A few months ago Menprovement published an article on the top 10 fashion disasters to avoid. These were great, but most men don’t commit fashion “disasters.” They commit small style mistakes that are holding back their game.
So I contacted my buddy Sean Russell, the owner of Menprovement, and offered to share some insight on real things that actually hold men back since this is what I teach at my site Improvement.com – a video blog where he posts a daily video covering men’s style and grooming, women, and relationships, sex and attraction, health, domestic house skill and more.
Because I am such a big fan of the work Sean does, I am more than happy to share some of my content with his viewers as this is another opportunity for both Sean and me to hopefully make a difference in people’s lives, so today I thought we could run through what I believe are 15 common Men’s style mistakes, that men actually make. Let’s jump straight into it.
Style Mistake #1
Mistake #1 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes is wearing exercise shoes for anything other than exercising. So when you see women, generally on public transport or walking through a central business district wearing what look like tennis sneakers with their corporate wear. What do you think?
I think we’ll all agree that this looks a little odd and it’s not flattering, but at least these women have an excuse. Their high heels are uncomfortable so they wear the funny tennis sneakers to and from work and then change into their nice shoes each morning at work.
Well if you’re a guy and you are wearing your exercise shoes on the weekends or at night with jeans, chinos or god forbid any type of dress pants, then you have to ask yourself why? They are called exercise shoes cause you wear them when you exercise and for no other reason.
If the example of the lady in corporate wear did not make sense to you then think about it like this, if Roger Federer strolled out onto the Wimbledon arena with a tennis polo and shorts, but was wearing a pair of leather dress shoes, do you think that would be odd? Well when you wear your sports shoes anywhere other than the gym, women will be looking at you, like you would look at Roger Federer playing a grand slam in leather dress shoes.
Style Mistake #2
Mistake #2 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes is dressing like you’re a walking billboard. This is more so relating to men’s t-shirts and long sleeve tops that have large and loud logos and graphic images plastered all over them. Buying shirts like Ed Hardy for example will always have a very limited shelf life. When I buy clothes, I always ask myself the question “will this still look good in say 2 or 5 years’ time, and as a result, I buy very classic, timeless items that are generally logo-free and I suggest you all do the same.
Style Mistake #3
Mistake #3 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes is allowing the top of your round neck undershirt to be visible underneath a button-up shirt. Sorry to be rude guys but this look has a kind of lame and daggy attachment to it. If you must wear an undershirt when you’re wearing a button-up, then choose a v neck that sits lower and make sure your buttons are done up to a point that will conceal that v neck undershirt.
Style Mistake #4
Mistake #4 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes is wearing white socks with dress shoes. This is particularly offensive at work if you have a corporate or sales role, but should also not be done for any formal or smart casual occasions involving nice dress shoes. Just keep it safe and simple and go with black or navy socks.
Style Mistake #5
Mistake #5 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes is neglecting the importance of always wearing good shoes. Most guys start with their dress shirt or top and then choose pants, outerwear and then they will try and match their shoes to whatever outfit they have chosen. What you should be doing is first work out the shoes that you want to wear, and then tailor your outfit to coordinate with your shoes. Find some great shoes in the East Danes men’s section or a simple department store like Macy’s, Nordstrom, or DSW (cheapest option).
Style Mistake #6
Mistake #6 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes is not matching the texture and finish of your belt with your dress shoes. Hopefully, you all realize it’s an absolute style must make sure that your dress shoes and belt are the same color. Not only is this meaning the actual color, but if for example your dress shoes are a matte finish as opposed to a shiny material and finish. Then you want to make sure that your belt is also a matte finish.
Style Mistake #7
Mistake #7 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes are grown men wearing novelty-type t-shirts that have slogans, jokes, or a particular theme on them. I don’t know how to break it to you fellas but unfortunately, these t-shirts aren’t cool or funny sorry.
Style Mistake #8
Mistake #8 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes is showing too much chest. Unless you’re attending a fancy dress party as John Travolta’s character in Saturday night fever, then I suggest you never undo more than 2 buttons on your dress or casual shirt.
Style Mistake #9
Mistake #9 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes is the fanny pack AKA bum bags. Now unless you’re a drug dealer and this is used for practical reasons then pour petrol on this and burn it. Not only are they ugly, but just so you’re aware, the definition of fanny in Britain is the females genital part, and in the USA fanny means the buttock. So if you’re cruising around town with your fanny pack then don’t be surprised or offended if someone says – oh that’s an amazing vagina pack you’ve got on, where’d you get it – or that ass pack your wearing really makes your eyes pop.
