Ever wonder why it takes your wife so long to get ready? Does it blow your mind how she tries on six different outfits before she decides on the one she will wear? Well gentlemen, the answer to these age old questions is because she is paying attention to minor details that she knows make a difference. Before she leaves the house she makes sure that all pieces of the image puzzle are in order so she looks her best. Now I’m not saying that you need to spend hours in your closet or the mirror primping but I am saying that you need to understand and correct some of the basic image mistakes that we all are guilty of from time to time.
Let me now take the time to outline the top 10 biggest issues that I see on a daily basis. We will identify the problems and also give you easy to follow and apply solutions in an attempt to prevent you from committing these all too common fashion faux pas.
Image Killer #1
Dressing Your Age
One of the biggest mistakes a man can make in attempt to be fashionable and cool is dressing younger than they are. Nothing is more obvious or embarrassing than a man in his 40’s or 50’s who dresses like he is 20. It may be true that the clothes are indeed cool and extremely stylish, however if they are not age appropriate you will just end up looking like a big cheese ball.
While shopping in a particular store or shop, look around. Are the other patrons dramatically younger than you? Are the associates still in high school? If the answer to these questions are yes, then more than likely the clothes in that store are not for you. Paying attention to these two simple rules will surely point you in the right direction.
Image Killer #2
Ill Fitting Clothing
When I tell you that your clothes should fit you, most of you may be thinking “Duh”. But, give me a chance to explain. A lot of men are wearing clothing that is too large for them or too small for them. A common misconception is that if you are a larger man you should buy larger shirts to minimize your weight. This couldn’t be further from the truth. What happens is that in an attempt to camouflage your weight you only make yourself look heavier and larger than you are. On the flip side, some of you buy clothes that are smaller than you actually are. Just because you can get the pants buttoned doesn’t mean that they fit. You will only look like a sausage if you go out of the house.
If you currently buy shirts that are very loose fitting, go down a size. You will be amazed at the amount of compliments you receive and inquiries asking if you have lost weight. With pants, make sure that you can get your fingers comfortably in between you and your waist band. This may require you to go up a size or even two. Have no fear, you aren’t getting larger, you are now wearing pants that fit.
Image Killer #3
Many men are guilty of these fashion no no’s. Most men have a desire to look their best. If your best means you want to look heavier than you are then wear the pleats. But, if you want to appear slimmer and taller then it may be time to ditch the pleats. The goal is to create a nice straight line from the waist down to your shoes. Anything that breaks the visual line will detract from you looking your best. Cuffs on your pants are nothing but extra fabric that breaks the crisp clean line and ultimately giving you the appearance of being shorter than you are.
Go and try on a nice pair of flat front non cuffed pants. You will be amazed at how much thinner and taller you will look. This simple change will dramatically enhance your look and image.
Image Killer #4
Wrong Pant Length
Many men are wearing pants that are either too short or too long. Both of these are detrimental to your image. Pants that are too short make you look like you are wearing high waters and quite frankly make you look like a big dork. On the flip side, pants that are too long will only cause them to bunch up at the shoe creating an illusion of being shorter and heavier than you are.
Pants should be long enough that they have a break in them. The back of your pant leg should come down to the middle or top of your heal. Remember that depending on the shoe that you are wearing, some pants may be fine with some shoes and not with others. If you wear boots, you may need a slightly longer pant then you wear with dress shoes.
Image Killer #5
Tapered/Out Dated Jeans
Tapered jeans are not just out dated, but hurting your image and style. A tapered leg doesn’t allow for your jean to fit over the top of your shoe. Instead you have a gathering of fabric at the top of you foot, creating a sloppy appearance.
If you aren’t sure if your jeans are tapered or not, here is an easy test. Take your jeans and lay them on your bed face up. Take the bottom of the jean and fold the pant leg so that the bottom is lined up with where your knee would be. If the bottom is less wide than the knee then indeed they are tapered and new jeans should be on your to do list. When looking for new jeans, you will notice that there are a few different cuts or styles to choose from. Look for straight leg or even boot cut jeans. The goal is to allow the jean to fall over the top of your shoe creating a nice clean line from your waist to your feet. Bunching of fabric will only make you look short and sloppy. Neither of these are good looks for anyone
Image Killer #6
Floral Print Shirts
Unless you are in the tropics or on a cruise, these shirts are dorky. If you are in the tropics or on a cruise….good for you and wear the shirts.
Choose shirts that are a solid color or a small pattern. Don’t buy something that you think is “cute” or “funny”. You won’t look cute but you will look funny.
Image Killer #7
Shoes are in my opinion the most important aspect of an outfit. By choosing chunky or bulky shoes, you will only look like a clown. Overly square toes (pilgrim) are also a think of the style past. They were cool a few years ago, but they are now taking a back seat to a sleeker and more stream lined shape and trend. We should also include shoes that are overly worn or scuffed.
Take care of your shoes. Once a month take the time to polish your shoes and make sure not to forget about the heal. Spend the money on good quality shoes. If taken care of they will last you for years. Choose shoes that are simple yet stylish. Stay away from overly ornate stitching or overly drastic shapes (square or pointed). Remember, shoes should not draw attention to them selves, but rather tie the package together. Stay away from shoes that are ultra trendy due to the fact that they will be out of style quickly.
Image Killer #8
Sneakers With Everything
Athletic shoes should be worn when exercising. They are not your go to pair of shoes suitable for every activity and occasion.
Most of the time men choose to wear sneakers due to a lack of variety or depth of current foot wear. Spend the time and money buying a variety of shoes that are appropriate for a variety of occasions. You need a pair to be worn with shorts (non athletic), casual and professional.
Image Killer #9
Belt and Shoe Mismatch
Black shoes and brown belt is the most obvious, however you need to also consider the style of shoes and belt as well.
Dress shoes require a dress belt. This means that if your shoes have a shine, the belt should also have a similar finish. Black is an easy color to match, there is only one black. Brown however is a bit trickier; there are 20 different shades of brown. When trying to pick a belt to match your shoes, wear the shoes into the store. If you try to just wing it from memory, you are bound to be disappointed once you get home.
Image Killer #10
Have you ever had the feeling that you are underdressed for a specific event or occasion? We have all had this happen to us at one time or another. This is one of the most common blunders one can make.
Prior to attending any gathering or event, know what is expected. One good way is to look at your wife and what she is wearing. Is she in jeans and a T-shirt? If not, then this is a good indication that you shouldn’t be either. Remember, it is always better to be over dress as opposed to underdressed.
Remember to pay attention to those minor details, and you will have a killer image… rather than killing your image! alpha m. Image Consulting was launched back in 2006 by founder Aaron Marino. Aaron realized that there was a lack of resources and options for men to receive real world help and advice regarding their image, style and grooming. Our goal is to help the modern man look and feel the best that he can… every day of his life.