Ten style mistakes to sidestep
1/ Over-ear headphones with a suit
At best, you resemble a second-rate footballer wandering around trying to find the team bus; at worst, you look like you’ve gone out for your lunch break and forgotten to leave your headset at the call centre. Discreet in-ears tend to be the best choice with formal wear, but don’t thread them underneath your clothes – you’re not in high school anymore.
2/ Nike FuelBand at a funeral
We know you’re locked in a constant fitness battle with yourself, but even though each time you put your arm around a crying relative you burn a fifth of a Mars Bar-worth of calories, it’s still bad form to lifelog while Uncle Bill’s in a box. Yes, even though you’ve got the black one.
Of which there are two main types: ones that look like giant plastic cigars and ones that look like Dr Who’s Sonic Screwdriver. Both look absurd. Of course, the real rub will come in twenty years’ time, when all the tests come back to reveal that one electronic fag is more dangerous than being trapped in a windowless room with the Marlboro Man for a decade. Just say no, kids.
4/ Drunken hair clipping
Returning late after a few down at the pub, you’re brushing your teeth and notice you’ve developed unruly eyebrows. But logic deserting you, you fire up your clippers in the dim, post-closing time light, and… Zzzzzp. You’ve East 17’d yourself. Again.
5/ Carry non-Apple tech in a trendy café
Your local, ethically sourced coffee shop may look like the perfect place to get a bit of work done, but pull something other than a MacBook from your rucksack and you feel like you’ve drawn a banana in a gunfight. You’d be less conspicuous if you jogged into PETA’s HQ covered in whale blood and eating a panda.
6/ Heart-rate monitors
The Velcro straps are pulled tightly across your fleshy moobs, making your body a double for a string of plump sausages. A bulky sensor slab rests just above your bloodpumper, hidden enough under your shirt so that passers-by think you just have a hugely inflamed left nipple. You’re only planning a 15-minute jog around the block, too, as anything more than that causes it to start bleeping furiously and threatening to ring the paramedics.
7/ Techy specs
We’ve all, at some point, had a go at wearing 3D glasses outdoors, only to come to the crushing realisation that we look less like Kanye West dueting with Daft Punk and more like an IMAX thief scoping his next big score. Soon, we’ll all have Google Glass, or one of its many imitators, the burgeoning Bluetooth headsets of the next generation. Can these make us look cool? If cool is looking like a futuristic dentist, then yes, yes they can.
8/ Hands-free kits
You’re sitting on the train, face pressed nervously against the window as an escaped psychiatric patient next to you natters away to themselves maniacally. Turning to seek a nod of sympathy from someone, anyone, you realise it’s just a City type too busy to hold their phone. Note to self: never be too busy to hold your phone.
9/ Budget tablets
Here’s how the design meetings go for the flood of cut-price slates: “We’re selling them for $25, so have a materials and manufacturing budget of 50c. Any ideas?” “How about another chunky, plastic rectangle? The sort of plastic they make watering and petrol cans out of, with a screen stolen from an old Etch-A-Sketch?” And no matter what cover you buy, nobody will be fooled into thinking it’s an iPad, even if you…
10/ Put an Apple sticker on non-Apple tech
Why stop there? Why not take a marker pen and scrawl “Ferrari” on your hatchback, stitch “Calvin Klein” into all of your Lowes pants and scratch “Alessi” into the side of the kettle you picked up in the Target sale? After all, there’s a reason why all of the cool people in House of Cards have Macs, rather than Mac-branded rucksacks.