‘Wear large clothing. It'll make you look lean and strong.'
This is #$@&%*!
I have NO idea why anyone would give this advice.
But yes – I really did read it in an article online.
There is BAD style advice out there… and if you don't know how to spot it, you might take it.
Read on to save yourself time, effort, money, and humiliation.
For today's article I thought a top 10 wouldn't cut it. There's too much bad style advice out there. So I've collected my ‘top' 21 pieces of worse-than-useless style advice that you should ignore.
Bad Style Advice #1: You Get What You Pay For
This IS often true – but it's also often false. So how do you avoid getting ripped off? Know what to look for.
My advice: go into the best menswear store in your area and look at the best. When you go out and look at Rolex watches or really high-quality boots, you become accustomed to what quality looks like.
Even if you can't afford it – be familiar with the best.
This has two benefits. When you see great quality for a cut price, you know it's a bargain. And when you see poor quality at an inflated price, you know it's a ripoff.
#2 & #3: No White After Labor Day, No Brown In Town
These are rules created to separate people into different classes. I do think some etiquette rules are important to follow, but these two are outdated. Honestly, I think they're ridiculous.
So for the record – you can wear white after Labor Day and there's no problem with wearing brown in town.
#4: No Brown With Black
What are they talking about? You can pull off brown and black. I think it's very easy to do, especially in the details. For instance, you'll often see black details on a brown pair of boots. So if you're confident you can pull it off, just ignore that rule.
#5: You're A Size ‘Small', ‘Medium', Or ‘Large'
Men's bodies do not come in three standard sizes. You need to know your skin measurements.
The easiest way to do it is to measure your best-fitting clothing and take that information with you when you go shopping. You'll have a much easier time finding clothing to actually fit your body.
#6 & #7: Don't Wear Wallet Chains Or Square-Toed Shoes
Just kidding. These are NOT bad style rules. I do not want to catch you wearing square-toed shoes or wallet chains.
#8: Be Yourself
This might be good life advice, but it's BAD style advice. Know why? Because people take it too literally. They take it as, ‘You're a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy? Great, wear that all the time. With running shoes.'
Guys – have you ever thought about who you REALLY are? What message you want to send the world?
Most men don't – and therefore they're just following a fashion trend.
You're not a ‘jeans and t-shirt guy' because you thought about your personal values and chose jeans and a t-shirt as the best way to tell the world what you stand for. You're just wearing them because they're in fashion.
Understand this and think about how you can use style to your advantage. For instance, if you're an up-and-coming young lawyer going to law school, maybe you want to start dressing the part so you can practice and become the man you know yourself to be. Think about what message you want to send the world – and dress accordingly.
#9: Buy Items Only When They're On Sale
There are many items out there that unfortunately just never go on sale, or at least you can't seem to find them on sale. I would say buy them. If it's a watch buying something that you're going to wear thousands of times and pass down as an heirloom is going to give you a pretty low price per wear.
You know your time is valuable – and so you get what you really want, you cry about that price once, and then you wear the heck out of it.
#10: Buy Big-Name Brands and You'll Be Safe
This is another REALLY bad style tip. A lot of these big name brands get bought or acquired and suddenly they're getting pushed for margins in a way they weren't when they made their reputation for quality.
You've got to understand what quality is – don't just trust the brand name.
If you go by name alone sooner or later you're going to be disappointed and have something fall apart on you. Trust your instincts. Trust your own ability to spot quality.
#11: Take A Woman Shopping With You
Someone's gender does not make them better or worse at something than anyone else, and this applies to both men and women. Sure a woman's more likely to have dressed up dolls as a kid, but unless she as an individual is really serious about style, there's no automatic advantage.
Always remember that the purpose of style is to send a message. If you're shopping with your partner or your mom, she probably has a pretty strong idea of the message she wants you to send (even if she hasn't articulated it like that) and it might be VERY different from what you actually want your style to say.
Treat your clothes like you treat your cologne and don't let anyone else choose them for you.
