gripping literature via Maxim Magazine.
Many men poke fun at guys who use shoulder bags, but in reality what is there to make fun of? They are practical, efficient, handy, and most of all they are stylish and look good. Look at Mr. Reynolds up there. Not only is he toting all of what he needs in a stylish leather bag, but he's also successfully breaking the "black vs brown" rule i outlined in the last issue. So what is it about the "Man Bag" that prompts jokes from "men"? I really don't care what it is, let's put a stop to it. For the man on the go especially, Shoulder bags are vital to survival. In my brown leather bag at any given time you will find my laptop computer and power cord, my ipod, earphones, a notebook and pen, Gum, deodorant, 1 or 2 bottles of cologne, my keys, a pair of socks or a t shirt, and other miscellaneous items. Since i am on the run very often, all these items come in handy since i never know where i am going to be all the time. Without a shoulder bag i would either be stuck without items i need, or i would be one of those guys that carries around a nausea-enducing backpack. Please don't be one of those guys.
Shoulder bags are available in a massive variety of styles, and if you are looking to get one, consider adopting the rule on shoes and get more than one; ie I have a brown leather one for everyday use, a bigger checkered one for even more casual and rugged use, and a Kenneth Cole Reaction Black Leather bag for more formal occasions. (Interviews, meetings, etc.) You have to remember that everything needs to go with the outfit you're wearing.
Put it this way guys. Shoulder bags are a lot cooler than having your pants pockets bulging all sorts of crap. And it also shows you have confidence. Wear it proud!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Issue # 5 - Walk a Mile in Better shoes...Please.

Issue # 5 - Walk a mile in Better shoes...Please.

Contrary to popular belief guys, one pair of shoes is NOT proper for all occasions. It is amazing how many men wear the same shoes day in and day out, for every occasion, no matter where they go. Generally these shoes are a type of running shoe/cross trainer/hiking shoe as shown to the left. What are you thinking? These don't even look good on a trail, let alone with shorts and white socks as so many of you wear them with. Yet there they are, with jeans, shorts, work pants and yes, even dress pants. I have seen men at work, in suits and ties with THESE types of shoes on. It's painful to witness.

I find that this eyesore of a faux pas is a direct result of the common belief among men that it is "un-manly" to own several pairs of shoes. Something in our genes, or rather something in the years of masculine stereotypes we've been force fed, has led us to believe that owning several sets of shoes is something only a woman should do. This gentlemen, is ridiculous and you need to stop thinking like a caveman. At the very LEAST, and I stress the LEAST, is a pair of casual shoes for everyday use, a pair of dress shoes for formal occasions, a pair of running shoes for athletics, and a pair of sandals/thong sandals/summer shoes for well, summer. If you don't have these, you have a lot to learn.

Where to start? Well let's make sure you get yourself a good pair of everyday shoes. This all depends on your style, and in my opinion one pair isn't nearly enough, but if you insist on having just ONE pair, then you need a pair that will pretty much go with everything. Stick with the neutrals, which are black, grey, and brown. Find a pair that works for you and make sure they look good. My girlfriend just bought me a fantastic pair of black leather Slip ons by Steve Madden. They can be dressed up or down, and are fantastically comfortable shoes. You're going to want something that can equally be dressed up and down. Take some time and find a pair that works for you.
As for dress shoes, this again is up to your personal taste and preference. You should have a solid pair of black and brown shoes, each for different occasions. Europeans are known for saying "Black shoes are only for weddings and funerals", which i think is a great rule of thumb to keep in mind. Square toed shoes are a little past their prime now, but if you opt for a square toe, try something that's a little slimmer and more of a pointed square toe. Ankle boots are also making a comeback, and will not only look cool, but also solve many a man's handicap with choosing proper socks as well. Black is formal, brown is more casual, but these rules as always, can be bent.
That covers your MOST BASIC of starting points. In my opinion a man can never have enough shoes. Several pairs of casual/everyday shoes should be collected since each shoe should go with whatever outfit you're wearing. If this sounds gay/feminine to you, then you're the exact person that NEEDS to be reading this. A couple other tips: Your shoes need to match your top, and your belt preferably. If you're wearing a jacket then the shoes need to match this, and so on. These rules can also be bent, but use your head here chump.
Some still abide by the rule that you cannot wear black and brown at the same time. This rule is still pretty much in play but i find it all depends on the shade of brown, and ultimately YOUR PERSONAL STYLE. I cannot stress this enough gentlemen, your personal style and attitude will make or break an outfit. If you are going to wear red Chuck Taylor sneakers with blue jeans, a yellow t shirt and a green military jacket, then you need to have the lifestyle, flair and attitude to pull it off. Style is not based on rules, just guidelines. You do the rest.
The goal is not to be a clone of everyone, but to ultimately use these tips and guidelines to find your own personal style, and as hippie as it may sound, Yourself in the process.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Issue # 4 - Axing the reputation

