We all have them – those evil pieces of clothing that take up heavenly space in our wardrobe. And for certain reasons, have control over us.
Some of these cupboard sins are sentimental (that senior year jersey signed by your crazy ex), while some are bound to us due to the fact that they costed a lot way back in the eighties or nineties (D&G patchwork jeans, anyone).
For most, however, we hang on to the the things we wore at the age of our social ‘prime; our most attractive years. And, depending on how old you are, this could be going back a decade or even more. But times change and your wardrobe must follow suit. A friendly reminder: the year is 2018 – not ’05, or ’95 and please, definitely not ’85.
But take courage gentlemen. For we shall lead you straight to the burning pit of fire and purge you of your sins – one horrible piece of clothing at a time.
Long Sleeve T-shirt With T-Shirt Layering
2005 came and went, sk8tr boi. It’s time to do yourself a favour and either wear a jacket or a tee – not both. The look was made famous in the early 2000s during the height of the emo phase where guys would normally rock a white long sleeve and layer it with their finest Von Dutch tee. The combo could vary but was usually accustomed with an order to “move along you little hoodlums,” by the local shopping centre security guard.
Bright Patterned Bow Ties
Okay, Peewee Herman. You’re not cute. You’re not a renegade in the fashion world. You’re that trying-to-be-funny guy who stands out way too much at weddings . Heck if you had it your way, you’d remove the bride’s garter yourself. Be classy, not a clown. Go for subtle bow tie colours like black, brown, navy, peach, black or white with minimalist patterns which exudes a bit more class and style.
Hooded Leather Jackets
Sure, Justin Timberlake rocked it as did every other cool guy trying to break into the entertainment industry back in the early 2000s, but it’s now time to retire old faithful who accompanied you into a many nightclubs and bars that played ‘Yeah’ by Usher on repeat. Go for a timeless leather jacket like the ones found in our guide here.
Neon Polo Shirts
The rave ended almost two decades ago. The only men who are allowed to rock neon polos are tradesmen or council workers. Beyond that the shirt should be incinerated or banished to the very back of your wardrobe, saved for the odd 90s throwback party costume. In the latter’s case, don’t forget to pop yo’ collar.
Oversized Belt Buckle
It’s amazing to see that even till this day, the oversized and overbranded belt buckle is still doing the rounds. Are you trying to draw attention to your crotch? Or just trying to imply that you’re a baller because you’ve branded your pubic region and go to motivational business seminars? Nonetheless it’s tacky as hell and men need to trade up for a slim belt or weaved pattern that doesn’t draw irks of horror from the public.
Blazers With Coloured Piping
Definitely not one of our best blazers for men, the colour-piped blazer is a tacky version of the brilliantly versatile, smart casual jacket. Coloured piping started in the beginning days, when the blazer was worn by row teams at Cambridge University in 1825. In modern times, the multi-coloured pipes that form the ribbed edges of lapels, pockets and hems, should be left to school uniforms and not star as an accessory when on a date or at your favourite bar.
And if you’re holding onto the piped blazer on the off-chance you may need it for dress-ups at that next nautical-themed party – chuck the atrocious blazer out, anyway. The solution? Go dressed as a pirate – they’re a far more stylish alternative to looking like a wanky sailor.
#2 Square-Toe Shoes
Square-toe shoes, like most of the extremely hideous fashion looks of today – were big in the nineties. Unlike the urban street-style making a comeback this season on sneakers, all formal shoes from the decade of Shaquille O’Neil and Friends, were bad. And they won’t be returning to a runway any time soon.
Hailed by some as the ‘PT Cruiser’ of shoes, the square toe shoe garnered a sad, niche following back then, pioneered by tasteless men who thought they actually looked good wearing the stumpy shoe. And like a pest, the shoe still shows its vermin face from time to time. The solution? Go for any other of these incredible dress shoe styles on offer: wingtips, brogues, derbies, oxfords and monks. They’re your new shoe friends now.
You know a fad’s on a downward spiral when Hungry Jack’s starts getting in on the act, handing out the goods (made cool by Mission Impossible’s Tom Cruise) with their Whopper value meals.
And that’s exactly what happened to the wrap-around sunglasses in the nineties. And they should have died then and there. Though we recognise their practicalities (a snug fit to the face makes them useful cycling and running eye protectors) outside of any arena that breaks a sweat, these sports-only sunnies should never form part of your fashion repertoire. Mission Impossible? We don’t think so. Instead, try other classics: wayfarers, aviators and round-lense.
Stringer & Racerback Singlets
Like the wrap-around sunnies, the racerback singlet is only permissible in the gym or while pounding the pavement (and no, we don’t mean the pavement of Stereosonic). Period. Even then, we’re more inclined to sport a regular running-tank or sweat wicking jacket over shorts, skins and fluoro Nikes. This singlet is awkward for all parties involved.
Its string-like straps only encourage the nipple slip meaning and as the wearer, you’ll constantly be ‘covering’ and ‘adjusting’ yourself – not confident at all unless you’re inclined to show some nipple. Finally, people in your bare-all presence will have nowhere to look. Have mercy and read our guide on how to rock singlets.
Do we really have to address this? Unfortunately, yes. Mr. hooded tank is best friends with Mr. racerback singlet (we’ve seen them exchanging protein shake recipes while prepping at gym as they “get shredded for Stereo”). Hoods weren’t designed for tees, let alone singlets.
If the weather requires a hood to pop-up against the wind and rain, then wearing a tank in these elements is neither appropriate, nor called-for. Why the incessant need to show arms? A little bit of humility and down-play of that gym-bod goes a long way. With style, confidence is key. But don’t be cringe-worthily cocky about your looks.
White Dress Shoes
White does not necessarily purify when it comes to style sins. So don’t wash your dress shoes in white. It adds a somewhat comic-look (think clowns and Beetlejuice) to the well-structured, organic appeal of a beautifully crafted leather shoe. Instead, opt for more earthy, neutral colours for your Sunday best; brown and black being the best, and obvious choice.
For a little more fun, tan (from dark to light) and burgundy are sophisticated tones to paint your oxford, derby or brogue. Finally, keep your whites (stark always) for sneakers and plimsolls – the dapper summers on yachts await.