We had a straw poll around the office and friends and family and came up with this highly non-definitive list! In no particular order
- Clothes that don’t fit – Overly baggy clothes will make you look you’re wearing sloppy hand-me-downs. If your body type makes it hard to find well-fitting clothes off the rack, make your tailor your best friend.
- Dirty or warped shoes – It’s an area that too many guys overlook in terms of cleaning and proper care. A stylish man keeps his shoes clean – free of scratches and dirt. Also keep at least two pairs of dress shoes in the same color so you can let one pair rest for a day from sweat and stretching. Doing this prevents them from warping in unwanted ways. Place shoetrees in your shoes when you’re not wearing them to maintain their best form.
- Improper trouser length – Don’t fold up your jeans or your chinos unless it’s an intentional fashion statement that you’re making. Your pants can come down to the bottom of your shoes but make sure they come just above the floor to avoid any unwanted fraying. Also, you only need a slight break, or crease, in the pants leg. Don’t be the guy who has his feet swimming in a bunch of extra fabric. All it takes is a simple trip to the tailor to get them hemmed.
- Wrong socks – When you’re wearing a suit, match your sock color to your pants, not your shoes (for professional and formal occasions). This is the same as mismatching your suit pants to your jacket. If you’re wearing a navy suit with black shoes, reach for navy socks. And when wearing a light suit, make sure the socks are darker than the suit but a shade or so lighter than the shoes. This rule of course can be broken if done deliberately for your style’s sake. And while we’re on the subject of socks, when wearing a suit, your socks should come up to your calves, and stay there. When you cross your legs, you shouldn’t be showing any part of your legs. Isn’t it lovely when you see a man’s hairy leg peeking over his socks? But when dressed casual, it’s a great idea to go short on the socks or go completely sockless. So fully covered for professional wear, or try the sockless look if you’re out for a casual occasion.
- Being too “buttoned” up – If a jacket has two buttons, only fasten the top button. If it has three buttons, you can close the top button only, the middle button only, or both the middle and top button. The key is to always leave the bottom button undone. This is a tradition that has been used for decades, and will keep your style looking smart.
- Sweatpants in public– Unless you’re going to the gym, avoid wearing sweats out in public. You’re not wearing them to look your best, you’re wearing them because you’re lazy.
- Tucking T-shirts in – Tucking in polo shirts is acceptable, but t-shirts should be kept casual. If your t-shirt is too long then it’s probably too big on you.
- Mismatching styles – Don’t wear your sporty Oakley sunglasses with a blazer, or a pair of cargo pants with the dress shirt you wear to the office. Keep your outfits coherent and matching in style.
- Bulky pockets – I see a lot of guys walking around with bulging pockets. If it’s your wallet that’s creating that bulge, spend some time taking out all those old receipts or business cards. If you need to hold on to them, keep them in a safe place and take them out when you need them. Get a slimmer wallet or a money clip to save space.
- Keep your facial hair well groomed – The hair on your face should be orderly. Your face is the first thing noticed, and so maintaining your facial hair is important if you want to look sharp. Either keep a cleanly shaved face, or keep your beard trim. There should absolutely be no hair underneath your chin on your neck area.
Did we say Top ten? Make that 11! We were unanimous on this one and we couldn’t leave it out!.
Socks and sandals – Have you seen anyone ever pull this off, and look sexy? Ever? Case closed.