As much as we might wish for it, the Cru Jones Society isn’t exactly rolling in cash yet. We all still have real jobs which prevent us from devoting the entirety of our time to bringing you ridiculous articles about cartoon villains, new ways to defile your liver while watching popular television shows, and meditations on assholes you may or may not sit next to on your next comedy club excursion.
As such, the majority of our day is spent kowtowing to white collar demands of office life or [description of occupation removed in accordance with United States Government request]. As a result, the three of us are amazed that many of the men around us are so painfully clueless about the proper way to put together an outfit. While we’re by no means the fashion police, there are some basic rules every man should follow in putting together an outfit. Here’s a primary list of offenses to basic fashion sense.
* Tucked in shirt, no belt: Unless you’re wearing suspenders (and we don’t know why you would unless you own a plantation during Reconstruction or are, in fact, rotund former President William Howard Taft), there is no reason not to wear a belt. A belt completes your outfit and says to everyone, “Hey, I’m a competent man. Come talk to me and buy my goods and/or services.”
An idiot with his cute little Ralph Lauren shirt tucked into his Dockers with no belt says, “Man, I hate having to take senior pictures. No one cares about the stupid yearbook anyway.” Or alternately, “Hello, I know you already recognize that I weigh close to 400 lbs, but seriously, you have no idea how much it hurts to have a belt buckle jamming me in the blubber when I sit down. Do you have any mayonnaise?”
A good way to remember to wear a belt is to think of your outfit like Korea. Your shirt is the oppressive Communist empire run by a man who looks the female owner of a San Francisco nail salon, while your pants are the friendly capitalist nation that hosted the ’88 Olympics. Your belt is the militarized border keeping the two sides at peace with one another. Removal of that border only leads only to chaos.
* Sitting with legs crossed and showing bare leg: This is most common in older guys (50+), but warrants mentioning given the number of fully grown (and likely married) older men who, despite years of having to dress themselves, still have their heads up their asses no different than a guy in his 20s. A guy will sit down and cross his legs showing not only the entirety of his sock, but a little flash of daylight of his bare leg as well. What the fuck is this about? Do you not feel your old man leghair flapping in the breeze? How are you not aware that all of a sudden everyone can see a bit of your shin now?
This loudly trumpets to everyone around you, “I haven’t bought any new pants in over 10 years! Isn’t that cool?” Or alternately, “Just because I bought these babies off the rack at K&G and couldn’t find 10 extra dollars to have them altered properly, doesn’t mean I can’t still wear them.”
* Failing to utilize all your buttons: I have two bosses that cannot button their sleeves just above their cuffs to save their lives. Every goddamn day I come in and their pale forearms glare at the world like headlights in your rearview mirror. What’s even more confounding is that their shirts are obviously very expensive, almost always French-cuffed, and adorned with semi-ostentatious cufflinks. How do they forget to take the last step?
This always says to me, “You can look at my hoity-toity rings, check out my decadent cufflinks, and marvel at my Prada shoes, but I’ll bet you cannot stop focusing on why I didn’t button this one button. I will enjoy watching you perform mental gymnastics straining to fathom why I can look so well put together and neglect this one tiny aspect of my outfit. Enjoy insanity.” Or alternately, “I have sweaty forearms. Gotta let these suckers breathe…”
* Lack of collar stays in shirt: This is the simplest way to improve the look of your shirt. You insert these two plastic pieces about the size of a paper clip into your the designated spots in your collar, and voila – insta-starch! Failing to do so results in a collar that splays out lackadaisically and looks like a fucking sad panda on your neck. Demonstrating that you can add a finishing touch to your shirt alerts people that you pay attention to detail, and accordingly, have your shit together.
A lack of collar stays lets everyone know, “Hey, I bought this shirt online from some store in Belarus and there’s no spot for collar stays. I buy shitty clothes.” Or alternately, “Please don’t give me any additional responsibilities, I cannot be trusted to remember everything. I’m a putz.”
* Owning one pair of shoes: If you wear only one pair of shoes to the office, you’re a potzer. Contrary to what Red says in Shawshank, in the business world, everyone notices everyone else’s shoes. Owning only one pair of shoes denotes that you’re either a boorish chauvinist (think Tim Allen circa 1992) who thinks shoes are a woman’s pursuit, or you’re a clueless lunk who’s never considered how shoes, like a belt, compliment and finish an outfit.
If you fall into the former category, get over yourself. It’s 2009 for Christ’s sake. Just buy a couple more pairs of shoes already and save us from looking at your ugly Hush Puppies again. If you fall into the latter, it’s time to wise up. The quality of your of shoes, I would argue, is more important than any other item on this list. Your bosses notice it, and perhaps more importantly, women notice it. So get your ass down to DSW and get at least a couple of pairs. You’ll thank me later.
Showing you have an eye for detail in the way you dress is the easiest way to earn instant credibility with those around you, and the items I’ve laid out above are the simplest ways of placing yourself a cut above the uncouth masses who dress like Eastern European child molesters. Do yourself a favor and make like Avis, try harder. Because you’ll likely need all the help you can get considering you probably just spent the last 5 minutes reading this instead of working.
04 Mar 2009 E Dagger