Ask Avery: Impressing the girlfriend
blog by Avery Hartmans • January 18, 2013 @ 9:08am
My girlfriend is really into clothes and dresses nicely all the time. The problem is, I feel like I look like a slob when I go out with her. She’s too nice to say anything, but how can I dress better so I look like I’m her boyfriend and not a bum following her around?
Having an impeccably well-dressed mate can be tough, especially for guys. Men’s fashion is a tricky game, mainly because there’s not a lot of room for error. Whereas women have endless options and hundreds of trends to try, it seems to me that men don’t have quite as much opportunity for creativity. This can be a good thing though, boys: most women will just be impressed by a guy who doesn’t wear a Sabres jersey in every day life.
That’s not to say guys shouldn’t still put in some effort. A girl with taste — and it sounds as though you’ve got one — will notice if you step up your fashion game. Do you need to start wearing couture? Not necessarily, but you can take your cues from the runways. The new year brought with it some new — and recycled — trends that will make any guy worthy in the eyes of his sartorially savvy lady friend.
I’ve always been a fan of sneakers in general: from Jay-Z-approved high-tops to Keds-style tennis shoes, I don’t really discriminate. And lucky for all of us, skateboarder-inspired slip-on kicks are big for 2013. While the skater aesthetic is still a favorite of mine, you don’t want to look like you still hang out at the Orchard Park skate park smoking stolen cigarettes, so don’t think this is an excuse to dig out your chunky, oversized skater shoes from middle school. The emo phase is one that never needs to be revisited. Instead, look for a pair of tried-and-true slip-on sneakers with a little bit of an edge — leather, perhaps? These shoes will be easy to incorporate into your wardrobe, even if paired with something as simple as well-fitting, slim jeans and a cool sweatshirt.
Shoes: Vans, $65
This trend may not seem new, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less stylish. Everyone needs something military-inspired in their closet, even if it’s an Army green jacket or a sweater with brass buttons. To really wear this trend to its fullest potential, I suggest a military jacket you can wear year round. Pair it with dark jeans, a thick sweater and a neutral scarf during the winter and a badass t-shirt and your new slip-on kicks for the spring. It will add a cool edge to any outfit and your girlfriend will appreciate what will appear to be a lot of effort to look fashionable. And the best part is, you’ll most likely still feel like yourself in this look. Just the cooler, better dressed version.
Jacket: Puma, $375.93
Stripes are always my favorite pattern but they’re especially in for spring. Bold, horizontal stripes are an easy pattern because they add a little something to even the most average of outfits. Rather than choosing a solid tee, opt for a striped t-shirt in neutral tones that you can wear under a sweater, cool sweatshirt or unbuttoned shirt. A loud pattern like this makes it look like you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t. And the best part? Wide stripes will broaden your chest and make you look buffer than you are. For best results, look for a tee with one different colored stripe across the chest. You may not be able to fulfill your New Year’s resolution of hitting the gym, but you may be able to fool your girlfriend, at least while your shirt is on.
T-shirt: Urban Outfitters, $34
I know I’m hitting you with a lot of outerwear, but jackets are my favorite item in menswear. And the confusing winters we’ve had in Buffalo over the past few years, it’s best to be prepared with a variety of options. Enter: the bright parka. I know color may be scary for some people, especially guys, but a brightly colored, eye-catching parka is a great option to liven up the dullest of January days. I vote for anything in primary colors like red or blue, but it’s your prerogative — just remember to choose a shade you feel comfortable in. And the best part about a piece like this is the fact that it’s so bold, the rest of your outfit could be totally average. All you need underneath is a pair of well-fitting jeans or pants and a white tee. It’s simple, fresh and your girlfriend will be proud.
Coat: J.Crew, $195
Photo courtesy of Facebook.