40 Common Men’s Fashion Mistakes to Avoid
1. Clothes that don’t fit – Overly baggy clothes will make you look you’re wearing sloppy hand-me-downs. If your body type makes it hard to find well-fitting clothes off the rack, make your tailor your best friend.
2. Wearing a short sleeve shirt with a tie – Unless you work for a fast-food joint – where sleeves get dirty making sandwiches – avoid wearing a short sleeve shirt with a tie. They are generally perceived as lower class apparel. If you want to stay looking professional and confident, stick to long-sleeve shirts when wearing ties.
3. Dirty shoes – It’s an area that too many guys overlook in terms of cleaning and proper care. A stylish man keeps his shoes clean – free of scratches and dirt.
4. Warped shoes – Keep at least two pairs of dress shoes in the same color so you can let one pair rest for a day from sweat and stretching. Doing this prevents them from warping in unwanted ways. Place shoetrees in your shoes when you’re not wearing them to maintain their best form.
5. Improper pants length – Don’t fold up your jeans or your chinos unless it’s an intentional fashion statement that you’re making. Your pants can come down to the bottom of your shoes but make sure they come just above the floor to avoid any unwanted fraying. Also, you only need a slight break, or crease, in the pants leg. Don’t be the guy who has his feet swimming in a bunch of extra fabric. All it takes is a simple trip to the tailor to get them hemmed.
6. Wrong socks with a suit – When you’re wearing a suit, match your sock color to your pants, not your shoes (for professional and formal occasions). This is the same as mismatching your suit pants to your jacket. If you’re wearing a navy suit with black shoes, reach for navy socks. And when wearing a light suit, make sure the socks are darker than the suit but a shade or so lighter than the shoes. This rule of course can be broken if done deliberately for your style’s sake.
7. Wrong belt color – If you’re wearing dress shoes, make sure the color of your belt matches the color of your dress shoes (for professional occasions). Also, the finish of the belt and shoes need to match. In other words, if your shoes are shiny, your belt should be shiny as well. If you’re wearing casual shoes or sneakers, make sure you wear a thicker casual belt to match instead of a thin dress belt.
8. Improper tie length – A man’s tie should always end at the center of his belt buckle. A simple touch overlooked by many. Having a tie that’s too short or too long, can make a man look incompetent.
9. Forgetting the necktie dimple – It’s the telltale sign of a professional who knows how to wear a tie.
10. Being too “buttoned” up – If a jacket has two buttons, only fasten the top button. If it has three buttons, you can close the top button only, the middle button only, or both the middle and top button. The key is to always leave the bottom button undone. This is a tradition that has been used for decades, and will keep your style looking smart.
11. Socks and sandals – Have you seen anyone ever pull this off, and look sexy? Case closed.
12. Cartoon clothing – I love Disney characters, but unless you work for Disney, wearing them on your tie or shirts during the week make you look like you’re stuck in fantasy land. Oh and while we’re on the subject, stay away from those cheesy belt buckles as well. Instead, stick to the classic wardrobe pieces that will keep you looking your best for years to come.
13. Dress socks that aren’t long enough – When wearing a suit, your socks should come up to your calves, and stay there. When you cross your legs, you shouldn’t be showing any part of your legs. Isn’t it lovely when you see a man’s hairy leg peeking over his socks? But when dressed casual, it’s a great idea to go short on the socks or go completely sockless. So fully covered for professional wear, or try the sockless look if you’re out for a casual occasion.
14. Wearing the wrong colors – It’s important to match the color of your clothes to your skin tone. You want the focus to be on you, not the overwhelming color of your shirt. If you have dark skin, you can either wear dark colors or bright colors that match the strength of your skin color. If you have very fair skin, lighter colors are most flattering on you – like soft pastels or icy colors.
15. Wrinkled clothing – Unless you’re going for the “I sleep in these clothes” effect, keep all your clothes pressed and wrinkle-free. It’s a good habit to always hang up all your clothes – never throwing them on the floor of your room after use.
16. Wrong casual tie – If you’re wearing a tie as part of your casual outfit, go for a slimmer tie instead of the wider ones. Keep the wider ones for the office. You’ll look much more fashionable this way.
17. Wearing too many colors – Limit each of your outfits to a maximum of three colors or shades to maintain a coordinated look. If in doubt find a color wheel online and use it to help you choose your colors. Colors opposite each other on the wheel are “complementary colors.” Colors adjacent to each other are called “analogous colors.” When putting together an outfit, stick to complementary and analogous colors and remember that less is more.
18. Wearing a backpack with a suit – Whenever I’m walking around the city, I see a lot of professional people wearing nice suits – but carrying backpacks! Okay, a backpack may be easier to carry over your shoulders than a briefcase in your hand, but you can also get a comfortable messenger bag that hangs across your chest to maintain a more professional look.
19. Unflattering hairstyles – Hair is one area of your image that you can constantly experiment with and upgrade without paying more than you normally do. Look around and see which hairstyles look flattering to you, and try something new this season.
20. Excess cologne – If a woman can smell your cologne only when she’s close, great! She’ll have more reason to stay close. If a woman can smell you from across the room, does she need to come any closer? Depending on the strength of your cologne, use with caution. If your cologne loses it’s scent later in the day, simply reapply. A good rule of thumb is to limit it to two sprays – once on your neck and wrists.
