The Guys’ “Be Cool” Fashion Guide

by R. Carnavale | August 21st, 2013 | Men's Shopping

blazerDo you look cool or like a dork who’s been transplanted from another era? The expression, “the clothes make the man,” still rings true today. The very first impression you make on others will be largely determined by the clothes you wear as will your socioeconomic status. For men, looking “cool” means looking “classic” in tried and true styles and colors. Polo shirts, the preppy look, neutral colors, classic cuts, clothes that fit are cool. Think Jay Gatsby, Ralph Lauren, or Ronald Reagan. Loud, flashy, dated, tight fitting clothes and accessories are never cool unless you’re trying to dress up like a reincarnated Elvis for Halloween. The well dressed man is always “cool,” and his clothing makes him look confident and attractive.

Here are some tips to always looking “cool.”

Do wear

  • clothes that skims the body without being tight
  • high-tech fabrics
  • neutral colors like white, black, khaki, navy blue, brown, gray and olive
  • simple, low key outfits
  • ankle height or lower socks with shorts
  • accessories that have a function (suspenders, tie clip, watch)
  • shoes, a watchband, and a belt that match
  • no more than three accessories at a time
  • sneakers in neutral colors
  • the preppy look
  • horn-rimmed glasses or some other dated style
  • your shoe laces tied
  • tailored clothes
  • a high quality leather bag
  • clothes that fit your signature look
  • polo shirts
  • high-quality shoes
  • straight-legged pants
  • a classic-cut shirt
  • layers
  • loafers
  • single tone moccasins
  • clothing that people half your age wear
  • silk ties in dark or neutral colors like black, navy, grey, or rust
  • leather Oxford shoes
  • flat front chinos or corduroys
  • collared shirts to frame the neck
  • linen shirts
  • a classic single-breasted black tuxedo
  • a high-end white shirt
  • a classic watch with a stainless steel and gold band and white or silver watch face
  • clothing that says you’re for the occasion
  • business casual or formal for a job interview
  • clothes that look good on you, regardless of what’s in style
  • clothes that you’d be proud to be seen in on television
  • a tucked-in shirt

Don’t wear

  • a pastel shirt with black slacks
  • loud prints
  • bold colors
  • silk slacks
  • socks with sandals
  • raglan sleeves
  • over-sized hats
  • a baseball cap on backwards
  • dated cuts
  • dated styles
  • orthopedic looking shoes
  • tight fitting clothes
  • baggy clothes
  • cowboy boots
  • drugstore aviator glasses
  • big bling like big shiny watches and gold chains
  • washable silk
  • gladiator style sandals
  • knee high socks with shorts
  • 3/4 length sleeves
  • woven loafers
  • clothes that are inappropriate for the occasion (like blue jeans to a formal event)
  • stiff, flat, sprayed down hair
  • an inexpensive toupee
  • anything that says “Mafia,” “disco,” or “Vegas”
  • athletic clothing unless you’re actually exercising or participating in sports
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