MEN’S FASHION & STYLE GUIDE
The Top 30 Men’s Fashion and Style Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
Here, we’ve outlined 30 fashion and style mistakes that could be wreaking havoc on your personal style. Take note of these, guys — and learn how to avoid them.
Nobody expects you to be perfect all the time. However, there are some really glaring fashion and style mistakes that when done repeatedly can seriously undermine your credibility, competency, and your personal brand.
But many of these mistakes are easy to avoid. For instance, allowing your trousers to puddle over your laces, wearing wrong belt colors, and the excessive use of cologne are frequent fashion and style mistakes that are easy fixes.
Scroll through these 30 mistakes listed below to learn more about the most common fashion and style mistakes and how to correct them.
The Top 30 Men’s Fashion and Style Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
1: Ignoring the importance of well-fitted clothes
If there is one basic rule that we preach about here at MR KOACHMAN, it is that FIT is KING. Choose clothes that fit your body.
No matter how beautiful your outfit is, no matter how well you’ve paired up or combined colors in your outfit, if the fit isn’t perfect, you’ve got the whole outfit wrong. If your body type makes it hard to find well-fitting clothes off the rack, get a tailor to make your clothes.
2: Allowing your trousers to puddle over your laces
Letting unhemmed or hemmed trousers loosely flow over the top of your shoes is a way of telling the whole world that you are not a man of style.
Whatever style of pant you wear, they should never drape down the back of your footwear or puddle over your shoelace.
Ensure you choose the appropriate trouser break. Your choice of break must be visually appealing and well fitting. All it takes is a simple trip to the tailor to get them hemmed.
3: Wearing the wrong belt colors
For professional occasions, ensure the color of your belt matches the color of your dress shoes. A black shoe should match with a black belt, same goes for Brown and Red shoes.
- Also ensure that the finish of your belt matches with that of your shoe, for instance, if your shoe has a wet-look (patent leather) then ensure you match it with a belt made from patent leather. Same goes for plain leather with plain leather, suede leather with suede leather and fabric with fabric.
- When wearing casual footwears, your belt can either match or complement your shoes. For instance, you can wear a white sneakers or canvas with a light brown casual belt or a dark brown boat shoe with a mid-brown belt.
- Finally, the skinnier the belt the more formal it is. The bigger the belt buckle, the most casual the belt is. No exceptions.
4: Wearing warped and out of shape shoes
It is advisable to have at least two pairs of dress shoes in the same color so you can let one pair rest for a day from sweat and stretch.
So if you already have one black shoe, buy an extra black and if you have one brown shoe, double it up as well. Doing this prevents them from warping in unwanted ways.
Extra Tip: To ensure your shoe maintains the best form, place shoe trees in your shoes when you’re not wearing them. Using shoe trees will also help you absorb the excess moisture thereby extending your shoe life.
5: Dirty shoes
Camille Lavington once said, “If you don’t take care of your shoes, that’s a good sign that you don’t take care of your business”.
A classy man keeps his shoes clean – free of scratches, dirt or mud. Therefore you should always keep your shoes clean, well shined and free of dirt at all times. Invest in pocket size shoe polish sponge, this will always keep your shoe clean.
6: Wrong socks with a trouser or a suit
The basic style rule for wearing men’s socks in professional and formal occasion is “The color of your sock should match the color of your trousers (not your shoes)”.
I’m quite sure this rule was established over 100 years ago. Times have changed though as we now have bright colorful socks present in this modern age.
Therefore we could modify the above style rule a bit.
Here it is “The color of your socks should match the color of your dress trousers or coordinate with the rest of the outfit appropriately most especially other accessories incorporated into your looks such as the Tie, Lapel Flower Pin, and Pocket Square.”
In addition, when wearing a light colored suit, make sure the socks are darker than the suit but a shade or so lighter than the shoes.
7: Wearing Wrinkled clothes
Wearing a wrinkled cloth can make a man look incompetent.
Keep all your clothes neatly ironed and wrinkle-free using a spray starch or better still invest in a good dry cleaning service, they are well trained to take care of your clothes and are never going to deliver a wrinkled shirt to you.
