Chaps, there is no shame in making a fashion flub every now and again, even celebrities who are regularly featured on best-dressed lists have been known to do cock it up now and then. You can, however, drastically reduce the number of fashion mistakes you make by eliminating a few bad style habits. Here is a list – in ascending order – the top 10 most common errors men make when it comes to fashion. Read them, adjust your wardrobe accordingly and you’ll be that much closer to having a clean style record.
10. Socks with Sandals
It’s shocking how many men persist in wearing socks with sandals despite how horrendous it looks. This monstrous fashion mistake could perhaps be forgiven if there were a practical purpose for pairing socks with sandals, but there isn’t any. If it’s cold enough to warrant wearing socks, then your feet will feel warmer in shoes. And at the beach, getting sand in your socks is simply uncomfortable. The point here is that if you’re guilty of committing this heinous fashion crime, do yourself and everyone else a favor and just stop.
9. Not shaving tricky areas
While unintentionally leaving a patch of facial hair untouched is something that has happened to even the most conscientious of groomers, it’s never attractive, and for men who tend to rush through their morning routines, it’s an all-too-frequent occurrence. To make sure you get all those hard-to-reach spots like right beside the back of your ear lobes, install a shaving mirror in your bathroom next to the sink. Then invest in a very good razor and, above all, slow down and enjoy the art of shaving.
8. Overt branding
There’s nothing wrong with being a label-lover – I am not – but discretion is the name of the game. After all, you’re aiming to look like an incredibly handsome version of yourself, not like a walking advertisement. Invest in a label because you love the fabric, quality and fit. Spending your life savings on pieces that feature prominent logos or branding only shows others that you’re more concerned with status than substance.
7. Wearing running shoes outside the gym
Generally speaking, active wear should not be day wear. This rule holds true especially when it comes to wearing running shoes in any environment that’s not fitness-oriented. Even if they have no obvious scuff marks, the fact that you wear your runners at the gym during heavy sweat sessions makes it nasty to even consider donning them on any other occasion. For a just-as-comfortable alternative without the “ick” factor, pick up a pair of sneakers or slip-on loafers to pair with your casual ensembles.
6. Backpacks on professionals
When you’re a student and you need to schlep around 10 pounds of books each day, a backpack is precisely the bag you need. Once your college glory days are over and you enter the job market as a professional, you’ll need to ditch your rucksack like you did your beer bong. To complement a work wardrobe of blazers, dress shirts and the occasional suit, you need similarly polished accessories, so splurge on a leather messenger bag or briefcase and save your backpack for camping.
5. Mismatched suits and shoes
Making a blunder with regard to the color of your shoes practically defeats the purpose of suiting up, which is to look your most presentable. Unfortunately, men too often select shoes in shades that don’t complement their dress clothes, like brown-hued footwear with black trousers. Follow this advice, however, and you’ll avoid this common fashion faux pas: pair black suits with black shoes; gray suits with black or camel shoes; brown suits with brown or camel shoes; and navy suits with black, camel, tan or oxblood-colored footwear.
4. Oversized clothes
One of the greatest male fashion fallacies is that loose clothing looks better than more fitted threads. The truth, however, is that even on larger men, body-skimming styles are more flattering. Of course, “body-skimming” is not synonymous with “skin-tight.” What we’re referring to are clothes that glide comfortably over your body and show your physique to its best advantage. If you’re not sure whether you’re super-sizing your clothes, try going one size down from what you normally wear next time you go shopping and compare the difference. You’ll know your clothes are too big if you have trouble discerning your body shape in them.
3. Stuffed pockets
Your pants pockets are a place to put your hands, some spare change and perhaps a slim wallet. They are not a place to keep a bulky wallet filled with cash and two-month-old receipts, your cell phone, three sets of keys, and a stash of business cards. Bulging pockets detract from an otherwise streamlined look, so if you notice any square lumps in your pants, it’s a sure sign that it’s time to get a bag. An all-purpose bag that translates easily from work to play is a messenger. Briefcases for business-minded guys and carryalls for active men are additional options. At the very least, rather than stretch out your pants by filling your pockets to the max, you should consider donning a blazer with interior pockets to distribute your daily necessities over a larger area and maintain a sleek appearance.
2. Buttoning blazers incorrectly
Even with a well-made suit, fastening the wrong number of buttons on your blazer can cause it to pull and stretch in awkward directions, making it seem ill-fitting, so pay attention to the advice that follows. Double-breasted jackets should nearly always be buttoned. With a two-button suit, fasten the top button and with a three-button suit, you have a choice between fastening the top two buttons or the middle one only. And no matter what kind of blazer you’re wearing, always unbutton it when you sit down.
1. White socks and dress shoes
Teaming white socks with dress shoes may have enjoyed brief popularity as a quirky style statement in the mid-’90s, but there’s a good reason this combo has failed to make a strong comeback. Dress shoes should only be worn with dress socks, which are wool or cotton socks in dark hues like black, blue, gray, and brown. White socks, in contrast, should be reserved solely for pairing with athletic shoes and track pants.
Seems simple because it is. Stop stuffing around and take a greater pride in how you look. The ‘first impressions count’ vibe is as true as ever in this day and age.
You stay classy.