A long, long time ago, back in the early stages of the internet, there were some very ugly sites. I’m talking animated flames everywhere, flashing fonts, blinking lights and the dreaded background music.
This doesn't look good
Today, many of those sites are a thing of the past, and the emergence of slick looking sites like digg
have taken over. So the question remains, why hasn’t the style of the quintessential geek improved? Why are we still seeing tapered jeans, fanny packs and sandals? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all geeks have bad style, but there are still a few out there who are giving the rest a bad name. These people have impeccable taste when it comes to site design, they are the connoisseurs
of the internet, so to speak, so why oh why doesn’t this get extended to real life?
Problem #1: Bad jeans
You know the ones I’m talking about; pleats, tapered, acid washed and way too tight. Jeans are a staple to any wardrobe, making bad jeans a really grievous error in judgment. Remember sites with dreadful fixed background images
? How horribly annoying they were, how you couldn’t really differentiate the text and it was really hard to read? And basically, you would stop reading them because the background was just too much of a hurdle to cross. Bad jeans are like that. You can’t get past them because all you’re seeing is that pleat and that *shudder* acid washed hue.Solution:
Commit these rules to memory: No pleats and No tapered legs. You should not, ever, under any circumstances wear pleated jeans. You should not ever, under any circumstances wear tapered jeans. Jeans should fit you properly (the easiest way is to go for a relaxed or boot-cut fit). They should sit below
the waist (that’s key by the way) and hit about an inch below the ankle. Darker shades are the way to go for color. If you find yourself describing the color and you can in any way reference its relativity to the color of the sky, stay far far away.
Problem #2: Sandals
Oh sandals, why art thou still in our midst? Times New Roman went out in the 90’s
when better sans serif fonts came out, and sandals should have gone out when real shoes were invented. No one wants to see your feet. Seriously.Solution:
Men’s shoes have had some major improvements in the last few years. Puma, Pony, and Nike, just to name a few, have an array of styles that look great with any pair of jeans. And, if you’re really feeling fashion forward (or backwards), go for Velcro.
Problem #3: No belt
“I don’t need a belt; my pants fit me just fine.” Listen, I’ve heard the argument a thousand times and you’re still wrong. You need a belt. Belts do more than hold your pants up, they provide a visual break between your top half and your bottom half. Imagine a website with no borders
, just a mishmash with blocks of text everywhere, that’s what you look like without a belt.Solution:
A brown leather belt and a black leather belt will take you through most outfits. There’s a common misconception that your shoes have to match your belt exactly. They only need to match if you’re wearing black shoes (black belt) or brown shoes (brown belt), but that doesn’t mean that if your shoes are blue you have to wear a blue belt. Go with the color of belt that matches your shoes best.
Problem #4: Sizing
Most guys are under some strange illusions when it comes to size. For some reason, small guys like to wear XL and big guys like to wear small. I’ll let you in on a secret guys; you’re not fooling anyone. Oversized fonts
don’t trick me into thinking your site has more content, and they definitely don’t trick me into thinking you’re Web 2.0.Solution:
Don’t go for baggy or skin-tight, aim for fitted. Fitted looks are great for everyone. They provide structure where there might not be any and make for a long and lean silhouette. Button-down shirts, cool t-shirts and polos are all good bets for work or going out.
Problem #5: Too-short shorts
Too-short shorts are by far the most heinous of fashion crimes. No one wants to see your thighs, I don’t care how much biking you do. Men’s thighs? Not that attractive. You know when a site has tons of menus, sidebars, and banner ads
with very little content and all you can see is ugly? All I’m seeing are your thighs.Solution:
Personally, I’m not a big fan of shorts ever, unless you’re at the beach or working out, I’d be happy if shorts never entered my line of sight again. That being said, I understand that people aren’t ready to give up on shorts completely, so go for ones that hit just below the knee. I’m not talking K-Fed manpris, just shorts that extend past the danger zone I was talking about earlier.
These pretty much go without saying, but just to reiterate: T-shirts you got a conference and/or T-shirts your company gave you, big white running shoes with lots of cushioning, clip on devices, and elasticized jackets.
If anyone can think of a comparison to Flash intros, let me know, those definitely need to be worked in somewhere.