Guys, don't be a fashion disaster

Fashion disaster

Fashion disaster (Rick Tuma, Tribune illustration / March 29, 2012)

Button up the jacket when entering a room; unbutton when sitting. If it's a three-button jacket, never button the bottom one, says Bloomingdale's Joyce Sobczyk, a style expert and personal shopper.

4. Shoes

Shine them; replace worn laces and heels. And take a hard look at your toes. If they're gross, sandals are a terrible idea.

Shoes you wear to the gym or for running are not a good choice for street wear; more fashionable sporty shoes are what you need.

"Those clunky chunky sole shoes from 1980 do not go with today's more streamlined trousers," says Sobczyk. Check men's fashion magazines to figure out current styles.

5. Jeans

Forget about your old college jeans. Even if you can still squeeze into them, they're almost certainly out of style.

Dark blue denim is the classic, best choice

Jeans that bag at the seat, waist or thigh do not make you look leaner. "When in doubt, not tight but straight fit; relaxed but too relaxed can look droopy. Casual does not mean schlumpy," Lupo says.

6. Underwear

Your whites should be really white. No grayish, pitted-up T-shirts. Replace them frequently.

When unbuttoning your shirt's top two buttons (maximum), it's better to show a crisp, very white T-shirt than some nasty gorilla chest hair.

Below the waist, there are many good, colorful options — boxer briefs anyone? — in addition to the old standby tighty-whiteys.

7. Belts

If pants have belt loops, wear a belt and make sure you haven't missed a loop.

Want to shout out loud that your waistline is expanding? Wear a belt with worn out holes to tell the world that you keep moving it to a bigger size. Belts are cheap: Buy a new one.

They don't have to match your shoes exactly but a decorative casual one is no good with a suit. And white is almost always a bad choice.

8. Accessories

Update your eyeglasses. They're the first thing people notice. And make sure they're smudge-free. A timeless pair of sunglasses, Ray-Ban aviators, for example, can upgrade your look without much effort.

Check to be sure that you're not wearing your socks inside out. (Yes, socks do have a "wrong" side.)

Jewelry should be kept to a minimum. Never more than three pieces, and two is better.

9. Grooming

Go easy on the fragrances. Less is more. And those body sprays do not cover up BO.

When shaving, make sure that you didn't miss a spot; don't leave the house with traces of shaving cream in your ears.

No deodorant streaks, please, on your dark polo (a moist towel corner will remove them).

10. Maintenance

The single most useful tool for dressing done right? Your mirror. Check that you're zipped, tucked, have no hairs growing where they shouldn't.

Don't skip the dentist.

No clothes last forever. Check items frequently for stains, holes, worn spots, and don't be afraid to toss.

shopellen@tribune.com

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