21. Too much jewelry – All the jewelry a man needs are watches that will match different outfits, and a wedding ring if he’s married. If you’re young and you like necklaces, go for it. But unless you’re a rock star, don’t go around wearing three rings, bracelets, and a bunch of necklaces at the same time. It looks tacky. Try and limit yourself to no more than three pieces of jewelry.
22. Comb-overs – Your not fooling anyone by covering up your bald spot – you’ll look so much better if you keep it short and neat. (See Bruce Willis or Tom Ford). It makes you look a lot more sharp and healthy.
23. Sweatpants in public– Unless you’re going to the gym, avoid wearing sweats out in public. You’re not wearing them to look your best, you’re wearing them because you’re lazy.
24. Oversized branding – Avoid clothes that make you look like a walking advertisement. The advertisers would love this, but why wear a huge logo or brand name on your shirt unless you’re getting paid to?
25. Tucking T-shirts in – Tucking in polo shirts is acceptable, but t-shirts should be kept casual. If your t-shirt is too long then it’s probably too big on you.
26. Wearing a crew neck tee under a dress shirt – Pick up a v-neck undershirt and you’ll look much more laid-back showing some skin underneath.
27. Clipping your cell phone to your belt – This is as attractive as using a Bluetooth headset as a fashion accessory. Keep your cellphone in your pocket.
28. Clunky square toe shoes – Popular in the 1990s, fashion has now strayed far away from this non-classic look. They’ll probably never come back into fashion so lose them and get some slimmer and much more attractive shoes.
29. Too many prints – Whether with casual clothes or dressy, avoid mixing too many patterns or prints together. If you’re wearing a suit, a good rule of thumb is to keep it to a max of two patterns. In other words, if you’re wearing a patterned suit, wear a solid shirt and a patterned tie, or if you’re wearing a solid suit, you can wear a patterned shirt and a patterned tie. But having a patterned tie, a patterned shirt, and a patterned suit can make you look too busy.
30. Mismatching styles – Don’t wear your sporty Oakley sunglasses with a blazer, or a pair of cargo pants with the dress shirt you wear to the office. Keep your outfits coherent and matching in style.
31. Bulky pockets – I see a lot of guys walking around with bulging pockets. If it’s your wallet that’s creating that bulge, spend some time taking out all those old receipts or business cards. If you need to hold on to them, keep them in a safe place and take them out when you need them. Get a slimmer wallet or a money clip to save space.
32. Dirty nails – Some men just don’t take proper care of their hands. Sometimes it’s cracked cuticles and other times it’s just dirty fingernails. If you work outdoors or lift weights, wear gloves, and use lotion on your hand whenever you can. Keep your fingernails trim, and free of hangnails, cracked cuticles, and dirt.
33. Keep your facial hair well groomed – The hair on your face should be orderly. Your face is the first thing noticed, and so maintaining your facial hair is important if you want to look sharp. Either keep a cleanly shaved face, or keep your beard trim. There should absolutely be no hair underneath your chin on your neck area.
34. Hair in the back of their neck – Hair on the back of your neck needs to be managed well. If you don’t get haircuts too often, use a small mirror to check the back of your neck against another mirror, and use a razor to shave any hair that’s growing on the back of your neck. This will keep you looking sharp and well-groomed.
35. Using excessive amounts of hair product– Be aware that looking like you have a bottle of hair product on your head never looks good. Your girlfriends wants to be able to run her fingers through your hair, not hurt herself doing it. Use a smaller amount than you think you need.
36. Wearing sandals outside of the beach or pool – Keep the flip-flops for the pool, and opt for a casual pair of driving moccasins this summer. Driving moccasins are usually made of leather, but really easy to slip into and have flexible rubber soles, which make them the rich man’s slipper. A pair of dark brown ones will work perfectly with almost anything. Wear them without socks and a pair of cotton shorts for a classically stylish appeal. And if you do wear sandals to the beach or the pool, make sure your toenails are trim and healthy looking.
37. Not tucking in dress shirts – If your dress shirt is long enough to cover your butt, it’s meant to be tucked in. The shirt is made longer so that when you sit down, with your shirt under your butt, your shirt doesn’t annoyingly lift out of your pants. If you’re someone who hates tucking in at casual settings, than make sure the dress shirts you wear are tailored shorter to come just above the halfway point of your gluteus maximus.
38. An undershirt is just that – an undershirt – An undershirt’s purpose is to absorb the sweat, dirt, and body oils that we all inevitably secrete, and prevent stains on your dress shirts. The name explains their purpose. It’s not meant to be worn as an actual shirt by itself, so avoid this fashion mistake and call your buddies out on it when you can.
39. Not taking care of that unibrow – Keeping your eyebrows groomed is just as important as the hair on top of your head. Use a tweezer and pluck any hair above the nose.
40. Wearing athletic socks, for non athletic occasions – Keep the white athletic socks for the gym or when you’re out playing sports and stick to navy or black casual socks instead. They always look more stylish than white.
Protect yourself from making these fashion blunders, and keep looking your best!