When it comes to dressing themselves, a lot of bros never move past the tried and trues that got them by in high school. That’s unfortunate, because dressing for both the year you live in and to avoid looking like a dweeb is not. Difficult. No one is asking you to put as much time into getting ready for a night at the bars as girls do. Consider what you’re going to wear for literally 3 seconds longer than it takes to grab a shirt off of a hanger and you might be surprised at how much you can stand out.
But about those high school trappings. Here’s a list of everything you were taught by MTV when you were 16 and the cast of Laguna Beach was desperately trying to avoid teen pregnancy. This is also a list of things to immediately cease doing this very moment because THIS IS NOT 2006 AND VICTORY IN IRAQ IS A REAL THING.
No undershirt ever for Christ’s sake
This was all the rage back when Rihanna only had like 4 tattoos. It has since gone completely out of style and make no mistake: you look like an idiot wearing an undershirt. I get that a lot of guys do this to avoid pit stains. In that case, wear a V-neck and button the shirt up high so no one can tell. But if you wear undershirts because you think this is just what guys do, please stop right now because this is why women are perpetually disappointed in men.
The exception: in the dead of winter and you live anywhere north of Mississippi. In that case, the undershirt better be a gray or black Under Armour shirt. Avoid white like the plague.
Get your shorts game right
Wearing shorts to a bar or club is only acceptable in the summer, but they had better be gray, black or some other inoffensive color like blue. Or very nice khakis. The second you graduate from college, you should throw away your rainbow of chubbies because post-grad women don’t want to feel like they’re getting hit on by a guy who never moved out of his frat house. But we are only talking about summer here. If it is any other season, never, ever ever wear shorts to a bar. And if you have like one pair of jeans that you wear everywhere, consider getting a pair of black jeans for bars and clubs.
If you still gel your hair, I’m sorry your mother never breastfed you
I get it. This is what people did in 2004, and you’re a guy and you see no point in changing. But please, for the love of all this is sacred—never step foot outside of your door again with gel in your hair. Even using gel effectively in the first place requires short hair, which is way out of style. Yeah, not everyone can rock shoulder length hair, but you should try to grow it out a little and then use any product a random hair stylist at Sport’s Clips will recommend. They have categories like wax, paste, puddy or “molding clay.” I honestly have no idea what the differences are, and it doesn’t matter. These are the new gels. They make your hair look good, not like you’re boy band just broke up.
As always, jewelry to an absolute minimum
I don’t know what happened in the mid to late 2000s when suddenly leather bracelets and necklaces on guys became the biggest deal. The only jewelry a guy should ever wear going out is a watch and maybe, maybe a necklace if it has some special meaning. You could also get away with one ring, but don’t push it. Any kind of bracelet or necklace, especially one that is made to look “tribal” but really you got it at Urban Outfitters, should be promptly thrown away.
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