Recently, a technical matter forced me to go way back into the archives of this website. What I saw made me uncomfortable. But that’s good! Because if you’re striving to improve every day, and you have any sense of shame, then looking back will often cause a wince or two. Or ten. Such as the ten below. Not all of these were pushed on Dappered, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t believe in them at some point. May the style gods have mercy on me.
Everything should be washed (or dry cleaned) with each wear
NO. BIG NO. While this is true for underwear, socks, shirts, and workout gear (duh), for the rest of your stuff, there’s no faster way to destroy otherwise good clothes than over-washing. Unless the garment in question spends all day in a sweaty crevice (armpits, crotch, foot arch), then chances are it can go back in the closet instead of the hamper. Avoid over cleaning suits, wool sweaters, jeans, etc. Unless they’re noticeably soiled or stink, they can probably go another round.
Sockless with dress shoes in the summer
Yes there’s a certain cool, rakish look to forgoing socks with your lace-ups in the summer. But the costs are just way to darn high. It’s bad for your shoes, it can be terrible on your feet (blisters), and worst of all… nobody actually cares if you choose TO wear socks in the summer. Just wear the “right” ones. Lightweight wool socks which match your pants, or, have a bit of pattern to them. Y’know what those socks do? They cushion, they provide a barrier between your skin and unforgiving shoe interiors, they regulate temperature, and they prevent the leather interiors of your nice dress shoes from becoming a swampy mess.
Shampooing your hair every day
Washing your hair on the same schedule that you wash your butt is a terrible idea. Most of us don’t poop out the top of our heads. And thank goodness for that. Imagine, every round of “head shoulders knees and toes” would result in cholera and pink eye running rampant (eyes and ears and mouth and nose!!) Unless you have extraordinarily oily hair, shampooing your hair every day will leave you with a dry, itchy scalp, brittle frizzy hair, and styling your lettuce will be an extraordinary challenge. Every shower, DO rinse out the product you’ve got it, use conditioner, and unless your head stinks or you have a seriously dirty job, consider limiting shampoo to just a few days a week. If that.
Thrifting is where it’s at!
I know some of you swear by thrifting. To those that loovvvve thrifting: I ask you to consider the possibility that your thrifing experience, and your thrift stores of which you have the time and ability to visit, are not the norm for the rest of us. I’ve spent (and wasted) far too many hours searching for treasure in thrift stores that just never showed up. Yes I’ve found some gems. But I’ve pretty much given up these days. The “good” stuff often ends up on eBay or at consignment shops. The golden age of thrifting might be dead.
I thought using starch made ironing my shirts so much easier. Turns out, I wasn’t filling my iron with any water. That’s right, I was using a steam iron, with no steam. I’m an idiot. Putting water in your steam iron is kinda important. Starch makes shirts stiff. I don’t know why I ever wanted to make shirts more rigid, less breathable, and less natural feeling on my skin. Again…. I am an idiot!
Compliments mean you’re doing it right
Wrong. It’s about what’s in between your ears. Not what hits them. If you look pretty put together, every day, then you won’t stand out as much. Looking like you own the place means you’re far less likely to get a compliment vs the schlemiel who somehow managed to put a tie on for the first time in a decade. The one with all the horizontal and vertical creases in his shirt. Because he hasn’t washed it yet, and just took it out of the plastic 20 minutes ago. I mean God bless those guys, but the compliment as style currency is immensely overvalued.
Everything should be tailored down to the quarter inch
Look, I’m not saying that tailoring isn’t a great idea. It is! But the era of the super-tight stuff is (thankfully) dead. You have to be able to move. And if that means your clothes, in some pictures on the internet, look a little big? That’s okay! Relax! Pictures on the internet aren’t real life! On the flip side, if you’re comfortable in stuff that DOES look a little tight in pictures on the internet? That’s okay too! The blasted armchair fit-critics who spend all day firing off comments like“oh this should come in a touch here, and you’ve got the dreaded X there, and the shoulder pitch is way off here”… those guys are losers. Period. Because their idealized fit doesn’t exist. They’re demanding an unreasonable, absurd “ideal” be shown to them within a hugely faulty medium. Yeah, let’s all judge a bunch of clothing (made and created to be worn and moved in) by way of two-dimensional pictures on our tiny phone screens. Brilliant work guys. Nice job on life. You win.
Plug your ears Undershirt Addicts. You’re not gonna like this.
“But I sweat!”
Adding another layer (especially cotton) isn’t going to help you stay cooler. It just makes the problem worse.
“But what about pit stains!”
Pit stains aren’t from sweat. They’re from the aluminum in antiperspirant. Use deodorant.
“But if I don’t use antiperspirant, I’ll just sweat more!”
Not necessarily. If you haven’t plugged up your sweat glands in your armpits with aluminum, maybe you’d sweat a little, but that little bit of sweat would help keep you cool, and you’d sweat less overall. Also, there are a lot more things you can do to knock your sweat response down. Anything else, Undershirt Addicts?
“You’re a jerk!”
True. I’m also an idiot. We established that in the starch section.
Keeping up on social media is key (new trends, styles, feedback, etc)
Social media is trash. Most people who are constantly blabbing on social medial are far too quick to express opinions that are, by definition, the least well thought out of the bunch. It’s super misleading. So mining it for feedback is often a fool’s errand.
But what about the trends? Staying cutting edge? Social media is good for that, right? Wrong. That’s a dead end too. It’s all the same crap. All the women have the same lip fillers, layered necklaces, and do the same big-butt-scoliosis-pose in sports bras and leggings. All the men have the same painted on/angular suits, the same shaved on the sides & long on top haircuts, and smolder the same gross “I can’t wait for you to take your eye off your drink” look into the camera. These two archetypes are the very same walking gonorrhea rocket pops who still went on their beachy 2020 spring vacations, just as the pandemic was starting to rage. And I’m sure they’ll live happily ever after, together. May Mrs. Starved Boobie Platypus have a lovely life with Mr. Discount Muppet David Beckham. Sunset heart hands.
Cardigans are dumb
Couldn’t have been more wrong. Cardigans are awesome. Lightweight, trim fit, merino wool cardigans. Wear them over everything from dress shirts and ties, to t-shirts or polos. Wear them with jeans. Wear them with dress trousers. Wear them with chinos. They’re like super cheap sportcoats. They make you look slimmer and stronger, because they clean up your lines along your sides. If you get warm? You don’t have to pull it over your head like other sweaters. Your hair will thank you. Cardigans are also a great filtering mechanism… for people. If someone lamely calls you Mr. Rogers? Cool. Take it as a compliment. Mr. Rogers was a genius.
And that’s ten. I’m sorry. Gosh really I am. You have no idea.