Good day gentlemen, how are you all today? I am taking a slight detour to what I normally write about in order to do a little consumer review. I do not refer anything or speak highly of anything unless i truly do believe in it...and as much as it shocks me personally, I believe in AXE hair products.
I said AXE HAIR PRODUCTS , not ALL axe products (Put that body spray and body wash down, chump). I originally had boycotted Axe products since the body spray smelled like an over anxious twelve year old boy, and the body wash was hardly better. However out of necessity one evening, I decided to try an Axe styling product. And you know what? It amazed me. I had picked up the "Spiked up look" for this occasion, and although i normally use a much thicker glue-like product, this actually was quite fantastic. The Axe products are geared towards having manageable and stylable hair without being rock solid or looking like it will injure someone (Translation: It's for guys who want to look grown up, not like the guys in 98 degrees), and they do just that. The "Spiked up look" was lightweight and gave volume without making the hair look thinner and overdone. There was no weight to the hair and I didn't feel weighed down.
Curious, i went and tried several of the other products, and was as impressed with them as the first. I added "Clean cut look" and "polished look" to my arsenal, and am actually using some now. They are both light weight Pommade type products adding smoothness and shine to your hair without it being greasy. It allows you to have complete flexibility without looking like you dunked your head in a vat of oil. If you have wavy hair like myself, this is a great product since it gives you wave and control at the same time. Which makes it look like you didn't spend a lot of time to look good, and you look approachable, not like a priss.
If you want a bit more control, throw a couple sprays of hair spray over top of it when it's styled. I prefer Got 2 B's Freeze Spray since it means business. Don't get out of control though cowboy, otherwise you've just defeated the purpose of the Axe products.
HINT: Use the Axe Hair products on DRY or SLIGHTLY damp hair. Putting them into wet hair will also defeat the look these achieve.
Take your time, spend a little bit of cash and try them out for yourself. The only downfall is that they each have a very Axe-like scent, but that dissipates, so it's worthwhile. I also refer the axe "Intense De-Glue" shampoo in the Green bottle. It's got little scrub beads in it to really get all the grime out of your hair.
So check them out, and as Axe says, "Get girl approved hair". They couldn't be more right. These products are for the guy who wants to look grown up and polished, not like he never grew out of high school.
Hope this helped, and i hope to see great hair in the future

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Issue # 3 - Scents and Sensibility

Issue #3 - Scents and Sensibility

Ok gents, it's time to touch upon a much needed topic: Upgrading your fragrance wardrobe. Some of you are ok in this department...but some of you are so far off base it's depressing. Many men still think that you should only have one cologne and stay with it forever. That's about as ridiculous as saying you only need one pair of shoes. Your scents are you, and need to be treated as such. Wearing an outdated scent tells people you don't care how you smell. But before you can properly construct such a new way of looking at things,we're going to start with a list of things you need to do before you can begin building your new fragrance wardrobe.

#1 - If you own/wear any of the following colognes, STOP IT RIGHT NOW:

Hummer, Mustang, Ferrari, Tim Mcgraw, Adidas, Brut, Old Spice, Gravity, Drakkar Noir, Preferred Stock or ANY other fragrance made by automobile companies or country singers.

