Everyone makes mistakes. And while I’m not a huge stickler for the rules of style, there are some things that should never be done. So here it is. Frequently requested, though never published until now: my top 10 men’s style mistakes.
Men’s Style Mistakes
1. Suit Jacket/Blazer Too Big
Quite possibly the most common mistake out there – wearing a suit jacket or blazer one or two sizes too big. What’s the most important thing to get right when choosing a suit jacket/blazer? How it fits your shoulders. While a tailor can fix things like sleeve length, how it fits your torso, and even the length of the jacket, there’s not much that can be done if the shoulders don’t fit properly.
How should the shoulders fit? They should be as wide as your natural shoulder width. The jacket sleeve should meet right where your arm meets your shoulder. The fabric from the seam should immediately drape straight down. A divot or bunching in the arm is a sign that the shoulder doesn’t fit properly.
2. Crew Neck T-Shirt Under an Unbuttoned Button-Up
One of my biggest style pet peeves. A dress shirt is meant to frame your face, whether it’s buttoned at the top or not. When it’s unbuttoned, a crew neck t-shirt completely disrupts that line and distracts the eye.
The solution? Don’t wear a t-shirt underneath or wear a v-neck that doesn’t show. We’ve got a video on this coming up tomorrow. Also, never wear a colored t-shirt in this manner. It’s not a style statement, it’s a style tragedy.
3. Leaving the Stitching in a Suit Jacket or Blazer’s Vents
This is mostly a case of not knowing you had to. These are stitched closed to preserve the shape of the garment while in store or in transit. Remove the stitching from your suit jacket or blazer vents once you get it home. Same goes for the breast and side pockets. Also, please remove the brand tag from the sleeve.
4. Dress Shirt Untucked With (Or Without) a Blazer
The high-point of bro-couture. It’s the “I’m dressed up but too cool to be dressed up” look and just looks like a mess. Pick a side – casual or dressy – and stick with it. Don’t cross the streams.
5. Trousers Too Long
Get your trousers hemmed. One of the most inexpensive alterations known to man as well as one of the easiest ways to tell that a guy has put some thought and care into his appearance. The same goes for your jeans. Get them hemmed or roll them up. The frayed jeans dragging on the ground and underfoot was never cool. Not even in college. It just looks sloppy.
6. Suit Jacket/Blazer Too Small
With the explosion of menswear in the mainstream recently – especially the popularity of the slim suit – a lot more men are getting into this fit. Unfortunately, not every body type was meant to wear a slim-fitting suit. Some body types simply won’t look good in a slim suit. Dress your body type. Also, ‘slim-fitting’ should not be confused with ‘tight.’
7. Novelty/Ironic T-Shirts
I get it. You’re smart, clever, and feel the need to telegraph that to the world via t-shirts with ironic statements. It’s not a statement a well-dressed man should make. Time to grow up.
8. Poor-Quality Footwear
Like paying attention to pant length and suit jacket/blazer sizing, a well-made pair of shoes is a sign that a guy really cares about his appearance. One thing to keep in mind is that well-made footwear is often a bit of an investment. But better to save for a quality pair than to waste money on a square-toed version.
9. Matching Exactly
Specifically when it comes to a tie/pocket square combination. A tell-tale sign of a men’s style amateur is the matching solid color tie and pocket square. Remember, these accessories should be complementary to an outfit, not the focal point. Matching exactly draws undue attention.
10. Wearing a Tie Bar with a Waistcoat
Welcome to the Department of Redundancy Department. A tie bar is meant to hold your tie in place (be sure to check out our guide on how to wear a tie bar). A waistcoat serves the same purpose. Though I’m not a style rule stickler, this is one I won’t budge on.
Did I leave anything out?
Thanks, as always, for reading.
He Spoke Style