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|"I am a guy that is sooo confused with what certain brand names are associated with. For example, I bought a sweatshirt, then went to school to find that it was a skater brand, and I am NOT a skater!!!. "
He says that looking good may even affect your grades.
"The guy in English that gets all the high grades, may not be smarter nor study harder than you, he may just know how to look smart to the teacher," according to Andy who runs AskAndyAboutClothes.com.
Here are a few of my favorite rules from Andy about fashion for guys:
- Buy quality and take good care of your clothes.
- Be trendy, but not a trend-worshiper.
- Find out what's in style so you're not wearing a fad that's over (like cargo pants, which are so out).
- Buy the classics: Jeans, khaki pants, Tshirts, sweatshirts, sweaters.
- Update your wardrobe with accessories
Andy understands that it's not always easy for a teen guy to know what's in or out. So he suggests that you watch how other guys put things together.
"Research magazines, TV, movies, rock groups, walk through department stores, and analyze what the 'in' kids are wearing to school."
He cautions: "But remember just because a new fashion trend is in a store or on a boy band doesn't make it right."
I agree! Just because N*Sync walks around sporting rhinestone-studded bandannas and cowboy hats doesn't mean you should.
Are you getting the hang of this fashion thing yet?
Here are my suggestions for making it easier:
You can compliment or contrast. Here's the lowdown:
- Complimentary colors are closer together in shades. Produces a more subtle look: Blue and green, khaki and gray, orange and red.
- Contrasting colors play off of each other. A bolder look: Black and white, navy and khaki, denim and red.
Choose either complimentary or contrasting colors (to avoid a just-rolled-outta-bed-and-threw-something-on look). Try these:
- Tee polo
- Tee oxford
- Tee sweater
- Tee polo sweater
- Tee polo oxford
- Tee tee.
- Your shoes and belt should be the same color. Black with black, brown with brown.
- A rugged necklace made of leather, shells, or big beads can really pull an outfit together.
- Use hats in small doses. Baseball caps can be totally out of place worn with jeans and a nice top. A newsboy cap can be pulled off by only the trendiest guys. If you insist on sporting a topper, try a stretchy knit cap (best for fall/winter) or a sporty visor (best for outdoors).
- Buy cool shades. Andy says the hottest shades feature lenses with flash mirroring and gradient colors like deep reds, oranges and gold ("Men in Black II").
- Experiment with styles. Urban; Prep; Sophisticated; Artsy; Retro; Mod; Punk; Surfer. Try to mix different looks.
- Be particular about the fit of pants - especially denim. Tapered leg (fitted at the ankle) is an absolute NO! Slightly loose-fitting in the leg with a bit of a boot-cut is always flattering.
- Avoid the head-to-toe baggy look -- it's just not flattering. T-shirts that reach to your knees will make your legs look two inches long (plus those extremely wide-leg jeans won't help!).
- Skip the athletic socks with non-athletic shoes. Doesn't work with loafers, oxfords, leather boots, and most importantly, Doc Marten-style leather sandals. Ever.
- Pass on head-to-toe logos. Mixing labels = good. Mixing over-the-top logos = tacky. When it comes to designer sigs, less is always more.
You can read more about men's clothes and ask Andy Gilchrist questions at AskAndyAboutClothes.com plus you can purchase Andy's book about Men's Clothing on an easy-to-use CD-ROM.
All photos copyright © 2002 Cynthia Nellis