7 Big Men’s Style Mistakes We’ve All Made

The road to well dressed is paved with error bricks.

1. Buying a suit that’s one size too large.

99% of us have made this $300 – $500 mistake.  It’s usually our first adult suit, a sales associate in the Men’s section of a department store was helping us out, and we thought it looked pretty sharp at the time.  Alterations would be done by their in-house tailors.  It comes back, you wear it… and it fits you like a garbage bag.  The shoulder pads are jutting out.  There’s some contour at the waist, but you feel like you’ve got half a foot on either side.  Sh*t.

2. Believing a shirt, tie, and dress pants = dressed up.

Yes it’s possible to look great wearing just a shirt and tie, but it’s not easy.  A jacket of some sort is what most often separates the men from the boys stylistically.  A shirt and tie is the homecoming dance uniform.  That says a lot.

Just a shirt & tie can look unfinished.  Suggestions for a little more, or a little less, here.

3. Getting a haircut a day or two before a big event

And of course, it doesn’t go as you had hoped. Wait until after the big day. Whatever it is. Of course you want to look your best on your wedding day, class reunion, big presentation at work, etc… but know that more often than not, us guys look our best a good week or two after we’ve gotten a trim. Plan accordingly.

4. Not knowing your measurements, and suffering the consequences

Similar to #1, but can result in bad shirt/pant purchases as well as awful fitting rental tuxedos. For example: I was lucky enough to stand up in a pal’s wedding more than a few years back.  The wedding was out of town so I had to go get measured for a tux locally then pick it up from another shop after arriving on site.  The employee measured me and called it in.  The size she came up with?  A 42.  Long.  I’m friggin’ 5’10” on a GOOD day.  165 pounds.  Had no clue what it meant.  I could have smuggled 5 kilos of blow across a border in that jacket.  Knowledge is power.  Know your sizes, and get some help from The Effortless Gent here.

Knowing your measurements, and also know what must fit, and what can be fudged.

5. Dry cleaning way too much

It’s absolute hell on fabric and construction, especially if you’re on a budget and wearing fused suits.  Dry cleaning can melt that fusing, and when the fusing glue dries it’ll leave goofy looking wrinkles under the shell.  It’s also really rough on wool.  Unless your suit stinks of cigarettes, booze, or you’ve sweated like a pig in it, hang it up to air out then have it pressed or steam it yourself.

6. Wearing chunky, sporty sunglasses when dressed up.

It’s not quite like wearing running shoes with a suit, but  it’s worth investing in a pair of wire frames or classic, slimmed down plastic frames like the New Wayfarer.  You’ll look noticeably better at those summer weddings.

Well proportioned wire frames won’t lead you astray.  Leave the sport shades at home when dressed up.

7. Putting too much stock in rules and lists

Like this very list perhaps?  Anyway, getting dressed is a bit like cooking.  There are three types:

  1. Those who get intimidated by the whole damn thing, give up, and feel totally lost.
  2. Those who strictly follow the ingredients and guidelines and get the job done.
  3. Those who can improvise and put their own spin on a tried and true formula, or even wing it from scratch.  Bravo to those who are okay if they have to scrap the final product.  They enjoyed the attempt.

Lucky you if you haven’t made these mistakes along the way.  Agreements, disagreements, and additions can go in the comments section below.  Top Photo Credit: jepoirrier

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