Today is a special day here on Sexy Style for Joe,
We’re having our first annual Hall Of Shame awards!
The goal of Good Looking Clothes Hall Of Shame Awards is to remember, acknowledge and celebrate the worst of the worst that this year’s men’s fashion trends had to offer.
The ugly, the obnoxious, the boring, the passé, the dumb, and the painfully common – we have it all this year!
We’ll be giving away five awards in five different categories:
- “What Were You Thinking?!”
- “Glitch In The Matrix”
- “Aww… Such A Sweet Guy”
- “Bro, Hold My Beer”
- “Lost In Time”
To make sure that we keep our prestigious awards transparent, let me quickly explain the process how we will be determining the winner of each category:
Step One. Selecting The Nominees – each category has four potential nominees that have been hand selected by a not-very-objective and kind-of-an-asshole guy, who’s running this site (me!). For more than three years now, I’ve been helping guys around the world improve their style and get sexy. This puts me in an interesting position, where on a daily basis I can observe, think and test what works and what doesn’t when it comes to image and looking attractive. In turn, I’m confident that all the candidates are at the very least suboptimal choices and at the very worst, straight-up attractiveness killers.
Step Two. Picking The Winner – to keep my own biases aside, the four nominees were then presented to our secret and elite SSfJ Facebook group and voted on by the sexy bastards, who hang out there.
With the rules explained, let’s start the show!
The Prestigious “What Were You Thinking?!” Award
The “What Were You Thinking?!” award is given to the piece of clothing or design choice that makes you wonder, how drunk, high and over-caffeinated (probably all three) the person had to be when designing that piece of clothing.
Even worse, you have to wonder what was going through the mind of the person in charge, who then had to look at the design and instead of spewing his (or hers) mocha and bursting into laughter, said something along the lines “Yeah, screw it, let’s do it” (I mean really, how much can hate your job?)
But even that’s not the worst. The worst is that some poor bastard then looked at that piece of clothing and paid his hard-earn money to get it…
Now that makes you wonder, What Were You Thinking?!
Let’s meet the nominees:
- Psychedelic short-sleeved shirt – taking the advice “you don’t want to look bland” way too far, this short-sleeved shirt will give you a headache if you look at it too much. And it’s so freaking distracting that you can’t help but wonder if the person, who designed it is actually an evil mastermind paid by the “big pharma” to promote the sales of pain relieving drugs.
- Denim overalls – looks like a side-effect of trying to be so innovative and edgy that you forget common sense. It’s a fashion equivalent of wearing your underwear outside your pants – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Seriously, what’s wrong with just jeans?!
- Pink shorts – I look at this design and wonder: someone must have made a bet with the designer that he can’t design a piece of clothing that would make male models look unfuckable. The designer then smiled and said “Challenge accepted!” And looking at the result, I have to admit – the designer won that bet…
- Polo shirt with printed sleeves – It’s not the printed sleeves, it’s not that it’s a polo shirt, it’s the absurdity of taking a piece of clothing that essentially symbolizes the “vanilla nice guy” image and trying to make it “badass”. Looking at this polo shirt is like watching a train wreck in slow motion.
And the winner is…
Congratulations POLO SHIRT WITH PRINTED SLEEVES!
It looks like the absurdity of trying to make a polo shirt cool just cannot be beaten.
- If you’re adamant about making a polo shirt work without killing your sex appeal in the process and have a solid physique required, consider a plain polo shirt in skinny muscle fit. Those can actually work quite well.
- If you’re looking for something classier to wear during hot days, linen buttoned shirts (not short-sleeved!) is the way to go.
- If you want something casual: V-neck/Scoop neck tees are the way to go and you can add edginess/”badassery” with other items in your outfit.
The Fan-Favorite “Glitch In The Matrix” Award
There are so many of them… Everywhere you turn… You just can’t get away from them…
The “Glitch In The Matrix” award is given to the obnoxiously popular clothes. So much so, that on any given day (or night out) you’ll see multiple, sometime even dozens of guys wearing the same identical pieces of clothing, maybe even whole identical outfits. It’s like some factory mass-produced these guys, tagged them “Random guy #1”, “Random Guy #2” … “Random guy #1256787” and filled the streets, bars and clubs with them.
The irony is that often these extremely common items of clothing don’t even look that good.
Let’s meet the nominees:
- Quilted jacket – I know dressing in colder weather is difficult, but come on, have some originality. Usually in navy or black, quilted jackets dominate the streets during colder seasons and the irony is that most variations of the quilted jacket make the wearer look like the “Michelin” mascot.
