Every once in a while I’m going to dip into the Your Sweet Bippy archives to bring you some of my most popular posts from the past, edited very slightly. Enjoy!
This is the first ever blog post I wrote. The quality isn’t the best, I’m sure, but I think the vast majority of these rules still hold true, even if it is from five years ago.
I know you hate to ask for help. That’s why I am just offering out of the goodness of my heart.
- If you have to ask, you can’t get away with it.
- Natural fibres, lads.
a) Unless you want to sweat like pork wrapped in plastic, wear something that breathes.
b) Poly-cotton blends are fine, as long as the polyester component does not exceed 20%.
c) Silk, linen, wool and cotton are all good. You can even get away with hemp as long as it is just one piece and never worn with sandals. (More on sandals later.)
d) As a rule of thumb, avoid any fabrics that end in -ster, -on, -ite, etc. You can usually tell by the way it feels on the rack, but that may be a bit advanced for you. This means you must learn to read labels. Ask for help if you are unclear how.
- On hats:
a) Baseball caps are only excusable if you are playing baseball.
b) In general, hats are a bit of an affectation which can only be worn by only the most confident of men. Having said that, a snappy fedora makes a suit and overcoat that much sexier. Do note, however, if you are going to start wearing a fedora, you have to start wearing a fedora. Any affectation (hats, watch chains, bow ties), must be done whole hog. Or else you’ll just look like a douchebag when you do wear it.
c) Cowboy hats are another thing altogether. As a proud owner of a cowboy hat (from Lamley’s Western Wear, I might add), I do love them, however I hate their ubiquity. Basically at this point, boys, the only person it looks good on is your girlfriend. And she looks freakin’ adorable.
- Once you hit 30, if you are leaving your house your shirt must have a collar.
a) There is no excuse for not doing it, and this rule is unbreakable.
b) Ways in which this can be achieved with the same comfort level as a T-shirt are the short-sleeved collared dress shirt (undershirt optional, although if you have copious amounts of chest hair you should know better than to go without one), and the polo shirt (plain or with a small pocket, please – company logos or any dumb shit written on them is not allowed).
c) Inexcusable collared shirts include bowling shirts (unless they are vintage cotton) and anything with large prints of dragons and/or flames.
d) I don’t include this rule simply because I, personally, am partial to collared shirts on men (which I am). Here’s the reasoning – once you hit 30, your metabolism is going to start slowing down. Way down. Which means, like it or not, you are going to start putting on weight, causing your face to look rounder. A crew-neck T-shirt is only going to accentuate that fact. A collared shirt is going to elongate your neck, and make your face look less round. Whether they know it or not, this is one of the reasons ladies go crazy for a man in uniform. (Also, power and authority, but that’s for another post.)
- Unless you are purchasing a T-shirt at a show (which you will then only wear at home), your clothing should not have anything printed on it.
a) Exceptions to this rule are DIY shirts which you have done yourself. Or maybe that your girlfriend or a designer friend made.
b) Avoid shirts, jackets, jeans, etc. with asymmetrical, incoherent words and intricate designs printed on them. You look dumb. The only people who can get away with those things are indie rock stars and independently wealthy under-30 computer programmers (screen printed blazers and asymmetrical shirts, respectively).
- Please, please, please stop wearing shorts anywhere but the beach. Particularly awful are the super-long jams which are basically short pants. There isn’t a flood coming. If you wear natural fibre pants you might be hot but at least the fabric will breathe. Never underestimate the wonder that is linen pants in the summer.
- Regarding sandals, unless you are on the beach I absolutely do not want to see your toes. Period. Footwear is a personal preference, but there are a few things which are forbidden.
a) Trainers with jeans – Jerry Seinfeld and the early 1990s killed this.
b) Docs – unless you are working on a dock or on a slippery fast-food restaurant floor, avoid these like the plague, they are uglier than you can even imagine.
c) Buy shoes for comfort if you must, but since you probably only own two or maybe three pairs of shoes, make sure they aren’t so trendy that you are going to hate them in six months.
d) Don’t be afraid to pay for quality.
- Are you skiing? No? Then take the damn ski jacket off.
a) A wool pea coat or car coat is amazingly cute on the weekends.
b) For work, a long (mid-shin) wool/cashmere coat is perfect.
c) If it is bitterly cold, I will concede to a parka. A vintage one with a fur-trimmed hood is good.
d) Jackets in nylon or polyester are best avoided, but if you must, have it in a shorter style for spring or fall.
- It matters what you put under your new pants.
a) No more bikini / thong underwear, please.
b)Boxer briefs or regular boxer shorts.
c) Don’t make me gag or think of Woody Allen when you take your pants off.
d) Always take off your socks before your pants. (See above.)
- Now that you have fancy-pants new clothes, follow their care instructions. The first time you shrink a cashmere sweater or your clothes bleed in the washing machine, you will cry, I don’t care how macho you might think you are. Check marthastewart.com for clothing care information, if you need to. But care for your clothes and they will care for you for years to come.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. I have met some lads who look great in a porkpie hat or sandals. But in general, that requires a lot of confidence which you may not possess, as illustrated by the fact that you have read this far. Remember, I may be a fashist*, but I have your best interests at heart.
*Fashist: fashion fascist.
What do you think, readers? Are these rules still relevant? Are there new ones that need to be added? Have at it in the comments!