You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. Let’s get that out of the way. We are not buddies, bros’, amigos. We don’t chill out on Friday after a cruel week’s work. You don’t invite me over for some tasty barbecue burgers. Your kids are just strangers, and God have mercy on your soul if you drag me to a family gathering. Nope, none of the above. What we are, nonetheless are traveling companions on the grand spaceship called Earth. We might share a lot of traits, but there’s one that’s universal; we want to look good.
Some of us slave away, like prisoners at the gym, others run around like demented puppies just to flick off some fat, and a surprising amount of us waddle away in front of the tube, fingers crossed hoping that somehow gravity will steer clear of our gut. We want to look buff, we want to stare in the mirror and see a Magic Mike background player giving us the two thumbs up. It’s an innate truth about the masculine condition. We want to be superheroes, even though we have the roaming patterns of garden slugs.
So, for those of you who are already jacked; for those of you who, no matter how much you bench press, will always look like exiles from Kosovo; and mostly for those of you who consider a hard work-out something you do between binge-watching Netflix, let’s introduce a few cheat codes into our existence.
“Clothes maketh the man.”
Here are a few quick tips and tricks for some much-needed style chicanery. Rules that will help you scam your way into any C.Q. magazine. It may be a bamboozle, but by the time she figures it out, it will be too late. We might not be able to wear makeup, or mascara to hide our age-lines, but men can be just as deceitful with smoke and mirror as the fairer of sexes.
1. Take a careful look at the stitching
Find seams that square you out. That go all the way up from your armpit and lie just on top of your shoulders. This will give you a barrel-like appearance and not soppy wet-dog “my arms are so skinny and long,” veneer.
Learn your real size. Nowadays, most certainly in the shirt department, there are thousands of sizes and styles to choose from. There’s skinny, fit, relax, compression, wrinkled, ironed, etc. Find a shirt that accentuates your muscles, one that wraps itself around your biceps and chest. A tip of the trade, go for cotton shirts with stretch potential. Not only do they ward off wrinkles, put they cling handsomely to your frame.
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. Every woman has her LDD – her heart-stopping little dark dress. If you’re a guy, always have a good, zero advertising, no brand or labels, black shirt. If you can flaunt it, have a white one also. Always have decent understated colors; navy blue, dark azure, white, black, gray, perhaps burgundy. Do not go out looking like a Jackson Pollock’s painting. This isn’t on account of your muscles, but on account that you have to maintain some level of respect. You want to look cool, not like a Krusty The Clown.
If you have a nice chest, perhaps a long neck and a pronounced clavicle, your best bet is to go V shape. If your neck is part of your torso, go crew neck. And remember it’s a tee, not part of a stripper costume, so don’t go overboard with the dipping.
5. Stripes and patterns
It’s fairly simple if you want to look long and lean; wider and vertical stripes. If you’re going for Hulk-like dimensions; patterns that stretch across your chest. Shirts with darker colors on top and lighter shades on the bottom give off a sort of illusion that make you appear like a Roman wrestler.
6. Design and thingamabobs
It’s a shirt, you are not a decorated General collecting medals, so no glitter or sparkly bits. Plain fabric, yarn and cotton. No, I repeat, no need to light up the night. Your shirt should not come with a battery pack, except on Halloween. On that occasion, it’s a bylaw that you should light up the night with more flare than Liberace during the Rio De Janeiro Corsa. Now, for the rest of the year, if you want something besides plain colors, perhaps a nice scheme or composition Then once again – say it with me: Keep It Simple Stupid. One, at the most, two colors. If the shirt’s black, go for white and gray, and vice-versa. Small composition; less is more. You are not a two-page comic spread. Vintage is nice; artistic skulls add an air of danger; Star Wars makes you look like a nerd (this is not a bad thing, per say, it all demands in what waters your dragging your tackle).
7. Try it out
Don’t buy online, go to the store, see how it fits. Nuff said.
Next time you go out shopping, take this list with you and you’ll end up looking like a buff, well-built, machine of a man.