Do You Trim?
OK, guys, this is for you. All this chick “for her” stuff on clothes, colors and wardrobes coming out and you were probably praising God you were spared. Well, not so fast. Having a presentable wardrobe and knowing how to pick and choose what suits you best applies to guys as well.
So let’s look at your wardrobe basics.
So You Want To Dress Better
Yes, women do recognize a man who dresses well—you better believe it. They can pick that guy out of the crowd easily. Not because he’s necessarily dressed expensively, but because he’s dressed well and looks neat. If a man cares about the way he looks, it is obvious to other people that he’s got something going for himself, and truth be told, he’ll likely appear to be a better date as well.
(By the way, this article is for beginners who want some simple solutions for improving their general appearance—it’s not meant to turn you into a trendy hipster overnight.)
Before you even begin looking at your wardrobe, you first have to be conscious of some basic grooming. Yes, we know you shower on a daily basis and wear clean clothes, but the following items are notoriously (and wrongly) ignored by men: Nails, hair, eyebrows, and cologne.
Nails: People notice your hands—they are a part of how you express yourself when you are communicating, so you need to take care of them. Here are a few tips on how to keep your nails looking nice:
If you are a nail biter, stop immediately. It is unattractive to see ragged fingernails that have been chewed down.
On the other hand (pun alert), long fingernails on men are equally disturbing. So it’s important to keep them short enough so that you don’t hurt people during handshakes, simple affection or sex.
Invest in a pair of fingernail clippers and a fingernail file. Pay attention to cuticles and hangnails.
Use hand lotion regularly so that your hands are not dry and scratchy.
Toenails are also important. Whether the ladies are seeing your feet on the beach or in bed, nasty toenails are a turnoff. Keep them trimmed and clean.
Hair: Hair is easy: get haircuts regularly, and make sure you comb it before you leave your house. Men often don’t get haircuts frequently enough, which contributes to an overall sloppy look. So after you get one, ask your cutter when you should come in next, and make an appointment. (Our recommendation is once every five weeks.) If you like the unkempt rock star look, keep the length to a minimum and make sure your hair isn’t greasy. At the other extreme, the military crew cut doesn’t always look good or fashionable (unless, of course, you are in the military). But if you like that cut just be sure it is appropriate and suits you.
For men who use styling products in their hair, they often fall victim to SFS, or Shiny Forehead Syndrome. This is when the styling product you are using in your hair gets on your forehead leaving a shiny film. The solution is simple. Wash your forehead after you are finished styling your hair.
Eyebrows: Is shaping your eyebrows just for women? Nope. There are many men out there who suffer from the infamous unibrow—when two eyebrows appear as one because of a continuous bridge of hair. If this sounds a little too familiar, then it’s time for you to tame those babies. There are two ways to alleviate this problem:
You can either have a professional or lady friend take care of them for you, or you can pluck them yourself. We don’t advocate this method, but if you are afraid of salons, it’s better than nothing. Just be sure to pluck the middle (that is, any hairs growing on your nose bridge). Do not pluck further out than the point where the inside corner of your eye begins.
Whatever you do, you must not—we repeat, MUST NOT—shave your eyebrows. Not only will the hair grow back faster and thicker, it will also be pretty obvious that you took a razor to them. Plucking is the only way to go.
And since we’re on the topic of facial hair, if your eyebrows need a trim, don’t be afraid to do so. Again, you could have them taken care of professionally or you can solicit the help of a friend who would be willing to help and who you would trust to do a tidy job. If you’re going to do it yourself, the best approach is to comb the eyebrow hair up and trim along the upper line of your eyebrow.
Cologne: Be careful when selecting and applying cologne. Here are our tips:
Don’t wear cheap colognes; it’s worth investing in a quality one.
Ask your sister or a girlfriend [or wife] to help you choose.
Don’t rely on what smells good on a friend; different colognes smell different on different people. So test a small amount on your forearm, give it a minute to seep in, and then smell it.
The most common error: don’t put too much on. You don’t want your scent to arrive in a room before you do. (Editor: More on how to find the right cologne that suits you, following soon.)
2. Clean Out Your Closet
If you have a friend (male or female) who has a good sense of fashion, have him/her help you go through your closet and toss out anything that is outdated and/or objectionable. Of course, you can keep that trusty old flannel shirt for sentiment’s sake, but refrain from wearing it out in public.
A word about fit: One of the biggest mistakes men make is wearing clothes that don’t fit properly. From casual wear to suits, clothes that are too tight or too baggy are a big no no.
Even if you can bounce a quarter off of your stomach, wearing clothes that are too tight or small just looks tacky. Some men think that if they wear pants that are too small, it’ll make them look slimmer. That is not true. So use the two-finger test: if you can’t easily stick two fingers (sideways) into the waist of your pants, they’re too tight.
And unless you’re an extra in a Puff Daddy music video, wearing big, baggy clothes looks sloppy and gives the impression that you don’t care about your appearance. You know your clothes are too baggy when they continually get caught on doorknobs as you’re passing by. You should never have to continually hike your pants up throughout the day. Try to find a place that will do alterations, or have a lady friend help.
But before going any further on the wardrobe, let’s have a quick look at your skin type and the colors that might best suit you.
Choosing Good Clothing Colors
Trying to find a color that works for your skin tone isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it’s doable enough. First, you have to find out what skin tone you are. Yes, this will actually help you find the right colors for you.
To start, look at the underside of your arm. Do the veins appear blue or green? If they are blue, you are a cool tone. If they are green, you are a warm tone.
Cool Tones – These skin colors look best in primary colors. Look for bright shirts in teal, purple or Kelly green. You can get away with bold color choices. What colors do you associate with Winter and Summer? This is your jumping off point for color choices.
Warm Tones – These skin colors need earth tones. Neutral colors or pale primary colors work best for you. Think of the seasons Spring and Autumn to help you pick the right colors.
Stuck in the Middle – If you have a skin tone that’s really neither pale nor sallow, you can get away with mixing up your warm and cool tones. Pair bright bold colors with a more subtle earth tone to capitalize on your versatility. For example, a bright blue shirt will work well with a pair of drab khakis.
Fair Skin – If you are a blond or a redhead, you need to stick with dark colors. Your pale skin won’t look good when paired with white. Go with navy, blues, basic black or a sage green.
Sallow Skin – If your skin has yellow or green undertones, you should avoid wearing those colors. Go with whites, blues and black.
Darker Skin – Most colors should work for you. Stay away from dark browns or dull colors; they won’t accent your color.
To be continued…