Hardworking, but rarely sought after or drooled over. These are the Rodney Dangerfields of men’s style, where the respect given just isn’t to the level these things deserve. Leave you additions in the comments section.
1. Black Shoes
Maybe it was collateral damage from black suits falling out of favor, but black shoes just don’t get the credit they deserve. Between walnut Strands and brandy suede double monks, there’s an arms (foot?) race for brown shoes you can’t ignore. And that’s fine, but black shoes shouldn’t be forgotten. A great looking pair of black shoes are professional, mean, and sharp. So dust them off, shine them up, and don’t be scared to wear them with lighter colors like pale grey or even khaki.
Stripes have long dominated men’s style. But from ties, to suits, to shirts… don’t be afraid to give them dots a shot.
3. The buzz cut
The black shoes of the grooming world. Again, won’t stand out like a well styled man mane, but getting your hair clippered extra short is mean and sharp.
Black Shoes + some interesting details = Standing out quietly.
4. Solid, Fine Gauge, Silk Knit Ties
A knit tie doesn’t have to look like it was made from an ABA tube sock. A solid, finely knit tie made from silk adds just enough texture to an outfit. Even with a subtle stripe, a silk knit tie can look plenty dressed up, unlike it’s preppier dressed down cousins.
5. Grey Jeans
Blue on blue on blue can be a great look, but grey jeans allow you to wear all your blue stuff up top, and still have some contrast on the bottom… while still wearing jeans.
6. Nonfunctioning jacket sleeve buttons
Yes, surgeon’s cuffs were once the sign of an extremely well made suit, but now it seems like they’re found on most affordable off the rack blazers, sportcoats, and suit jackets. And that’s a problem. If you want to show a quarter of an inch to half an inch of shirt cuff, tailoring is necessary. And it’s a nightmare if your jacket’s sleeve buttons are functional. Brands should skip the accent stitching on non-functioning buttons too, since shorter-armed guys might find that stitching getting real close to the end of the sleeve. The Ludlow line from J. Crew nails it: Nonfunctioning buttons without the faux stitching around them.
Functioning = overrated? Should suit makers like Suitsupply consider switching to non-functioning?
7. Not just free shipping… but free returns
Free shipping? Great. But free returns means you can shop online, risk free. Makes a huge difference.
8. Crewneck Sweaters
V-necks, and their ever increasing depth, took over the sweater world a few years back. But a crew can just as easily be layered over an OCBD. Not quite as dashing when dressed up, but crewnecks won’t look awkward over a t-shirt on the weekend like a deep v-neck might.
9. Green. The color
Poor Kermit. Try mixing in a green tie with your arsenal of blue, black, and red neckwear. Or a pale mint-green shirt. Green is also under appreciated when it comes to automotive paint jobs.
“But you’ll look like a kid when your clothes come off.” Not if you wear some briefs with a little color, and you don’t have the body type of a child. Women may prefer boxer briefs, but for plenty of us, those legs bunch up throughout the day. Maybe it has something to do with the drift towards S/M/L sizing instead of exact waist sizes, and thus the legs never truly fit. At least with briefs you can find a 30, 32, or 34 waist. And unlike boxers, briefs offer some support and control.
What else just doesn’t seem to get the respect it deserves in the world of men’s style? Leave it all in the comments.
Top Photo Credit: Tom Caswell