8: Improper Tie length or width
A man’s tie should always end at the center of his belt buckle when he stands upright. A simple touch overlooked by many. Whether you are tall or short, ensure your tie length doesn’t extend more than your belt buckle.
The general rule for the right tie width is – not too wide, not too narrow? However, I would say your tie width should be proportional to your body type, your dress shirt, and your suit lapel width. Simple.
9: Forgetting the necktie dimple
For those of you hearing about the Tie Dimple for the first time – It’s the little hollow beneath the knot of your tie. It’s that extra touch of elegance that should always be included when wearing a tie. To say the least, it’s what separates “the men” from “the gentlemen”.
It is the true test of every stylish gentleman in a suit and tie.
10: Using excess cologne
Be aware that smelling like you have just emptied a bottle of perfume on you is never a good thing. Therefore, get into the habit of not wearing too much perfume. People should be able to smell your cologne only when they are close by.
Depending on the strength of your cologne, use with caution. A good rule of thumb is to limit it to two or three sprays – one on your neck and another at the back of your wrist.
11: Socks that are not long enough
Your dress socks should always come up to your calves anytime you are wearing trousers. You must not show any part of your bare legs, when you stand, sit or walk. Also, don’t show any part of your bare legs when you have your legs crossed.
But when dressed in a casual outfit, either go for the sockless look or no-show socks.
12: Not observing the right Suit Buttoning Rules for Men
- No matter what you do, NEVER fasten the last button of a single-breasted suit.
- If a single-breasted suit has only 1 button, the button should be buttoned when standing and unfastened when you sit down.
- If a single-breasted suit has 3 buttons, you have two options. You can either button the top two and leave the bottom unfastened, or simply button the center button and leave the first and the last one unbuttoned. The same rule applies when you are sitting down, unbutton all the buttons.
- Never fasten the bottom button of a double-breasted jacket unless it has only a single row of buttons. In this case, you should button the only button-able button when sitting or standing.
- The “anchor button” also known as the jigger which is the button on the inside of a double-breasted suit should be fastened at all times.
These rules were established several years ago and will keep your suit looking smart.
13: Wearing the wrong tie for casual occasions
Some guys who claim to be fashion forward try to pair their casual outfit with the regular business tie that is more appropriate in professional settings. This is wrong.
If you’re wearing a necktie as part of your casual outfit, go for a slimmer tie instead of the wider ones. Preferably go for Knitted ties, they have a decidedly more casual feel. They can be slim or wide which makes them a perfect choice for both formal and casual occasions. Overall, go for the slim types for casual occasions.
14: Wearing the wrong colors.
Wear what looks best on your skin color. If you have dark skin, both dark and light colors of clothing would work for you. If you are light skinned, lighter colors will flatter your look the most.
15: 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.
16: Wearing a short sleeve shirt with a tie
If you want to stay looking professional and confident, stick to long-sleeve shirts when wearing ties.
Avoid wearing a short sleeve shirt with a tie (as they make you appear less classy), unless you are a student and it’s part of your day wear a uniform.
17: Large Bald spots with lots of hair
If you have suffered excessive hair loss by accident or by virtue of hereditary, it’s not the end of the world – you should still try to keep your hair looking neat.
If you have very large bald spots that cover a good portion of your head I’ll suggest you go for the completely bald look, by shaving off your hair completely. And, if you can grow a beard, by all means, do. Pair your clean-shaven head with a great-looking beard and now you’ve got something you can be proud of.
If you don’t want to go for the completely bald look, always keep your hair very short and neat, it makes you look more sharp, instead of letting it grow for a while or trying out tricks like comb-overs
18: Wearing sweatpants in public
I’ve seen some guys wearing sweatpants for Casual Fridays at the office. This is so wrong. Avoid wearing sweatpants out in public no matter how great they look. Only wear them when going to the gym, or when chilling at home.
Athletic sweatpants can be worn for some specific sports-related activity or when engaging in other forms of exercises such as running, jumping, playing basketball, walking in the park, etc.
