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Image Killers | Men's Style Details

alpha_m_image_consultingEver 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 are… 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 you need to spend hours in your closet or primping in the mirror, but I am saying you need to understand and correct some of the basic image mistakes 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 an attempt to be fashionable and cool is dressing younger than he is.  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 end up looking like you’re lost in time.

The Solution:
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 is 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 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 or too small for them.  A common misconception is larger men should buy larger shirts to minimize your weight.  This couldn’t be further from the truth. What happens is in an attempt to camouflage your weight, you make yourself look heavier and larger than you are.  On the flip side, some of you buy clothes that are too small.  Just because you can get the pants buttoned doesn’t mean they fit.  Stuffing yourself into clothing is not a good look.

The Solution:
If you currently buy shirts that are very loose fitting, go down a size.  You will be amazed at the amount of compliments you’ll receive, and inquiries asking if you have lost weight.  With pants make sure 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 and look better!

Image Killer #3 Pleated/Cuffed Pants

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 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 gives you the appearance of being shorter than you are.

The Solution
Try on a nice pair of flat front, non-cuffed pants.  You will be amazed at how much thinner and taller you 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.

The Solution
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, not all pants work with all shoes because shoes have various sole and heel heights, which affect the pant length.  Also, if you wear boots, you may need a slightly longer pant than 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 your foot, creating a sloppy appearance.

The Solution
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 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 there are a few different cuts or styles to choose from.  Look for straight leg or 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 outdated.  If you are in the tropics or on a cruise… good for you and wear the shirts!

The Solution
Choose shirts that are a solid color or a small pattern.  Don’t buy something you think is “cute” or “funny”.  You won’t look cute, but you will look funny!

Image Killer #7 Bad Shoes

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 thing of the style past.  They were cool a few years ago, but they are now taking a back seat to a sleeker, more stream lined shape and trend.  We should also include shoes that are overly worn or scuffed.

The Solution
Take care of your shoes.  Once a month, take 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 properly 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 themselves, 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.

The Solution
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 attire.

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.

The Solution
Dress shoes require a dress belt.  This means 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 Inappropriate Dress

Have you ever had the feeling 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.

The Solution
Prior to attending any gathering or event, know what is expected.  One good way is to see what your wife is wearing.  Is she in jeans and a T-shirt?  If not, then this is a good indication you shouldn’t be either.  Remember, it is always better to be overdressed as opposed to underdressed.

Remember to pay attention to 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 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 he can… everyday of his life.

by Aaron Marino


Past Topics

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The modern man has a lot on his plate.  The pressure to be good at everything can seem daunting and overwhelming.  As if having a good job and raising well adjusted children isn’t tough enough, they then add emotionally stable, good listener and sensitive to their expectations. Well, time to add one more iron to the fire guys… the modern man also needs to be fashionable and well groomed!  GRead More»
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