oversized striped polo and baggy pants

What Not to Wear: 5 Style Mistakes to Banish from Your Closet Consider this a PSA

You have your right to self-expression. Who are we to tell you that you’re not to wear metallic parachute pants, right?

But if you’re seeking to sharpen your style sense and look conventionally, well, “good,” here are some common fouls to steer clear of:

Table of Contents

Don’t Wear: Loud graphic tees

what not to wear: loud graphic tee
Red Bubble

We get it. You’ve got a sense of humor, and you feel clever with that not-so-cryptic message on your shirt. But graphic tees are crass. You might’ve come across a shirt that made you L.O.L., and it felt like a good purchase at the time. Think again though: do you want to run into a future love interest or professional connection while making an ironic statement about human feces? You know not to wear this for an interview, but it’s not that appropriate for daily life either.

Don’t Wear: Wide horizontal stripes on polos

what not to wear: wide horizontal stripes
Tommy Hilfiger

This wasn’t a terrible look twenty to sixty years ago, but now there’s no way to wear wide horizontal stripes without looking like someone’s dad. Let’s put it this way: if you want to resemble a guy who’s been building prehistoric PCs in his buddy’s garage, wear this shirt. If you want to appear remotely attractive to the opposite sex, don’t wear this shirt. As a general rule, horizontal stripes make you look boxy. Magnify this by making the stripes thick and adding a collar, and you’ve lost five inches to your height.

Don’t Wear: Baggy jeans

what not to wear: baggy jeans

Dickies Men’s Relaxed-Fit Carpenter Jean

  • 100% Cotton
  • Relaxed work jean with traditional carpenter-style pockets and logo patch at back pockets

Why don’t your pants fit? That’s the only thought someone will have when seeing your oversized denim. You’re not making a statement; you just appear to evidently not own a full body mirror. We’re not saying that men’s jeans should be skintight–please don’t go that route either. But unless you’re in the midst of paving concrete or reconstructing your house, a nice pair of fitted jeans only makes sense.

It’s true that baggy workwear pants have made a comeback. Stick to Dickies, not Mom jeans.

The same goes for sweatpants. A pair of tapered sweats can look swanky, but oversized loungewear seems like an accident. Did you not mean to step out like that?

Don’t Wear: Tie-dye tees

What not to wear: tie-dye

Unless your name is “Shaggy” or “Hyde,” please don’t wear this obnoxious print. It’s hard to take anyone seriously when they’re wearing a giant spiral of splattered colors. Just as there’s no longer a place for the word “groovy” in colloquial English, there is no reason to wear a tie-dye shirt. It is a style mistake in any context: to a wedding, at a funeral, on just a regular sunny day.

Don’t Wear: Fleece zip-ups

what not to wear: fleece zip-ups
Norway Shop

We understand that fleece zip-ups may hold value for reasons of comfort, but this “geek-chic” staple is not at all chic. Fleece zip-ups are 110% function over form. The problem is, it looks like you live in it. See a man in a fleece zip-up, and you assume he’s worked fifteen hours at a computer, gone to bed, and went in the next day without taking it off. Just like the woman who wears leggings all day every day, you don’t want to be that guy with the navy zip-up.

You may have unknowingly committed some of these style mistakes, but you now have the rules for what not to wear. Knowledge, our friend, is power. Digest this information, and use it at your own discretion.

Which of these common fouls do you see people wearing the most? Let us know below.

If you’d like to learn more about the female take, check out  10 Things Women Wish You’d Stop Wearing.

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