My last dentist was called Ahmed and he once asked me about my teeth (it goes with the territory). They were, he said, unusually clean for a straight bloke. I think that tells us all we need to know about what he thought of the average straight bloke’s teeth.
2. Overly tight clothes
OK, let’s get this straight once and for all. Clothes that fit you will always look better than clothes that don’t. But if you’ve put weight on then wearing something a bit tight won’t hold it in, it makes it all bulge and draws attention to it. Walk down a high street and see how many men are wearing stuff that doesn’t fit.
3. Shaped eyebrows
Trimmed if they’re excessively bushy is fine – my barber has had a go at mine without my even drawing attention to it. But there’s a way of shaping them that makes them look completely unnatural and gives off the air of someone trying just that bit too hard. If women had started shaping theirs only recently so we weren’t used to it, it would look as peculiar.
4. Scruffy shoes
It’s sometimes said that mainland Europeans can tell an English man from his cheap shoes. People spend a fortune on clothing and then cap it off with shoes they haven’t looked after. Guys, we’re not all David Tennant or Jamie Oliver, who can get away with trainers and a suit (Tennant only when in character) – clashing styles if you don’t know what you’re doing makes you look as though you’re trying too hard.
5. Inappropriate aftershave
I’ve blogged on colognes here a number of times and I have no doubt I’ll be doing so again. I like them, although I note a number of people had difficulty with them, but any more than a quick splash while you’re in a business meeting can make you look a bit insecure – see “trying too hard” under scruffy shoes.
I’m sure there are loads more – and I’d be interested to hear from members of either sex about styling howlers you’ve noticed.