Hugh Wilson
17 November 2011 15:40 | By Hugh Wilson, contributor, MSN Him

Fashion fibs men tell themselves



Fashion fibs all men tell themselves (© Rex Features)

Women tell themselves so many ridiculous fashion fibs it's almost laughable (like they're still a size 10 - ha! - and that those horrible Ugg things are the height of fashion).

Us blokes are way more realistic when it comes to clothes. Or are we? How many of these fashion fibs do you regularly tell yourself?

I am a 32 waist. I am a 32 waist. I am a 32 waist (repeat until you believe it)

You are not a 32 waist. You were a 32 waist when you left school, but if you're still a 32 waist by the time you reach your mid-to-late 20s you've been very lucky indeed.

Assuming that a 'natural' thickening process has taken effect, stop trying to squeeze into jeans that are too tight for you.

They won't encourage you to lose a few pounds, they'll sit at the back of the wardrobe and whisper 'money waster' in the middle of the night.

They say your 30s are the new 20s, which means your 20s must be the new teens. Hurrah! Let me dig out those skinny jeans

Unfortunately, that's not how it works. Even if the 30s really are the new 20s (which they're not), this sad and rather desperate yearning for lost youth stops right there.

Men wearing skinny jeans (© Rex Features)

You can't dress like a teenager unless you are a teenager. Don't blame us, them's the rules.

So if your teenage years are a distant memory - please, no oversized jeans failing to cover colourful boxers, no t-shirts with sarcastic messages, and no baseball caps worn slightly askew.

Blue is all the colour you need

Blue's a nice colour. It's safe. It's comfortable. It's also very very boring.

It's easy for men to get into a fashion rut, sticking to safe styles and even safer colours, like navy, brown and grey.

Resist the temptation. Even if you don't want to stand out from the crowd in a frill-fronted fuchsia shirt, reds, light blues, olive greens and mustards can bring a little subtle colour to a tired wardrobe.

Any old undercrackers will do

Unless we think we're on a promise, men don't really do underwear. OK, young men might strut around with the waistband of their Calvin Klein's on show, but older blokes tend to descend into a rut of baggy boxers and threadbare briefs.

Man modelling new underpants (© Rex Features)

And why wouldn't we? Hardly anyone sees them, and neither the boys from the five-a-side team nor the better half give two hoots what our pants look like.

Which would be fair enough, if it were true. In fact, most women would love to see their men in sleek, chic pants. New and nicely fitted undercrackers are not a luxury - they're the foundation on which good outfits are built.

Scruffy is never out of fashion

Baggy ripped jeans, Doc Martens or dirty trainers, an oversized t-shirt emblazoned with the name of an obscure band...

You know the look, and though grunge has its place, wearing nothing but grunge is just a bit silly. No, you can't wear a blazer over it and expect to get that job.

No, going scruffy to the end of term ball does not make you Che Guevara.

No, you cannot go through life without a suit - or even a shirt with a collar - mumbling something about not bowing before The Man. Get real, and grow up.

Washing instructions don't matter

Which is exactly why you walk around in clothes that are always just a teeny bit tighter than they should be.

Man reading washing instructions on clothes (© Rex Features)

Those little symbols on an inside seam? Find them, learn what they mean, follow them.

Tracksuits aren't just for sport. They're just as good for absolutely any occasion you could mention, including weddings, christenings...

It may be a very good tracksuit. It may be made from some sort of magic fibre that keeps skin cool on the surface of the sun.

Nevertheless, unless the look you're going for is dole queue chic, take it off when you've finished with the sweaty stuff. Just trust us on this.

I've found an outfit I like. Now all I have to do is buy the same stuff forever!

It's the classic male mistake. You find a pair of jeans that fit you well, so you only ever buy those jeans. You find a sweater you really like, so you buy four of them in different colours and wear them until the end of time. You find the perfect pair of old school trainers, so you stay in them for the next decade.

It's good to have favourites, but don't cut yourself off from everything else. You'll start to look dull, and dull means invisible. Even if your style development is more evolution rather than revolution, develop it must.

Football tops can be worn anywhere

No they can't. Like tracksuits, they are suitable for one circumstance only, and that is watching football.

Man in England shirt with a pint of beer (© Rex Features)

Football tops are garish and ridiculous, and have the added disadvantage of making you look potentially intimidating, especially if you're part of a group.

So if you wear a football top when you go out and never end up with the girl, it's time to put two and two together.

I know I look great - my girlfriend dresses me

Ah, the classic male get-out. If you're not particularly confident about clothes, let your girlfriend choose them for you. That way, you won't come home after a nightmare afternoon round the shops, clutching a desperate last-minute £80 purchase, and have her say, "hmmm, I might have gone for the green".

The problem is, then you end up as a kind of fashion pastiche, a hodgepodge of her favourite bits of various blokes she knows or has seen on the telly.

Listen to her advice, by all means. But ultimately, your style has to be your own.

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