#2 - If you are still wearing Swiss Army, and have been since high school, Please retire the bottle. It's a scent as outdated and overused as they come, and you smell like millions of other men that haven't retired their bottles either. It's time to grow up. You're not 18 anymore.

#3 - Change your perception of what men's fragrances are. They've most likely changed since you bought your last bottle. Keep an open mind.

#4 - If you don't wear any scent at all, Start.

Now that those are out of the way, we can begin. For those of you offended by #2, you may want to stop your whining and become a real man. Yes, Swiss Army was a great fragrance in its time. This was obvious by the massive number of guys that bought it and wore it in insane amounts until the hallways of their schools were covered in a cloud of it. I wore it. You wore it, we all wore it. I will admit i still have 3 bottles of it. Why? Because i got 3 bottles as gifts one year. I don't think i will ever go through it, but i can't let it go to waste. So if you don't want to throw it out, don't. But stop wearing it. You're not 18 anymore, and the girls you're trying to impress (hopefully) aren't either.

So now, it's off to the fragrance department. Shoppers Drug mart has a surprisingly decent selection, and it's a good place to start to find out what you like. Spend some time, grab a stack of tester cards and go to work. You should only test 3-4 per day since after that your nose gets tired and everything kind of blends together. Also, bring a pen since most places don't have tester cards for every individual fragrance, so they usually put out a stack of all Lacoste, or all Hugo. Which is fine, but are you going to remember which was which on the way home if you didn't write it down?

The trend in men's colognes right now is the sporty/aquatic/fresh scents which can be found almost everywhere you look. These are usually "Sport" fragrances, and are designed as lighter scents for summer, etc. One or two of these in your collection are ok. You need to find out your preference however. Do you prefer the sporty scents? do you like strong, dark scents? something in between? Or are you looking for a good solid everyday cologne to wear...figure that out first, then proceed.

Take your time, and take a couple trips to the store and keep track of what you like. Ask the clerk if she has any samples of anything that you can take home. The most important thing is to NOT rush into a purchase. Just because it smells good at the store doesn't mean it will smell good on you, and even more so an hour later. So take your time. Choose 3 colognes out of all of them as your top 3.

Once you have your choices go online to and search for your choices. Research them and find out their top/heart/base notes. What does it smell like? What are the ingredients? Read the customer reviews and make your own decision. If you STILL can't make up your mind, then go into the store, spray your choice on you and wear it out. Ask people their thoughts.

Once you've made your choice of your top 3 (Tip: pick one for cold weather, one for hot weather, one for in between. I will get to this in a moment), Pick one to purchase and go and get it! FragranceX has cheaper prices than most stores so if you have a credit card, you should start there. Or if you're an impatient one, go buy it wherever you can. It may take you a few days to get used to it, but you will.

Overwhelmed, and not sure where to start? Here are my go-to scents and the times i wear them. I highly recommend each of these:

Summer/warm weather:
Lacoste Essential, Lacoste Red, Boss XY, Hugo Elements

Autumn/cooler weather:
John Varvatos, Burberry, Burberry The Beat, Lacoste Pour Homme, Kenneth Cole RSVP

Burberry Brit, Polo Black, Dolce & Gabbana The one

Now this is just a guideline for you, as these scents work well, but you have to find one you absolutely love. I have left out what i consider to be a signature fragrance of mine because as you will discover, once you find one you LOVE, you don't want anyone else to know about it.

Also, don't feel as if you need to be constricted to when you can wear these. I find that once evening arrives, no matter what season you are in, you can pull off almost anything if it's paired with the right attitude and attire of course. I often wear Lacoste Red in the dead of winter and Burberry in the heat of summer just for a change. It all depends on your mood and the look you are trying to acheive.

On a final note, once you have found your scent...or multiple scents in my case, resist the urge to throw it on like you've showered in it. Less is more guys. You want people to be able to smell you a maximum of three feet away, and for those intimate moments, you want the right places to smell amazing. Rule of thumb: Spray on your pulse points, (neck, wrists, heart) and maybe a soft spray on your shirt or jacket. Let it air out a little bit and be stingy...this stuff is expensive remember? And you want to attract women, not repel them with your overpowering cologne fog.

