Fashion Tips for the Average Joe (or Jane)

Are you fashion conscious? If you answered “no”–great! If you answered “yes”– great! This article is for you (and for you, too).

I am far from fashion conscious, even though I stay on top of the latest fashion blogs. That doesn’t mean I don’t like to look good; it just means I don’t follow trends just for the sake of following trends. If I think something looks great, I will incorporate it into my wardrobe. If an article of trendy clothing looks tacky or silly to me, then I don’t buy it–no matter who is wearing it or how “in” it is.

Not following trends can lead to just as many embarrassing wardrobe woes as following trends blindly.

To illustrate this, let us take a trip back in time to 1994.

I had just arrived at a small social gathering. I had groomed myself carefully and was dressed in a casual but–what I considered to be–decently fashionable fashion. I entered the room and a friend of a friend–I will call him “Tim”– squealed when he saw me.

“Wow, you look fabulous!” he said.

I smiled and waited for another compliment.

“You look so…,” he paused and eyed me up and down, “so very ’80’s!”

The smile froze on my face. Could this be? Could it be that, after years of training myself to be less of a dork and to develop my own sense of style, I had failed? Was I stuck in the ’80’s? Indeed I was. I was an adult and made my own money and was trying to develop a decent style of my own. But somewhere, back in my teen years, I had assimilated the styles of the 1980’s as the perfect blueprint for all that is fashionable and I had remained oblivious that time had continued on, that clothing had changed dramatically between 1986 and 1994.

That experience showed me that:

  1. I tend to lag, many years, fashion-wise
  2. It is okay because I can still look fabulous!

I decided I wanted to upgrade the wardrobe and try to lose the ’80’s look. However, I didn’t want to merely adopt new trends that would again be outdated the next year. In the end I chose to just buy what I thought would look good on me. That is my biggest piece of advice on what to do–buy what you think looks good on you. But you can’t stop there. There are some fashion no-no’s that need repeating here. Just because you think something looks good on you doesn’t mean it does.

I’ve compiled a list of common fashion mistakes that should be avoided at all cost.

Things that look bad no matter what:

  • Black dress socks with shorts
  • Dark Dress socks with shorts
  • Dress socks with shorts
  • Loud bold patterns on pants
  • Anything held together by Velcro
  • Anything created from double knit Polyester

What not to wear to most restaurants:

  • Flip Flops
  • Muscle shirts
  • Any shirt that exposes chest hair–especially if you are a woman
  • Cheap perfume or cologne
  • Baseball caps
  • Torn Jeans

If you are going to be on television (yes, I know this article is for the average Joe or Jane. I am including you too) please:

  1. Give me 50 percent of your salary
  2. Avoid wearing zigzag patterns, any busy geometric pattern, thin stripes, and black and white stripes or checks.

The camera does funny things with these patterns. It hurts our eyes. Please stop wearing them. I am ever surprised that the producer or director of a show doesn’t say something to the actor or news anchor about the clothing before the broadcast goes on the air.

Try out these cool fashion wear instead:

Looking fabulous doesn’t have to be painful or require a big budget. If you follow the simple do’s and don’ts in this article, your chances of looking dorky will be greatly reduced.