- Parka jacket – at this point I’m convinced that the popularity of the parka jacket is because of a giant conspiracy by the fashion brands: hiring their models to wear them every day to trick unsuspecting guys into thinking that they will look just as good if they get a parka jacket. Unfortunately, when worn by someone, who doesn’t get paid to look good, the parka jacket becomes this hideous atrocity that consumes your soul (and sex appeal). Seriously, the only people who look good in one are tall, lean & muscular, male model-looking guys. That said, given how common parkas are on the street you must admit – the plan worked!
- “Going out” shirt – unnecessarily flashy, poorly designed and cringe-worthily common, the “going out” shirt dominates the night scene and loudly communicates that the wearer wants and tries to look attractive, stylish but doesn’t really a clue what’s he’s doing.
- Casual hoodie – somehow escaping its natural habitat of the gym and chilling at home, the casual hoodie has been surprisingly popular in the streets too. I’d like to think that everyone wearing them is on their way or back from the gym, but I’m not that naïve. The casual hoodie gained its popularity as the lazy, comfortable choice of casual wear and just shows how truly lazy we can be with our style.
And the winner is…
Congratulations QUILTED JACKET!
If you live in a colder climate and want to see for yourself how bad the quilted jacket epidemic has become, try this experiment: go to the city center, start the timer on your phone and see how long it will take for you to spot the first cluster of 3+ guys all wearing quilted jackets.
- As said, yes, picking outwear for colder seasons can be tricky, but you can’t go wrong with the leather jackets with warm lining (Aviator jacket is especially solid choice in this regard) or coats.
The Understated “Aww… You’re Such A Sweet Guy” Award
There are certain items of clothing in men’s fashion that become only suitable once you’ve completely given up on having sex. Maybe you’re a family man and couldn’t care less if your wife/girlfriend finds you attractive, maybe you want to be seen as asexual by your female classmates/colleagues to make it easy on yourself not to succumb to temptation, or maybe you’re just a good god-fearing man, who looks at sex as that “icky sticky thing” one has to take part in to make babies.
Hey, I’m not judging…
Whatever is the case, men’s fashion has you covered and the “Aww… You’re Such A Sweet Guy” award is given to the pieces of clothing that are the most effective in sucking out any sex appeal from your image.
Let’s meet the nominees:
- Shorts – To quote Tom Ford “A man should never wear shorts in the city. Flip-flops and shorts in the city are never appropriate. Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach.” And it’s not just about appropriateness, the fact is that shorts don’t look flattering on any man, at least not compared to trousers. Just because we love seeing naked legs on women, doesn’t mean we should put our own hairy legs on display too.
- Regular cut striped polo shirt – Is a fashion equivalent of a “dad bod”. And no matter how much you shout and argue “how some women find the dad bod attractive“, you know you’re just lying to yourself as you’re watching your lover salivating over that ripped guy passing by at the beach. Truly, one of the classic sex appeal killers in menswear.
- Straight cut khakis – It’s almost amazing how a piece of clothing with military origins can so quickly lose any masculinity or edginess associated with it. But I guess decades of being worn almost exclusively by “nice guys” with little interest in being seen as sexual men does this to a piece of clothing.
- Sweater vest – Four years ago Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in their song “Thrift Shop” sang “I’m a take your grandpa’s style”. If we would take those lyrics literally, today – just like four years ago – sweater vest would be the first on the list for anyone interested in rocking “the grandpa style” and you won’t even need to visit a thrift shop.
And the winner is…
Congratulations REGULAR CUT, STRIPED POLO SHIRT!
I can only imagine that the thought of seeing a tucked in regular cut polo shirt is what sealed the deal here.
- (See the “Real talk” in the first category for notes on polo shirts)
The Infamous “Bro, Hold My Beer” Award
The “Bro, Hold My Beer” award is given to the piece of clothing that epitomizes the cultural, intellectual and philosophical achievements of a true loud and obnoxious Bro.
After all, it takes an exceptional piece of clothing to cater to this exclusive and infamous demographic of overgrown boys.
- Thick, metal chain – A true Bro has to have his “bling” on, even if it does literally nothing to the image itself and looks kind of goofy. Accessorizing at its worse.
- Flashy snapback – Okay, maybe I was a bit rash with deeming the thick chain as “accessorizing at its worse”… A flashy snapback definitely can hold its own when it comes to ridiculous accessories. I guess there’s no surprise why a snapback became the identifying piece of the scumbag meme.
