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By Suet Lee and Ryan Cornell
On the surface, it seems like all men dress the same: T-shirts, jeans, hoodies, ball caps. With this simple mixing and matching, you might be asking yourself, How could men’s fashion ever go wrong?
Well, it can go wrong and it often does—but it takes a badly dressed poindexter moment to know what not to wear.
Last Saturday, we staked out the Ninth Street Starbucks for two hours during the lunch rush. What we discovered are some fashion violations that would give the editors at GQ and The Sartorialist a conniption.
Here are our results. We’ll show you what works and what qualifies as a style misdemeanor in 38 states.
Too Much Raspberry
Style Do: A pop of raspberry can do wonders for your outfit. The color has been spotted in a bevy of street fashion snapshots and is a great complement to almost anything remotely wearable. Raspberry scarves, ties, hats, socks and sweaters can razz-ma-tazz even the most blustery of days.
The secret is to only wear one article of raspberry clothing. Go overboard off the raspberry ship and you run the risk of turning into a reddened version of Violet Beauregarde.
Style Don’t: Unless you hope to entertain wild fantasies of being puréed into a jam and spread thinly onto a saltine cracker (not that there’s anything wrong with that), we would suggest dedicating less than 30 percent of your outfit to the fruity shade. The higher the percentage, the more overwhelming you appear, and with that, more committed counts of fashion terrorism. Editor’s Note: Rule doesn’t apply to turtleneck dresses.
Style Do: Audiences watching Avatar or Titanic 3D look great in 3D glasses…in the dark. Besides this, there is no conceivable reason other than a roundabout form of birth control to bring them outside the cineplex.
Style Don’t: Apparently this trend is popular with the hipsters, which should give readers an added warning not to experiment with this dangerous fashion statement at home (Personal Disclaimer: Somebody once told me that I could be confused for a hipster. It was the worst insult I’d received in the last 12 years and I cried myself to sleep that night). Wearing those “Real 3D” brand glasses in public and knocking out the lenses equals a knockout to common sense, logic and humanity in general.
Question: Isn’t the world around us already in 3D?
There are really only two reasons to wear glasses: your eyes suck at seeing things or an Elvis Costello costume for Halloween is in the works. Other than that, you’re a pseudo-indie kid with a thinly veiled cry out for help.
Style Do: Wear clothes that aren’t literal billboards for designers. Who are you trying to attract anyway? The people who need 3D glasses to see?
Style Don’t: There’s a problem with America; we’re becoming a nation of NASCAR drivers. I don’t mean that our driving has become overly aggressive —though that’s an issue for another blog post—but we feel that wearing sponsorships and brands is a mark of honor. Rather, it’s a mark of being a sucker for the corporate culture. Call it what you will: trickled-down capitalism for the masses, free advertising or an easy-to-spot idiot signal.
Why would someone shell out the big bucks for a T-shirt with “Ed Hardy,” “Armani Exchange,” “DKNY,” or even “FUBU” plastered on their chest? It’s either the latest trend in citizen product placement or proof that sweatshop kiddies make some great quality clothing.
Honorable Mention: Vibrams FiveFingers
Are you scaling the western face of Mount Kilimanjaro? Are you en route to Yogilates class? No? Then why are you wearing those ridiculous foot gloves?
Ever since these aesthetic horrors burst onto the scene seven years ago, barefoot wannabes and foot fetishists have been buying them up and improving Vibrams’ stock. Meanwhile, there are thousands of children in Africa who don’t have shoes. Come to think of it, Joseph Kony would probably wear a pair of FiveFingers.
Honorable Mention: T-shirts peeking under jackets
Sometimes it can’t be helped. We get it. You’re in a hurry, you didn’t have time to tuck in your extra-tall shirt into your pants and now it’s showing under the jacket on top. But that doesn’t make it any less egregious of a fashion crime.
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