5 “Stylish” items that might make you look harmless

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On the one hand you don’t want to look like a murderous, unapproachable jackass, yet on the other hand you don’t want to look like you’re terrified of someone taking your lunch money. Balance is key. But many a new trend that catches fire can often leave a guy looking a little… flaccid? New for the sake of new can often get dangerous. Leave any additions, agreements, or disagreements in the comments. As always, there will be exceptions.

#1. Tank Tops

They’re about as unkind to the average torso as it gets. And say you do have an above-average torso, wearing a tank top makes you look like a preening dweeb. The tank top trend is proof that trends are cyclical, and despite some having wider orbits than others, everything comes back around. Everything.

TanksFlimsy torso koozies. All by ASOS.

#2. Sneakers with a suit

This look seems to be getting some mention lately. Canvas sneakers with a summer suit can be a great, relaxed look, but it’s not going to command respect. Friendly and laid back? Yes. Absolutely. Meanwhile, sneakers with a darker wool suit looks awfully MTV Movie Awards. And even if you are going to the MTV Movie Awards, it might be worthwhile to look like you’re headed somewhere other than the MTV movie awards.

Sneakers while suitedHard to make this look better than a pair of good dress shoes.

#3. Cardigans

Blame Mr. Rogers? Cardigans can look great, but they often lean in a “why don’t you sit down on the far end of the couch and we can enjoy some hot co-co while we watch Anne of Green Gables” kind of way. If you’ve got a little extra weight around the middle, you’ll look dumpy. If you’re skinny, you’ll look wispy. There’s something about how low the placket dips on most cardigans that just isn’t real flattering. It can be done, but it’s not easy.

Maybe the secret is to just knock like this.

#4. Statement Hair

Long flowing locks might work on the cover of a romance novel, but it’s not so easy in real life. The risk with a head of hair that walks into the room before you do, is that you look like you spend way too much time on it (aka, Uncle Jesse Syndrome). And it doesn’t have to be cleanly styled either. The same thing can be said of purposely disheveled hair. Much of men’s style is based on projecting a feeling of power. Much of men’s clothing is based on military uniforms past and present. Not a lot of guys in the military running around with Eddie Vedder hairdos. IT CAN BE DONE. But, it’s not easy.

Statement HairGreat hair for Seventeen Magazine. Great Shirt for Grandmother’s curtains.

#5. Bow Ties

This one has more exceptions than most, but still should be mentioned. From the Bloomberg article Bowties are making a comeback: “You are being noticed because you went the extra mile to wear that… That makes me feel good.” …Now, is there a difference between dressing well so you feel your best, and feeling good because people notice how you’re dressed? Lots of us would argue that not only is there a difference, but it’s a massive one. Often, but certainly not always, the bow tie is a signal of subscribing to the latter philosophy. Bow ties look dynamite with a tuxedo,and a casual chambray or wool bow tie can be a great way to mix it up. But it leans pretty “nerd chic”. Tread carefully unless you’re a doctor or a bartender who needs to keep your work clean and free of contamination.

What else? Any other otherwise stylish items that might make a guy look a little too milk toast? Disagree with one of these items? Leave it all below. Top Photo Credit: Tim Pokorny, Sneakers + Suit: E. Rinaldi Pattinson: Gage Skidmore