We tend to describe clothes as a necessity, and fashion as a necessary evil. In the beginning, fashion may well have been the inadvertent byproduct of the right combination of fig leaves and animal skins. But today, it is so much more.
Women have long understood the importance of fashionable adornment. This might be an evolutionary imperative as the female of many species is the one that has to attract a mate. As a result, women’s fashion has always yielded to form over function. And while human males are just as eager to attract mates, their fashion has to bear the burden of utility over style.
There are a number of ways in which evolutionary imperatives dictate fashion. Some men understand the importance of appearance. While others seem to be clueless. What you need to know is that men’s fashion is just as important as women’s fashion, and men will ignore it at their peril.
Here are a few reasons why it is so important, and tips on how to better incorporate it into your life:
The eyes are the most expressive part of the face. There is a reason why we place such a big emphasis on looking a person in the eyes. Our eyes betray our true feelings even when our words say something else. It is a great offense when a person lies to our face. It is worse than betraying a deal struck by a handshake. So it is a serious matter when we have to wear some type of covering over our eyes.
When we wear glasses, and worse, sunglasses, we are changing the nature of our most expressive feature. So the eyewear we select has to make up for the expressiveness lost by the concealment of our natural orbs. Affordable men’s designer sunglasses go a long way toward mitigating the loss of displaying one’s eyes.
A lot of attitude and personal vibe is part of what is being silently communicated. No one pair of glasses can communicate everything, But the wrong pair can convey the wrong message every time. Don’t just grab the first pair of frames that fit, or the first pair of sunglasses in your price range. Men need to communicate with their eyes. So make sure your eyewear is giving others the right signals.
We can talk about dress shirts vs. Polo all day, and probably should. It is not an either/or, but a matter of knowing which is appropriate an any given time. We can then enter the tie vs. no tie debate. From there, we would have to discuss the taylored suit vs. the casual but stylish ensemble. But none of that matters the moment you slip on a coat.
Overwear is what you put on atop your regular clothes. But overwear is a crucial part of your look, especially in cold or rainy climates. You are seen in your overwear by more people than you are in your suit. So whatever you were trying to convey with your clothing choice must be carried through to your overwear.
A casual utility jacket for cold-weather activity can work with a lot of casual looks. But if you are headed for a more formal affair, you need to select formal overwear. You wouldn’t show up at an interview wearing casual hiking pants. Don’t decrease your chance of getting the job by selecting the wrong overwear.
Accessories Speak Volumes
Accessories for men are generally items with a great deal of utility. A watch tells the time. A tie clip keeps your tie from flopping around. Cuff links keep shirt cuffs closed. Belt buckles keep your pants up. Men’s Jewelry tends to have utility. But it is still jewelry nonetheless.
In the same way that you wouldn’t wear a baseball cap with a suit, you shouldn’t wear a watch with a sports band to a formal event. Truly expensive watches also have a lot of utility. They are used for signaling status and the appreciation for finer things. It also signals to potential mates that you have sufficient resources. To some degree. All men’s accessories are signals. So choose wisely. Or avoid them altogether.
Whether it be eyewear, overwear, or extra-wear, men’s fashion should never be treated like a superfluous afterthought.