Yatan Ahluwalia and Jojo clear common misconceptions that men have about dressing, accessories that they can use and personal grooming...
Fiction: Real men don’t wear pink
Fact: A guy can wear any colour he wants to because colours, at least on clothes, do not have a masculine or feminine side as we are made to believe. Having said that, it is perfectly safe (even for the most macho man) to wear pink shirts, T-shirts or ties. We, however, suggest that you avoid wearing pink jeans, trousers or suits – not because they look better on women but because they just don’t work as clothing items for men. The rule with wearing colour, even pink, is to wear it with confidence.
Fiction: Jackets should be long
Fact: Jackets, casual or formal, should always end at or above the hip and never any lower. Why? Short jackets allow better movement, lend you a better posture and make you look both taller and slimmer all at once – too many reasons for you not to wear jackets that are longer than they should be.
Fiction: The shirt & tie must contrast
Fact: If we lived in the ’80s, we could have agreed but we are almost 30 years in the future and therefore beg to differ. Wearing tone on tone shirts and ties is the epitome of modern minimalism and looks sleek and suave on men who wear suits, especially to work. We suggest wearing a grey suit with a matching grey shirt and tie (that could be just a few shades lighter or darker than the shirt). This is not to look futuristic but just to stay updated with the times.
Fiction: White makes you look darker
Fact: Contrary to what you may have heard, wearing white, especially if your skin tone is dark, makes you look a lot brighter and crisper than you may actually be. Add to that the fact that white, in its purest form, looks extremely sensual on dark men and can also make you look a lot fuller if you have a lean and thin body frame. Not convinced? Refer to our back issue on The Dark Side.
Fiction: No jeans if you are over 30
Fact: Jeans transcend all barriers, age included. It is therefore perfectly okay for you to wear jeans whatever your age: 30, 40, 50 or 60. We think the naysayers refer to the type of jeans here: yes, low hangers, boot cut, hipsters, textured and embellished are a strict no-no, not because you are halfway over the hill but more because they look terrible on most men (some younger boys just might be able to get away with them).
Fiction: Prints = A larger you
Fact: Not true at all – only large prints make you look larger. The best thing you can do as a guy is either stay away from prints totally or wear prints that are small, subtle and discreet. Remember, stripes, checks and all other geometric and non geometric patterns are prints too. Therefore, the more you downplay these, the better you are likely to look and feel. Wear prints on T-shirts, shirts and jackets but never on your lowers.
Fiction: A T-shirt and Suit? Never
Fact: There is no such rule – if you are wearing a casual or semi-formal suit, you can easily substitute the shirt with a T-shirt. We however suggest you wear a round neck full sleeve T-shirt instead of those that have either a V-neck, buttons, cut or short sleeves. Here is where you can contrast colours: by wearing lighter or brighter T-shirts under dark-coloured jackets.
Fiction: Shirts must never be left out
Fact: While this holds true for formal or dress shirts, you can easily keep casual shirts out. Ensure your casual shirt is cut in such a way that it can be worn out of your trousers (look out for slits on either side) and that the shirt is not too long either. It should end just above the hip. As a general principal, half sleeve shirts are a lot more acceptable left out than those that have full or long sleeves. Ditto for golf and T-shirts.
Fiction: Men don’t wear shorts
Fact: We wonder why – and fail to find any reasoning for this one. In our opinion, well-developed legs, calves and trimmed hair are the only prerequisites to wearing shorts; not the age of the wearer. In fact, mature and older men look (and feel) a lot better and comfortable in shorts – be they the short running kind or the casual knee length ones. Please feel free to wear shorts if you want to.
Fiction: Men don’t wear G-Strings
Fact: Men do and more and more of us have realised that G-strings can be both comfortable and convenient. They are especially useful when worn under skin-tight trousers and jeans – especially if they are white or light in colour. However, unlike with women – where showing the G-string band is considered sensual – it is best to keep your pair tucked neatly into, or hidden under, your lowers.
False: Curly hair looks bad
True: No, it does not. Curly or wavy hair adds both character and texture and can be styled in many different ways to look good. Also, the women seem to love it.
False: Using gel leads to hair fall
True: Not removing gel, oil or any styling product from your hair on a daily basis, lack of nutrition, genetics and increased consumption of salt and certain medications cause hair fall. Good quality gel has nothing to do with it.
False: Some of us don’t sweat
True: We all sweat – some less than the others. Drinking enough water (over three litres a day) and good personal hygiene help us control the amount we sweat or how strong the odour from it is.
False: Dark men don’t need sunscreen or skin care
True: If exposed to long hours in the sun, we all need protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun whatever our skin colour may be. All men need skin care products, however young, old or fair they may be.
False: Colour can only be used to conceal grey hair
True: While this is one major reason to use it – colour can be used creatively by a good stylist to highlight, accentuate or match your skin tone, features and overall look and image.
Myth: Wearing earrings indicates your sexual preferences
Reality: In an age when we have jewellery lines for men endorsed by very masculine sportsmen and actors, and where every third guy is pierced somewhere on his body, this does not hold true. Men who wear a single stud or earring actually end up looking a lot tougher than those who don’t.
Myth: Shoes should match trousers
Reality: Shoes should match the socks and belt you wear and never the colour of your trousers. For instance, you don’t have to wear white shoes with white trousers since black and tan look a lot better.
Myth: The larger the watch the better
Reality: Not really. Even slim and flat watches can be just as ‘loaded’ as their larger counterparts. They also look a lot sleeker and say a lot more about the subtle (non-flashy) style sensibilities of the wearer.
Myth: Only schoolboys carry shoulder bags
Reality: It is practical and easy for a grown up man like a business traveller to move around with a shoulder bag that conveniently fits all his gadgets and accessories since they can be just as heavy, if not heavier, than school books.
Myth: Sneakers & sports shoes must always look worn out
Reality: Dirty shoes don’t look good on anyone. Whatever type or style of footwear you choose to wear, they should always look clean and well maintained – especially the sole and laces. Dirty shoes put off most women.