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10 Common Men's Style Mistakes to Avoid

Posted on 03 January 2019

When you first start on your menswear journey, you inevitably make mistakes because...well, you don't know what you don't know.
We all end up learning on the journey as we educate ourselves and discover our style. If you want to leave a good impression and want to be recognized for your fashion sense, you should avoid making these mistakes. The great news is: they are easy to fix.
As psychotherapist and writer Nathan Branden once said, "The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance". 
This post is meant to make you aware of these common mistakes and hopefully you will accept them and make the necessary changes ;)



This is probably the most common mistake as many don't know their measurements or what to look for. The most important thing to know is how the shoulders should fit because the shoulders are difficult to tailor. If the shoulders fit right, a tailor can take care of the rest.
How should the shoulders fit?
As obvious as it may seem, they should be as wide as your shoulder width. As you can see below, the fabric should fall naturally off the shoulder.
If the shoulders on the jacket are too big, extra fabric will roll off the shoulder creating a divot. Divot = Bad.




If you're serious about menswear and how you look, you should make an effort and do the styling yourself or at least look like you did it yourself.


If you want to leave the styling to someone else you can always buy style boxes. When you buy a matching set, you are essentially telling the world you can’t do it yourself.


If you're unsure how to style your accessories, a simple tip is to wear accessories with a common theme. For example, if your tie has some red and blue, you can wear a red or blue pocket square. Alternatively, you can wear a white pocket square and dress shirt with any tie.


If you'd like more tips on how to style accessories, you may find our post on Classic Color Combinations in Menswear useful. 





This one is a pet peeve of mine. I don't know if it's my OCD but if the tip of the tie doesn't touch the belt, I cringe. As with any of these common mistakes, once you recognize them you start seeing them everywhere. The tip of your tie should end between the top and bottom of your belt buckle. Not higher, not lower.



I have to admit, I'm guilty of this mistake. I needed dress shoes for my high school prom and somehow thought these shoes looked good. I guess they fit right in with the rest of my tacky outfit. I'm surprised I even got a prom date looking like that. But hey, it's all part of the journey.
As you learn on your menswear journey, you realize how important shoes are. They are a key component in an outfit and should not be neglected. Instead of a square toe shoe, opt for classic / timeless styles like oxfords and derbies.  Keep the black oxfords handy for your formal occasions, and brown wing tips are very much suitable for a casual affair.

For more on dress shoes, we have a useful guide here




You aren't doing yourself a favor when you buy off-the-rack pants that are too long and don't get them adjusted. If you buy pants that are too long, spend a little extra to get them shortened and tapered, you will look infinitely better. You'll go from sloppy to slick real quick.
As a rule of thumb, your pants should just touch the top of your shoes. Some prefer shorter or with a break and that's okay. Just avoid having extra fabric puddle over your shoes.



This is a rookie mistake. Similar to the pant length, many buy dress shirts off-the-rack and never get them tailored. For many of us, it can be hard to find a Ready-to-Wear (RTW) dress shirt that fits properly. Usually, the collar and the cuffs fit, but there always seems to be a little extra fabric in the midsection. A dress shirt that’s too big makes you look sloppy (the opposite of put together). So it is important to bring your RTW shirts to your tailor and get them fitted.
Nowadays, there are many companies that specialize in custom or Made-to-Measure (MTM) dress shirts. They will take your measurements and make a shirt tailored to your body. Once your measurements are in their system, all you need to do is order online and you'll get a perfect fit everytime. Oh, what a time to be alive!




Someone completely new to suits will always make this mistake and I don't blame them. After all, buttons are made to be fastened, right? 
Or so you would think. Nowadays suits are made with the assumption that the bottom button will remain undone. So leaving the bottom button undone will allow for better comfort and a more natural silhouette.
Rule of thumb - Never fasten the bottom button on a two or three-button suit. And the same applies to waistcoats.




Showing your undershirt is like showing your underwear, not classy. If you like leaving a couple buttons undone, try an undershirt with a v-neck so it doesn't show or don't wear one at all.