All in all guys, experiment, have fun and above all, OWN YOUR SCENT. Make it work for you.


Issue # 2 - Idiot Proof style

ISSUE # 2 - Idiot Proof Style

There are certain things in a Man's wardrobe that simply never go out of style. Some of these things have been around for ages, and as the title of this issue states, they're idiot proof. Others are new additions to the roster, and whether they will stand the test of time remains to be seen, but for now they make the grade.

Before i get to the list however I would like to start by making sure that every man, gentleman, guy, dude, boy and bro reading this are aware of James Dean as a classic style icon. Many of the classic examples on this list were either trademarked by him, or became classic after he wore them. Let us all take a moment of silence to remember such an icon....

Ok then. On to the list. We will start with the quintessential classic, the must-have for EVERY man:

1 - The White T-shirt
The White Tee is very simply a necessity. It's clean and versatile and can literally be worn with just about everything. It can be dressed up and dressed down, and can add a punch of brightness to any outfit. At the time this blog is being written, the v-neck is in style, but whether you choose v-neck, or crew neck the look still remains classic. A couple of tips: Buy several of them, since they are prone to pit stains, coffee stains....sauce stains...just about any stain you can imagine. Keep several at a time and always keep a small budget to pick up more when needed. Also, spend the extra money to get good quality shirts, as opposed to the 3 pack of fruit of the loom shirts. Quality shirts fit better, last longer and just look right. The shirts should fit well, not too snug, but not overly large (hint: If you're one of those guys who thinks everything that fits well is too tight so you wear a size bigger, DON'T do that with these shirts.) Also, if you're a crew neck guy that's your call, but buy a few v-necks to wear under dress shirts. Nothing looks tackier than a white t shirt poking out through a dress shirt collar. Trust me. I learned the hard way.

Where to get them: There are only 2 things i will EVER say to buy at Aeropostale. The white v-neck is one of them. They are relatively cheap at 2 for $18, and fit fantastic....and the best part? They don't have AEROPOSTALE written all over it like everything else in the store. Just plain, white, classic. Forever 21 for men also has fantastic tees. Choose wisely.

2- The Black Leather Jacket
This one has been around for well over 50 years, and still is an iconic piece. It's a bit trickier though and really takes a proper usage to really work. While there are many stores that offer leather jackets and coats, 98% of them are brutally ugly, oversized, and boxy. You don't want that. Far too many men think that just owning any leather coat makes them stylish or classy looking...they are wrong. The leather jacket should be trim, fitted and clean. It should not fall too far below the waist, nor should the sleeves be too long, or the shoulders too wide. Think of it as an extension of your body...a well fitted accessory that announces your presence. Opt for a clean lamb-skin or cow-hide, but nothing with any form of pattern or texture. You want to look clean and polished. Basically for lack of a better term, you want a biker style jacket. Now don't go and get a 3 inch thick leather jacket with zippers and buckles and studs and rhinestones. Not THAT type of biker jacket. You want the great grandson of that jacket; The young hip version of it.

For the budget conscious, a faux leather jacket of the same style will suit just fine...until you get a real leather one of course. Oh yeah, and the jacket is a perfect soulmate for the White t-shirt.

#3 - A good pair of jeans
This one is simple. Find a pair of jeans that fits you. WELL. The wash is up to you, although dark denim is still in. How should they fit? Well in my opinion i would say decently snug at first, since they will stretch. Not too wide of a leg, and not too long. You want definition in the legs and ass, but you don't want a lot of break at the foot (break is when the bottom of the pants crinkle at the top of your shoes because they are too long). Get them properly hemmed and tailored to your needs. We'll put it this way: If you have to hold them up while you walk, (a topic we will cover in an upcoming issue), then they're too big. If you have to spend 15 minutes getting them on, they're too tight. Anything in the middle is fine. Like the skinny look? Go for it. Just try not to have them TOO skinny if you can't pull it off. And hey, spend some money on them. Jeans will last a good amount of time, so don't cheap out and get them at Wal-Mart.

