Before we get started, I wanted to announce the winner of last week’s Huckberry accessories giveaway. And that winner is… zacskaugset! What kind of name is that, you wonder? Well, it’s not, it’s part of an email address.
zacskaugset, you should be receiving an email from us soon, if you haven’t already. Congrats, and thanks to everyone who entered! Keep an eye out for more EG giveaways in the near future.
Today’s guest article is from Robert of Restart Your Style.
You’ve heard them before, right?
Expressions like, “You have to dress to impress,” or, “It’s all in the details!”
You may have heard them from a friend, from your mom, or from the media…heck, these expression are so common, chances are you’ve used them yourself.
And as you learn about personal style, you add even more of these words of wisdoms to your mental notebook. Some ideas get repeated over and over, so you have no choice but to accept them as true.
But what if they’re not?
What if they’re a bunch of big fat myths?
Could they lead you astray? Could they cause you to abandon a look that works fine for you? Could they keep you looking sloppy?
After all, just because many people believe something is true, doesn’t make it so. I mean, people once believed the earth was flat, and look how that turned out.
So let’s challenge some of the most common tips and truisms that you’ll encounter.
Let’s bust some of the most common style myths so they stop holding you back.
And let’s start with the top five:
Myth #1: “Style Is All in the Details”
Admittedly, there is some truth to this one because details do matter.
But some guys believe ALL they have to do is get a few details right, and they love believing it because it makes them feel that improving their style comes down to changing a few small things.
They focus on the color of their socks and the fold of their pocket square, while they’re still clueless about proper fit, contrast or how to match their clothes.
As you may know, I used to be a terrible dresser. My go-to clothes were baggy jeans, graphic tees, and mismatched hoodies. But I thought getting a belt that matched my shoes would give my style a gigantic boost.
Of course, I still looked like a fool.
Details can transform an outfit from good to great, but they can’t transform an outfit from bad to good. If you’re wearing a bad outfit, getting a few details right won’t save you.
Suggested substitute: “Style is all in the overall look, but great style is in the details.”
Myth #2: “You Should Wear More Color”
Okay, I’m cheating a little with this one – because I agree.
If your wardrobe looks like you robbed the set of a black-and-white movie, adding color is a good idea.
The problem lies with how guys interpret this advice. They think they should collect colors in their wardrobe like Ash Ketchum collects Pokémon.
“Gotta catch ’em all!”
Or, they start donning so many bold colors at the same time that they would make a rainbow jealous.
But you don’t need a gazillion colors in your wardrobe. Some neutrals and two or three signature colors is plenty. Just vary the lightness and darkness to maintain contrast and you’re good.
Add more colors if you want, but it’s not necessary.
As for your outfits, you only need one color to make an outfit pop.
When I was still a rookie, clueless about color-matching, I gave myself a one-color rule; I would keep my outfit neutral, except for one item (or two in the same color family).
I loved this simple rule because it freed me from worrying about mismatching colors. And to this day, I still rarely cross it, since simplicity is still my thang.
But you can wear two or even three, if you know how to color-match. Just don’t overdo it, and only one bold color max.
(Note: When I say two or three colors, I group every tint, tone and shade into the same color family. So light-blue and dark-blue count as one.)
The idea behind ‘wear more color’ is that you leave your black-and-white rut, not that you pile ’em on.
Suggested substitute: “You should wear
more color more often.”
Myth #3: “You Gotta Keep Up with the Trends, Bro!”
Trends are overrated.
Being trendy and being stylish aren’t the same (though, not mutually exclusive). You can be up on all the latest trends, but still look like a jackass.
But many guys’ first instinct when they want to step up their style is to hit the fashion sites and see what’s hot right now.
So if the next big trend this season is glow-in-the-dark platform shoes, guess what they’re putting on their shopping lists?
Being trendy isn’t necessary to be stylish. And who wants clothes that are gonna be out of style next year anyway?
That’s just a waste of money.
Instead, invest in classic men’s wardrobe staples – dark blue jeans, white shirts, grey or navy blazers, etc. They’ve stood the test of time for a reason, and will continue to do so for a long while to come.
And if you’re worried about looking bland or old-fashioned, you can always add trendier pieces later.
But the classics should come first. Because no matter what comes in or out of style, you can rely on them to keep you looking sharp.
And when you rely on being trendy, you’ll be chasing your own tail, trying to keep up.
Suggested substitute: “You gotta stick with the classics, dude!”
Myth #4: “Every Man Must Own a Suit”
This one is controversial because to some this rule is golden.
To some, the thought of attending a wedding or funeral in anything BUT a suit is ludicrous because you would be severely under-dressed.
And you know what? They’re not necessarily wrong.
But whether this rule applies depends on where you live because traditions differ from place to place. And not just from country to country, but from state to state, and even from family to family.
And in some places, these affairs are less traditional and much more casual.
Where I live, for instance, few people wear a suit to a wedding celebration.
I worked as a waiter at a party-centre when I was young, so I’ve attended my fair share of weddings. The only people who usually wore suits were the groom, the dads, and a few of the older guests.
And suits are a rare sight at funerals around here too. Most people don’t even wear black.
To some guys, who come from more traditional places, this sounds like heresy.
To other guys, this just sounds familiar. And those guys may never need a suit. Chances are the suit that they must own will end up collecting dust in their closets.
So never feel like you must get a suit if you don’t need or want one.
If you do ever need one, even only once in a blue moon, then get one. But personally, I’ll wait until the need arises.
Suggested substitute: “Every man who needs a suit should own one.”
Myth #5: “You Have to Dress to Impress”
This advice makes sense because you often find yourself in situations where you want to impress someone.
But when you have to dress to impress, you need to look inside the minds of others to discover what will impress them. And most often, you don’t know the people you want to impress well enough to do this.
Also, when you try to impress people, you put them in a position of higher value. You put yourself in a position of neediness. You don’t wanna do that, do you?
Nothing makes you look worse.
So instead of dressing to impress, how about you dress to express?
When you have a job interview, express that you respect the opportunity. When you have to meet an important client, express that you’re trustworthy and you take their business seriously. When you have a date, express that you’re a cool, confident guy.
Dress to express the best-possible version of yourself. Be the best you that you can be, and let them all take it or leave it.
That shows confidence, which is the most attractive quality to wear. People like confident guys. They respect confident guys. They do business and have second dates with confident guys.
Dress to express the best-possible version of yourself, and you’ll make the best impression possible.
Suggested substitute: “You have to dress to express”
Style Is Personal, So Make Up Your Own Mind
If you disagree with any of the above… then GOOD!
We give you advice to send you in the right direction, but style is personal. Style is what you make it, so only you can decide what’s right and wrong for you.
Challenge what you’re told, test it, and make up your own mind.
That’s how you develop your own sense of style – that’s the point.
That’s how you develop a style that’s YOU.
What do you think about these common style myths? Agree or disagree, and why? Let us know in the comments below.