As I’ve noted before, everybody (this includes men) wants to look good, the level of effort put into this subject is certainly based on the individual. Fact is fact, men are not usually prone to LOVING shopping. This is fine ladies, do not force the issue upon them, but a little encouragement never hurt! The key is to make the experience as painless as possible. If a shopping day is needed, make it about them. You will NOT be shopping that day, can you handle it?
Create a lovely list that you (by “you” I am referring to the shopping assistant or the actual shopper himself) will have drafted prior to your excursion. Search the closet first and decided what you feel you are missing, don’t go into the store blindly. Trust me, this makes life a lot easier and feeds upon a man’s need for single-focused activities. This is not a dig on you gentleman! Rather, it is utilizing the very little I know about men and putting it toward a happy and stylish shopping experience:) In my professional defense, every man I have ever shopped with, be it personal or professional, has always left saying the he was shocked at how easy I made it. See, I do know what I am talking about!
Once you have entered the store (choose one that has everything under one roof, think department store) focus on sections on your list. This means you should go to one department at a time and get it done in an orderly fashion. No wish washy behavior here! If your list is too long to keep your focus and shop well, break it down and separate it out. Some shopping might have to be done on a different day, that is fine!
My final thought is to always ask for help. It is kind of like directions only the opposite! These salespeople know what they are doing and want to earn their commission. Yes boys, that means you stick with one person and they will help you even better. Let them do the hard work by running around and grabbing items. The toughest job you have is being able to explain what you are looking for and actually trying it on. Show them your list and let them know what you do most of your time… This means telling them your job and your weekend activities, not your entire social schedule! You can do it!!!! If not, go out and bag yourself a girlfriend with style immediately and go shopping on your first date:) Trust me, she will probably enjoy it!
Photo courtesy of Style.com (John Varvatos collection)
As a woman I have a million and one choices everyday as to how I should embellish my kick-ass look. As a man, the options significantly lessen, but this does not mean that you should jump ship and go for boring!!! I truly believe that women wear most of the jewelry because men would never have the patience to pick it all out everyday!!
But I digress, wear the options that the fashion Gods (designers and stylists) have given you and wear them proudly. You are hot and you want to show your individuality through your style. One of the most fabulous collectibles for men are cufflinks. Next to your watch, this is one of the quickest and most simple ways to liven up your outfit and set you apart from the other ballers. Plus, owning a collection of cufflinks is not unheard of and is a great gift as well as a great hand-me-down. I know you guys think about this stuff too, don’t lie.
There are a ton of options when it comes to finding the perfect pair, so choose wisely. You can truly show your personality with these tiny, yet extremely noticeable, ornaments. One of my close guy friends has a pair of skull and cross bones and although it may be over the top for others, they fit his look perfectly. I love this particular pair of engraved cufflinks because it doesn’t get much more personal than this! Killer present, killer look…. Now if only looks could kill…. I see the newest weapon in the next installment of James Bond.
Personalized Signet Cufflinks
The man purse is a reality boys so just get over it, realize that often times you have as much crap as us chicks so just put it somewhere already! The messenger bag is a completely acceptable option that your boys will just have to deal with. Hell, they probably own one, take it out, dance around with it in front of the mirror and then let their insecurity overshadow their need and put it back in the closet.
This style of bag is not only a lifesaver for men, but it is my personal purse of choice on days when both of hands are extremely needed. For most people, especially women with babies, this is an everyday occurrence. Stop the ugly bag madness and pick up a stylish and completely functional messenger bag for yourself!!!
The reality is that we will always have stuff, lots and lots of stuff. The day when they make a wallet that folds up from a tote to the size of your back pocket will be a glorious occasion. I will be the first to tell the world of this miraculous product, but until then you are forced to look stylishly secure carrying around this universally awesome bag. Don’t be scared, pick a material that suits your needs and style capability. Vinyl is a great choice for the more casual man while this camel leather works for a more evolved (male) fashionista. Either way, remember that your buddy that makes fun of you probably still has his mother shopping for him:)
Kenneth Cole Reaction Risky Business
No more pleats damn it! Just as the high-waisted, side zip pants create a simply unflattering look for women, the pleated pant makes me queasy on men. For heaven’s sake, they barely even make the style anymore, yet somehow men have a sick radar that allows them to find a far off Kohl’s that has the last known pair of pleated pants available. Stop the madness.
You want to look hot, women want you to look hot and finally, designers are beginning to realize how un-hot the pleated pant is. It is a general rule of thumb that every new male client that I meet with will have a sufficient amount of oversized pleated pants that are begging me to burn them. As with jeans, for both men and women, it is better to own fewer better fitting pairs than overstocking on immense amounts of AWFUL trousers. Throw them out. Seriously.
Start out slow. Buy yourself fitted, not skinny, straight-leg, flat front, no cuff pants. Think three neutral pairs, black, charcoal and brown. Add in a few slight pinstripe pairs if you are feeling crazy. This pattern will still go with everything just as the solid styles as long as the pinstripe is fairly faint. Make sure that there is a single crease down the front of the leg. The final step is to go to a great tailor to make sure that they are hemmed to the proper length. There should be a slight break at your mid-front calf. Do not hem them too long or wear them too big, these are not for lounging around on a Sunday!!!
Liz Claiborne Tone-on-Tone Plaid Fulton-Fit Pants
Finally, a post for all of the stylish men out there! I swore I would get to your fashion needs, so here it is….. A fabulous post at ProperCloth.com/blog about how to properly mix patterns for suit/tie/shirt combos. Don’t let your brain hurt by this task, take a cue from your fashion stylist (me) and follow the simple rules I have posted!
Check out your new easy guide to looking hot and stylishly bold at ProperCloth.com/blog. While you are there, create your own custom shirts to practice your new found styling skills, I have complete faith in you.