I love answering questions and working one on one with men. I like to tell myself that is the reason I’m not a huge Youtube sensation, lining the insides of a new bespoke suit with advertising benjamins.
However, in working with lots of guys personally, there are some common questions that come up and the answers are pretty universal. So I put together a little FAQ cheat sheet for you gents of some questions I’ve recently answered. If there are things I'm missing, contribute and let me know. I'd like to make this a regular installment.
You might disagree on some things. You might be right. Just read and enjoy my thoughts on how a man should look.
How can you tell if a suit fits?
There’s a lot to look for. Read this guide from The Art of Manliness. Make sure the shoulders fit first and foremost. It’s the only thing you can’t really tailor.
And if you’re over 40, you’re probably wearing a suit that’s too big. Realize that you will need to make some alterations to nearly any suit you buy off the rack.
Don’t follow trends. Skinny suits are finally on their way out, and if baggy hang-off-your-body (an actual new trend in menswear) suits are on their way to a store near you, walk away. Timeless, classic cut suits that flatter your body will save you money and embarrassment for years to come.
When can I wear a bowtie?
When you’re not going to wear it as a joke.
Are clip-ons ever acceptable?
What’s the easiest way to make my current clothing look good?
Get in shape. After that tailoring and wearing colors that work well for you.
Do I need to wear cologne?
How do you pick out a cologne?
Match your scent with your personality and lifestyle. If you’re an outgoing bartender who likes to be noticed, go with something spicy and loud. If you’re in the office most of the day but want to have a bit of edge, go with something clean and citrusy that won’t offend but will be noticable. If you’re the outdoorsy man who prefers to put off the strong and silent vibe, go with something earthy and masculine. Don’t get hung up on brand names and whatever you’ve seen ads for. Just go explore and remember that you’re going to be exposed to it more than anyone so you better love it. For some ready available scents, try a few spritz from YSL and Dior. Both are well revered houses.
How do I prevent razor burn?
Get sharper razors. Change them every time you shave. Shave after you get out of a hot shower. Wash the area with soap first. Run the blade under hot water. Use a shaving cream meant for sensitive skin. Finish by holding a moist warm towel against your neck area for one minute. Bonus tip: put some lavender oil on the towel. If none of that works, break out the benzoyl peroxide cream for those bumps.
What’s the worst trend in Menswear right now?
Looking homeless and oversized clothing. You've probably noticed this has slowly crept into our culture for the past year or so with young men wearing overly long and shapeless t-shirts. I draw the line at pants and shoes.
What’s the best trend?
The coming together of great streetwear brands and great high-end fashion brands.
What’s the best book on men’s style?
How to Be a Man by the late Glenn O’Brien. Get to know him. This should be mandatory reading for young gentleman as they depart high school. This book is less about style in clothing, but more about style in manhood. If you want to dive deep into clothing, you’ll be reading Alan Flusser’s Dressing the Man. After that, read Color For Men by Carole Jackson.
I want to present myself better on the internet. Where do I start?
Clean up all your social media accounts first. Start by putting your best headshot as your profile picture on all your accounts. It’s important to keep things consistent. Then go delete anything that is too immature. I don’t care if your 15 or 50. If you have pictures of you chugging a bottle of anything, it needs to go....
After that, buy your own name as a domain. www.yourname.com. Even if it’s just a picture of you and maybe a short bio, you need to own your name on the internet.
Should I grow facial hair?
Probably. Look around and you’ll see most men have some sort of facial hair. Facial hair is like makeup for men.
You can hide a weak chin. You can disguise some extra baggage underneath the jaw. You can distract from other less desirable features on your face. It’s a win for nearly all men. You just need to figure out what looks best on you.
So what’s the right amount of facial hair?
It really depends on your needs, growth pattern, and face shape. A little well-kept stubble never hurt anyone. Studies show the optimal facial hair growth for enticing female attraction is around 8 days or what would be considered “heavy stubble”. The exception to this is if your face is cursed with less than adequate follicle production. If it’s patchy, keep it shorter. If it’s really bad, then shave it clean.
When should I buzz my head if I’m balding?
If you have to ask, you’re probably ready. If you can see a good amount of scalp through the hair, it’s time. If you’re not there yet, just remember that the shorter your hair, the fuller it looks. Please do not grow it out thinking some thin and wispy locks will save the day.
What improvement will give me the best ROI?
Working out. It’s not even my specialty but I know how valuable it is for more than just looking good. Yes, your clothing will fit better, but you’ll have more confidence and you’ll be in a better mood because of the endorphin release. Every time I start working out religiously I see it compound in other areas of my life. If you’re completely new to fitness check out some of the free resources from Steve at Nerd Fitness. I put this training plan together for myself back in the day but made some modifications to it recently. Feel free to use it and get started. Just hold yourself accountable.
What are your thoughts on subscription boxes?
Love it in theory, hate it in practice.
You’re the busy young professional that doesn’t have time to be bothered with buying clothing and concerned with what looks good. So a magical box comes along and tells you it will pick out the right clothes for you and ship them to you directly. You no longer have to worry about shopping for what looks good. You can have it all!
But then the box arrives and it’s filled with clothing that you sort of like, that sort of fits, and sort of feels like it will hold up, but you’re underwhelmed.
Let me be clear, I have worked with a lot of men who have gone the subscription box route and they all had clothing that was the epitome of “meh”. If you have absolutely no clue what you’re doing and you really hate buying clothing, then go for it. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you when you subscribe to Pandora’s box. The only exception I see to this is a subscription for smaller, sturdier items, like accessories. I'd be into that.
I hope you enjoyed our little Q&A. If you have any questions you’d like answered, leave a comment below. Chow.