Sometimes people do things without thinking, it happens. This is a silly mistake because suspenders and belts serve the same purpose - they keep your pants up. Are your pants so heavy that you need both? Unless you have gold bars in your pants, I don't think so!



I see this all the time - many don't think logically about placing the tie bar. They just go with their gut and end up postioning it in an awkward looking or non-practical way.
When placed too high, the tie can still flap in wind or fall in the sink when brushing your teeth. When positioned too low, it looks awkward and the tie will balloon when you bend or sit. 

So remember this: position your tie bar between the third and fourth button on your shirt. No more guessing!



There you have it. Next time you're getting dressed to go out have a quick glance at the infographic below. This way, your style will be on point everytime!




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  • RobbieGee: February 14, 2021

    How about rule #11…wearing a black belt with brown shoes or vice versa….shoes and belt should match color, this will give the look of cohesiveness.

  • Raul Morales: September 08, 2020

    I do not agree with the part where you say that the handkerchief in the upper pocket of the suit should be combined with the tie. It is quite the opposite. They should never be the same color or pattern. That is not style.

  • Abel Alvarenga: January 01, 2020

    Helpfull tips

  • Abhinav Chokshi: October 07, 2019

    I really appreciate your work. Thank You for sharing it.

  • Essential Homme: August 05, 2019

    Thanks for tips. Those are very basic yet essential. We can see how much difference that makes. This one is also a useful source for those who love to stay fashion-forward and interested in grooming.

  • Will @ Patyrns: July 16, 2019

    @Chris Harriaon: Thanks Chris, appreciate the comment!

  • Chris Harriaon: July 14, 2019

    These are the basic men’s fashion tips one should not ignore. From head to toe, we tend to do very silly mistakes that can hamper our overall look. Thanks for this awesome post.

  • Will @ Patyrns: July 01, 2019

    @ Antony: Thanks for the comment Antony! Choosing a wrist watch really depends on your personal style. A wooden watch is more casual and can be used to dress down an outfit. So it has it’s place. However, if you’re looking for an everyday watch that is timeless, classy, and elegant, I would suggest looking at brands like Seiko, Orient, Timex, and Citizen to name a few. These brands offer quality timepieces with timeless designs at great prices. That said, a wooden watch can be a great addition if you already own an everyday watch and want to switch it up once in a while. Personally, I think wooden watches look best with a t-shirt, not with a suit and tie. Just my opinion. Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions!

  • Antony: July 01, 2019

    Great information.
    Thank you.
    And what about choosing a wrist watch?
    Is it a good idea to choose a watch from wood ?

  • Jaxxon: June 04, 2019

    Thanks for sharing latest trends for. If you want to buy men’s jewelry or looking for premium men’s accessories visits at Jaxxon. Jaxxon is top brand in Los Angeles for Men’s chains and pendants, real gold chains with pendants, men’s Italian leather bracelets and many more visit to buy

  • Will @ Patyrns: April 17, 2019

    @Derek: Hahaha! Yeah we all make some these mistakes at some point ;)

  • Derek: April 16, 2019

    Some of these made me laugh. I recall making a few of these mistakes at some point in my life.

  • Will @ Patyrns: April 05, 2019

    @Joshua Steen: Thanks, appreciate it!

  • Joshua Steen: April 05, 2019

    Great article! Perfect for anyone starting their journey towards a classier style.

  • Arnie Levin: February 09, 2019

    Dressing slightly out of the box can be great fun! Adding something unique but tasteful. Accessories such
    antique links, ties or pocket scarves to produce a bit of zest.

  • Will @ Patyrns: January 04, 2019

    Thanks for the comment Chas! Couldn’t agree more, gotta keep those shoes clean and shiny. Cheers!

  • Chas McKaig: January 04, 2019

    I could not agree more about your 10 most common men’s style mistakes. If I may add one more, and that would be failing to polish their leather shoes.

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