19: Wearing dress shirts untucked and tucking T-shirts in
As a general rule, if the tail of your dress shirt is above your wrist or stops mid crotch, you should always leave untucked. Anything below, you should definitely tuck in.
For casual shirts, tucking in polo shirts is acceptable in certain occasions, however, your T-shirts can only be worn for casual occasions, therefore they must remain untucked at all times.
20: Wearing visible undershirt underneath a button up shirt
An undershirt popping out of your dress shirt doesn’t look good at all. If you must wear an undershirt when wearing a dress shirt or button up shirt, you should choose the V-Neck type which by default sits lower.
21: Wearing an undershirt as a casual t-shirt.
You should avoid this fashion mistake. An undershirt it’s meant to be worn beneath your clothing. It’s not meant to be worn as an actual t-shirt.
22: Having sweat marks on your clothes.
Having visibly sweaty armpits or sweat stains on your clothes can be really embarrassing and a real turn off for a lot of people including you and me.
But still, I do see some dapper dressed gents, wearing neatly ironed dress shirts but [sadly] with sweat marks underneath their armpit area.
Asides for health reasons, forgetting to use a good deodorant or antiperspirant before leaving the house is usually the cause. Get a good one and you’ll be alright.
23: Bulky pockets and Bulky wallets
- For those who are fond of putting their phones in their dress pants pocket thereby creating the bulge, desist from this bad style habit. Either insert the phone in your inner suit jacket or just hold it in your palm when you walk.
- For those with bulky wallet, here is what you are going to do. First, buy a slimmer wallet and then take a whole day to rid your bulky wallet off irrelevant things – yeah you know what I’m talking about: those tiny papers, receipts, business cards, debit/credit cards. Only keep one or two debit/credit cards which you frequently use and keep the rest in a safe place at home. For your business card, get a simple card wallet.
24: WEARING ATHLETIC SOCKS WITH DRESS SHOE
Avoid wearing athletic socks with dress shoes even if the socks are black, navy blue or gray. Instead, wear appropriate dress socks with your dress shoes.
25: Wearing a backpack with a suit or native attire
This is very common among professionals, even the ones over 30. It’s highly unprofessional to wear a backpack with a suit or traditional native attire.
While backpacks are okay for students or generally guys whose dress codes require them to wear casual attire to work (e.g. computer programmers), any man who wears suits or native attires is better served by a sleek and stylish leather briefcase or messenger bag. In this way, you maintain a more professional look.
26: Dirty nails and forgetting to clip your nails
I really don’t know why so many people forget to clip their nails. It’s visible and you can’t really miss it out. But, obviously, some men need a reminder to start doing it more often. A good suggestion is to do so once every week at least.
Keep your fingernails trimmed, free of dirt and cracked cuticles. Toes too!
27: Keep your facial hair neat and well groomed:
A well groomed facial hair exudes confidence and pure manliness. All you need to do is to simply choose the best facial hair style that go well with your face shape. Then, also avoid any hair underneath your chin or at the side or back on your neck area.
Keep it clean if you want to make a good impression.
28: WEARING A NECKTIE WITH A TUXEDO
29: Wearing the bootcut jeans or trousers
Avoid bootcut trousers. Your trousers should at most touch the top of your shoes with no extra fabric bunching around your shoes.
Ensure the width of the bottom of your trouser is quite slim or normal somewhere between 14 and 16 inches in circumference.
30: Mismatching styles and clothing wrongly.
- Don’t wear a sports wristwatch with a suit or traditional native attire.
- Don’t wear sweatpants with Blazers.
- Don’t wear suit jackets with jeans.
- Don’t wear athletic socks with dress shoes.
- Don’t wear shorts with dress shirts.
You get my point. Always, keep your outfits coherent and matching in style.
Your personal style plays a factor in telling people and the world who you are. These fashion and style mistakes are definitely ruining your style without you even knowing.
Which ones are you guilty of? Make a conscious effort to avoid them and improve your style.
Until Next Time, Continue to Do Well, Live Well and Dress Really Well. Be Classy!
Yours in Style,
Kobi O. Mbagwu [Mr. Kobi] Founder, MrKoachman.com
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