There’s nothing worse than a cute guy in a bad pair of khaki cargo shorts. No, wait: A cute guy wearing six-year-old khaki cargo shorts that have graduated high school, reigned in keg stand championship glory during college, and gained one too many nostalgic stains from that around-the-world, post-grad backpacking trip. It’s just tragic.
Looking nice is everyone’s cup of tea—who doesn’t want to be considered attractive and to be loved in some capacity by others (except maybe you, asexual person who indulges in independent poetry zines on the weekends, not that there’s anything wrong with that)? Selecting the clothes that adorn you everyday, that thing that they call “shopping,” is not necessarily everyone’s favorite activity, though. Especially if it’s as foreign as the Thai sex industry to a group of post grads who just expected to have some innocent fun during their around-the-world backpacking trip.
Being able to shop, or to have “style” is definitely not a sex-specific trait. Of course there are men and women who could not tell a truly great garment from an open farm-raised chicken. But for men who’ve left such duties to their mothers, the disability or pure terror of picking out clothes that accentuate their smokin’ hotness is noticeably prevalent. Hence: cute guys in khaki shorts they got their sophomore year of high school. For Christmas. From their mom.
If the guy you’re with has a dismal, Mom-bought wardrobe, know that there is a way to subtly influence his fashion without 1) Giving of the succubus vibe and/or 2) Giving him painstaking flashbacks of receiving socks and underwear instead of dirt bikes and paintball guns at Christmas. Here’s how:
1) Start with America’s favorite staple item: Jeans. Unless they’re mom jeans, or cutoff jeans, or have mated with another article of clothing to produce something that’s just wrong (see: jeggings), jeans are entirely non-offensive. Everyone needs a good pair of jeans. And they are also masculine—think cowboys and lumberjacks.
A really nice pair of jeans is a gift that doesn’t scream, “I’m infiltrating your wardrobe one garment at a time,” because when he puts them on he will be so overwhelmed that clothes can feel that good. Don’t push it too much with trendy washes or styles—go with classic cuts and washes. Then at least, should you break up and he goes out into the cold hard world alone, you’ll know he at least has a great pair of jeans that’ll last forever.
2) More basics, just ‘cause. “Oh, American Apparel is having a sale on their classic zip-hoodies and t-shirts I just picked you up one just ‘cause!” C’mon, we all know AA would rather declare bankruptcy than put shit on sale. Except your man ‘cause he ain’t shoppin’! Then, proceed to hide his t-shirts from wilderness summer camp and fraternity fundraisers in a cabinet and beg him to make you dinner to make up for the dip in your funds.
3) Adopt the Gisele Bundchen/Tom Brady mentality. What it comes down to is that you know your man is fine as hell. You care about style, and you kind of wish he did too. It’s about sharing The Good Word, not shoving a way of being down the throat of someone you’re into. Look at Gisele and Tom Brady: Dude was always fine, even decked out in sweats and bad hair and baseball hats, and the fashionable lady just influenced his style to be more refined. And yet, she didn’t change who he was at the end of the day.