There are many guides on what to wear, but with this guide on the top men’s style mistakes, you will avoid making a fashion faux pas that will undermine your modern gentleman status. Here we have listed in descending order the top 10 men’s style mistakes. Paying attention to your wardrobe and avoiding these common fashion mistakes will stop you becoming the center of attention for all the wrong reasons.
No matter how stylish your suit is, or how impeccable your taste in accessories, if you neglect your shoes your whole look will be undone. This can cover a multitude of sins, but the most common are lack of polish and worn down heels. There is no excuse for not polishing your shoes – if you want to look stylish, you have to look after the details and your shoes are one of the most important. Worn down heels are easily and cheaply replaced on all but the very cheapest of shoes.
- Invest in quality shoes, that are repairable (e.g. Goodyear welted)
- Polish your shoes regularly
- Asses your shoes for wear when polishing and repair when needed
Too Much Cologne
If you use up a bottle of cologne in just one month, you are using too much of it. OK so you bought some expensive cologne and you want to show it off, but if you make people’s eyes water as you walk past it won’t matter how nice your clothes are. Your scent should be subtle, but once noticed unforgettable. It should never be over powering and offensive.
- If your cologne come in an atomizer (spray) use no more than two pumps
- If your cologne can be poured from the bottle, use no more than 1 tsp (5ml)
- Never be tempted to put more on. If you’re not happy with the effect, change your cologne.
It’s great that you are putting more effort into your style, but do you really need to try out everything you have learned in one outfit? Sometimes, less is definitely more. The trick is to look like you have style, not that you are trying to be stylish. There is a big difference.
- Limit yourself with accessories and trends, no more than two or three ideas at a time.
- If in doubt, look online of someone doing the same thing and see how they look
- Every accessory should have a reason to be there be it functional or aesthetic.
Poor Use of Color
When you read that this seasons latest trend is bold colour, instead of jumping in with both feet and ordering that pink suit with contrasting orange lining, tone it down. Save your colour for your accessories, or wait until you really know what your doing. Colour can be amazing and vibrant when done well, tacky and garish when it isn’t.
- Be careful with colour matching, you can wear too much of one colour
- As much as you want to be original, let others experiment
- Save the bold and bright colours for your accessories.
- If you can’t help yourself, stick to variations on a classic theme. Choose Cobalt blue over tangerine orange or girl pink!
Wearing Athletic Socks with Suits
This is probably the best documented fashion faux pas there is. Understand that your socks should either create an illusion of height by matching the colour of your trousers, lengthening your legs and making you look taller or they should be an expression of your personality. Before you ask, no, I don’t care if you have a sporty personality!
- Match your socks to your trousers to look taller
- Match your socks to your shoes to look shorter
- Wear fun colour socks and give a hint to your personality
Using the Wrong Bag
Even at college you should be thinking about ditching the backpack for something more grown up. I don’t expect to see a hiker up a mountain with an expensive Italian attaché case. You shouldn’t take a backpack into the city for the same reason. There is now an astounding array of work bags, messenger bags, satchels and brief cases so no matter what the occasion, you will be able to find an ideal bag. resorting to a backpack shows little imagination.
- Go for leather for a timeless look, no matter what the style.
- To pick the right bag for the occasion you need a choice, forget one size fits all.
- Remember your bag is part of your overall look, it should match and not look like an after thought.
Tags on Sleeves
This bothers me so much, I had to write a post on it, read here. Nothing shouts out ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’ more than leaving the labels on your suit sleeves. Understand why tags are there and remove them as soon as you get home.
- Tags show you the manufacturer when browsing off the rack (OTR) suits
- Remember bespoke suits don’t need sleeve labels.
- Create the illusion your suit cost 10x more, not show off the exact price
Wearing Stained Suits & Ties
Why do guys think nobody will notice that old gravy stain on their tie? We do, every time. I appreciate accidents happen, but don’t be lazy, deal with them and do’t wear that item again until it is presentable. Not only do you give off the message you don’t clean your clothes properly, but also you haven’t yet learned how to eat elegantly!
- Use a napkin when you eat, that’s why it’s there.
- Tie bars can be functional too by saving your tie from going in your coffee or soup.
- If you do get a stain, get it professionally cleaned right away.
The Wallet Bulge
Regardless of where you put your wallet, be it in your trousers or jacket, you need to be aware of the effect it has on the lines of your outfit. Your wallet (and anything else you put in your pockets), should be invisible to others. What better excuse have you got to invest in a quality bag?
- Only carry the cards and cash you really need.
- Get a slim wallet after you have cleared out the crap you don’t need.
- Your suit inside jacket pockets have been designed to hide your wallet discreetly.
Wearing Over-sized Suits
The next time you buy an off the peg suit, chances are you can drop down a size from what you would usually choose and still have room for tailoring. The fit of your suit is the single most important aspect you need to get right, it is the foundation of your style. No matter what your size or shape, a well fitting suit will give the illusion you have a much better physique.
- For most men, a well fitting tailored suit will make you look 10lbs lighter
- Focus on getting the shoulders right first time, the rest can be altered more easily
- Always expect to get an OTR suit altered, they are made with extra room/length to fit more men.
Of course there are many style mistakes we men can make, so if you think there are others that I have missed, leave a comment below.
About the Author
Steve Mitchell is a style blogger and image consultant who specializes in style and etiquette for the modern gentleman. This article was previously posted at Mr. Mitchell’s blog site – The Mitchelli.