Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Dress sense mistakes men make

Today I've been reading the excellent Holykaw list of ten fashion mistakes men make - it's well worth a look. I've been thinking of some of my own errors, and for what it's worth here they are:

1. Buying pale trousers. There is of course nothing wrong with a light pair of trousers or jeans but do be sensible about your shape; a tailored suit I bought a year and a bit ago was made of pale-ish linen, the jacket still looks good with jeans but the lighter linen colour just makes my lower half look fat. OK, it's no use blaming the trousers completely - but a darker pair covers a lot more sins.

2. Buying something that looked good on someone else. I was in a shop and the guy serving me was wearing a really good shirt. So I bought one the same. The fit was fine but on reflection, given that he was tall, slim and ginger, there was nothing to say that colouring looking good on him would look anything at all on me.

3. Dressing too young. This is a really tricky one because young people have adopted a lot of classic middle-aged styles, which they wear a bit ironically (or so they say). Try buying the same thing, like a cardigan, when you're past forty and you look like an older bloke trying to dress like a young man apeing an older bloke - I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.

4. It looked good in the catalogue: Bit of a variation on 2, maybe with a bit of 3 thrown in. I once bought a chocolate "funky" jacket from Charles Tyrwhitt. It looked great in the catalogue, on the model who was about four stone lighter, 15 years younger and A PROFESSIONAL MODEL WHO'S PAID TO MAKE CLOTHES LOOK GOOD, FOR GOODNESS' SAKE but when I put it on it was just like a sack of potatoes trying to sell used cars.

5. Asking my daughter what she thinks of a new look. If someone could tell me at what age they learn tact that would be just fine.

6. The four button waistcoat: So I thought, four buttons, that'll show less of the gut, and the guy selling it to me agreed. Unfortunately once it was on, the shape of it and the positioning of the top button meant there was this arrow pointing exactly at my stomach area, and it wasn't flattering.

7. Forgetting to buy slim fit: A few years ago I was buying a jacket, got the right size and avoided slim fit as I didn't regard myself as slim. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Slim fit in a jacket often means it's a bit fitted. The non slim fit versions look like tents by comparison and don't do you any favours (see point 1 about not blaming the garment completely, of course).

8. Getting an aftershave because you like it. Christmas 2008, my mother in law bought me a bottle of Dunhill London eau de toilette, and very nice I thought it was too. Oddly my wife couldn't detect it at all - something odd about my skin chemistry meant other people couldn't smell it while it was on me, whereas I could. Bit of a pointless exercise, then - the moral being always take someone with you for a second sniff and opinion.

9. Ordering loads of stuff from the web: Or "variation on no. 4" - people buy not only clothing on the Net before seeing how it looks on them but - and this I find incredible - perfumes, aftershaves, which they can't possibly have smelled, from websites as well. Re-ordering something you know you like on the Net makes sense, but trying for the first time? Expensive.  (Although I find dropping a note to Mankind will get you a few tryout samples if you ask nicely).

10. Dyeing our hair: Sir Paul McCartney, you'll have noticed, has gone prematurely orange. This is because dark hair dye goes orange after a couple of weeks, my hairdresser tells me, there's nothing you can do about it. Frankly if all Macca's millions can't get it to look convincing (and let's not forget your skin tone and texture will age as well, so if your hair doesn't it'll stick out) it can't be done.

OK, I've never actually done the last one but I've seen it often enough. So, what sorts of style mistakes has everyone else made..?


  1. A jacket with jeans NEVER looks good, no matter what colour it is.

  2. I disagree vehemently - I was on a panel at an event a couple of weeks ago and wearing a suit; a guy from the Guardian had a black suit jacket with jeans and looked immaculate. You have to be a bit careful with materials - linen tends to go very nicely with jeans I find, a more formal suit jacket less so.

  3. Sorry, but that disqualifies you from even passing on other people's tips, let alone coming up with your own. Just wrong... ;)

  4. Actually, any suggestion that linen jackets, wasitcoats with any number of buttons or anything that Tyrwhitt sells is acceptable is enough to disqualify you, without the jeans/jacket thing...

    You'll be buying a Merc next...

  5. If only. Mind you, I have to say neither the waistcoat nor the linen jacket came from Tyrwhitt - which also sells plain white shirts, so hardly qualifies as wild.

  6. if you're struggling with taking fashion tips from Mr Clappington, take a look at the photo of the woman that offers 'beauty' and make-up advice to ladies in The Times. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_tejBY-yDRXA/S6pNhd77HhI/AAAAAAAAATA/fgqLmBGkgXo/s1600/Picture+2.png

  7. Black Boss skinny fit jeans on my 44 year old legs, with a grey jacket has become my standard attire.

    Runs and hides....

  8. I think the worst thing about this debate is finding out I'm older than Whealie!

  9. Trying to wear things I 'used' to feel good in. In fact; keeping hold of anything too long is a no no!
    How do you all feel about brightly coloured socks? Not novelty just classic block colours?

  10. Hmm, let's see. Clothes I used to feel good in include:
    - skin-tight pink loon pants
    - crushed velvet purple floppy hat
    - crushed etc t-shirt
    - afghan coat
    - blue 3-inch platforms

    I will admit that this was longer ago than a couple of weeks...just sayin'

  11. Lerone, when you get to be old and 45 like me you'll know all about how turning the clock back just isn't going to happen! Stuff you used to like starts to look dated and worse, in some cases your body shape changes. Some of this is due to lifestyle but some is an ageing and hormonal thing.

    Manek, the loon pants and platforms always suited you and always will.

  12. I am so with swarbrick here. Jeans and jackets are just wrong and *any* waistcoat no matter how many buttons is the ultimate fashion failure.

  13. Jeans and jacket wrong? We are talking blazer style jackets here not early 90s puffer jackets!

    Jeans n Jacket is the staple of middle england!

  14. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to make sure that your appearance is neat and it looks like you put some effort.

    human pheromones


I've now opened comments up to 'everybody' - but I'll be moderating, purely to avoid spam and blatantly commercial responses. Comment away - I'll look forward to hearing what you have to say!