- Affliction t-shirt – When it comes to “Bro-ish” tops, no other item can hold its ground against these skull-ridden, washed out t-shirts. It take a special kind of delusional to consider them cool as opposed to cringe-worthy (full disclosure: there was a time when I actually owned one haha Hey, don’t judge, we all did stupid things when we were younger).
- Cargo shorts – For a man, who finds regular shorts not repelling enough, we have another contender for the “Bro, Hold My Beer” award. Maybe it’s the extra pointless pockets, maybe it’s the hideous color but somehow cargo shorts somehow found popularity among the Bros.
And the winner is…
Congratulations FLASHY SNAPBACK!
The flashy snapback decimated its opponents to claim the title and I guess it’s not that surprising. As one of the guys in our FB group commented: “Just seeing that cap makes we want to go out on the streets and scream obscenities at elderly people”
- Stylish hairstyle > any hat, any day of the week. If you’re bald or have receding hairline a snapback is not the answer either. If you need a hat because it’s freaking cold outside, it is possible to make it work in outfit but it’s not going to be a snapback.
- That said, yes, there are a few looks that can work with a snapback but most of them are for teenagers and even then, it doesn’t really improve the look. In other words, unless you’re absolutely sure what you’re doing, just say No, you won’t be missing out on anything.
The Timeless “Lost In Time” Award
Fashion is cyclical and most clothes come and go in and out of fashion. The period for something to come back to fashion can be as short as several years and often is as long as several decades.
And even though you don’t need to be fashionable and up to date with every trend to look attractive, sexy (often this can be even counter-productive), at a certain point styles that are out of fashion become eye-sores and it looks like the wearer spent the last decade in a cave.
Cyclical fashion trends also mean that every once in a while you see styles reemerge that you genuinely hoped to never see again.
The “Lost In Time” award is given to the piece of clothing that best represent the worst of the cyclical fashion trends: clothes that are still sometimes seen on the streets even though they have no place being there anymore or resurging trends that we hoped we got rid of for good.
Let’s meet the nominees:
- Anti-fit jeans – Okay, seriously, WTF?! In terms of raw aesthetics in trousers, menswear peaked in the 2010s with the popularity of slim cuts. But I guess people just like to fuck things up every once in a while for shits & giggles. The way fashion brands are trying to push anti-fit jeans is a perfect example of trying to fix something that’s not broken and screwing it all up in the process.
- Boot cut jeans – Representing late 1990s/early 2000s, boot cut jeans are not making a resurgence and honestly have no place in a modern man’s wardrobe anymore. It’s not that it’s a terrible looking design, but it is becoming painfully outdated compared to its tapered counterparts.
- Oversized patterned sweaters/sweatshirts – I don’t know if it’s because of the hipsters or fashion brands just ran out of ideas, but oversized trends from the 1990s are coming back and one of the worst offenders is a patterned oversized sweater/sweatshirt.
- Colorful, large sole sneakers – Sneakers have been popular for a very long time now. Unfortunately far from all variations of a sneaker could be considered good looking. Representing late 1980s/early 1990s, these colorful but silly designs are resurging and I can’t help but wonder Why… (Full disclosure: there are some colorful, large sole sneaker designs that actually look playful and cool, but as a trend on the whole, it would’ve been awesome to never see it again.)
And the winner is…
Congratulations COLORFUL, LARGE SOLE SNEAKERS!
I guess even though it’s not the worst looking design (can’t beat anti-fit jeans in that regard), the popularity of these sneakers is what gets them their first Hall of Shame award.
- As mentioned in the disclosure above, not all colorful, large sole sneakers are ugly and some are actually quite cool in a playful kind of way. It’s just that making the distinction can be tricky.
- In turn, if in doubt, just skip them and go with a design that has one/two colors (white is the easiest to work with when it comes sneakers).
- Also, keep in mind that chances are high that in a year or two, it will go out of fashion again, so I wouldn’t pay a fortunate to get pair.
As you probably suspect “The Good Looking Clothes Hall Of Shame Awards” was meant to be a fun article to give you a few good laughs. But behind the jokes I’ve been making and jabs I’ve been taking, I wanted to draw your attention to a serious underlining problem with men’s fashion:
Its goal, first and foremost, is NOT to make you the most attractive man that you can be. Actually, a lot of the popular styles do the exact opposite. So it’s then up to you to make the distinction and consciously decide in what direction you want to take your image.
If this sounds worrisome, you can do a quick reality check by taking this test to check if you know what it takes to dress sexy.
And of course, I’m available for help too.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering about our secret FB group that picked the winners for our first Good Looking Clothes Hall of Shame awards, it’s available to those, who joined “The Wow! Factor” course.