How to Dress Appropriately by a Straight GuySun, 8th Jan '06, 3:00 pm::

How to Dress Appropriately by a Straight Guy:

I've noticed that a lot of my buddies don't really know how to dress appropriately for different occasions. It's not that they're too dumb to dress well; it's just that every single fashion tip that comes out of any reputable media concentrates on turning straight guys into castrated metrosexuals. There is something weird about a guy that spends over $250/month on nasal-care products. However, that doesn't mean straight guys shouldn't take care of how they look. Instead of specific fashion tips, here's a few general things that every guy should know:

  1. Dress for the occasion: Sounds simple but way too many guys chose to ignore it. I know you're an elite hacker but please, unless you own the company, put on at least business casual (ironed shirt & khakis) for occasions that demand formal attire. If you don't own a pair of khakis because you're always in an informal environment, perfectly fine. But if you are going to be interacting in formal business atmospheres, buy yourself a pair or two. Next, don't wear a suit to a fishing trip. Wear jeans to friends' house parties but not to their weddings. And if there's going to be photographs, shave. If you don't know what to wear for a formal occasion, don't feel embarassed. Just call the organizers up and ask for the proper 'Dress Code' for the event.
  2. Dress for the looks: Yes, wearing good clothes will not suddenly make you more smart, responsible, handsome, or trustworthy than you really are. But "it's not a sin for a guy to want to look good or wear nice clothes" says SMH. Wearing nice clothes is not vanity and certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
  3. Dress for the weather: Dark clothes in winter and light clothes in summer. Pretty simple. Don't get drenched in rain if you're going to be at an indoors event for long. Exception to light clothes in summer: Late night events.
  4. Late night events: Once again, if you don't know what to wear, call the night club up and ask for the proper dress code. Don't be shy or hesitant. It would REALLY suck if the bouncers don't let you in because you wore sneakers. A dark full-sleeves shirt, light beige khakis, and matching leather/suede shoes will work pretty much anywhere. If it's a country music club, jeans it is. If you like to be the center of attention, nothing wrong with being slightly gaudy. Wear that Hawaiian shirt as long as you're not going to be kicked out.
  5. Proper Grooming: Very basic stuff you should stick to whether you're going to be around people or not: Make sure your breath doesn't stink. If going to a formal event, shower, wash your hair. Wear deodorant no matter what. If you sweat profusely, try stronger deodorants. Use cologne if you're going to be indoors. Wear a good wrist watch if you can.
  6. Matching Clothes: This is a tricky one and any random girl is better at this than the most sophisticated guys. From my experience, stick to similar shades. Beige/khakis/browns go well with white and black. Blue, white, and gray go well together. Red/yellow/orange go well with blue. Avoid pink unless you can carry it off confidently.
  7. Dress in layers: If it's not too warm, wear a jacket or shirt over your t-shirt. It's like getting a second LCD - tremendous performance boost with minimal input.
  8. Cross-Cultural Dressing: No, not CROSS-DRESSING but rather wearing clothes from different cultures. This is an important one and very rarely discussed. If you're an American, trying on Indian Dhoti for the first time will be quite an experience. If you've never tried on a Japanese Haori, it'll feel quite different from shorts and tees. First you have to decide whether or not to even wear them for occasions that demand it. In most cases you do have a choice and if you aren't comfortable, feel free to pass on the golden opportunity to accidentally expose yourself to the entire wedding party. However, if you don't have a choice (you're the groom or very close to the couple), take hints from other guys. Let a pretty lady dress you up but ask the guys on how to carry yourself. Sitting, especially on the floor, will take some practice. And most probably there's no easy to unzip fly. Take a few minutes and learn how to walk, sit, stand-up, and of course, unzip - however that might be. Remember: By dressing up in the customary attire, you are in a way, showing your respect for the culture. Exception: Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Mr. Bean, and anybody catastrophically clumsy.
  9. Don't be fabulous: Last but not the least, don't overdo it. Know your limits and learn what you can 'carry off'. The key to dressing well is not just buying and wearing good clothes but also feeling and looking comfortable in them. If you can't be comfortable in a tie, don't wear one. For guys, dressing up has ALWAYS been about being comfortable. Corsets were for Medieval Damsels. Khakis with stretchable waistbands for Modern Men.

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