Over the time that I’ve been writing this blog, almost all of my articles have been factual pieces that talk about one aspect of dressing or another. I have covered dress shirts – patterns like gingham, stripes, checks, and more recently plaid. I’ve also talked about pants and shorts and suits on occasion. We recently featured a guest post on style mistakes that men make and that got me taking a closer look at men walking around on the street, during job interviews and business meetings – and I realized there were a few common bad style habits that many men fall prey to, of which I’m going address 3 today.
Bad Style Habit 1: Wearing Jeans Everywhere
This is one bad style habit I am guilty of myself. If you read through the pants article I wrote – you would notice that there are PLENTY of options when it comes to pants besides jeans. The thing is – once they are broken in, jeans are super comfortable and a SAFE option because they can be worn with practically anything and everyone accepts them. Have a night out in town with a lady? Throw on a dress shirt and jacket over dark jeans. Heading out for a casual outing with friends? Blue jeans with a plain cotton tee. In fact, casual Fridays at work have turned into jeans day for men at work.
So how is it a bad style habit exactly when it sounds like a solution? The PROBLEM here is that men tend to OVERDO jeans, and become pretty one-dimensional. You want to be able to STAND OUT from the crowd – and your style is paramount to that. Change things up – wear chinos or corduroys. Women appreciate men who keep things fresh and can differentiate themselves. It makes you look more confident when you keep switching things up because it portrays you as a risk taker.
Bad Style Habit 2: Wearing A Shirt One Size Larger
This is by far the most common bad style habit when it comes to dressing up amongst men. Go to a networking event and you will find a high percentage of men in a dress shirt where the shoulders don’t fit and the shirt sleeves are bunched up because they’re much longer than their arms. These are possible contacts I end up having very short conversations with – because it projects poor confidence to me. You need the fit of your dress shirt to be great. Many men with a paunch tend to wear a larger size to hide it without realize that they could achieve that by trying out different colors, choosing the right collars, choosing the right tie knots, and choosing a better fit (regular over slim) instead.
This bad style habit is even more apparent when wearing t-shirts. It has become cool to look aggressive and intimidating by wearing over-sized t-shirts and following the baggy gangsta and rapper looks. However, if you want to look sharp, confident and win friends, wearing a properly fitting t-shirt REALLY helps. Read more about why fit is important in our previous article on the subject.
Bad Style Habit 3: Blazer Jacket Unbuttoned When Standing
This is a difficult one. In a day, you sit and stand plenty of times, and if you are wearing a jacket – there is a chance you may forget to button up when standing once in a while. When you stand with your jacket button undone, you are doing your jacket a great disservice. Why? Because it was cut and designed to look best when buttoned. When you leave it unbuttoned, you lose the shape of the jacket, and it makes you look sloppy. Some say that buttoning up makes them come across as aloof – but you’re only wearing it like it was designed to be worn. In a business setting, it is definitely the right way to go. In a casual situation, do what you feel your personality and style dictates you to. Check out other style tips when suiting up.
Personally, I always try to keep my jacket buttoned when I am standing, unless I am taking a photo where I put my arm around others – then I unbutton to ensure it doesn’t look like a mess. If you’re unsure HOW to button your jacket – here are some general rules: a one-button should always be buttoned standing up. For a two-buttoned jacket, you should button only the top button. For a 3-button jacket, button either the top 2 buttons or the middle button depending on the flatness of the lapel (flatter – button top 2). If you’re wearing a 3 piece, it’s fine to leave your jacket unbuttoned to show off the vest underneath. The reason the bottom button is left unbuttoned in general is to not restrict the movement of the individual.
Check out the photo below taken from Mad Men to see how the men button/unbutton their jackets while seated and standing – not one of them is exhibiting the bad style habit I mentioned.
So there you go – 3 common bad style habits in men I have come across from personal observations. Do you suffer from any of them? Managed to overcome them? Have any others to add? Do let me know in the comments!