Some fashion's mistakes men make
0. Don't overdo it!
It's hard to dress nicely for men (for women, too). Here I want to point out certain common mistakes that men make when they try to dress nicely (e.g., smart or business casual) or when they try to dress at all.
To begin with, let me state a very general rule: DO NOT OVERDO IT! Simplicity and essentiality should be your guide to elegance. Beauty and style love simple combinations. Wear the minimum, without too many accessories, be functional and adequate to the occasion. Do not exceed. Please.
1. No white socks thanks!
Socks are a source of perennial mistakes and visual horrors. The two most regrettable choices are wearing white socks and wearing sandals with socks. But there are others disgusting variations, as well. For instance, some men wear shorts with their socks pulled all the way up. Or even worst, some men wear white socks pulled up with shorts.
More subtle and forgivable mistakes consist in wearing socks (of the appropriate colors, thanks God!) which are not long enough, so that when one sits down and his pants go up, one will show parts of his socks and part of his hairy naked legs. This will produce an unacceptable visual encounter.
And finally, if you want to make love and you are getting naked, please take off your socks first! It is a great turn off to see a naked man in socks, and even worst a naked man in white socks!
2. No orthopedic shoes and no running shoes with pants!
One has to pick his shoes carefully. Anonymous black semi-orthopedic shoes are going to be a looser, no matter how expensive and "orthopedic" they can be. They could be comfortable, but they will be uncomfortable for the eyes. I am not advocating any form of extravagant, eccentric, catchy shoes. Men have to look for something sober, classy and distinct. This requires some training and a good eye. The difference is in the details.
But one thing that is really a disgrace is that sometimes men wear a suit, or are dressed smart casual, and they put running or tennis shoes on their feet. Why on earth do they do that? I noticed that this practise is fairly common in the United States, while it is less in Europe. The combination smart-casual-and-tennis-or-running-shoes is absolutely to be avoided! Tennis and running shoes can be put on when you are playing tennis or running, not when you are going to the office or a business meeting!
3. No loose and long pants
Some believe that wearing shorts is a sin. Especially Parisians, even when it's so hot in their beloved Paris, will not wear shorts. It isn't classy, or so they think. I disagree. They are wrong. Wearing shorts can be classy, elegant, and gives you a feeling of freedom. It is also a sensible thing to do if it's really hot during the summer. Which, in many places, is. So, why not?
There are some caveat, though. First off, please make sure you follow the warnings I gave you about what to do with socks! Don't get yourself into some horrendous socks/shorts combination. Second, watch for the material, the fabric, the color. Again, here details matter and you need to develop some sensibility.
A mistake that people often overlook when they wear (long) pants is that they are too long. This makes you look clumsy and certainly inelegant. If your pants are too long -- either because they are actually too long, or because they are too loose so that they are falling down -- they will fall down on your shoes and, regrettably, they will fold around your shoes. I think, this is terrible!
4. No shirts with short sleeves
Here my advice could not be simpler: Do avoid shirts with short sleeves. Yes, some people might be able to look fine, but really -- believe me -- most people don't. Shirts with long sleeves are much nicer (even with shorts), they look elegant and classy on almost every man. They are safe. If it is hot, just fold the sleeves a little bit.
Well, I must admit not all shirts will look fine. Please select some sober yet non-boring color. Again, little details make a difference.
Incidentally, I believe there is a recent trend among fashion designers to rehabilitate shirts with short sleeves. But who cares -- fashion changes. Fashion designers are trying to sell us new things. Don't follow their caprices. Follow elegance and style.
5. A tie...
Some men think that, if they wear a tie, they'll look elegant. They won't. Most men look terrible with a tie.As a default, wearing a suit and a tie is the hallmark of uniformity and bad taste. It takes training and a rather refined sense of style to wear a tie properly. I guess you'll need also a reasonably fit body.
Don't misunderstand me. People can look very good in a suit and a tie, but very few people do. Most people look just terribly boring. So, in doubt and unless you have to, avoid it.