I’m going to take a bit of detour off the beaten track for my post today.
The idea for this post was born out of a casual conversation I was having with a friend of mine Kim (@iamkimu). We were standing in a line up at Tim Hortons and at we both noticed a guy destroying his beautiful suit with an outdoor backpack from Mountain Equipment Co-op. We decided to come up with a list of 9 fashion failures that guys with suits frequently do.
This list is purely an opinion piece and if you want real fashion tips, check out GQ.
1) Wearing a suit and a backpack
This one is simple. You pay $300+ for a nice suit, get it tailored and it looks awesome. Then you ruin the frame of the suit by tossing a heavy backpack on it. Spend $60 and buy yourself a computer bag or nice leather attaché case.
2) White socks and black dress shoes
White socks should never be worn with black dress shoes. Unless your in grade 6 and also have braces and bad acne. That being said, your socks don’t always have to be black. A really good look is to have a sock with an interesting design that complements the shirt or tie.
3) Wearing a Livestrong (or other charity) bracelet with a suit
Okay, so Kim and I debated back and forth on this one but we decided that this one should be added to the list purely because while these bracelets are usually for an awesome cause, they sort of send out mixed messages. It’s like 99% of you is sending out the message that you’re ready to do business. But your wrist wants to party. We recommend shelving the bracelet for more casual attire. Instead, wear a nice watch to go with your suit.
4) Wearing a suit that doesn’t fit properly (too big or too small)
This is one of my biggest pet peeves in regards to suits. If you’re going to spend the money on a suit, make sure it fits! A suit that’s too big looks like you’re drowning in fabric. A suit that’s too small….well probably sends the message that you haven’t bought a new suit in awhile. Plenty of tailors can alter your suit at a really affordable price. Also, when buying a suit, make sure the shoulders fit. Everything else can be altered.
5) Wearing two different patterns (suit jacket and pants)
Unless you want to look like your grandfather, then I wouldn’t recommend wearing two different patterns of suit jacket and pants. It can look mismatched or just old. The exception to this rule is if you are wearing a solid color pair of pants and a jacket with a pattern.
6) Wearing a sporty rain coat with a suit
Yes, formal looking raincoats can be expensive. But you can pick up a nice black or beige trench coat on the cheap these days. And it looks way, way better! A nice rain coat paired with a suit, really completes the look.
7) Wearing shoes without shining them (suede being the exception)
Kim wanted me to add this one as he keeps a private stash of shoe polish in his office. Scruffy looking shoes send off the amateur message to a potential employer or client. Give your shoes a good shine before heading out the door and you’ll complete the “power” look.
8) Wearing your cell phone on your belt
Okay, unless you work for the CIA and you need your phone at the ready all the time, then ditch the cell phone holster. It looks ridiculous, especially with a suit. Enough said.
9) Wearing a casual belt with a suit
I’m always amazed at how many people do this. They have an awesome suit (maybe a pinstripe) and then they ruin it with their weekend warrior Hollister belt. Make sure to get a good black or brown belt to go with your suit. And then it won’t look like your heading out for your first job interview.
I’ve love to hear your feedback on any men’s fashion tips (business/formal attire) you have. And the best tip will be posted as number 10 on this list with your name.
The winning tip to add as number 10 on the list was posted by “twocentsplus” who says “Short sleeve shirts should never be worn with a suit”.