Dressing Up for the Holidays (Male Issue)
So it's that time of year again, when we decorate our tree and plan our festive soirées. During this period, if we aren't on the hunt for the perfect gift to exchange, we're probably looking for the perfect Christmas party outfit.
Now let's be honest, if you have ZERO sense of fashion or style (the truth shall set you free), picking the right outfit might be more difficult than repainting the house before the in-laws come to town. But fret not gents, we're here to help!
So let's start from the ground up...that's right...shoes! Because let's face it, for the modern day man, shoes are almost always the last thing he puts great effort into, which is subliminally saying that his ankles don't deserve a little show with some kickass feet huggers...just sad!
Shoes are actually one of few focal points sure to be noticed when someone gives you the old 'once-over' - hair-tip to wingtip - and my friends, if your wingtips aren't 'popping' then it's time to get your ducks in a row.
Ok I'm done throwing shade (for now)...time for some advice.
For that functional foot flare at this year's Christmas party, consider something that's actually fashionable but also easy to walk and dance in. My suggestion: a nice pair of loafers would do the trick. First introduced in Norway in the 1930's by men who CLEARLY knew a thing or two about style, these leisure slip-ons became popular following a feature in Esquire Magazine; since then fashion forward gents have been rocking them proud and strong! Yes, loafers are a big deal, so get your life.
Shirts and Slacks
Now that the foundation has been set with shoes, let's work on the first floor of this style house.
If we're dressing up for a Christmas party, let's try our best to NOT look like Father Christmas himself! Stay as far away as possible from cliché choices such as red and green colors. Red pants and green shirts (or vise-versa) are big RED flags. Although they are traditionally associated with the holiday, you don't have to make yourself into a walking Christmas card to have some fun with your outfit. Instead, clean up this look with a nicely tailored pair of slim fit European cut pants (but it MUST fit properly). Traditionally, European cuts have a rise that's high whereas American cuts hang down too low. European cut pants are made for a fit that's trim but still accommodating; just what your Style House needs, so ditch those windsail dockers and wear something with a European cut that'll actually get you noticed.
I hope you're following the construction process here...
...Foundation placed (shoes)...First floor set up (pants)...Second floor you're up (shirt)!
Typically, men these days like to play it safe when dressing up for different occasions. Festive holiday engagements are no exception. With a nice pair of loafers and a decent pair of European cut slacks, sealing the deal with a nice button-up is a no brainer right?...
Why are we still wearing shirts two and three times our actual sizes??...nothing is more unfortunate than seeing the back of a tucked shirt spilling over a guy's pant's waist. If the wind could pick him up and carry him away, I'm sure it would.
Guys, wearing a giant shirt should only be reserved for giants, or if you're trying to pull off a chic boho ensemble, but that's not the case here. Verdict: step outside the box with a slim-fit shirt that contrasts with your chosen pants.
Another addition that will clean up your look nicely is a sleek blazer, preferably one that contrasts well with your fashion forward footwear...(try saying that 5x fast). The blazer should be very well fitted, enough to give a glimpse of you're working with under those duds.
With only the 'roof' left to complete this Style House, gentleman, we have to remember to properly groom ourselves. More specifically, get a proper hair cut once in a while. All manhood and mucho manliness aside, if you look like a caveman, you will be treated as such (#SorryNotSorry).
Take our advice, you will standout a lot more when you're properly cleaned up and let people see who you truly are behind all the ruggedness. And for all our fellow bearded bandits out there...stay strong comrades!... it's our time again! 2016 has proven to be the 'Year Of The Beard', and the beard game shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, so going barefaced doesn't have to be such a hassle for us anymore. The hedges on the Style House will stay!
And there you have it, the Style House is complete. Remember, pick some popping wingtips (e.g loafers), European cut slacks, and a slim fit contrasting shirt (with a blazer if you desire) for your statement maker Christmas party outfit. Now go forth and have a Merry one!
Andre McLennon is an emerging designer with a flair for style. When not designing for his clients he can be found on instagram as @dreroyale and setting up his soon to be lifestlye brand, stpaulanthony.com