This is the third and final installment of the "Style Mistakes" series. Last time, I posted 8 intermediate style mistakes you might be making. This was for the guy that has a decent grasp on his clothing, but still has room for improvement.
This post is for you GQ gentlemen who already know how to dress well but might just need a few tweaks to really stand out.
Let's get going...
1. You Follow Trends Too Closely
This is easily the biggest mistake I see with fashionable men. A new trend starts to brew and they just have to jump on it. By the time the next trend comes around, they've hardly got a grasp on the last one. I get it, you want to stay current.
I do believe trends have a place in your wardrobe but in small doses. It's all about what looks best on you, not what looks best on the runway. It would be much more advantageous to double down on your personal style by finding good pieces that won't go in and out of style.
Meanwhile, if something trendy really sticks out to you, go dip your toe by picking out one or two items and then working them into your rotation to see how you like them and how others respond. If it's not on point with your personal style, people will let you know.
2. Your Clothing is Too Loud
A lot of stylish men pride themselves on their outfits and they want others to notice. The quality, fit and fabric are all superior, so they'll emphasize this by buying the item in a loud color. Or they over accessorize, opting for a pocket square, lapel pin, bracelets, etc. all at once. This can make a well-dressed man stand out in an unfavorable way.
It's all about time and place gentlemen. If you're going to a wedding or another formal event, it can be tempting to break out some loud items, but you might piss some people off, even though you're dressed well. You never want to outshine the host or the bride. Stick to simple elegance. Ego is never an attractive accessory.
3. Your clothing is too traditional
On the flip side of the point above, you don't want to appear overly formal. I see a lot of stylish men going back to very traditional clothing these days, making them appear like they just stepped out of the 50's.
Again we go back to context. Sure traditional is cool, but does it work? I remember going to a style convention last year around this time and seeing really young men dressed like this...
No. Stop it. You're 20 years old. Where are you going daily that you need to dress this way?
Just like trends, traditional menswear has its place. Pick and choose a few pieces that compliment your current wardrobe while still maintaining your personal sense of style.
4. You Rely On Women's Advice
Who hasn't been swayed by the opinion of an attractive woman at one point or another? It's understandable, we want women to find us attractive so it's natural to take their advice. Here's where it goes wrong: Women will usually point you in the direction of what they personally find attractive, not what's most attractive on you.
I've seen girlfriends of mine help dress their boyfriends and I always chuckle a bit because they invariably end up looking like their ex.
All women have a type. You don't want to fit into her archetype of what is sexually attractive to her. You want to wear what is going to be attractive to most people while balancing what is attractive to you personally.
5. You Follow The Wrong Style Advice
With all the information you could wish for on your phone, you will run across a LOT of style advice. It can get confusing. It's easy to watch a youtube video or read a blog or two, but if you're playing the long game, invest in some real style education.
Two books I recommend to get you started are Alan Flusser's Dressing The Man and Carole Jackson's Color For Men.
6. You're Lacking Good Casual Style
When men start learning how to dress well, they normally learn the rules of wearing a suit first. Leave the last button undone, Have a quarter inch of shirt cuff showing, make sure the buttons on the front don't pull, etc. They can pull off more formal styles, and maybe their work clothes are great but their casual clothing is lacking in comparison.
Your personal sense of style should apply at all times. Don't get lazy just because you're not in the office. You need to develop a good casual style to really round things out. Stop investing in suits and work on your after-hours attire.
7. You Don't Have A Signature Scent
You might make an impression on the eyes with your clothing, but to round things out, you should have a signature scent. People really overlook this and it can be a game-changer. A scent can say a lot about you and leave an impression. We often associate scents to memories and people will begin to associate your scent with you.
I always tell guys to try to match their scents with their personality. If you are a rugged, masculine man, go for something warm, earthy and woody. If you're outgoing, try something a bit spicier. If you want to be a bit more conservative, go for a fresh and clean smell.
The best way to figure out your scent is to go try some! My favorite place to find fragrances for men is Sephora. They have a good selection, the sales people are great, and best of all, they'll make little sample bottles that you can take home and test out to see how others respond to your choices.
8. Your accessories detract from your look
You have a great put together outfit and look incredible. Don't spoil it by having accessories that don't compliment the image you're trying to project. I'm talking about more than just jewelry.
Think about your phone case, your wallet, your bag, your headphones, etc. Are all these things in-line with who you want to appear to be? Often, one of these things stands out in an unfavorable way and it can cause your whole image to fall apart.
if you're wearing a bespoke suit and pull out an old George Costanza wallet, we're all going to think less of you.
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