The perfect storm of street style, social media and peacocking has resulted in the regrettable phenomenon of men dressing to impress other men, usually ridiculously. (Peacocking in the pick-up artist sense is also unacceptable, as is being a pick-up artist.) It’s the sartorial equivalent of those vascular freak-beasts at the gym who remove any shred of attractiveness like it’s body fat in their single-minded pursuit of gains. But unless you’re a peacock – or in a long-term relationship and letting it all go – it’s likely that you dress with the opposite sex at least partially in mind. Unless you’re gay, in which case dressing to impress other men is of course totally acceptable. (Peacocking is still not.) But even then, you hopefully don’t want to offend women with your style, and a compliment’s a compliment, right? But what exactly is it that women want – or rather don’t want? Even FashionBeans isn’t insightful enough to know the innermost workings of the female mind. (Just ask this writer’s wife.) So we straw-polled some women working in fashion and asked them to tell us their biggest pet hates when it comes to men’s clothing, grooming and manners. Because being stylish isn’t limited to what you wear. Hope Lawrie, freelance stylist “Pushing not just you, but also an elderly biddy, some schoolchildren and the occasional pregnant woman out of the way of the Tube doors in order to force your way in and secure your clearly able-bodied self a seat. Then spending the journey staring resolutely downwards playing Candy Crush on your phone. I don’t love being casually groped on a crushed commute either, but I think the desperate-to-park-his-arse guy is more grating.” “Smelly hair. Men don’t seem to think that shampoo is a thing. Perhaps womankind spend too much time and money washing, conditioning and brushing our hair but the odd squeeze of Herbal Essences even just once a week would go an awfully long way.” “Square-toed shoes. Probably the most offensive thing on the planet.”
Rachel Taylor, communications director, Sane Communications “Being on your iPhone during a film, dinner or indeed any sort of conversation. This is the ultimate faux pas – so rude. You might as well be in a relationship with Siri.” Cate McGivern, menswear account manager, Sane Communications “The use of the phrase ‘lads’ night out’. Why can’t female friends join in on such jollies? Plus you’re not ‘lads’ anymore, I’m afraid.” Sophia Probett, menswear account executive, Sane Communications “Not being decisive. Don’t leave it up to me every time to decide which bar or restaurant to go to. Pick a place, book a table and just tell me a time.” Sophie Marshall, account director, BPCM “Red or purple socks. No matter the outfit, they look Sloaney and sleazy.” “Excessive use of styling product that cements the hair and throughout the day clumps together, giving the look of a severe dandruff problem.” “The love affair with the iPad, which my boyfriend has admitted that he would save in a fire before me.” “Playing video games for the entire weekend, hogging the television and being generally anti-social despite being over the age of 25.”
Carla Watt, senior account director, Village “Being impatient when you want an answer, then the worst at getting back when it’s the other way round. Inability to multitask, which seems to be a foreign concept to most men. Also, deep V-neck T-shirts. Never OK. Not ever.” Stephanie Sleap, senior account manager, Neville McCarthy Associates “A fat bottom. I know it’s discriminatory and a complete double standard after what our own Queen Bey has done for those women with larger bottoms, but a man with a full posterior is a no from me.” “Sprayed-on jeans. Loafers with no socks. And those chains that hang from your pockets, which are only really acceptable if you have actually come straight out of Compton.” Marnie Toocaram, talent manager, Unsigned Group “Leaving the toilet seat up. I don’t want to have to touch it, especially after you’ve probably dribbled on it. Just put it back how you found it.” “Fear of commitment – even just to a third date. That word seems to scare a lot of men: they feel like the more that you hang out, the more likely it is that the woman wants something more serious. However, they fail to realise this doesn’t apply to every woman. Some of us just enjoy ‘hanging out’ with no strings necessarily attached.” “Chest stubble. If you’re going to shave your chest, then shave it: don’t leave it so that you have stubble. It’s so unattractive. I’m not saying I like hairy men, but stubble is a no-go.”
Alison Hargreaves, head of PR, Grenson “Shoes that flick up at the front. Where do they come from? Who sells them? They’re hideous.” “Dodgy tracksuit bottoms that don’t quite look clean enough. Nasty.” “Ear hair. It’s easy: buy a trimmer. There’s no need for it. Wild eyebrows: same.” “Out-of-control ego. I actually had a date the other night with a guy who told me what a brilliant writer he was.” “Ugly briefcases. Life’s too short to carry a bad briefcase.” Delphine Chui, freelance writer “Calling me ‘lady’, ‘baby’, ‘babe’… If you’re going to call me something other than my name, I’d much rather something more personal.” “Snoring (especially after drinking).” “The styling product that makes men’s hair look somehow always wet.” “Leaving clothes on the floor. It’s called a wardrobe, not a floor-drobe.” “Sending me a text of just kisses by way of reply. Sorry but that doesn’t count.” “Too much bare ankle on show. I don’t mind a little ‘mankle’, but I don’t want to see more than like an inch above your ankle bone… Picky, I know.”
Georgia Rhodes, press officer, Whistles “Being fixated on sport and insisting on watching everything from golf to football.” “Leaving wet towels on the bed. Not OK.” Hannah Lyons Powell, digital editor, Marie Claire “Short-sleeved shirts. Short-sleeved T-shirts are totally fine, and long-sleeved shirts with rolled-up sleeves are also rather marvellous in their smart-casual nonchalance. But there’s something deeply suspicious about short-sleeved shirts.” Cerise Cundy, front of house, Ruffians Covent Garden “Acting overly macho. It’s so transparent and makes you look so douchey.” Georgina Woolley, graduate barber, Ruffians Shoreditch “Getting bad, attention-seeking haircuts, when a normal, classic one would suffice. I then have to explain to my parents why I’m going out with someone who looks like a One Direction member crossed with a football player from the Nineties.” Nikita Nevison, fashion blogger (and girlfriend of bearded Ruffians Shoreditch barber Richard Tucker) “Leaving hair shavings in the sink. It’s disgusting, and I’ve been forced to come up with innovative and elaborate ways of cleaning it up – see attached.” Jessica Bumpus, freelance fashion journalist “Red trousers. Terrible.”
_ Are there any other offences against women – and general good behaviour – that you’ve learnt through trial and error? Or are you guilty of any of these heinous crimes? State the case for your defence in the comments below. But be polite – there are ladies present.