Different cultures have different ways of doing things. In Rome, for instance, going out for an aperitivo with your mates generally involves designer shirts and staring deep into a mirror while shaping your stubble with a single-blade razor. In the USA, I have it on good authority that going out with your mates simply means walking out the door dressed in whatever you happen to have on at the time you made the decision to go out. Different cultures, different social convention, get it?
I didn’t. When I lived in Rome, I defiantly stuck to my fashion-is-for-losers look, and the more dressed up the attire of my companions, the more I dug my heels in and reached for my hoodies and beat up sneakers. Looking back, it was basically the equivalent of a stuffy Italian guy dressed in Fendi and leather shoes at a Maltese barbecue. Not good. So my point is that fashion – at least some of its basic tenets – are universal, and if you can’t even get the basics right, then you might as well go live on an island somewhere with a volleyball named Wilson.
So here are five basic rules on fashion aimed at fellow Maltesers, from a guy who’s guilty of breaking all of them.
Dress for the occasion!
There was a time when it didn’t matter what you wore; when you could pull a beanie over your messy hair and that was totally acceptable. Now you’re all grown up and your fantasies of rock star fame and riches haven’t materialised, so it’s time to learn about dress codes.
What is a dress code? If it says smart casual, you probably don’t want to be wearing bus driver shorts, but even if there is no official dress code, there are unwritten and oftentimes unspoken rules. If you’re taking a girl on a date to a laid-back pub, you don’t want to be wearing a tie and blazer. Much like the fabulous chameleon, you want to blend in to your surroundings… unless you’re aiming to be the peacock alpha male who sticks out, but chances are that if you’re not wearing a proper suit at a wedding your choice of dress will be perceived as childish and disrespectful.
Faded Uomo Boxers – Don’t Wear Them..PLEASE!
I swear, do these things come out of the box all faded and torn? They’re not a pretty sight, and for something that is supposed to be unseen, they have a habit of revealing themselves at the most inopportune moment. How can I illustrate the effect of seeing Uomo boxers? It’s like when you’re hosting a formal do, and your guests are all standing around looking sophisticated, and suddenly your filthy wet Siberian Husky who you’ve neglected for the past week and thought you had locked away for the evening somehow manages to break free and bounds happily through the party, getting muddy paw marks all over everyone and making everything smell like wet dog, ruining any semblance of dignity and style. Stay away from Uomo boxers.
Football Shirts – Don’t… especially Juve ones!
There is a time and place for football shirts, like at an actual football event when the team you support is playing. Anywhere else looks a bit naff.
Don’t get delusions of grandeur
You’re sitting at a bus stop waiting for the elusive and seldom seen Maltese bus, and you go into a trance-like state to try to cope with the boredom. In that frame of mind, anything seems more interesting than it actually is: What is the actual colour of pavements? Why is the sky blue? Then your eye alights on the poster of the bearded model who’s looking at you. He is angry. He is angry because you haven’t got a beard. So what would I look like with a big, thick beard?
Good question. Not everyone can pull it off, and the same goes for long hair. I tried to grow my hair once. They say that when growing your hair out, there’s an awkward phase where you have to man up and soldier on until the moment that it finally morphs into awesome surfer-esque bangs. I discovered this hard way. When my hair is long, it’s just a perpetual awkward phase. Sadly, this holds true for many guys out there, and untamed beards often make us Maltese look like ISIS terrorists. So this is where you should stop trying to emulate the angry bearded European model and instead mock him for being a nancy boy – it helps soothe the jealousy.
Recycling old things is a good idea… just not when it comes to clothes.
If it’s stained, torn, dirty or has changed colour completely, throw it away and buy something new – You’re worth it!