Originally published in the Los Angeles Loyolan. For original, please refer to: How the men of LMU can make it work – Los Angeles Loyolan.
Men of LMU, gather! Cast off your baggy sweatshirts and unflattering basketball shorts! There is a whole world of jackets, sweaters and jeans out there that can make you look good and feel better about how you present yourself to the world.
It’s a gross generalization to make, but there’s a strong argument to be made that the guys on this campus and in America simply don’t dress as well as they could or should. Rarely, if ever, is the problem with what they’re actually wearing. The quality of clothes and of brands on this campus in particular is remarkably high. But if you’re not wearing these designer duds properly, what’s the point? You’re paying a lot of money to look subpar.
There are three main tricks in men’s fashion that can change a weak, unflattering look into a winner. Join me, won’t you, as we go over how color sense, fit and layers can pump up the volume on your outfit and make that cute thing down the hall take notice.
Item number one on the agenda: color sense. It may come as a shock to some, but there are colors out there other than blue, brown, black and white (two of those aren’t even colors!). A simple outfit like a T-shirt and shorts can go from “I pulled these out of my hamper this morning” to “I’m a young Tim Gunn!” in a flash when you’ve got strong color sense.
I love to recommend dressing in what I call multi-tone monochrome, which is all in one color, usually blue or green, but in different shades. For example, say you’re wearing a kelly green V-neck. You could contrast with a pair of forest green shorts. The color gives a great pop effect, immediately setting you apart from the crowds of khaki cargo shorts and T-shirts.
Even if you aren’t one for super bold colors, you still have the power to embrace richer tones than a simple faded blue. A deep navy shirt is muted, but still notable. To reference Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada,” blue is not just blue – there’s turquoise, lapis and cerulean, to name a few. The same principle can apply to brown, yellow, purple, etc. There’s so much that can be done with color without even worrying about silhouette.
Speaking of which, the second item for today is fit. Sometime in the past two decades, the concept of men’s clothes fitting well seemed to fall by the wayside. Showing a couple of inches of underwear is encouraged and baggy sweatshirts are the norm. Men should take a cue from stars like Ryan Gosling in this summer’s “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the blockbuster “Inception.” Both men’s characters were suited up to a T and perfectly fit. These actors aren’t just renowned for their looks – they know how to dress themselves to emphasize those looks.
Even when not wearing a suit, fit is always paramount when figuring out how to look. A pair of jeans that sit properly on the waist can give the illusion of a nice butt where one doesn’t normally exist. Straight men, don’t shrug that off! Women can be very picky when it comes to their man’s backside. And if you spend all day in the gym, why cover your toned physique? Wear a slightly tighter shirt than you’re used to so you can best show what you’ve got going on underneath.
The final tenet of men’s fashion that must be remembered is layering. We’re about to head into the cold months of winter, and there will be plenty of opportunities for wearing multiple layers of clothes. Sweaters and jackets are key. Stay away from sweatshirts as much as possible unless you’ve found one that’s just so good-looking you simply can’t resist. These exceptions should be slim-fitting and in a cool print or color – anything that looks bulky or faded isn’t worth it.
Sweaters are making their way back from “Mister Rogers” territory and into the hipster chic zeitgeist. Jackets that aren’t too bulky and complement the rest of your outfit are great for a cold day. A peacoat is also a must-have item – it can be worn casually and with a formal outfit. Both fashionable and functional, layers can give your outfit depth and detail in the best way.
With these central tenets under your belt, you can dress for success and show what you’ve got to the greater LMU community. You owe it to yourself to look great.