#4 - The Black Tie
A plain black tie is required in any man's wardrobe. Get one. Now. Opt for the skinnier versions, since wide ties are so horribly outdated. Don't think a skinny tie is cool? Watch Madmen, and see how it's really done. I have 3 different versions; A glossier one, a dull cotton one, and one in the middle. Use according to your occasion. Worn with a CRISP white button down, you can't be touched. Also to be worn with lighter colours. Experiment with the looks, after all it's YOUR style. But please stop wearing the wide ties. Get with the times. Oh and one more thing. Guys, your ties are usually too long. Stop it. How do you know the perfect length? The tip of the tie should touch the top of your belt buckle. It can even extend to the middle of the buckle if desired, but if it extends PAST the belt buckle, it is TOO Long. You can even experiment with going shorter lengths, but don't go past the buckle. Got it? good.

#5 -The cardigan
Don't roll your eyes. The cardigan is no longer a nerd's or a senior citizen's attire. The new cardigans give a vintage feel and an air of intellect to any guy. Try sticking with solid colours in blacks or greys, or even go for more colourful ones if you're that kind of guy. Personally i prefer solid colours, but to each their own. Again, these should be fitted well. If you think they're too tight, they probably aren't. They can be worn open or done up, and again, as with most everything, look excellent with the White tee.
#6 -Chuck Taylors
The classic sneaker for your new classic style. Black and white. Goes with everything. comfortable, stylish....i could go on. Get 2 pairs. One to beat up and wear wherever, the other to keep clean and wear out on the town. These fit a half size too large, so buy accordingly. (ie/ if you're a size 10, buy a 9.5). Go ahead and explore with the wide variety of colours available and express yourself. But if you want a fool proof look, stick with the classic black and white.
Well. I suppose i could add more to this list (rayban wayfarers, aviators, solid button downs, black scarves) but i will keep it until a further issue. Remember, these are guidelines. Each and every item on this list are open to personal preference and style, and should be suited to your look and being. I'm just giving you a helping hand on the way.
Oh and one more thing. Stop wearing that Yankees ball cap wherever you go. It's not a good accessory.
Next issue: Why your fragrance department needs renovating.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Issue # 1 - Fast Food Fashion

issue # 1

In this first installment, I would like to address the overwhelming amount of men who think that Summer is a 3 month-long excuse to dress like slobs. It's as if the heat and the sun speak in a languange only men can understand, and tell them that Cargo shorts and thong sandals (or "flip-flops") are the only attire they can wear, for ALL occasions. This, gentlemen, is incredibly so many ways.

Now, since i know in many cities that are NOT a metropolis, the selection of clothing, especially for a man in his mid-late twenties is decently limited. We are stuck with what i like to call "Fast Food Fashion". This is a term i developed for all the stores that carry almost identical ideals of style. (ie/ Bluenotes, Bootlegger, Campus Crew, American Eagle, Gap, etc)...these are the fast food restaurants of style; offering quick choices for the shopper who does not want to be inconvenienced by taking the time to really create their own style....and in similar fast food remorse, the buyer ends up with a sense of remorse, self loathing, and disappointment over their purchase. "Hmm, i will have the cargo shorts and polo shirt combo please"..."would you like a pair of flip flops with that?" "...umm, yeah why not. Can i have a backwards hat with that as well?"....tragic.

Listen guys, Cargo shorts are fine...for Around the house, casual BBQs, yard work, or running to Canadian Tire or Home Depot on a hot sweaty day. But when that sun sets and you decide to go out on the town, please....for your own good, put the shorts away...or at the very least, opt for a pair of more slim cut, shorter shorts, designed for less casual occasions. Shorts do NOT need to be below your knees. Are you 10 years old? or are you a man? Showing a little leg is no longer cause for outcast from your circle of friends as it was when you were in grade 6. Wearing fitted, tailored shorts says "Hey, i am a grown up. I do grown up things...and no i do not want to do a keg stand". Dress like a man, not a frat boy.

