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Learn What Not To Wear By Avoiding These Common Style Mistakes

Fashion trends come and fashion trends go and it can be hard to stay on top of what to wear and what not to wear. Whether the ties are thin or wide, the jeans light or dark wash, or the lapels narrow or wide, some things are always in fashion and others are definitely always out. From 1970 to now, there are certain items that are permanently on the “What Not to Wear” list. We have put together a style guide with the 12 style mistakes every man should avoid.
The featured image is a model opening a door while wearing a stylist sweater and crossbody bag.

The Right Fit

Many men make the mistake of wearing clothes that are too loose fitting. They think it makes them look thinner. It doesn’t, it makes them look out of style and shorter than they really are… not a good combination. Too tight is not right either. It’s not slimming, it makes most men look like their clothes don’t fit. A fit that is cut to your body is always the most flattering, even if it’s worth a few extra bucks at the store or the tailor.

Pants Too Long

Pants flowing down over the tops of your shoes into waves of wrinkled fabric looks awful and makes the legs appear short, and no one wants that. The proper pants length is just long enough to touch the top of your shoes. If you find a pair of pants you love but they’re just a little too long, that’s an easy and usually relatively inexpensive update a tailor can make.

Wrinkled Clothing

Wearing a wrinkled shirt or pants is not hip. It doesn’t make you look laid-back; it makes you look disheveled. Either buy wrinkle free fabrics or get yourself an iron. Or try out wrinkle release spray. It can’t compare to the perfection of an iron but in a rush, these sprays work quite well. In the end… want to know what not to wear? Wrinkled clothing.

Too Many Patterns

Everyone likes a pop of color and a little fun with an outfit, but don’t go overboard. A wild shirt, bold tie, colorful vest, or fancy socks are all great, just don’t wear them all at the same time. Patterns and colors look great individually but pairing them up with others patterns or colors can be a very tricky process. We recommend picking your favorite color-pop for the day and sticking with that one.

The Bad Button

The number of buttons on a suit coat may be a fashion trend but how to button the coat is not. For two buttons suits, button the top button only. The three-button suit rule is; sometimes, always, never. Top button sometimes (up to you), middle button always, bottom button never. For shirts, leave one or two (including the collar) buttons open at the most. An overly exposed chest is not a good look.

Unsuitable Socks

Here are the rules: loafers or drivers with shorts – no socks. Drivers with long pants – no socks. Loafers with long pants – up to you. Any of the above – no show socks are ok. Etched in stone: sandals – no socks, ever. Sandals with socks is a first ballot Hall of Fame selection on the “What Not to Wear” team. Finally, unless you are at the gym, no white socks.

The Over Under

Fashion trends have been making more and more occasions casual but there are levels. For your next event, if you’re not sure of the dress code, remember, between overdressing and underdressing, aim high. Overdressing is clearly better than underdressing as you never want to make a wrong impression based solely on your attire. If you have an event, date, work function, or restaurant reservation, check out the dress code in advance and then dress accordingly.

Over Accessorize

Don’t over accessorize. A watch and wedding ring are givens, so they don’t count. But after that what? A bracelet, tie bar, pocket square, funky socks, cufflinks, colored shoe laces, earring(s). The answer is definitely not “all of the above.” Choose one or two that compliment your overall outfit.

Miss Match

As a general rule, wear a casual belt with casual shoes, a dress belt with dress shoes, brown with brown, and black with black. Simple, but guaranteed to outlive any fashion trends. And yes, there are exceptions, but when in doubt follow those rules and you can’t go wrong.

Too Matchy

We highly recommend not wearing a matching tie and pocket square or matching argyle socks and sweater. It shows lack of creativity and individuality in your attire.

The Tuck Rule

A lot of style guides hail the untucked shirt as freeing and we agree, but there are still times to tuck. Dress shirts have a longer tail because they are designed to be worn tucked into your pants, they don’t look good untucked. No need to tuck in a long sleeve t-shirt, polo, a sweater, or sweatshirt.

Keep It Clean

Another item at the top of the list of what not to wear is dirty or scuffed shoes. No matter how good the rest of your outfit looks, with dirty shoes the overall impression is still sloppy. It’s the first thing many people notice about you and it’s an easy fix. Invest in cleaning products and take the time to make sure your shoes are cleaned and polished for your next event.

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