Style 101

October 1, 2014

Starting at the age of five, all the way until I was fifteen, I attended a variety of Catholic institutions. Every morning, I rolled out of bed and put on what I imagine was my dedication to Jesus, which comprised of a shirt, tie, and slacks. For anyone that went to Catholic school, you remember the hardships of tying a tie at 6:30am, after you were up all night playing N64. Or even worse, trying to run a go route during recess in a pair of dress shoes.

Suddenly, my junior year, I was transferring to a public school. Sure, I had some jeans, t-shirts, and a pair of Jordan Retro 3’s, but how was I going to survive dressing casually five days a week? My old high school was all males, but now it was co-ed; all of a sudden, my hairstyle was a big deal! I would have loved to be able to find a bunch of bullet points, in order to improve my self-confidence. So, without further ado, here are some do’s and don’ts of everyday fashion that the 15 year old Alex would have killed for.

The Death of the White Sock

When did the white sock die? Well, for a few years now, the white sock has only been functional in two distinct situations:
– When you’re working out
– If you are wearing shoes that are between 40-100% white.

Otherwise, the default color is black. Guys, white socks don’t match anything. If you’re wearing white shoes, you’re safe. Otherwise, you are wearing blue or black sneakers, so a pair of dark socks would simply add to the ensemble.

If you often wear brown or grey shoes, find a way to maybe obtain a few short pairs of those colors. If you head to a place such as Marshall’s or TJ Maxx, you can buy a 6-pack of socks that come in black and grey for under $10. For the price of a NYC beer, you can fix the #1 fashion taboo that currently exists!

I know what you’re thinking: there is no way I can replace all my white socks. You probably have a drawer full of them, some with absolutely no elasticity around the top. Here’s what you do…throw away all the white socks you have that have holes, lack elasticity, or are dirty. Keep the ones that are in good condition, for when you’re wearing your fresh white New Balances or for when you run. When you buy your pairs of dark socks, don’t roll them up. Simply place them together and lay them in your sock drawer. Allow your socks to be more than a mindless accessory to your camo pants.

Shoe Color Coordination

Okay, so you’ve replaced the nerdiest symbol you had, which was the white sock. Step 2: make sure the primary color of your shoes appears somewhere in your outfit. Look down right now…what color are your shoes? Where does that color appear elsewhere in your outfit? If you found it somewhere in your shirt or pants, you’re okay!

Matching your shirt to your shoes is easier than ever with the current shirt landscape. The number one top is the monochrome v-neck t-shirt. If you have red or brown shoes but don’t feel confident with the amount of clothing you own of that primary color, head to American Eagle or Old Navy. They normally have some kind of buy x amount of shirts, get y free.

The Skinny Tie

So you work at a job where a shirt and tie are required. You own a turquoise, berry, and bright yellow shirt, in an effort to stand out. However, lots of your co-workers read GQ as well, so they wear the same bright, vibrant shirts to work. Well how do you go about getting the attention of the sexy secretary?

The slim tie is so in right now. They are stylish and may actually be the first thing people notice about you. The guy who walks into the office with not only a slim-fit shirt but also a skinny tie is going to get a lot of looks. And compliments. You don’t need to replace all your ties, but buy a slim tie that matches your favorite two or three shirts. Remember, a shirt with a pattern demands a solid tie, while a solid shirt demands a patterned tie.

Hair. Gone.

What is the common trend in the male hair for the past 5+ years? The shaved sides. Anyone guy who has hair up top keeps the sides nice and short. The short sides reflect a level of neatness and responsibility. Your hair has the same effect that your skinny tie or black socks do…you’ve put thought into your presentation.

So you’re a responsible individual who’s been shaving the sides for a few years. However, you’re still trying to do something with the top. Why not switch it up? Next time you walk into the barber shop, ask for a 5 on top (5 refers to the shortness of the buzz cut, with 1 being the shortest). If you really don’t like it, it will eventually grow back.

A wrestle named Triple H recently did a podcast, in which his hair was a big topic. When he originally shaved his head, it caught the attention of websites such as TMZ and Perez Hilton. Lucky for you, you won’t have this type of attention. However, he made some very valid points about one’s hairstyle. He discussed how the short hair portrays the ideas of time-utility and being put-together. Think of the time you will save in the morning, when you’re not putting gel into the same ol’ hair-do you’ve had for a few years. You’re going to start with the 5 on top and 4 on the side, so looking at yourself in the mirror won’t be as shocking as you think it will be. It’s time for you to start thinking both stylistically and professionally: chop that hair!

Have a wife or girlfriend? Surprise her. Don’t tell her you’re going to spice up your dome. Get the haircut, and next time she sees you, she will be very surprised.

The Cold Stuff

Last, but not least, are coats and jackets. Leather is still in. Very in. If you own a slick leather jacket, you’re all set for this winter. Additionally, the pea coat is still the best formal look you can go with. However, the layering is how you will survive this winter, as these previously mentioned options aren’t the warmest. Scarves, vests (don’t button that bottom button!), and sweaters are still key this winter. If you want to be warm AND stylish, invest in some layers. The cardigan you will buy next month will not only save your butt but also make you the most stylish guy at the bar. As long as you don’t button that cardigan indoors.

Now You Look Good

These tips provided here are the same things found in GQ magazine and Askmen’s website, only I present these ideas much less articulately and charismatically. But for the 15 year old Alex, who didn’t know how to survive five straight days of fashion, or what to do with my hair, something like this would have been so helpful. If only I could have found some bullet-points, a few do’s and don’ts. As people read this article, just remember its some tips that I have collected from some of the smartest minds in fashion. If you only take one or two tips, maybe dark socks and an adult hairstyle, then this article was worth it. I am no fashion guru, just a guy who reads too much about fashion.

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