x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Bold statements at the expense of common sense make a man look stupid

The worst mistake a man can make is to try too hard. Unfortunately, some men want to make a fashion statement at the expense of style.

The worst mistake a man can make is to try too hard. One sure sign of incompetence or insecurity is when a man deviates too far from his comfort zone purely for the sake of attracting attention. Unfortunately, some men want to make a fashion statement at the expense of style.

Examples of what men in the UAE have been spotted wearing in the past 12 months: a short-sleeved dress shirt with a popped up collar and a tie underneath the shirt; a white dress shirt with a bright red bow tie and matching red buttons; a see-through sweater (more like a mesh sweater, really); a bright pink suit; a houndstooth shirt (not suit, shirt) with a white collar and a red stripe up the front of the shirt; and a sweater (not a blazer, a sweater) with a breast pocket and a pocket square.

The latest fashion trends and newest accessories can be fun and even worth trying out, but bold statements at the expense of common sense leave men looking dumb.

Some looks must run their course and then only years later when they are viewed with perspective are we able to realise how silly we looked. I'm thinking of my much-loved snakeskin cowboy boots and my much-regretted Hawaiian shirts à la Tom Selleck from Magnum PI fame.

Want more examples? The bolo tie and the bandanna are two accessories that are unacceptable - unless you are a) calling an auction at the closing sale for a museum devoted to the 1972 film Deliverance or b) calling on your inner Bret Michaels from Poison to sing Every Rose has its Thorn because … well … you are an idiot.

Other outfits, however, were popular - and deserved to be so - but simply ran their fashionable course. And some that were once stylish are in vogue once again. One example is the form-fitting, tailored suits from the HBO show Mad Men. The sleek suits were all the rage in the early 1960s, when the show is set, and are popular again today. Brooks Brothers is even selling a Mad Men edition suit that is based on a style the New York clothier sold 50 years ago.

A mesh sweater or a bright pink suit are not outfits anyone can look back on with anything except regret. I understand the desire to stand out from the crowd, but not at the cost of looking like a character from a Snoop Dogg music video.

Michael Jabri-Pickett is the news editor at The National. Contact him at mjp@thenational.ae

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