Summer’s here!! That spells a soaring celsius, long sticky days and steamy nights (not in the way we like it) for those of us on this side of the equator. So, its not surprising that the heat makes men do unforgivable things sometimes. Here’s a quick fix guide for all those guys out there who are so occupied battling the sun that they overlook these dreaded summer mistakes they’re making. At the risk of terribly offending your masculine sensibilities, I’ll start with grooming, here goes:
1. B.O, Sweat Patches & Pit Stains: Fixing the Leak
The scariest outcome of the mercury rising are those dreaded wet patches under your pits. If only I had a rupee for every man I’ve seen leaking through their Abercrombie tees. Tom Cruise, Hugh Jackman, Hrithik Roshan, Salman Khan – almost everyone has fallen victim to these not-so-sweet sweat spots. And with sweat comes B.O – Don’t even get me started on body odour!! That funky smell you’re giving off mister is an absolute NO! Coming in close second are pit stains – those much hated yellow circles appear out of nowhere, murder your favourite shirts and leave you looking like a disgusting mess. Unfortunately, unless you’re an alien, perspiration is tough to avoid. All the Armanis in the world cannot protect you from looking and smelling like a sweaty pig but the next few steps can.
1. The art of wearing deodorant: Even though it seems logical, slapping on layers of deo is not the solution, in fact this will definitely guarantee a stain. Instead, apply a thin layer and allow it to completely dry before putting on your shirt.
2. Say no to aluminium: As strange as this sounds, antiperspirants are the biggest cause of those nasty yellow shirt stains. The primary ingredient in your antiperspirant is aluminium, which reacts with the protein in your sweat and in your shirt to cause that gross yellowing. Also the aluminium clogs up your glands, which causes a protein buildup which is the biggest cause of B.O. So, bin the antiperspirant and use an alcohol-free deodorant instead.
3. Take a haircut, Under your arms: You don’t need to shave it all off, but regular trimming under your pits = lesser sweat build up = good hygiene
4. Ditch the synthetic muscle tees: Wearing a garment that sticks to every crevice on your torso in a fabric that will not allow your skin to breathe is a recipe for disaster. Opt for tees & shirts that have a larger armhole in natural fabrics like cotton and linen.
5. Wash in time: Don’t wait for the laundry basket to fill up. Wash your shirt in cold water as soon as you’re done wearing them, that way you will get rid of any stain producing build up.
6. Underarm guards: Traditionalists recommend undershirts – banyans as we like to call it. The idea is to create a layer between your skin and the main garment that will absorb sweat instead. However, I don’t see how that would work in the humid Indian climate. Instead you can use underarm guards or garment sheilds in your shirt, when you know you have a long day of running in the sun ahead of you. You can get them at a local chemist or off ebay.
7. Detox: Yes! It does boil down to that! It’s all about the diet. Increase the greens, cut down on the meat, drink more water and less whiskey.
8. Extreme measures: When all else fails, there’s botox. While I’m completely against any kind of bodily augmentation, sometimes you’re just built a certain way and nothing you do solves your perspiration woes. If you do have to go for this, don’t try to pinch pennies – Make sure you visit a certified doctor, there are a lot of quacks out there who can destroy you!
2. Furminator: Strategic Shaving
With summer comes the shedding of clothes and with lesser clothing, comes the unsightly appearance of man fur. While an unkempt jungle is not a pretty sight, it’s nice to hold on to some essence of your manliness.
Manscaping is essential to maintain a balance between caveman and boyband. While body hair is a matter of preference, your choice will come with a set of rules to take you from grizzly bear to groomed.
1. Face & Head: The world is your playground in this case. You can go for anything, just make it look like you care (even when you’re going for the ‘I don’t care’ look).
2. Pits: Armpit hair always reminds me of this poor guy I once went on a date with. While I lost my appetite (and his number), he was completely oblivious to the upside down forest under his pits. While a trim prevents such disasters, you don’t need to shave it all off.
3. Chest: The completely bare chest is quite passé. It’s okay to have a little chest hair as long as you’re not bordering on Anil Kapoor back in the day. Plus is helps hide the moobs when you’re at the pool!
4. Back: Back hair is unforgivable! Take it off but don’t take a razor to it. Stubble on the back is much worse! Luckily, its the least painful area to wax. Get your local salon to take the fur off all the way from your butt to your shoulders!
