Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who use #menwithclass.
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1. Too Many Damn Accessories
The need to go hard with accessories seems to be a distinctly Australian epidemic. (Especially at the Spring Carnival.)
Criminally, Aussie guys are trying to rock boutonnières (lapel flowers) or lapel pins “just ‘cos”. Located under the face and just above the welt pocket, boutonnières and lapel pins naturally draw the eye no matter what you’re wearing. At their best, they provide a subtle point of contrast. At their worst, they come across like you’re playing menswear Pokemon on your chest, trying to catch ’em all.
Silver and gold lapel pins are the easiest to match simply because their lustres complement most fits. Those with precious stones like emeralds and rubies are more difficult but work well with outfits with controlled tones and patterns. If you want to wear a colourful pin consider what the most dominant tone in your tie and pocket square combo is and try to pick up on that.
Otherwise, it’s safer to select a pin that acts as small point of contrast. For example, if you’re wearing a white pocket square, a simple encrusted pin can add visual interest. Copper pins (my favourites are from Alice Made This) or a simple carnation can serve as a refreshing breather from a visual smorgasbord.
Of course, styling is more of an art than a science but even art requires a certain degree of logic. Just check out Luca Rubinacci’s Instagram. Every element in his outfits has been considered, with the gaze controlled as it is guided from the tie and square, to the lapel pin.
But if you’re ever unsure I think it’s worth remembering the wisdom of Chanel here:
“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”
Just make sure it’s not your dignity please. — Will
2. Basic Designer Logo Tees
I do not like them, I really don’t. I don’t hate them, but look, if you rock that Off-White shirt, it doesn’t automatically turn you into a style god, okay?
It’s just a plain shirt with a logo, so essentially the difference between me walking up all hot in the club in a designer logo t-shirt and in a normal t-shirt is about $500, which I would rather spend on getting munted hard (probably chunder on myself too).
Now, I’m not saying all designer gear is bad, but if you’re thinking about how much cooler you’re going to look in basic designer label sh*t, it’s probably not worth it…or maybe it is. You do you guys. — David
3. Small Suits. Big Bois.
Few people have revolutionised modern menswear the way Hedi Slimane did in the early 2000’s with the super-slim suit at Dior Homme. Since then, every high schooler, boyband wannabe, and #menwithclass user has clogged the red carpet and our Instagram feeds with the same super slim, super bland, and super unflattering style — usually in glorious shades of black on black, and an ultra skinny tie (don’t get me started on those).
But unless you’re set on looking like you stepped out of a Myspace teen’s wet dream, the super-skinny suit is unflattering on most guys out there. At its best, the style suits an extremely slender figure, but still leaves the wearer looking a tad boy-ish (which was Slimane’s original intention).
On a regular dude or the bigger bois out there, the suit constricts the torso, and usually leaves the legs tightly bound like two roast hams and the jacket stretched across the belly like a trussed turkey. This is often the result of confusing the idea of a well-fitted suit with a super-slim one.
Instead, to achieve a balanced look, pick a suit that fits comfortably around the shoulders and tapers gently down the back. The trousers should also follow the natural shape of your leg and allow you enough room to sit down without the risk of splitting the seams and showing off your family jewels to the world.
Whether you enjoy the formal construction of traditional Roman tailoring, the soft precision of the Florentine silhouette, or the relaxed athleticism of modern Australian style, there’s no lack of material for you to take inspiration from. And if you’re unsure about where to start, have a gander at our recent lists of the most stylish blokes around for some local Aussie inspiration.
Just remember that menswear is about style. Menswear is about statement. But above all, menswear is about proportion. (If you disagree, fight me.)
So if you’re not careful, you might just end up looking like a wool-wrapped egg on legs. And we really don’t want that. — Sharon
4. Tight Shirts
Sometimes when I venture out on a Saturday night, I’ll witness the most ungodly fashion sin: Men in extremely tight shirts. Who are they trying to impress? I mean, the most important question is, where on Earth did they find such sizes? The kids aisle in Kmart? Not only is it absurd, but it’s borderline nudity. If I can see the outline of your nipples, it’s public indecency.
How about opting for a tailored shirt from somewhere like P.Johnson instead? Or not raiding your little brother’s wardrobe? Your mother will be proud. — Jeffrey
5. The “Steve Carell in Crazy Stupid Love” look
Gentlemen, we have a problem.
Just as you had to say goodbye to the The Wiggles and its #neverbeenthesame, it’s time for your daggy HSC-era backpack and ‘vintage’ gym shoes combo to meet their maker.
Arguments like ‘they [big sneaker] don’t make them like these anymore’ and/or ‘but it fits everything’ are no longer excuses that your mother and I can put up with.
Luckily this misdemeanour has a short sentence. After all, you’re a savvy working man, spending much of your time on your feet, walking to important meetings, and carrying important documents. Don’t you think you deserve better? Don’t you think you should know better?
To help introduce a new balance (pun intended) into your footwear, the folks at Common Projects, Veja or Adidas will gladly hook you up — no questions asked. (Or run with Margiela’s Replica Army Sneakers if you’re after a grail.)
The key areas to look into when finding a sneaker are fit, price, materials, and colour. If in doubt, a plain white shoe is not only a wardrobe staple but all things considered, a foolproof purchase.
For sturdier ‘everyday carry’ bags, the local troops over at All The Kings Men are my brand of the hour. Their leather duffel bags, briefcases, and many of their canvas goods, are fine alternatives to your RipCurl rucksack (which should now be on it’s way to the incinerator). Or try out Sandqvist, if you’re the adventurous type.
Leather goods are both longer lasting and like a fine wine, mature and age over time. Through many years of everyday wear and care, leather will soften and deepen in colour as it acquires sentimental marks, grooves and a patina.
So don’t wear a bag as saggy as your… well the point is that what you choose to wear or carry with you, says a thing or two about you whether you like it or not. And its important to know when the good times have come and gone.
If you or a friend are serving up excuses left and right as to why they’re still clinging on to broken souvenirs from the innocence of childhood — it’s time to let go. — Johanna
[Cover photo via Instagram]