Fashion is subjective. One man’s fashion ‘mistake’ is another’s ‘brave choice’. That being said, there are some well-known cardinal sins which you should just avoid at all costs. If you eliminate every item on the following list, you’re well on your way to looking sharp. In no particular order, let’s begin:
Grotty/novelty underwear and socks. Have you started noticing that your ‘lucky’ underwear is getting less lucky with each passing Friday night out? Yes, that’s because they are 5 years old and holier than the Pope. Underwear wasn’t built to last, and survives in the harshest conditions known to man. You should be replacing all your socks and underwear every six months. Oh, and for the sake of humanity, don’t wear ‘funny’ underwear. The last place you want to place a joke is right on your junk.
Ill-fitting suits. The chances of a suit fitting you right off the rack are slim to zero. Find the one which has the closest fit to your ideal and get it to a tailor. The tailoring process is not nearly as expensive or intrusive as you think. Once there get them to taper the legs, bring it in at the waist and add a hem if the trouser leg is too long. You want to create a fine silhouette, and a tailored suit will make you feel like a million dollars.
Baggy clothes. This isn’t Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Keep your pants up with a belt, avoid bootcut jeans (with material dragging under your shoe), wear slim-fit dress shirts and get your clothes tailored (see later point). I can guarantee you’re a size smaller than you actually think you are. Also, it’s a misconception that baggy clothes cover fat; they billow out in all directions and actually make you look larger.
The ‘pulling’ shirt. This creature is normally black, short sleeved, may or may not contain a dragoon pattern near one shoulder, and is located around the watering holes of any major city on a Saturday night. Approach with extreme caution.
White socks. Are you running, playing sport, putting on a fairly crude puppet show, or the reincarnation of Michael Jackson? If you answered yes to any of those, by all means wear those white socks to hell and back until they’re no longer white. In any other forms of dress they are strictly forbidden.
Novelty t-shirts. Here’s a fact: when women see ‘FART LOADING – 76%’ on a cheaply made, poor quality cotton tee, they’re not thinking “Wow, whoever created that shirt is so funny. But this guy bought the shirt, so must be equally as funny. I must sleep with this guy immediately!” To be honest, you might as well fully load the fart – the shirt has already ruined your chances. You should be buying quality plain tees from the likes of Sunspel on a high budget, or Uniqlo on a lower one.
In-your-face branding. The first big lesson i learned was that the most important aspect of a piece of clothing was the fabric, not the branding. You should be paying more for the quality of construction, not the big label on the front. True style is understated. If anyone asks who the brand is, by all means tell them. Don’t blind them with it. Oh, and Armani Exchange isn’t true Armani. You’re fooling no one!
Mismatched suits and shoes. I’ll be doing a guide to suiting soon. In the meantime, remember this simple guide:
- navy suit = dark brown or black shoes
- light grey suit = light brown or black shoes
- charcoal grey = black shoes
- black = black shoes
Stuffed pockets. Nothing worse than seeing a great suit ruined by a massive bulge. To clarify: i’m talking about your pocket, which is likely crammed with keys, wallet and a mobile. Do you really need that ‘Ayia Napa 98’ keyring? Nope! Slim down your key collection and buy a card holder instead of a wallet (it’s the 21st century. You don’t need a change compartment.)
Socks and sandals. Just… No.
Pocket square and tie matching. Try to avoid being too ‘matchy’. Annoyingly, shops tend to sell pocket squares and ties as a set, but that doesn’t mean you should wear them both at the same time. If in doubt, go for plain white for the square.
Cheap shoes. There’s nothing worse than seeing a crisp, fitted suit with a pair of square-toed monstrosities propping it up. If there’s one area of your wardrobe where the money should go, it’s on shoes. Check out our guide for a comprehensive look.
Words by Fil – https://instagram.com/thenortherngent