Developing a sense of style takes time. It’s not an innate ability and none of us are born with it. It’s actually developed over several years and just when you think you’ve got it figured out you learn something new. Just like anything else it’s a lifelong learning process and we make several mistakes along the way.
Everyone comes into their own at different times so if you feel clueless don’t fret. I promise you that one day it will all just click .
We’ve all made mistakes in this style journey. Some minor, some major but all a great opportunity to learn from. Below are ten blunders we’ve all (or most) of us have made at one time or another.
And in no particular order…
1. Wearing a Visible White T Shirt Under a Dress Shirt
This is quite possibly the most common error I witness on a day to day basis. I’ve even seen relatively well dressed guys ruin a perfectly good outfit with the white T -shirt.
The problem here is that a T-shirt adds contrast (in the wrong way) and breaks up the neck line. It just looks … off.
Also don’t let your undershirt be seen through your white shirt.
The Fix: Simple V necks and tank tops. Use gray under a white shirt to keep it invisible.
2 . Wearing White Athletic Socks With Dress Shoes
This one hurts…the eyes mostly. I could maybe understand wearing mismatched dress socks but for the love of God this one is brutal. This should never happen! Looks exponentially worse with the square toe shoe.
If you don’t have dress socks drive your ass down to Target and get a pair for $3 . Sorry /Rant. Keep the white socks for the gym or chillin at home.
A classic style rule is to match your socks to pants. It will elongate your leg, make you look taller and keep your outfit sleek and uniform.
What about wearing bright color and patterned socks? Simple, just make sure you pull from another primary color you’re wearing. Example: A Navy tie with Khaki pants and navy socks are just fine.
3. Leaving the Sleeve Label on a New Suit
But it’s Armani bro! How is anyone going to know without a label?!
Well that’s the point. A suit should never, ever have any visible branding or logo. I remember once reading an article that this was a phenomenon in China as aspiring businessmen wanted to show off their brand new Italian suits as a mark of prestige. Boasting about what brand you’re wearing comes off as arrogant and all around douchey.
4. Leaving the Vent of Your Suit Jacket Stitched
You would think that after selling you that baggy, horrible fitting suit the dude at Macy’s would instruct you to remove all appropriate stitching and labels. Well quite often they just don’t.
The vents on the jacket are held together with a basting stitch (the “X”). These are temporary stitches that are meant to hold the flaps in place during shipping and when on display in the store. You should always remove these!
5. Not Getting Your Pants Hemmed
You’ve just bought a new suit in the “right” size and now you’re ready to be the #classicgent and impress all your instagram followers. One problem you skipped the trip to the tailor and your trousers have a triple “break” going on.
The Fix: Find a tailor and ask for either a quarter break or my personal preference, no break.
6. Wearing “Sporty” Sunglasses With a Suit
Picture. 1000 words. Read this.
7. Wearing a Casual Watch to a Formal Event or Job Interview
Common sense here, you need to learn when to leave the smart watch at home. They’re too casual for a wedding where it’s just out of place and too distracting to wear to a job interview. Don’t forget the rules.
8. Wearing a Tie and Pocket Square With the Exact Same Pattern
Your tie and pocket square should never be an exact match (like above). They should complement each other. For example if you wanted to wear the tie above a great option for a square could be something like this:
9. Wearing Your Shirt Collar Outside of Your Jacket
The signature look of the suburban nightclub douchebag.
Don’t ever do this!
…Unless you’re this guy. He can do no wrong.
10. Skimping Out on Tailoring
If this were a hierarchical list then this would probably be number 1. Tailoring is quite possibly the most effective weapon in a man’s style arsenal. It elevates any look and promotes you from a style amateur to seasoned vet.
A few things to focus on:
- Learn how clothes fit. You will be well rewarded for the time spent researching sleeve length, inseams, and pants break
- Find a good tailor and establish a relationship. Over time he or she will acclimate to your style and body type making sure you get the right fit dialed in.
Look for my tailoring series in the near future.
That all friends. What style horrors have you commited? Leave a comment below!