Style Mistake #10
Mistake #10 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes is dressing for trends and not dressing for your personality and what you feel comfortable in. If you’re reading men’s high-end style and fashion magazines and buying whatever is “on trend” or you’re letting your eccentric wife, girlfriend, mother, or sister choose your clothes based on her tastes, then you will likely end up looking uncomfortable and lacking confidence on your date, job interview or business pitch.
Style Mistake #11
Mistake #11 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes is ¾ pants, you know the ones that are not shorts but are not pants, but look like pirate pants. Well if that fanny pack fire is still burning then you can also throw your ¾ pants on there too.
Style Mistake #12
Mistake #12 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes is deep V neck t-shirts, there are varying types of deep V necks but I am referring to the ones that go halfway down your chest, and depending on what type of activity you are doing, everyone is just waiting for the moment you expose a nipple. Whilst I am generalizing, my take on the deep V neck t-shirt is that you are generally choosing to wear this if you have a really impressive upper body and chest.
Well, in my opinion, the 1 point you score from women by exposing your great chest will be outweighed by the 2 points that you lose in the eyes of women for being so vain as to wear a top that looks bad, just so that you could show off your body.
Style Mistake #13
Mistake #13 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes is wearing sunglasses, watches, and wallets that are very obviously fake or rip-offs. 9 times out of 10 it is glaringly obvious that the Tag Huer watch you are wearing is not the $5, 10, or 15 thousand dollar authentic, so you are best to just not wear it at all. If you are going to go designer, check here for real ones.
Style Mistake #14
Mistake #14 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes is going out of your way to tell people what brand of clothes you are wearing, or even worse than this, is quoting to people how much the clothes cost you to buy. Like with the deep v neck shirt, you will score 1 point for being able to afford such expensive clothes, but lose 2 points for going out of your way to advertising it.
Style Mistake #15
And mistake #15 of the 15 most common Men’s style mistakes is having a subscription to men’s high-end style magazines like GQ, Esquire, Details, and Men’s Style magazine. If you’re a guy who does not have a natural eye for style, then you don’t have a lot of options available to you. Most guys aren’t going to ask their stylish male friends or colleagues for style advice through fear of being judged, so many will turn to these types of magazines for style inspiration.
Well in my opinion, and it’s only my opinion unless you can answer yes to the following statements I don’t think these magazines are helpful for you:
– You have an incredibly high salary or business income, or you don’t earn a lot but are happy to spend all of it on clothes.
– You attend polo matches (you know the one with horses)
– You hang out in cigar rooms
– You sail or yacht regularly
– You have your initials on your shirt sleeves or cufflinks
– You wear driving gloves
– You have a hospital wing named after you
– You kiss a woman on the hand or both cheeks when you greet them
– Or you attend parties that actually have champagne fountains
Now whilst I’m being dramatic to prove a point, I truly believe these magazines are not useful for everyday guys who live more of a regular existence than what is portrayed in these magazines. So instead of just making this claim, I decided to buy the latest copy of the Australian edition of GQ and break the magazine down for you.
So the most recent GQ monthly issue had 186 pages in total:
– The total number of full-page advertisements, many of which were double pages was 58 in total which means that close to 1 in 3 pages is an advertisement.
– The number of non-style advertisements was 19 which was 6 alcohol, 2 food, 2 car, and 9 miscellaneous
– The number of men’s style advertisements was 33
– Of those 33, the number of advertisements that were obscenely expensive brands that would be out of reach for the majority of men was 28
– And again, of those 33, the number of advertisements which were styles of clothes that I think are suitable for everyday guys was only 6. The other 27 style advertisements featured a guy wearing an outfit that you would see on the runway of a Paris fashion show where you question if the clothes are for theatre or actually to be sold to the public.
In my opinion, if you’re an everyday guy wanting to improve your style and grooming then I think you would be better off finding resources more appropriate to you, from somebody who lives a similar lifestyle so that the recommendations, tips, and advice will be more applicable and attainable for you.
Whilst I’ve always been very interested in men’s style and I’m currently finishing up studies to become a qualified image consultant. I am also a very down-to-earth, no-nonsense, and practical guy who judges clothes for how they look, and not what they represent or how much they cost.