Top 4 style mistakes that men should avoid when suiting up

This article is excruciatingly painful to write. It’s the equivalent of writing about a double dribble and travelling in your book of basketball. But it needs to be done. As much as I enjoy writing about constructive ways of improving your look and sense of style, there are several fashion faux pas that many of us have committed, and many of us can learn a thing or two from. In no meaningful order, here is our top 5 list of fashion sins you should avoid:

1.  Buying a suit that does not fit. Ok, forget what I just said. This is, the most important. For all of our articles on wearing suits where the fit starts with snug shoulders, and works its way down from there, a loosely fitting, baggy suit will have you looking plain sloppy. And honestly, the next time you’re at an interview, a business meeting, a formal dinner dance or any other event that would summon you to strut a suit, do you really want to look like Mr. Barkley? I think not. Enough said.

Avoid wearing baggy suits, unless you want to dress like Sir Charles!

Avoid wearing baggy suits, unless you want to dress like Sir Charles!

2.  Mismatching shoe and belt colors. If you claim you dress well, act like it. If you are wearing a brown belt with a grey or navy blue suit, please wear brown shoes. For a black suit, you should always be wearing black shoes, and by association, a black belt.

Always wear brown shoes with a brown belt.  Picture courtesy of Trunk Club.  http://www.trunkclub.com

Always wear brown shoes with a brown belt. Picture courtesy of Trunk Club. http://www.trunkclub.com

3.  Mismatched socks and trousers. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, if you are dressing conservatively, you want the color of your socks to match those of your trousers. If you dress with more flair, have your socks match the colors of your shirt, ties or pocket squares. Therefore, with a grey or navy blue suit, avoid black socks!

When not wearing black pants, wear anything but black socks!

When not wearing black pants, wear anything but black socks!

4.  Vest, shirt and suit buttons. Many a men have made stylistic errors when choosing which buttons to fasten and which ones to leave open. Here are general rules of thumb:

Jackets should never be fully buttoned unless double breasted. With two button jackets, button the top button, and with three button jackets, button the middle one.

 

The top button of a two button suit should be fastened!

The top button of a two button suit should be fastened!

With vests, generally leave the lowest button undone. If you dress sharp enough to wear a vest, its best to leave the last button undone!

Bottom button of a vest should be left undone.  Picture courtesy of Bonobos.  http://www.bonobos.com

Bottom button of a vest should be left undone. Picture courtesy of Bonobos. http://www.bonobos.com

With a shirt button, all buttons should be done, including the collar (assuming, of course, you are wearing a full fledged suit with a tie). This includes cuffs, collars in the case of button downs, and the small buttons halfway up your forearm (which serve a functional purpose to allow you breathing room when you are trying to roll your sleeves up).

And that’s a wrap for this one! As always, comments and suggestions are welcome!

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Categories: Suits

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