10 Things You Think Make You Look Cool But Really Don't

Because honesty is the best policy, consider this your fashion intervention. Help us help you.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Nobody said this fashion life would be easy. No matter how up on the latest trends you are, no matter how many menswear blogs you bookmark, no matter how many girlfriends you have to dress you, you are going to make mistakes. Having your own style means taking risks. Risks sometimes don't pay off. Even the most swagged-out men among us sometimes fall victim to style fails.

Though we all falter, there are some mistakes that are inexcusable. Some style moves are so obviously terrible that it boggles the mind to conceive how they're allowed to be legal, let alone exist as a trend. But, sadly, men often forget their better judgment in life and in lifestyle. If your girlfriend said it looks good, if you got laid last time you wore it, if all the cool kids are doing it, you could easily fall victim to to terrible fashion choices.

We are here today to help. Every stylish man makes mistakes. The truly stylish man learns from them and fights back to swag on for another day. Consider this your fashion intervention. Help us help you. Here are 10 Things You Think Make You Look Cool but Really Don't.

The Macklemore Haircut

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Here's an important fashion maxim that all of you hypebeasts out there out to write on your bathroom mirrors:

"Looking like a celebrity ​does not necessarily mean you look good."

Celebrities get to do whatever they want and be told they look great. From Elvis' sequin jumpsuit to Gaga's meat dress, this has been the case since the first entourage member said, "Don't listen to them. You look amazing." You are not a celebrity. You're just some dude who looks like their barber cut your sideburns unevenly and made a desperate move to save the haircut.

Only Macklemore can pull off this haircut. Only Macklemore can pull off that fur coat in the "Thrift Shop" video. Only Macklemore can be heralded as some kind of hero for writing a gay rights anthem after most of the country was already in favor of gay marriage.

You're not Macklemore. Be grateful for that fact and move on.

Vests Over Anything But A Button-Up Shirt

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Bruh, unless you are a Son of Anarchy, I shouldn't see your vest over a damn T-shirt. Never has business and casual been blended so poorly since the mullet, and at least we didn't have to see the mullet when we looked you in the eye. No matter how cool your vest is, no one is going to be impressed when you toss it on over a tank top for a night out.

The only acceptable time to wear a vest without a button-up shirt is when your line of work involves something like this:

That Chunky Ass Sweater

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Circular Sunglasses

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That's right, the sunglasses popularized by mad scientists and extras in the Mad Max movies have made their way into America's hottest neighborhoods.

This is the perfect accessory for anyone who feels they don't come off as edgy and pretentious enough now that Nietzche is on their Kindle and they can no longer conspicuously display the cover in public. Unless you are recruiting members for your poetry group, these shades are to be avoided.


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I had the distinct displeasure of living in New York City during the great Mumford and Sons fashion explosion of 2012. It was terrible. At every stop on the L train, you would see hipsters dressed like Dustbowl-era ragamuffins and under-aged Victorian era coal miners. We lost a lot of decent taste out there. The mandolins and cabbie hats still haunt me to this day. 

Don't get me wrong, there is something to be said for the urban rustic look, but all things in moderation, people. If you can grow a decent beard and have a carefully cultivated collection of vintage flannels, use that Paul Bunyan mojo to help better connect ladies with your big blue ox. I have to admit that there is something charming about walking into a bar/restaurant where the tables are made of repurposed wood and all of the drinks come in mason jars. But, we have to draw the line somewhere. 

Here's what I want you to do. Find a picture of your great-grandfather:

Now look at yourself in the mirror. If you can't immediately tell which one comes from an earlier epoch, you need to change your clothes immediately.

The Scarf Your Girlfriend Knitted You

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If Andy Warhol were alive today, he might well say, "In the future, every dude's girlfriend will have an Etsy shop." I'm sure there are men with Etsy shops too, but in my experience men cope with disappointment by becoming alcoholics or joining the Tea Party and yelling at young women and welfare recipients. Aunts have been doing the D.I.Y. thing for decades, but until the Internet, they could only force their wares on family. Now at-home garment makers can force their subpar product on everyone in their social network. Of course, you, as the boyfriend, are the only one who is truly required to wear any and all atrocities the spew from the unholy bowels of your lady's Singer.

Just in case you've deluded yourself into thinking the scarf your girl made looks good in that "can't tell if he's homeless" sort of way, or if you think that your girl's work is even nearly comparable to what you find at Wal-Mart, here is a reality check. This child laborer:

is always going to be better at making clothing than your girl. She makes scarves for 18 hours a day, and mere survival in a framework of economic oppression is a much stronger motivator than early-onset suburban ennui.

Man Buns

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Buzzfeed isn't content with just giving people you went to high school with things to post besides close-minded political tirades. In its latest in a long line of heinous offenses against humanity, it's trying to convince the world that the man bun is sexy.

GTFO. There are only three types of people who have man buns:

1. Drug dealers

2. Yoga instructors

3. Baristas who slip your girl their phone number on the side of the latte cup

You don't want to be any of these people, so please please please don't grow a man bun.

Skinny Ties

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Too Deep Vs

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Listen up you would-be Don Drapers. The only thing women are thinking when they see a man wear a suit to the bar is, "Why is that guy wearing a suit at the bar?"

You think you look like this:

But you probably look more like this:

Who wears suits to the bar? Here is the list I came up with:

1. Alcoholic businessmen fumbling with their Blackberries.

2. Overzealous frat boys who were given the suit as a graduation present.

3. Really sad dudes who missed their flight.

4. Bathroom attendants.

There really isn't a best case scenario here. So, at least leave your jacket and tie in the car if you have no other options. And next time, pack a clean shirt.

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