Gentlemen, Dress Like You Want It!

by Magdalen O’Reilly

It’s no secret that women, overall, pay more attention to fashion than men. The male sex has become synonymous with being lackadaisical about their appearance. But this behavior can backfire when you’re trying to get laid — I mean trying to meet a nice lady. Or gentleman, no judgment. But fashion isn’t just about the newest name brands, or a specific style. Fashion is a statement of who you are, and who you are isn’t always reflected in current fashion trends. So here is a list of advice that can span all the avenues of fashion from 3-piece suits to punk. Spring is all about reinvention and renewal, so suck it up, fellas: you’re getting a makeover.

Old Clothes
That high school band t-shirt you’ve still got in the closet? Or that one that says, “I Only Listen To The Voices Inside My Head” that was hilarious when you were 17 years-old? It’s time to put them to rest. Look, gentlemen, I understand. Many of you don’t shop as frequently for clothing as women do. It’s not that you’re clinging to your high school memories like Velcro; you’ve just never seen a reason to throw a away a perfectly good shirt, right? Well not exactly. The problem is that you’re not a teenager anymore, and wearing these shirts can inadvertently make you look childish. Or worse, acquire the dreaded label “manchild”. Keep them in a box in the attic, or display them on the wall if the nostalgia is too much to bear, but get them out of your wardrobe!

Baggy Clothes
Lacey Moore, manager at The Alley, said that one of the most consistent problems she encounters is that most men don’t know what size clothes they wear. This is one that annoys many a girlfriend. Gentlemen, read closely, because I want you to really understand what I am about to write: You’re not that big. Whether the insecurity comes from because too thin or too large, that oversized t-shirt isn’t helping. A slim man in baggy clothes looks like a boy trying to wear his dad’s suit. And a larger man will only make himself look larger. I know the collective media has given you the impression that you all need to look like underwear models, but you would be shocked at what a properly fitted shirt can do for your figure.

Worn Clothes
The Shabby chic look is tough to pull off, and odds are you’re not doing it right anyway. There’s nothing wrong with looking casual, and indeed a relaxed look can be very attractive. However, overly worn clothes can give off the impression that you’re sloppy and uninterested in making a good impression. Your outfit is like your peacock feathers, your penguin pebble, your flaming red baboon butt. Clothing that’s full of holes or that’s stained can be a real turn off. If you want to be eco friendly, you can turn those old shirts into rags for your garage, but resist the urge to put them on in the morning.

Get a Belt
I originally thought this was because I was getting old, but as a matter of fact this annoyed me in high school as well. Fellas, get a belt. It is never attractive to have your pants sagging off the end of your butt. When you see an ad for Old Navy jeans, and the smoking hot model is wearing his jeans like this, it’s important to remember this distinction: that’s a sexy model, not a sexy pair of pants. Sagging pants have the unwanted effect of making you look very small in comparison to your clothes. You also come off shabby, and not in a ‘devil may care’ sort of way, but more like an “I just fell out of bed and don’t know where I am” sort of way. A nice rule of thumb is to belt your pants 2-3 inches below your navel, depending on how long your torso is. If you can feel air on your crack, we can see it.

Axe the AXE™ 
I don’t think there is anything so universally despised by every female I know. It’s the kind of fashion faux pas that can make or break a date: too much cologne. We appreciate your attempt to smell nice, we really do. It’s not even entirely your fault. The commercials for AXE Body Spray on television show the actor spraying an “X” on his chest in long, lingering sprays. It’s the kind of misleading advertising that makes me want punch their marketing team in the throat. But unlike this commercial fantasy that depicts women clinging to the delicious smelling gentleman, the reality is that too much AXE will send women running in the opposite direction. Our bodies give off natural pheromones which are integral to the act of physical attraction. Dousing yourself in cologne is like wearing a mask; your date can’t smell the real you! I generally advice against any cologne that comes in a spray can. If you like to wear a particular scent, use it directly out of your shower. Dab a small dot on your chest, the back of your neck; then run your fingers through your hair and call it good.

Before & After: At the downtown menswear shop, The Alley, Corvallis local Cory Maloy demonstrates the importance of key fashion tips. Maloy happily volunteered for this position and was not, at any point, nagged incessantly until he gave in. At least that’s not how I choose to remember it.

Following these few rules of thumb, regardless of your style, can help you put your best foot forward. Fashion should never be about changing who you are; it should help you express yourself and accentuate your best features. Also: looking good can boost your confidence, and that is the keystone of attraction. If you really want to know “what women want,” generally it’s just a little more effort. Take some time to go through your wardrobe and inspect what you’ve got. Let go of clothes that are too old, too worn, or no longer fit. When you’re replacing your old digs, remember it’s better to spend a little more money and get fewer high quality pieces then to buy a bunch of cheap junk. Good luck, gentlemen. You’re going to need it.