Dissecting Men’s Style

My dear male readers, I am sorry if you have felt neglected! I am sorry if all the pink is getting to you! I resolve to write more about men’s style, from this day forth! Let me appease you with this (soon to be regular) feature — a dissection of men’s street style. Oh, & of course, feedback is always welcome!

Let’s focus on the guy on the left, since I think he looks the best. His outfit is comprised of very simple components — a flannel shirt, jeans, a belt & a watch. It sounds like the duds of your average lumberjack, but this guy has put it all together with a slight twist & ends up looking cool & stylish. What has he done? First of all, he’s slicked back his hair in a very cool greaser/rockabilly style. There’s nothing fancy going on, it’s probably just pomade & a comb. Secondly, he’s rolled up his sleeves, & it looks fantastic. So many men underestimate how sexy a defined forearm is. Thirdly, & in a very unusual turn of events, one side of his shirt is untucked. Is it deliberate? Did it just happen? Who knows? But it looks great. It makes him look a bit unpredictable, which is quite appealing really…

Men's styleThanks to FaceHunter

Here’s a hard fact of life: shorts can look good on men. (See here for another example.) Stop claiming that the world would be better off without glimpsing your gams, & take a chance! This guy’s outfit works because he’s not showing too much skin. His outfit is, again, pretty simple — a long-sleeved black t-shirt, shorts, a belt, sandals — & again, it’s the small touches that make this work. His sleeves are pushed up a little bit. The t-shirt is tucked into his shorts, which makes it look sleeker. The belt is unexpected & it gives a nice little detail in the midst of all that black. & then! Those lovely sandals! Swoon. I love that they are so unusual.

Men's styleThanks to FaceHunter

This guy knows his assets — long, skinny legs & great hair — & is working them to his advantage. Notice that they are the only solid black things, everything else is patterned or coloured, so the black really draws your eye in. He’s matched his sunglasses with his bag (awesome!) & his shirt with his sneakers. If all components were green or orange, he might look a bit matchy-matchy, but since he’s using a couple of different colours, it really works well.

Scott (of The Sartorialist) said something about this guy looking like an “old-time movie star on vacation”, & he’s absolutely right. His style is so consummately relaxing-summer-holiday. His outfit is easy on the eye but actually quite unusual. Why? How? First of all, he has brilliant hair. It’s gently waved, which makes him look chilled out but still stylish — this can be hard to pull off. His outfit is all neutral colours, which is a rare thing. Most people would be tempted to throw on dark jeans or a jacket to break it up, & sometimes this contrast can be nice, but I’m glad he didn’t! The charcoal stripe through the shirt is echoed in his pocket square, something which normally looks so stuffy, but in combination with rolled sleeves, light trousers & the absence of socks, he looks perfectly debonair & fresh. CHARMED, I’m sure!

It takes a brave man to don a cardigan — & a vintage one at that! This (cuuuute) guy’s outfit works because of the proportions. Normally a cardigan with pants — unless they were super-tight ones — would look a bit dowdy, a bit Mr Rogers. He has deftly escaped this fate by pairing it with denim shorts, which shows his legs & that incredible sock/shoe combination. He’s kept his palette quite clean — the white shirt is quite luminous & the dark shorts ensure your eye isn’t too distracted. I absolutely love the lines around the socks, it’s such a brave (but perfect) choice. I also think he might have looked a bit childish without the glasses — but they top it off wonderfully.

Men's styleThanks to MTL Street

I am in LOVE. Such an adorable outfit. He’s keep his silhouette very sleek — notice that the singlet, the shorts & the hat are about the same width across his body. His singlet is tucked in, which makes him look tidy. The stripes around his hat match the rest of his outfit PERFECTLY. & best of all, his shoes are neutral. It would have been tempting to match them to the rest of the ensemble, but then he might have been erring on the side of “my mother dressed me”. Fabulous. I also like that we can’t see his eyes, that is totally hot.

Lessons to take home:
Capitalise on your best features. Find out what they are & then WORK them, relentlessly! If you’re not sure what your best features are, ask your friends!
Roll up your sleeves. People who roll up their sleeves look they’ve been working hard at something, like they’re driven & passionate. Even if you’re not, it’s a fabulous illusion to perpetuate! (I am not the only woman who finds this attractive!)
Think about proportion. Wear long sleeves with shorts, or jeans with bare arms. Don’t cover it all up (or show it all off) if you can help it — mix it up, make things a little unexpected.
If most people would leave the shirt untucked, tuck it in. If most people would tuck it in, leave it out. Be different!