5. Arms & Legs: I think arms & legs need to look natural. But if you are suffering from a grizzly situation, there’s no harm in taking a little trim.
6. Others: Yep! I’m talking about those unmentionable places where the sun don’t shine. This is completely up to you and your partner’s likings. However, grooming down there is a good thing and it’s nice not to burst out of your swimming trunks.
Phew! Don’t be scared… That’s it for summer grooming. Hang in there – the next part will be quick! Next up, the clothes…
3. 10 TONNE DENIMS: PUT AWAY THE 501S
Jeans are a crucial part of a man’s wardrobe. So many clueless souls wear the wrong kind at the wrong times. The only thing thick heavy denims in summer can lead to is a sweaty tush and an uncomfortable crotch.
You’ll like this. Wear your old pair! Old jeans that have been worn in are distressed enough for you to put up with the heat. The colour is crucial, lighter faded colours work better for summer. A good alternative to denims are lightweight chinos. The high streets are full of easy styles in fun colours at great price points.
4. Tents & Mooties: Shorts that don’t fit right
Boys, I know you’re happy that shorts have made their way back into mens’ fashion but before its becomes a permanent feature of your summer look, you need to gauge the correct length and width. There are 2 wrong types of shorts that men usually put on. First, Short Shorts aka mooties. Anything that borders on your man bits hanging out is a major crime. Second – this all men have worn at least once – The Tent – Shorts that are so big that you could fit a family of four inside it. These shorts accentuate all body types i.e. Short men look shorter, tall men look stretched, thin legs look like chopsticks and robust one look like tree stumps!
Lets take this step by step, first, the length – no more than 3 inches above the knee. Baggy shorts are untidy. Keep it clean with a trim & tailored pair. I like adventurous men, so play with colours & patters (keep away from tropical prints though). If you’re going for a pair of cargo shorts, choose one with cleaner pockets that don’t bulge. The bigger men can work around these rules, wear shorts that are slightly – note slightly – longer and baggier – so that you don’t look like you’re wearing a pair from when you were 5!
5. Backpacks: Leave them for the cooler days
Backpacks are in fashion right now, they are everywhere – Fashion, however, isn’t always practical (forgive me fashion gods). Picture this, it’s an afternoon in May in Mumbai, you’re on the street waiting for your date, sporting the sickest backpack on the market. She/He arrives, you head to the cafe, she/he sits, your backpack comes off, your turn around and – gasp!!! Drenched shirt, giant patch of sweat on your back!!! Get what I’m saying???
Compromise on making a fashion statement and switch to a bag that hangs away from your body, just till summer passes.
6. Kitos, Crocs & Flip Flop flops!
They look bad, they sound annoying and they kill your walk! Kitos belong on the school playground, Crocs should be banned and Flip flops should only be worn in 3 places – poolsides, beaches and bathrooms!
Leather sandals, moccasins & sneakers are the summer way to go. Make sure you go for something in a breathable material, there’s nothing worse than foot odour.
7. Socks ain’t sexy!
I quite enjoy the burst of colour the right pair of socks add to a look. But there are soooo many ways you can go wrong with them. The wrong length, that tight tube of fabric around your calf in the summer heat. The wrong fabric – that deadly smell building up inside those polyester socks you’ve had on all day.
Unless you’re heading to a board meeting, cotton ankle socks should be your go-to summer pair. For the office, pick a pair of breathable dress socks. Make sure you rotate them frequenting enough to avoid destroying nostrils.
8. All Black: Goths are excused
Remember science lessons in 8th grade? That chapter on light? Dark colours absorb more light than light. So even though an all black look is easy to pull off, its also the highest light absorbing colour – that means more heat coming your way.
Dude, Its summer! The only season where you can get away with wearing pretty much any colour and pattern. Give the ladies a little eye candy and play with funky colours and bold prints – just don’t go too overboard. The key is a completely solid look with one statement piece.
That wraps it up for the 8 heinous summer crimes that men commit (though the list is muucchhh longer). Check out our list of 10 Things Men Should Not Wear.
We’d like to know what mistakes you think men make and need help with? Comment below and lets talk!
Note: Although, this blog is based on my research, I have no medical expertise. Please consult a doctor for more advise!