Now that we’ve covered the “more please” list, it’s time to move on to what we could probably do with a little less of. There are always exceptions. And it’s no accident that these styles, items, or strategies are popular to produce, wear, or use. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t overdone all the same.
A Lengthy List of Exclusions that Renders a Sale or Promo Code Useless: All sportcoats being excluded during the latest “25% off your purchase!” code at J. Crew? Arbitrary “BR Picks” being half the men’s selection for the currently running Banana Republic code? C’mon man. What we doing out there man?
Fashion Weeks: How many friggin’ fashion weeks are there out there? At this rate, #PeoriaFashionWeek is gonna be all over Instagram in no time.
Suit Jacket/Sportcoat Lining: Some people see a jacket with a half or NO interior lining as a sign of poor quality. That’s just not true. It’s actually harder to make a jacket with less lining, since you’ve got nowhere to hide any lose threads or slap-dash construction. They’re lighter. More airy. And for some jackets, they’ll actually drape better minus a stiff poly lining and rigid construction.
Less lining = A big win. Not every jacket needs to be fully lined.
Shampoo: Yes really. You don’t need to shampoo your hair every day. In fact, unless you have seriously oily hair or work up a serious, stinky lather every day at the gym, then shampooing every other or every third day can really help your hair look better. Those natural oils will also make it easier to style. Rinse the product out of your hair, apply some conditioner, rinse again, and you’ll be good to go.
Social Media / The Internet: “Damn, I wish I would have spent more time on Instagram” … said no one on their death bed, ever. Is giving this advice counter-productive for us, who happen to be in the business of running a website? Yes, it is. That doesn’t make it wrong though.
Functional Sleeve Button Holes on Jackets: This “surgeon’s cuffs” detail is no longer a hallmark of quality. UNIQLO does it. Hell, I’ve seen it on some blazers from Target. The issue is that shortening sleeves with functioning button holes can be crazy expensive, since it often means detaching the sleeve from the shoulder. Yet some brands insist on putting these things on their jacket sleeves.
Fancy looking but real common these days. Also, a nightmare to tailor.
Accent Stitching on Non-Functioning Jacket Sleeve Button Holes: Just skip it all together. If you’ve got to shorten the sleeves by any great amount, removing that stitching can get troublesome.
Small Accessories Clutter: Watch? Sure. Wedding ring? Totally. Bracelet + another bracelet + pocket square + tie bar + signet ring + necklace = all of a sudden you’ve gone full Johnny Depp. If that’s your style? Then go for it. But picking one or two small, meaningful things usually trumps the junk-drawer look. Too much can lead to each piece getting lost in the noise.
Dry Cleaning: No, you don’t need to dry clean your suit every time you wear it. Or even every other time you wear it. Unless you’ve sweat like hell in it (say, tearing it up on a Wedding Reception dance floor), you can air it out then put back away for another wear. Steam it to release any wrinkles. Dry cleaning can be a very harsh process on garments of all kinds. Avoid it if you can.
I pity the fool who dry cleans his suit after each wear. (photo credit)
Extremely Complicated Shoe Shining Procedures: To the fellas who have more steps to shining their shoes than a surgeon has to removing an appendix: by all means, spend your time how you want to spend it. But for most of us, it doesn’t need to be that complicated. 1. Brush the shoe clean of dirt & dust with a horsehair brush. 2. Apply a light layer of shoe creme with a soft cloth. 3. Wait 15 minutes. 4. Brush again. 5. Finish by buffing with a cloth. That’s pretty much all you really need to do.
Space Between Belt Holes: The solution is getting a leather punch. But the amount of distance they not only put between each hole, but also the first hole and the LAST hole, seems to be unnecessarily large.
The use of Alcohol or Tobacco Products in a photo shoot to make someone look more stylish: We’re guilty of this too. Look, I like a good stiff drink as much as the next guy (probably a bit more) but this can come across as lazy and stereotypical. It honestly can be a challenge to figure out what to do with your hands during a shoot. So, we’ll try to get better. What’s really confounding is when some use a cigarette or cigar in a photo shoot to evoke “coolness”. They never seem to show the dry cleaning bill that comes with smoking, or being around someone who’s smoking when you’re in your best clothes.
Booze = an obvious prop crutch in style shots.
Cologne Ads in Fashion Magazines: Look, print media is struggling. Badly. And one way for them to make cash is ads that don’t just limit themselves to the page, but jump off said page and into your nostrils. But goodness. The first 3 minutes I spend with any GQ or Esquire involves nothing but tearing out the cologne ads.
The question: “Why are you so dressed up?” Won’t ever go away. It’s collateral damage for giving a hoot about your appearance.
Having your nose constantly in your smartphone: All that effort to look good, and so many guys are wandering around missing the opportunity to make eye contact with the cute coffee shop customer in line next to them, or to be aware of the SUV potentially running the red light, or notice that new restaurant that opened up the other day. Having a good sense of style can quickly be negated by projecting an impression that your world revolves around your phone, instead of paying attention to the world around you.
Hats off to those who turn it off, put it away, and observe.
Super Skinny Fit Blazers: What ever happened to Banana Republic’s Tailored Fit? Meanwhile, H&M’s sportcoats are crazy tight (and chopped in the tail too). Look, low arm holes were the scourge of the late 90s – early 2000s, but templates have shrunk so much that you have to be shaped like Manute Bol to fit into some of these things. Sidenote: Rest in Peace Mr. Bol. He was quite the human being.
Providing Hyper Sensitive Fit & Styling Critiques: Gonna keep banging this drum guys. But the danger is, at what point does the constant critiquing of people hell bent on offering hyper sensitive critique become hyper sensitive critiquing of hyper sensitive critique? Holy Sh*t. The circle of life people. That’s it. Everything the light touches, Simba.
Joggers: They are the El Camino of the pants world. We done with these yet?
Elastic leg closures aren’t found on too many other garments.