Now don't get me wrong. As stated above, cargo shorts are acceptable for those certain occasions where fashion can go out the window. For example, if you are heading to an all day outdoor party where you INTEND on doing keg stands and drinking until you pass out, then more power to you. (these occasions, as you approach mid-late twenties, should become fewer and MUCH further in between...otherwise you become THAT guy who still thinks he's 18).
This leads me into the second portion of your fast food fiesta....the POLO SHIRT. We'll make this one very simple. Unless it's a well-fitting, tailored polo shirt that's either a SOLID COLOUR, or with MINIMAL design accents, DON'T WEAR IT. Period. If you want to wear a polo shirt, put some time and effort into it, and find one that works well for you. It should be tailored and fitted. The way golfers used to wear them in the 50s and 60s. It should NOT be 2 sizes too big, the sleeves should not extend past your elbows, and there shouldn't be 18 colours of 6" wide stripes on it. The golf shirt should be clean, simple and classic. For the man of a limited budget, H&M for men carries some excellent golf shirts, and if you are looking for the perfect fit, Lacoste has them. A little more money, and you'll actually have to spend some time (gasp!) to get them, but it will be worth it. Oh, one more NOT pop the collar. I repeat, DO NOT POP THE COLLAR.
The third portion is the ever cringe-worthy flip flop, or thong sandal. I can't believe i am wasting my time writing about them, since it should go without saying that these are NOT to be worn out. What are you thinking? Footwear and Jackets are 2 things that should be deeply considered when dressing to go out. Look at them as a guys' version of accessories. We don't have necklaces and bracelets and hair pieces and a million other things, but we DO have shoes and jackets, which can pull a style together, or completely detroy it. Gentlemen, the flip flop is a breaker. In 2 simple syllables, they say "i don't care about how i look" or "i am far too lazy to try to look good". I know they are comfortable for you (for me, not so much...they are more work if you ask my opinion)...but for your own sake, and everyone elses' please don't wear them.
It truly astounds me how many guys wear the above 3 items together (60% of them include a ball cap of some sort, 30% opt for an Aeropostale t shirt instead of a polo, and the remaining 10% wear both together). So if you've read this far and are truly interested in changing this, the answer is as simple as not eating fast food. Instead of hitting the drive thru for your meal, go to a grocery store, get some fresh ingredients and MAKE YOUR OWN FOOD. I am not saying Make your own CLOTHING, but make your own STYLE. Stop settling for the crap on the displays at the malls, and look deeper...find things that may not be in your face, but are still very stylish and classic. Want to wear shorts? Opt for a slimmer fit and cut than the cargo shorts, and it will change your entire look. Get a more fitted golf shirt or go for a classic (and my favourite), the v-neck white t shirt. It never goes out of style. Want to dress it up a bit? Go for a light colour button down with a very slight checker pattern or solid colour. No darks if you can avoid it. No idea what to wear on your feet? A pair of light canvas slip ons or leather loafer-style shoes will go a long way....with NO socks...please, no socks.
Want a total change? You can adopt my style (which is Europe's style) of not wearing shorts as much as possible, if at all. Not only will that immediately set you apart from the rest of the cargo-wearing bunch, but covering your skin from the sun and heat actually keeps you cooler than exposing your skin, so it's a win-win. Jeans will always work, as will fitted cotton khakis, or even light linen pants. And hey, skip the ball cap, and go for a straw fedora or even a newsboy cap. They both go a long way in making you look a lot more clean and polished than your cargo shorts and polo. And trust me...girls will notice that you've cleaned up.
Hope this helped...and i hope to see fewer cargo shorts in the future.


Welcome to the debut of The Style Eye for Clueless Guys. This is a freelance blog targeted towards men ages 18-45 who have even a slight desire to know how to look, dress, feel and be perceived better, while not spending a ridiculous amount of money in the process. It's as much a style blog as it is a self-help guide for clueless men.

I will be giving style ideas, tips, and even consumer reviews on everything from grooming products to cologne and more.

Please feel free to read, explore and share ideas and comments with us, and spread the word!!