Fashion is a lot like riding a bike. You fall off, you get back up, brush yourself off and try again. Once you learn, you'll never forget.
Here are ten tips on how to stay out of the "Don't" pictures and get into the "Do's"
1. Stripes and Checks
You've seen it before, you'll see it again. Stripes and checks/plaid worn together. Somewhat more prevalent when the sun comes out - checked bermuda shorts and horizontal striped golf shirts.
Do - Choose a solid color shirt that pulls out a color in the pattern. You'd be surprised at how versatile the check can be once you start using this technique.
2. Suspenders and Belt
With the 80s British skin head inspired look popping up, remember, both accessories are meant to hold up your trousers.
Do - Choose either one or the other. If you're wearing a boldly colored suspender, such as red, go with black footwear. Don't be afraid to add another brightly colored accoutrement such as a handkerchief or bracelet to play off the color.
3. Socks and Sandals
An obvious to some but adhered to by so few. Yes, it's comfortable but so are your boxers and you don't wear those out in public.
Do - Choose a sandal appropriate to your lifestyle. If you walk a lot find one with arch support and a flexible sole. If you're mainly into posing not walking the sky's the limit.
4. Tank Tops and Jeans
Unless you're a ranch hand or coal miner. See #3 above
Do - Choose a loose fitting light weight shirt if you get warm in the summer. Sleeveless shirts are okay as long as they're loose. Remember, if you're wearing one fitted piece the other should be loose. No one wants to see you in a unitard.
5. White Socks and Black Shoes
Do - If you didn't do your laundry the night before you're still safe. Grab a pair of black ones and wash them up in the sink, squeeze them out and roll them in a dry towel stepping on it to expel any excess water. Roll and step a few times then let the socks air dry over night. Voila.
6. VPL - visible panty line
It can be worse than walking around with toilet paper stuck on your foot. Everyone notices but you.
Do - If you have VPL your trousers are either too tight or you're not wearing the appropriate undergarments or lack thereof. Ask a trusted friend before you go out; 'Do I have VPL?'.
7. Dark Undergarments Under Light Colored Clothes and Vice Versa
You've seen the horrors produced by the camera flash or even worse the black light at the club when one is wearing white under black. The same is true with dark under white. It looks cheap. Sure, Madonna did it in '85 but you're not Madonna and it's 2009.
Do - Choose underwear that is the same color as the clothes you are wearing. If you're wearing white, nude color is best.
8. Dandruff, Underarm Stains and Smelly Feet
As above, this is the 21st Century and there are products and services that help eliminate these problems. The well presented individual will not let their bodily functions tamper with their credibility.
Do - See a doctor about your dandruff. There are high grade shampoos available that will get rid of it. For those pit stained shirts, get rid of them. No matter how many times you wash or dry clean them it'll still be there. Carry a spare shirt and/or try clear antiperspirant. Smelly feet are a big turn off and sometimes even noticed through your shoes. For shoes, choose cotton socks and, like the shirt, carry a spare. Odor preventing insoles do help as long as you change them. For sandals, wash the inside of your sandals with soap and water - even if they're leather. Don't put talc in your sandals. It only makes them slimy. Leave the talc for the end of the day and put it on your freshly washed feet.
9. Keep your shirt on.
Anyone reading this post already cares about how they present themselves so it probably isn't relevant but please spread the word. Call me old fashioned but there's something very undignified about a man walking around the city bare chested.
Do - See numbers 3 and 4 above.
10. Save the Shower for Water
You may know one of these individuals. They over scent themselves and usually with a vile smelling one at that. Water is meant to shower in, not cologne.
Do - Use just a dab on a pulse point. That's all you need.