Image by: mhatfield09
By Phillip K. Issa
Men walk a fine line when it comes to fashion and style. Look too much like a male model and you’re labeled a “metrosexual” – you know, a heterosexual male with all the fashion sense of a homosexual (if you didn’t notice, gay men can be quite stylish). Or walk around in flip-flops, jeans shorts and a Jimmy Buffett t-shirt and you’ll be dialed in as a schlep.
Neither one of those is where you want to be, for sure. The secret is this: You’ve got to fly ever-so-close to the surface of the sun without getting burned.
But how do you know when you are too close to the big ball of metro fashion heat? Of course in the business world, the tailored suit is king. No radical colors or cuts needed – business is business, after all. So there’s no mystery there.
But what about during those off-the-clock hours? This is where knowing your place in the fashion world will go a long way to minimizing the metrosexual tag being applied to you.
With a few bits of knowledge you can keep from making a fashion mistake and stay on the more manly side of the style equation.
Don’t Be A Fashion Guinea Pig
In business, be the king, the taste maker. But when it comes to fashion, you want to follow the style trends, but not be the first one dining at Michael’s to try out that “hot” new look. You want to see which styles stick and which ones fade away.
Forget about David Bowie runway chic – you want time-tested status wear that is modern, stylish and befitting a man of your stature. Let others try the untested looks … and pay the price.
Don’t Go For Crazy Colors
Strong color choices are a good way to avoid being labelled a metrosexual. If your gut is telling you that a certain shirt is too much – like that peach button-up monstrosity that currently takes up space in your closet – it probably is. You’ve got to think other guys make the same rapid assessment of your wardrobe using the same parameters as you do, so why push it?
Classic colors are a safe choice. Metros take fashion risks, you don’t.
Ease Up On The Skin-Tight Shirts, Fellas
It’s a fact that fitted t-shirts, while flattering as hell to a well-built man, are a sure-fire way to make the ranks of the metrosexual (sorry Daniel Craig). Women will certainly think you’re gay if your shirt looks almost too small for you. I have been to events with hundreds of gay guys and they all rock the too-tight t-shirt or pullover. They work out a lot and want to show off that body.
You too can show off your body, but don’t be so obvious about it. Women have learned to look at the belly and at other tell-tale signs of flab – there’s no need to over-advertise your physique. Be a fit pop-up informational, not a walking billboard for bodybuilding. Non-gay men can be turned off by the spandex-like nature of your clothing, so keep it loose. But not too loose, rap fans.
Dodge The Euro Looks
Does that shirt or jacket scream European fashion house? Then forget it. Metrosexuals thrive on Euro-culture, eager to replicate those looks from Milan, Berlin and Paris. Let them have it. You want American casual and non-suit business attire that screams success, not fresh French designs that yell “fire” in a crowded theater.