Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fashion tips from a character artist.

Okay, so people that know me are aware that I'm not the most stylish guy. Metro-sexual? I don't remember the last time I had a proper shave let alone my nails buffed. There are rules though for the common guy. My rules, yes.

1) Don't "double denim". Otherwise known as the Canadian Tuxedo. That's a denim shirt and jeans. Same goes for a denim jacket. And just in case you found denim socks, you should know better. Doesn't matter if it all matches or not.

2) Avoid pleated pants...unless you're Harvey Keitel. They make skinny people look like corporate MC Hammer fans, and on large people, even if they're loose, it look like you're suffocating your intestines. It's just a no.

3) Don't wear clothes (especially leather) that are the same color as you! It'll look like someone popped you out of a play-doh mold. It's just freaky. It's bad enough wearing clothes that are the same value in contrast as your skin, but the color, ew. Same goes for hair. Don't dye your hair the same color as your skin. It's just nasty. In fact...

4) unless you're super alternative, don't die your hair. Grey is cool and natural. And if you're the kind of guy that could actually benefit from this, you're probably not skilled enough to match your own hair color. And coming from an artist, it's always easy to spot a color that naturally would never happen with your skin tone let alone nature. And if you get caught, you're in the shitty spot where the men start sniffing out your insecurity. Own that grey.

5) Elastic. If it aint in your underwear, try and avoid it especially in pants. And if you see jeans with elastic around the waist (fine for young kids) and even worse the cuffs (not fine for anyone), cut them up and burn them. They need to not exist.

6) Above the knee shorts and or strappy sandals on men. I can't stand the boring dad guy who thinks he can pull off strappy revealing leather footwear. If you're not some bad ass Italian dude, it's going to look nasty with white feet and the toes peeking out. It's flip-flops or shoes buster. Tevas don't count as flip-flops. They count as ugly unless your hiking through a bog. And the shorts, please go longer. Unless you're in great physical shape, we don't need to see the hairy thighs.

7) Baldness. If you're losing it, go really short or shave it. There's a lot of distance between Gallagher and the Hulkster. Gallagher always looked awful and nobody would tell Mr. Hogan least not to his face. Plus he had a bandana on most of the time right? Most of the time baldness with long sides and back (the skullet) is downright offensive to the eyes. This one should be in the men's guide to living.

8) On the hair topic...if you've got a regular ol' plain joe combed to the side hair cut, or even parted in the middle, don't do facial hair. It looks like you're confused. "Well, I want to look professional, but I want to experiment with maybe one of those soul patches." Hair combed back, totally bald, buzzed, spiky, intentionally messy, long and in a pony tail (dangerous)... that all works usually. So switch up the top if you want to mess with the bottom.

9) Clothes bearing the brand name in big print on the garment. Everyone's seen the sweatshirt with "Old Navy" or "Gap" or "Fubu" or whatever on it usually in ultra obvious big print. Are you sponsored? Then don't buy it. The retailer should be paying you to be a walking fucking billboard.

10) Last on this list is jewelry. Don't mix gold and silver. Be careful with bracelets unless you're a hippie. Necklaces and rings are fine usually but don't overdo it. We hopefully learned some lessons in the 70's and 80's.

A lot of these rules can be eased up on if you're ethnic. There's something about Caucasian men not being able to pull off bad style. I'm cool with a shirtless fat black dude, Mexican or Hawaiian. But a pink sweaty white guy belly? Because that pigment isn't present, there's a certain level of translucency that just seems gross. Think about body builders and the crazy amount of effort they put towards tanning themselves before one of those flexing events. Even a rock hard He-Man body looks weird all pasty. Mustaches, bald spots, even dudes that wear shorts all year long. It's less offensive on the darker skin.

Use em, lose em, break em. Those are my ten rules for normal guys (are there any normal guys?). All I know is the under-appreciated character artist who creates people or "beings" in all shapes and sizes usually or at some point must dress them. So most of us spend a lot of time observing what clothing works and what doesn't work for people of different body types. Beware of the overly styled "artist" with perfect hair and top brand name clothes. They probably suck at art, unless their art is clothes. Then they're probably rare and legit. The normal artist throws on pants and a shirt and then gets on with the day being creative. Are they aware of fashion? Of course. Is it pointless? No but It's definitely worth a laugh at times. The pointy toed 80's heels that came back in a few years ago? "it extends the leg." is what I heard when I asked a fellow female co-worker why. It extends your foot you pumpkin head. So we have a whole bunch of girls with big looking feet. Yay. If they only made over-sized gloves and adam's apples popular, trannys would totally be in the game. But it blew over of course and in it's place we all had to endure the "belt that holds nothing up" phase which is still kind of trying to crawl out of the sarlacc pit, but come on now...pointless. Die already. What's it doing there in the middle of a shirt? It's like a hiked up fancy fanny pack without the pack. What next? Crimped hair and shoulder pads? Come on Kirsty Alleys. Rock those pads. It extends uh the shoulders.