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Menswear Styling – Things I wish I would know earlier

Style is something not hard to get right but unfortunately it is also very easy to get wrong. Since the world is predominantly concerned with women’s fashion, the men’s fashion world looks like a step-sister. Since it is a less focused area, some of the mistakes with menswear styling do get overlooked. The following seven mistakes are very common but you should take care not to commit these horrible mistakes ever in your life. No one, irrespective of how handsome he is, can ever run away from these basic faux pas. It is true that there are more bad ideas than the following but we are just revealing a few of the absolutes.

1. Socks and trousers should be evenly matched

This is the most common style error committed by clueless men. There is a temptation to match your socks with the shoes but it is a wrong idea. Socks are regarded as an undergarment and they should not be visible. If they are visible then you must choose the color of the socks very carefully so that it becomes hard.

So you need to match the color of the trousers and the socks as closely as possible. This basically means that you need a varied socks drawer – an expensive proposition, really.

2. Wearing a short sleeve shirt with tie

You should avoid wearing a short sleeve shirt with tie unless, of course, you are working for a fast-food joint. This combination is generally perceived as lower class apparel. If you want to look professional and confident then always look to wear a long sleeved shirt with a tie.

3. Know how to button your shirts and jackets

It’s very easy to commit a mistake here as rules are basically different for different garments. For example, the jackets are never ever fully buttoned unless you are wearing a double-breasted jacket. The 2 button jackets will always button at the top button while the 3 button jackets usually button in the middle. You should always button the jacket where it is supposed to be and never try anything flashy or flamboyant. However, you can keep the buttons of a jacket open when you are sitting but the same is not appreciated when you are walking or standing.

In case of vests, the lowest button is traditionally left undone. The origin of this particular fashion is another story and it's a little silly but it has been around for a long time and not doing it may make you look ignorant. If you are confident enough to wear the waistcoat then do remember that the lowest button needs to be left undone.

Thankfully shirts always button at all points. This includes the cuff and the collar when you are wearing button-downs and the small or tiny buttons midway up the forearm which are known as gauntlet buttons. If you plan to roll-up the sleeves then both the cuff and the gauntlet button must be left undone. Many people are confused regarding the down collar buttons. We generally fail to understand whether to button them up or not. Well, the rule of thumb is that you should always button up the down collar buttons because they are supposed to be worn that way. You can only unbutton them if you are on a beach but otherwise the down collar buttons should be all buttoned up. Never ever think of unbuttoning the down collar buttons when you are wearing a tie.

4. Match the color of the shoe with that of the belt

When you are dressing nicely, the shoe color must match that of the belt. The belts and the shoes need not be made from the same type of leather or anything but you simply cannot wear black shoes and brown belts and vice versa! So if you are looking for dressier outfits then the bright and the multi-colored belts are simply not recommended. When you are dressing casually, you can choose from the same color family but mixing brown and black is always considered to be a beginner’s mistake.

5. Do not have the wrong notion that jeans are always acceptable

Yes; we are talking about jeans here. Jeans do have their uses, they are hard wearing, have a rugged appeal and have a great storage space. However, never wear jeans with everything that you own in the wardrobe. No one wants to be known as that good-looking guy who has been seen in jeans only for the last 5 – 6 years. Instead, to bring variety in your appearance you must look for tailored wool trousers or plain cotton chinos. These come in a wide range of colors and can brighten up a man’s wardrobe. If you are of the conservative type you can opt for colors such as sand, navy & charcoal while the more adventurous one has the liberty to choose from a wide range of colors.

6. Do not wear sports shoes when there are no plans of running or playing any sports

Running shoes look fantastic. They are very comfortable and are very supportive. However, they were made with just one purpose in mind – running. The running shoes look good at the gym, during the morning jog or at the athletics track. These shoes have no place in our wardrobes. If you are looking for casual shoes then simply opt for a low top white colored leather sneaker. You can also opt for the very classy looking suede shoes. Similarly you may have come across people who choose from variety of sports shoes which have been kept in the high-price category although they do not have any intention of playing any sports. Probably they will wear these shoes when they will go to a friend’s place or to a party. Now some of these high-priced shoes have been made for a specific sport such as tennis, cricket or football and they were never meant to be worn on the roads.

So always choose shoes accordingly. Even if you have lots of money, refrain from buying sports shoes if you are only going to wear it with jeans. Suede shoes or plain sneakers are a much better idea.

7. Pleated and non pleated trousers

The pleats impart a classy look to the trousers. They have a number of benefits like adding detail to the trousers and are perfect for those who have large legs and have considerable weight in the mid-section. Short people may go for 2 pleats but others should settle for 1 pleat only.

Pleated trousers actually help you look slimmer but if you already have a slim body type then you can opt for the non pleated trousers. People who are tall and have a slim body look good in non pleated trousers.

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