I have been meaning to do this post for a very long time especially after what happened yesterday, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on some mistakes we make when dressing. There are menswear rules and for a long time they were cast in stone, however, over the time the stone has been eroded so much that menswear has become very personal and subjective. Men get dressed in whatever they want, however they want, without any regard for the rules or maybe a lack of knowing the rules. I've been thinking about it and these are seven style mistakes a gent should avoid perpetrating.
1. Leaving the stitched-on label on a jacket sleeve. Some gents don't know that the label on the sleeve should be removed, some leave it there in order to flash the brand name of the suit. In actual fact the label has to be removed. Rather let the suit as a whole speak for itself and not the label.
2. Socks that are not over the calf. From personal experience I can say that this is a pet peeve of mine. I really doubt that the average South African man is privy to how wonderful and useful over the calf socks are. Ankle high and calf length socks just don't suffice because they expose a man's shin, which can be quite unsightly. Over the calf socks don't necessarily cause warmth to the leg. In the right fabric it can be warm or cool, depending on the weather. Another factor to consider in the scarcity of over the calf socks could be the fact that they are difficult to find.
3. Undershirt with inscriptions under a shirt. Nothing is quite unsightly like a bright t-shirt worn as a vest/ undershirt under a shirt. Plain white vests made from cotton with perforations all over are meant for this purpose. More often than not the inscriptions are visible and sometimes unsavoury. Some gents can't wear a vest and will opt for a t-shirt, if you must then go for a white one. This also goes for wearing a crew-neck t-shirt under an open neck shirt, if the t-shirt protrudes from under the shirt then it will spoil your whole aesthetic.
4. Tie and shirt only. This look is incomplete because it's missing a jacket. I think it's permissible for boys in their late teens, however, for a young man fresh out of graduate school entering the workforce there is a variety of inexpensive suits and sports jackets to choose from. Without a jacket you're constantly having to tuck in your shirt and so many foibles that would be hidden by a jacket are exposed.
5. Over accessorising. This has become an affectation that has taken away from the essence of dressing and has bordered on gaudy. Nothing has become more ubiquitous and boring quite like flower lapels. They are everywhere. There was a time when I was really into them but they weren't readily available, this was probably four to five years ago. I don't own any and I'm I don't. But this is not only about flower lapels it's about all these accessories men wear to embellish their look. Everything should be done in moderation because as the adage says 'less is more'.
6. Peek-a-boo look. I thought this look stopped when I ceased to be a hip-hop head. But this is when someone is wearing a sweater over a dress shirt and it's untucked, with the shirt tail and front hem hanging below and exposed. We'll give hip-hop heads a pass but, the style conscious gent shouldn't be dressing this way. Keep it tucked in and tasteful.
7. Short jacket and long sleeves. This is a matter of style and proportion. I find some jacket designs to be a little off because you find the sleeves slightly long but the jacket to be short so much so it exposes the rear. This is wrong in a way because the length of the jacket and the sleeves are out of proportion. The jacket sleeves should be long enough to expose two inches of shirt cuff and the jacket long enough to cover your rear.
These are just my observations and I wonder if any of you gents feel the same way?
PG: Man to man, generation to generation.