If you’re a regular reader you know - it’s hard enough to figure out what to wear, let alone how to wear it. With clothiers peddling even less reliably valuable wares than Hollywood and the recording industry, we can hardly rely on magazines and model to tell us how to get it right. But it turns out that where you put something on your person is just as, if not more, important than what you’re putting on. In fact, you can easily turn something you should be wearing into something you shouldn’t just by putting in the wrong spot. Of course, we’re not talking about wrong-footing your shoes or sticking your arm out the head-hole. Those obvious mistakes and mis-fits are rarely seen for more than a fleeting absent-minded moment while dressing. No, we’re talking about ways you can put things on, but never, ever should. In these trying times, we must usually rely on our friends to let us know when we’ve dressed ourselves like a punchline. But from the looks of things there are a lot of folks who haven’t got good friends, or any friends at all. And so, in the interests of identifying those folks who could use a hand, here are 3 places to not wear things:
1. Not So Bright. Sunglasses have become as essential a part of the modern wardrobe as shoes and pants. But with this addition to the standard clothing vocabulary comes a timeless paradox: where to put those vital shades when they’re not over your eyes. First: you must take them off your eyes when there’s no direct sunlight. (There is only one exception to this rule - but since you’re not famous, wanted by the government, or working as a covert operative - it doesn’t apply to you.) Now that we’ve cleared that up - where are you going to put your glasses? Given the almost limitless options you’ve got, it might be easier just to go over where you’re not going to put them (well, that is if you’re hoping to retain any sense of self-worth in the eyes of others). They don’t go in the case you’re keeping with you. Who keeps the case anyway? If your sunglasses are that precious to you, you should just leave them in the case all the time and only wear that cheap pair you got from the drug store. They surely don’t go on your face just above your eyes. Whoever started this absurdity is definitely in line for a rake-slapping; as this is only marginally less ass-hattish than wearing them under your chin. They also don’t go on top of your head. Please read that again. Please. I recently saw a television ad for a Las Vegas real estate agent who did the commercial with his sunglasses on his head. I wish I was joking. I wouldn’t let that guy help me buy gum from a machine, let alone real estate. So, what options have you got left? You can’t go wrong with the collar, and there’s always your pockets. You ladies have your ever-present handbag. But if I see them anywhere else, I can’t be blamed for assuming that you’ve got double digit IQ, a job that requires a name tag and a deep-seated belief that professional wrestling is completely real.
2. Bling-In. There are precious few reasons for a man to wear anything around his neck that aren’t dog tags, an Olympic medal or an award given to you by Princess Leia for saving the Rebel Alliance, and there are none to wear it outside your shirt. I’m half Italian and grew up in an Italian coal-mining town and I still don’t get how anyone could think this is ok. Male jewelry is only thing you can put around your neck that’s even lamer than an ascot. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that neck “mewelry” is gay - because after ten years of cheerleading and ten years in the Navy, I don’t know a single gay man that thinks wearing a chain outside your shirt is ok. In fact, they’re usually more appalled by it than I am. I would truly be more accepting of a man walking around with his zipper undone to display his manhood rather than some cheap gold herringbone chain outside his mock turtleneck. And don’t even get me started on the hip-hop community... because there’s only been one time that a bevy of gold chains has been a reliable indicator of bad-assery, and since Mr T. has long since passed into pop-culture irrelevance, you’re better off showing off your financial prowess with what you’re driving instead of what you’re blinging. Look, maybe there’s something on that chain that’s special to you, maybe you just want to keep it close to your heart. Do us all a favor and keep on the heart side of your shirt - on the opposite side from my gag reflex.
3. Heard, Not Seen. There was a time when a cellular phone was a symbol of status and importance. You either had the means to make calls from wherever it suited you, or were vital enough that you had to be reached at any time. As time passed, and more and more of us obtained cell phones, the smartphone replaced the cell phone as this talisman of wealth and influence. After all, not just anyone could or should have 24/7 access to their e-mail and the information superhighway. But we have finally reached critical mass - and now you can buy a smartphone in a 7-11. What does this mean as far as phone placement goes? It means that I don’t need to see your phone anymore. The belt clip phone case is the new fanny pack. Sure it’s convenient and leaves your pockets free for other sundry items- but who needs all that space when you’ll have the hole left from losing your dignity to store things in? Your phone goes in your pocket or your purse. If it doesn’t fit, your pants are too tight or your bag is too small. If you’ve got the equipment to warrant it, it might even go in your brassiere. But if I can see it while you’re not using it - there’s a solid chance I’ll never need to call it. Additionally, bluetooth headsets are not fashion accessories. At best, they’re legal requirements for using a phone in your car in a couple of states. But if you’re walking around and talking on one, or even worse, walking around with one on that you’re not using - you’re sporting the consumer electronic equivalent of Crocs. And I think we all know how that translates into “value to society”...
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Accessorizing isn’t an easy thing. There are people in Hollywood who get paid to do it full time for celebrities, just to make sure they don’t do it wrong. Unfortunately, not all of them get this crucial help and we’re left without a reliable guide on how or where to wear those things we deem vital to keep on our person. As a general rule of thumb, if something seems ridiculous or awkward it probably is. And just because your friends aren’t saying anything, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. If you can’t find at least two of your friends (i.e. people who don’t see you naked regularly) who affirmatively tell you it’s ok - don’t wear it. If you can find two friends who approve of something on this list: find new friends. Quickly.