American culture is obsessed with cool. But what even is cool? It is easily one of the most difficult concepts to define, and even harder to pull off. If try too hard, you?re too cool for school, pretentious, or superficial; but, not trying at all means you?re a loser or a social outcast.
And while it would be nice to relegate this particularly baffling obsession to youth culture, remember we make snap judgments about people. It takes less than 20 seconds to form a first impression of someone, and the majority of that is based on looks.
So how do you do it? How do you walk the line between chic and gauche, between timeless and trendy, between cool and uncool? Here are three big mistakes to avoid:
1. Trying Too Hard
In fashion, oftentimes less is more. No matter how cool that sleek your Rolex watch, ostrich skin boots, and exotic belt are as individual pieces, if you wear them with an asymmetrical blazer and hot blue pants, you will look like you desperate want to be cool, and are failing.
The best approach to your day to day wear is to consider your suit a shell and choose a exciting accessories. Of course, it?s important that your suit has a good fit and pleasant lines, otherwise it might distract from the crocodile skin shoes you?re wearing.
If you do want to incorporate a more fashion forward suit jacket, or brightly colored slacks, you should counter them with simple grounding elements. Consider simple, leather oxford shoes or designer leather shoes and a nice luxury leather belt.
2. Not Grooming
This one might not seem important, after all how many times have you seen a picture of a male celebrity with uncombed hair and a messy beard? But unless you happen to have a super hero jaw, aquiline nose, and cheekbones you could cut diamonds with, you should consider spending at least a few minutes with a comb.
If you would rather not spend that time, there are a number of perfectly acceptable haircuts for men that are low cropped. This will limit the amount of work you have to do to maintain your image.
3. Don?t Chase Trends
Trends are a marketing ploy to sell more clothing. Really. You should find the clothes that flatter your body, accent your own sense of style, and that are timeless. Designer leather shoes and a black suit will never go out of style, which is good, because with proper care they can last for years.
If you want your look to be up to date, buy a few cheap, trendy accessories to mix in. That way, you create the impression of being effortlessly in vogue.
The most important part of fashion is to make yourself comfortable. You don’t need designer leather shoes to be cool. But even if you prefer simple, casual clothes you can always work in a few touches to up your cool factor.
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