The Number One Club Fashion Mistake For Men
I've been going to clubs for a while, and the one fashion mistake I see guys doing over and over again is wearing a t-shirt (or any collarless shirt) under another shirt.
At first, I thought this was an epidemic that existed only in cities where there's winter. I'm sure it's less of a problem in warmer climates, but even in the sweltering summers here in Toronto, I still see guys wear the two shirts! I've thus come to believe that it's a mistake most men will naturally make, so I now write this as a warning to all.
Can you see the fashion difference in the two pictures below? If you think the t-shirt under looks better, then just take my word for it and don't wear a t-shirt under another shirt.
What It Communicates
This fashion faux-pas shouts a number of things. First of all, it suggests you're not comfortable in clubs. Perhaps a club newbie. Or worse - a techie! Maybe because I came from a computer background, the t-shirt under a shirt (or even worse, the corporate conference IT t-shirt under another shirt) phenomena is something I've seen so much that I've come to associate it with cubicles and TPS reports.
Now there's nothing wrong with being a geek. It's just not the first thing you want to communicate given the stereotypes. Women would rather talk about the adventurous things you do outside of work than your optimized compiler. Look around at the alpha guys, club regulars, or maybe some male models. You won't see them making this mistake, both fashion and conversation-wise.
The shirt under the shirt also sub-communicates that you're not comfortable with your body (it's sinful!) and you have to cover it up. Aversion to dancing screams the same thing too.
On the other hand, exposing your chest a little communicates sexuality. Combo it up with some interesting neckwear (avoid a French scarf) and now you'll have something interesting going on. I like to wear things I've picked up from places I've travelled to. It makes for interesting conversation fodder too.
However, be prepared to draw attention to your newly exposed chest area which you were formerly trying to cover up. Women will look. You piece of meat.
Body Odor And Sweating?
OK, this is a body specific issue that one can't control and where a T-shirt may be necessary as well as other extra steps. First of all, try a v-neck t-shirt that's less obvious. Secondly, if you sweat a lot, just wear a t-shirt or a polo instead of two layers. The less layers, the less hot you feel.
More importantly, if you sweat a lot, extra or heavy cologne as a mask is a no-no - it just takes you to the other extreme.
I recommend wearing a polyester, quick dry, or similar synthetic material as a shirt. Stylish and fitting ones made of these materials are a little harder to come by, as most of them are designed for outerwear, but I have picked a few cool retro-styled polos from the "sports" section of a fashion retailer. If you're fine with wearing a nice t-shirt out, then you'll have more options. Vintage stores also often carry polyester shirts dating back a few decades.
Also try trimming your body hair. However, if sweat is really an issue, then consider this little trick. Bring an extra shirt to the club and check it in at coat check. Once you've sweated out your first shirt, head back to coat check and swap it with your spare. Check in a small towel too if you need to wipe down before swapping shirts.
The one exception to the shirt under a shirt rule is if you plan on unbuttoning or buttoning only one or two buttons on your outer shirt. Still, if you plan on dancing, the less layers you wear, the better.