#12: If You're Wearing A Suit, You're Bound To Look Good
This isn't always true. If you're wearing a suit that doesn't fit you, it's not gonna look good. If you're going to own a suit make sure you follow the style pyramid: fit, function, and fabric. If you nail those three things, you'll look great in a suit. If you don't that suit is not going to do a thing for you.
#13: Copy What Celebrities Are Doing
A tip I hear a lot is, “Just look at your favorite celebrity and copy what they're doing.” And true, you can get some amazing ideas from these guys, like George Clooney or Ryan Gosling.
There are many things they wear that you can pull off, but I would say be very careful when taking style inspiration from celebrities, because it can definitely go wrong. If you're trying to copy them and they're just off doing some crazy peacock type look? Nah.
#14: You Need to Spend a Lot of Money/Own a Lot of Clothes to Be Stylish
There's this guy Anthony Drexel Biddle Jr. – Alan Flusser talked about him in this great book Dressing the Man – he was recognized as one of the best-dressed men of his time period. He only had like six to seven suits in his wardrobe.
It just goes to show that you can dress sharp with a small amount of clothing. You just want to be thinking interchangeable wardrobe. Here's an example: you've got three pairs of shoes, three trousers, three shirts and three jackets – 12 items. And from these twelve items, if they were all perfectly interchangeable, we're talking 81 outfits.
You don't need much clothing when it all fits, is interchangeable, and looks great.
#15: You MUST Dress A Certain Way Depending On Your Age
I understand dressing for your age, and there is truth in this because there's an expectation from society that the way you dress will evolve. But even if you're forty or sixty years old, you can still wear the casual clothing that younger men pull off if you're in good shape and you have the confidence to make it look right on you.
If you're fifty and you really like a certain look, and you've perfected it, then you rock it.
#16: Everything Has To Match
Understand the difference between matching and complementing. You don't have to exactly match accessories, but you want to try to get them to complement each other.
#17: “A Man Can Never Be Overdressed Or Overeducated”
This is attributed to Oscar Wilde, and I like Oscar Wilde but I think this is bad style advice.
I think a man CAN be overdressed, because if there's a dress code and you're wearing a black tie outfit to a casual event, you're ruining the ambience your host intended. So yes, you're overdressed, and rude. Don't do that.
You can be over-educated too. A lot of time and effort goes into formal education, and you have to wonder what else you could be doing. It's certainly a valuable thing, but it's not the only valuable thing.
#18: Your Socks Need To Match Your Trousers or Your Shoes
People argue for both sides of this – that socks have to match trousers or have to match shoes. But what about wearing bright socks? What about wearing fun socks? No, your socks don't have to exactly match.
The idea here is to lengthen the leg line. But if you're fine with breaking that up and drawing a little bit of attention to your ankles? Go for it.
#19: You Have To Wear A Jacket With A French Cuff Shirt
I've got tons of friends that love to wear French cuff shirts simply by themselves. They live in hot weather areas and they just love the look of cufflinks on a dress shirt simply worn without a jacket.
I think cufflinks need to come back. They're a great accessory and a great piece of men's jewelry that I would like to see men wear more often. So sure, go ahead and break that rule.
#20: You Have To Wear A Belt If Your Trousers Have Belt Loops
This isn't a BAD style rule, but I actually break it quite a bit when I wear shirts untucked. I just don't want that belt digging into my midsection, and since my shirt covers the loops, no one can tell the difference. In those cases, you can clearly break that rule.
#21: You Need To Match Your Shirt With Your Shoes
I don't know when this one came about but you can safely ignore it. Look at the common colors for shirts. Now look at the most common colors for shoes. They're not made to match each other.
So gentlemen, now that you've heard the bad style rules I think are better off ignored, you're probably wondering – what are the GOOD style rules I SHOULD be following?
Well, I've got you covered. Click here for my 10 style rules to live by.
Click below to watch the video – 21 Pieces Of Bad Style Advice To COMPLETELY Ignore