When it comes to style, one of the best and worse aspects is fashion trends.
At their best, they can introduce something new that becomes an instant classic. At their worst, they're a fad that lasts 5 minutes, never to be repeated.
Hindsight is 20/20. We can all look back at our fashion faux pas and go “what were you thinking”.
It's a lot harder to not get swept up by the hype of the latest fashion craze.
The fact is trends matter, they affect what is being advertised to you and what is available to buy in stores. People are swayed to buy them because of the hype, not because they actually know where and when they'd wear these clothes.
So as we entered 2023, let me help you to avoid the worst fashion trends and keep you looking your best.
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1. Avoid: Oversized Suits
One of the worst fashion trends, this fad seems to come around every 40 years like clockwork. It was big in the '80s with big hair and bigger shoulder pads. It was big with the zoot suits in the '40s. As we head into the 2020s it seems to be coming back around.
Not only does this trend not look good, you look like a boy borrowing your dad's clothes. It will be going back out of style again soon and you will have to wait another 40 years to wear anything you buy now.
2. Avoid: Vests under a suit
Aren't vests an important part of a 3-piece suit? Yes, but not when worn instead of a shirt.
There is a disturbing new trend of wearing a suit with a tank top, kimono wrapped top, or a waistcoat without a shirt. The problem with this is that suits are not designed to be worn this way. Suits are expensive, made from high-end fabrics, and dry clean only.
Wearing a suit without a proper shirt underneath means that sweat and oils from your skin are going to be absorbed directly into your suit. This is going to damage the fabric and double your dry cleaning costs.
A suit with a T-shirt under it can be a great look for a casual office vibe, especially in the summer. A suit with a tank top underneath looks like you forgot to put on a shirt.
3. Avoid: Fashion Colors
This is one of the worst fashion trends as it never really goes away. Every year designers seem to decide that certain colors are in style and they begin to show up everywhere.
But as men who prioritize long-term fashion, you should be careful about adding them to your wardrobe. This year neons, racing reds, ultra-bright acid hues of magenta, and traffic-cone-orange. All seem to be popular on the runways.
While color is something that many men lack and should bring into their wardrobes, it's best not to overdo it. Bright neons are strictly casual and should be used sparingly with your accessories such as belts and watch straps.
All those colors mentioned should be avoided when it comes to mainstay clothing items. They're at the peak of their popularity right now, but such trends won't stand the test of time.
4. Avoid: Wide Pants
We're no longer in the '80s when baggy pants and big hair were in vogue. Yet like your favorite 80's actors, wide pants are trying to make comeback. Much like with oversized suits, it looks like you don't know how clothes should fit, and remember; Fit is King.
When it comes to over wide pants unless your MC Hammer “You can't touch this.”
5. Avoid: Leather all over
A leather jacket is a staple of men's fashion and one that every guy should invest in. But it's important to get one that will stand the test of time in a classic style. Leather should be used on a single staple piece to build an outfit around not a material to build your entire outfit. It doesn't have to be a jacket. It could be a great pair of dress boots.
Leather boots with a leather jacket are fine. You can even add leather accessories like a belt and watch strap. When wearing multiple leather items make sure to match the color of your leathers. If you're wearing brown leather shoes don't wear a black leather belt.
The key is to not overdo it. A leather jacket with leather pants and leather boots is something only rockstars can pull off. Unless you want to look like a reject from a Matrix movie, then this is a fad to avoid. Keep the all-leather outfits for the motorbike.
6. Avoid: Oversized Jeans & Skinny Jeans
When it comes to jeans, what style is going to look best on you depends on your body type. Oversized jeans are OK for bigger guys, skinny is OK for very thin guys. For 90% of men, they should not be your go-to.
Oversized jeans make you look sloppy, skinny jeans look like man tights. For most men regular or slim should be the jeans you go for. Check out our infographic below to find the best jeans for your body type.
7. Avoid: Full on Florals
This isn't one of the worst fashion trends, everything has its time and place, gents. And that applies to certain clothing pieces and patterns. Floral can be a great addition to a man's wardrobe, a small repeating floral on a tie or shirt can be a great standout piece. But big bright and bold floral pants, Floral Suits.
These are items that won't stand the test of time. Florals are great for accessories, ties, scarves, pocket squares. Remember to keep it simple – stick to small repeating patterns, use them as a way to bring a small amount of color into your outfits.
8. Avoid: Utility Clothing
Pockets, Pockets everywhere. This new trend is not something you should outright dismiss. Some of the items from this trend are under-appreciated classics, such as safari jackets. Others have a place and a time.
Cargo pants are useful for hiking and other outdoor pursuits but shouldn't be worn in any formal setting. The key to mastering this trend is one thing at a time. If your outfit looks like it's made entirely out of pockets then you have gone too far.
9. Avoid: Anything “Muscle” Fit
Let's be honest “muscle fit” is just code for too small. It's understandable, you worked hard to get in shape. You eat clean, track your macros, hit the gym for hours at a time. It took sacrifice and discipline to get a body where tight clothes fit you.
The problem is that wearing clothes that are too tight actually undermines the effort you put in. No matter how in shape you may be, clothes that don't fit properly will not make you look good. Always remember fit is king. Not only will you be uncomfortable but you will look at it as well. Clothes that are too tight trap sweat against your skin leading to breakouts of acne.
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Men's Style Trends to Avoid in 2021
In the end, gentlemen, I'm all about style that lasts longer periods of time. focus on classic, timeless pieces, and building an interchangeable wardrobe.
But at the same time, we can't avoid hearing about trends and items on sale. The trickle-down effect is you'll find pieces that look good at great prices…but end up becoming clutter in your closet. So as you start a new year, don't go swinging for the fences and trying whatever is “hot” at the moment. Prioritize style, not fashion.