Men: do you make these style mistakes

Men: Do You Make These Style Mistakes?

They saw it coming a mile away. That white sock peeking out from beneath the cuff of the black trousers that were too short on you. Alright… I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your style missteps are less obvious than that. Maybe your necktie is missing a “dimple”. Still with me?

It’s scientifically proven that others assess their impression of you subliminally and in a matter of seconds. Once you’ve been sized up, it will take a lot longer to repair any unfavorable opinions that have already formed. Even if you feel you’re versed in the do’s and don’ts of men’s style and incapable of committing the sins of our fathers, read on — you might just pick up a tip or two that will take your game to the next level.

Famed architect Mies Van Der Rhoe once said, “God is in the details”, and boy was he right! It’s the subtleties that matter most and even a minor adjustment can make all the difference between a great impression, or one that will have you banished to the corner, a fashion “dunce” in a belt and suspenders, resting your baggy bottom on a high stool…

Which brings us to our first blunder – wear clothes that fit! You like your clothes roomy, don’t you? You like to be comfortable. Of course you do, but unless your new hip-hop single is moving up the charts, don’t overdo it. Formless, unstructured clothes will make you look sloppy. Your ultimate objective is to appear “put together”. Avoid the other extreme as well – you don’t want to wear anything that is too tight on you. You goal is a fit that will highlight your attributes and flatter you every place else. A good tailor is worth his weight in gold. Get acquainted with one.

Are you well heeled? A beat up pair of sneakers has its place, which isn’t with a pair of designer jeans and a sharp looking shirt. Everyone notices your shoes. This is such an understatment that investing more in your footwear than any other aspect of your wardrobe would be one savvy move. Keep them clean, shined, and in good repair. Mix it up! Don’t wear the same shoes on consecutive days. Match your selection to the appropriate occasion.

And speaking of matching, here’s a tip that’s both easy and free…

Color coordinate your belt and your shoes. Don’t bungle this one, or you’ll never be forgiven. If you’re wearing brown shoes, loop on a brown belt. Black shoes require a black belt. This same principle applies to socks. They should always match the color of the suit you’re wearing, i.e. navy suit… navy socks.

Do you telegraph designer labels? Unless you’re collecting residual checks from Ed Hardy or Tommy Hilfigger, ditch their name splashed across your chest, back or sleeve. This isn’t a refined look. Keep your approach to fashion understated and simple.

I’m seeing a pattern – men of shorter stature wearing horizontal stripes and tall, gangly men wearing vertical stripes. Never mind. I was just remembering Tim Burton’s remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Knowing your body type is key. Aside from actual fit, one of the best ways to enhance your appearance is to choose patterns that compliment you. Vertical stripes create the illusion of height and horizontal do the opposite, which is the perfect choice for guys who are on the lanky side. Just remember to avoid clashing lines – for instance, opt for a solid shirt to wear with that pin-striped suit.

Speaking of which, it’s time to suit up. It’s unavoidable. Your wardrobe is not complete without at least two suits – a navy and a gray pinstripe are de rigeur. A perfect fit is mandatory. If you don’t have it custom made to begin with, spend more to get your off-the-rack suit properly tailored. The positioning of the buttons, width of the lapels, and placement of the vents on the jacket are all dictated by your unique form. A good tailor will instinctively know how to make you look razor sharp.


The best fitting, Savile Row suit isn’t worth the fabric it’s cut from if you don’t know how to wear it properly. Never button the bottom button of your suit jacket… ever. On a two button jacket, only fasten the top button. On a three button jacket, you may fasten the top and middle.

Never weigh down your pockets – this will ruin the line of your suit. Cellphones, keys, and coins, will also wear down the lining of your pockets. Store your necessities and odds and ends in your briefcase. Always keep your back pockets empty – carry your wallet in your breast pocket where it will have the least impact on the silhouette of your suit.

And lastly, we come to the enigmatic tie “dimple”. A properly knotted tie has a “dimple” beneath the knot. Simply press your index finger just beneath the knot as it forms. While you cinch the knot, pinch the necktie between your thumb and middle finger and pull downward. This will achieve the desired result. Keep in mind the knot must hide the collar button, and it is essential for the tie to reache your beltline.

If your prospective employer notices that dimple just like the one on his tie, you may have just landed yourself a new job. After all, it’s the subtlest details that get noticed, and convey the fact you possess the grace and knowledge to dress appropriately for any situation life throws your way. In short, you’re ahead of the pack.

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