Designers have been trying to flog this one for a few years now, but thankfully it hasn’t really caught on beyond the world of photo shoots and fashion bloggers. While a smart pair of shorts worn with a shirt is perfectly acceptable for high summer office attire, the shorts suit edges towards the try-hard (see above). And there is an undeniable whiff of the school uniform to the idea, transforming the wearer into the male equivalent of Britney Spears dressed as a schoolgirl and thus asking to be hit (at least) one more time. Oh go on, let’s make it twice.
Shoes that create the illusion of one’s feet being of an unnatural size or shape are ridiculous. How one is meant to take seriously a man wearing the shoes of a fairytale imp is beyond me.
This one is a case of context. An excursion on Dartmoor or a weekend tackling the Peaks? Fine – it makes sense to have a quick and lightweight alternative to deal with a sudden change of weather. A Saturday spent noting down the Pendolinos coming in and and of Euston station? That’s okay too. Because really, that’s the type of man who wears trousers that unzip at the knees to become shorts – and God knows they’ve got enough going against them without me telling they what to wear.
Leather trousers are acceptable if – and only if – you belong to one of the following groups of men:
1. Biker: leather offers added protection if you come off your motorbike on tarmac.
2. Hairdresser (possibly northern): leather trousers are a dream to remove hair from.
3. Fetishist: “Look mean / wear wipe-clean”, as the saying goes.
There is something innately untrustworthy – almost sinister – about a man who wears tinted lenses. What’s he trying to hide? His crowsfeet? A nasty case of conjunctivitis? The direction of his gaze? Don’t be tempted. Photochromic lenses (the ones that go from dark to clear as you move in and out of sunlight) should be approached with caution as well.
Varsity jackets (for a college you didn’t attend)
Although varsity jackets are one of the biggest trends in menswear, avoid ones that make reference to a specific institution. Don’t you think it’s strange to wear a UCLA jacket when in fact you scraped through with a 2:2 in Media Studies from Nottingham Trent? It’s like lying on your CV – and then walking around wearing your CV pasted to your forehead. That said, even if you own a varsity jacket from your alma mater, you need to stop wearing it within a year of graduating.