Last week I tweeted about men wearing three quarter pants and how much I dislike them. After some consideration I drafted a list of other offenders – 7 style sins that average Joe’s commit each and every day, either encouraged by the women in their life, or followed by a thinly masked roll of the eyes when they exit the room in their favourite pair of elaborately utilitarian cargo’s.
1. ¾ pants. I don’t care if they’re the kind that just are ¾ or if they’re the frightening utility type that zip down to ¾, or if they’re jeans that have been rolled so that they fit the calf tightly, like some kind of camp cowboy… they’re all awful. They’re not masculine. And just like capri’s on a woman, they’re not for everyone. The rolled jean look is a personal pet hate because you usually see it on preppy types with sparkly eyes and it just looks uncomfortable.
2. While we’re in the pants department, let’s cover white linen trousers. These always have and always will be a no in my book. I don’t care if your girlfriend thinks they look stylish and makes you wear them to social events. They’re far too feminine and if most women can’t pull them off, then you know it’s a resounding NAY. They’re too lightweight and they cling to your crotch in a way that attracts negative attention. And they make me think of the word ‘slacks’, which is never a good thing and reminds me of another atrocity, the 90’s palazzo pant.
3. The third and final offender in the pants department is that slipperiest of the ‘slacks’, the parachute pant. They masquerade as practical, with their profusion of pockets, Velcro straps and zips, but really all they’re concealing is a Nokia, a wallet and a set of keys (a Swiss Army knife if you’re lucky but you’re probably more likely to find pepper spray, these days). My friend Olivia dated a guy at university who refused to part with a fire-engine red pair. He is now derogatively referred to as ‘red-parachute-pant-guy’. No matter that he was down to earth and great in bed, we could never quite get past the pants.
4. Gold chains and signet rings. They strike fear into my heart. Yes, I know they often have sentimental meaning, but they also make men look like Mafioso. Or schmucks. Sorry.
5. Underpants. When I say ‘underpants’ I mean your good old-fashioned triangular cotton under rods. The ones that come in a strange but persistent palette of colours ranging from maroon through to navy to bottle green; the ones that little boys wear, and the ones that apparently still serve a practical purpose. I get that some guys wear them under their sportswear, but I don’t reallllly wanna see them. They’re feeble. And they’re really not sexy.
6. Polo necks. Men: tread lightly in polo neck domain. Guys that can get away with a polo neck are usually dark brooding types with bedroom eyes and accents. They might even be artists too, or down-and-out musicians with calloused palms from too much guitar and too little love. If you don’t fit the profile, chances are you’ll end up looking like a ponce rather than a player.
7. Utility wear. A vast department, encompassing all manner of offenders from polar fleece through to hiking boots, cargo pants, chunky dappled socks and clothes whose sleeves/legs zip off. South Africans love it. It’s like weekend wear with a purpose, should they ever feel the need to venture off the beaten track at Kirstenbosch Gardens, chardonnay in hand. I am pretty outspoken on the topic of things that are purely functional, with no respect paid to the aesthetic. I actually had a boyfriend who was firmly rooted in this department and it killed me. I really tried, but it was beyond me why someone would choose to wear such ugly socks when there are so many on offer. He also thought my love of fashion was silly and wondered why I couldn’t be more of a ‘jeans and Tshirt kind of girl’. We parted ways amicably, and I started a fashion blog.