Exploring about menswear, developing a personal style, and determining what fits you best are all important steps. It’s going to be a long journey.
We’re all on that journey, and one thing that is certain to happen at some point is that you’ll make a mistake. You’ll most likely make several.
Some mistakes will be easy to remedy. There are a plethora of fashion tips and videos available, as well as advice on what you should and shouldn’t do, as well as common style blunders made by males.
But there is one mistake that everyone does, which is never mentioned on any of these lists, and which I believe is difficult to identify, confront, or rectify, but which is 100% sure to happen to everyone at some point along their style journey.
I’m sure you’re scratching your head, unsure what this is or what it could be.
Trying Too Hard
This particular style mistake is particularly common in the beginning of our personal style adventures. Just getting into it, not a whole lot of experience, but very intrigued and very keen to quickly get yourself to a different place.
We’re bound to do the worst thing while doing this, as we add things to our wardrobe in order to dress better, feel better, and be welcomed into this group of men who dress well.
The number one fashion mistake of all time, in my opinion, is that we try too hard.
We’ve all been this person at some point in our lives, especially when we were first starting out. Once we’ve gotten past that, the symptoms are easy to spot and recognize.
In general, this person will appear self-conscious and uncomfortable. He’ll most likely be dressed in a suit. Most likely, a three-piece suit. They’ve got the flower on their lapel. The cufflinks. Bracelets with three or four beads. One of them was adorned with a skull. A fedora.
Basically, going beyond and probably wearing that stuff in a situation where that level of dressing up isn’t required.
Why do people behave in this manner? I’ve given it a lot of consideration as to why this is a thing that people appear to go through.
It all comes down to one thing, I think. And that is that when you decide to start thinking about personal style, about how you dress, and you make the commitment to developing your wardrobe, you’re ecstatic about it and want everyone to know.
This almost always leads to going too far, doing too much, and putting in way too much effort.
As I stated at the beginning of this article, I think this is something that cannot be avoided.
I’m always talking about clothes. But it doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced it myself.
I can still remember some of my worst ensembles, some of which I labeled as terrible because I was trying too hard.
As I was going through my photo archives, I discovered that a lot of the outfits that I would categorize as try-too-hard were from the beginning.
That reinforces my theory that this thing occurs very early on in someone’s style journey.
And as I scrolled down, the one thing that stood out to me as a turning point in my personal style was that there was definitely a point where I grew more comfortable with the concept of less is more.
For every guy who gets into style, the point that he doesn’t have to work so hard is a turning point.
Although I believe this mistake is inescapable, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself in check as you go through this process.
I’m not claiming that if you do this, you’ll magically skip through this stage, though I hope you will.
However, it can simply make you more aware of it, allowing you to catch yourself a little before going too far.
Less is More
The first thing to keep in mind is that less is more, and subtlety is the most fashionable option available at any time and for any situation.
You don’t have to be a total minimalist to achieve this. But overdoing it, as evidenced by the lapel flower, lapel pin, bracelets, and other items I’ve already mentioned, is a clear giveaway of someone who is new to the game and trying too hard.
“Look in the mirror and take one thing off before you leave the house,” Coco Chanel once advised.
Though, in this case, it could be best to remove more than one item.
You Must Have Confidence
With that, you’ll need a certain amount of self-confidence to be okay with keeping things simple.
It’s one thing to peacock. That isn’t what we’re talking here. Peacocks are known for knowing exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. For them, everything makes sense.
If you’re a beginner, however, and you do all of that at the same stuff, I guarantee you’ll be wondering if you’re doing it correctly.
And that kind of self-doubt will undoubtedly manifest itself in the world. However, if you keep it basic and classic, you may be confident in knowing that you appear put-together.
Avoid Trending Accessories
The next piece of advice is to stay away from trendy accessories. Unless, of course, it’s Christmas, I’m talking about things like lapel flowers, wooden bowties, the hex tie, novelty cufflinks, and novelty socks.
All of these things are essentially designed to grab people’s attention quickly and cheaply, i.e. through a gimmick. Gimmicks aren’t fashionable. Period.
What happens is that when you make a commitment to developing your style, what do you do? You do some research on the internet. You take a glance at Instagram. However, you also purchase the most recent issues of Esquire and GQ.
These publications are constantly informing you of current events. And, especially when it comes to these kinds of accessories, their advise isn’t always the best.
Keeping it classic is always a good idea.
Another thing that happens is that we think about the basic menswear color palette, your blues, grays, and browns, and people quickly get bored with that or think I’m going to be different. I’m going to add in a splash of color.
Color is good, but in the scenario I described, the pops of color begin to overpower every ensemble.
It’s fine to be content with a basic menswear color scheme. I’m not suggesting that you should be color-blind.
However, if you find yourself analyzing your wardrobe in terms of “I have a lot of blues, grays, and browns in my collection. But I don’t have a lot of purple in my collection! Yeah, I need to get some purple because I don’t have any.”
That is not the way to go about your wardrobe. To have equal representation, you don’t need to use all of the rainbow’s colors. You don’t even have to have all of the colors.
Stick to the fundamentals. Add a splash of color here and there. Starting with pocket squares and ties is an excellent place to start. And simply have faith in that.
So, what’s the bad news?
You’re going to make a mistake. I can assure you of that.
The good news is that if you’ve made it this far, you’ve learned a few things to keep in mind to help you get through what I believe is an unavoidable situation.
It’s important to remember that you’re not alone.
This is a mistake that many people have made before you, including me. Several times.
People will continue to do so in the future. It’s all right. It is something that we all go through.
Unfortunately, we now have a lot of images to look back on and laugh about. But it’s also something to learn from.