When a fashion guru proclaims an item to be out of bounds for all men, all times and in all sizes, it feels like the height of hubris . Surely this can't be the case, not if at every show and street there's a brave individual who struts the impossible (and gets a mixed reaction)? Those with a passing interest in menswear often naively ask 'Are there really stuff men should never wear?'. Well, sadly...yes. Very much yes. We're not prancing for pretension here, there really are items that are objectionably objectionable. Rather than wag the finger, we at the Men's Gift Company will try and explain why.
The extent of the undesirable in men's fashion is not limited to leather jackets/blazers in summer, wearing sunglasses indoors or bearing too much skin when it's not called for. Function isn't the only fault one should avoid. Even the silliest looking cufflinks have a purpose, and can work with the right outfit. Much of what makes an item of clothing or accessory a big style turn-off can depend on a lot of factors, but the key element is context.
If one were to make a list of the things guys should never wear, such as this excellent one Complex Style did back in March of last year, you'll notice that the running pattern is that most of these items at some point or another probably made sense in some small pocket of the world. The fingerless leather gloves worked in the faux gangster look of Westside Story or Michael Jackson's Bad video. Girl's jeans were your only option before denim manufactures saw the market in skinny legs. Bolo ties were popularized by singing cowboys...no further explanation needed on that one.
When you try and bring these isolated bits of apparel into the wider world of men's fashion, the result is a space-time oddity of mass proportions. It'd be like wearing trousers to an all-shorts Universe. Of course we'd love to tell you to break down the false barriers of society and prove to us all that this thing we call style is nothing but an evolutionary farce...but you can't do it wearing mantyhose!
Now some items in the list didn't ever really have a high point to fall out from, but they were probably devised with the best intentions. Zip off pants invoke this idea of hiking in temperamental climates where time (the amount needed to switch into shorts apparently) is of the essence, but even people who've actually trekked through the rainforests wouldn't be caught dead in them, and not just because their legs would get covered in leeches. As for the dickie, we're not sure what the plan was there. Turtlenecks weren't a hard sell enough already, apparently?
We think you'll agree that none of the items we highlighted here are a 'next-big-thing' in disguise. There are endless opportunities for experimentation and innovation, even in the most rigid of style sets, and what makes something absolutely unwearable is really nothing to do with personal taste, or what's subjectively popular right now. No one's ever going to stop you wearing what you want...they'll just wonder why.
But even if we're wrong, please don't expect The Men's Gift Company to start stocking thongs any time soon...
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