Start 2018 Fresh: Throw Out These 9 Things Immediately
Great style begins with subtraction.
As much as shopping for new clothes is a surefire way to update your look, there’s power in getting rid of what you don’t need anymore—or what you should have gotten rid of a long time ago. I’m talking about outdated trends, novelty or “memorabilia” clothing, poorly fitting items, items in disrepair, and anything “kids these days” are wearing. Age is just a number, and you are only as young as you feel, but hanging on to Clothes of Time Gone Past can unintentionally age you.
Since you don’t want to be looking to fashion as your fountain of youth, it’s time to toss out these nine items from your style repertoire:
- Heavy foundation or concealer. Pancake face makeup not only broadcasts that you’re stuck in the 80s, but it can actually accentuate all those fine lines you’re trying to minimize, especially as it settles into those creases around your eyes. Instead, opt for a foundation in the lightest coverage to even out your skin tone. For concealer, a small amount on the inner side of your under-eye area can help hide those dark circles.
- Super-bright eyeshadow. Let the ladies of the 80s also keep their brow bone–high fuchsia eyeshadow. This look does not brighten your eyes, it only draws attention to your super-bright eyeshadow! For a more modern look, try pairing neutral shadows with a black, brown, or navy eyeliner traced with a fun pop of blue, green or purple eyeliner.
- Trusty interview suit. A great suit is an important investment in your job search, but if you’re still hanging on to old trusty from 1995, it probably isn’t flattering or fashionable anymore. Time to trade up for a new suit with modern lines, patterns, and colors. The time to play it safe has passed; now is your time to shine!
- Rimless glasses. Eyeglasses are your top accessory, framing your eyes and face whenever people look at you. They should be current! For always-on-point fashion, consider having more than one pair: a casual, sporty pair, and a more formal pair. Try a fresh style like cat eye, round, vintage/retro, geek or hipster, and thick or straight browline. (Note that “rimless glasses” do not make the list!) Colors range from bold to the more traditional tortoiseshell to clear plastic. Have fun choosing a stylish pair that sits well on your face.
- Excessive fragrance. You’ve often heard me say that fragrance must be discovered, never announced. Too much fragrance is not only a turnoff, it can cause migraines and allergic reactions—probably not the first impression you want to make. This is especially important for you gentlemen, who may have become desensitized to your daily cologne broadcast. Develop the habit of wearing the right amount of fragrance, applied in the right places. Selectively spray once each on your wrists, neck, and chest, while holding the bottle 10 inches away from your body. Subtlety is the key to impressing.
- Clothing with large logos. Why be a walking billboard for someone else’s brand, when you should be advertising BRAND YOU? Branding has become synonymous with status, and people naturally equate labels with quality, but you should never buy designer clothing just for the branding. I’m not saying you should never buy designer clothing or have visible branding on your clothes, you just want to choose tastefully, such as a polo shirt with a small Lacoste or Ralph Lauren logo on your left chest.
- Square-toe shoes. Nothing screams 1990s more than the chunky-soled, squared-toe dress shoes that can make your feet look stubby or flipper-like. This shoe design is suitable for men with unique foot anatomy or especially broad feet; otherwise, switch to a more refined curved-toe shoe.
- Baggy clothing. Hello, MC Hammer pants! A well-fitted ensemble flatters your body shape and invites compliments from those around you. Ill-fitting clothes have the opposite effect. You may be tempted to camouflage flaws with baggy clothing, but wearing too-big clothes can actually make you look bigger, as well as sloppy and unprofessional. Understand the importance of a good fit and get your clothes altered to fit you perfectly. Know the name of your tailor!
- Overly wide or skinny ties. Not only is a thick necktie outdated, but it makes a man look older than he is. For most men, two to three inches is as wide as your tie needs to go. If you’re a bigger guy, you can get away with a bigger tie. Now, the skinnier the tie, the less formal it becomes, so if you’re trying to rock the casual tie, pick one that’s on the slim side. Remember: Tie width should be proportional to your body size and your suit jacket’s lapel width. (Check out more answers tomen’s top-asked image questions.))
And those are just a few of the items that need to be thrown out of your closet or makeup bag, because they just don’t suit you. To find out more about what you need to toss immediately, how about a closet audit or a makeup audit? When you’re ready to learn what your image is saying about you and get recommendations to strategically shape a message that maximizes success, TAKE THE FIRST STEP.