Common Fashion Faux Pas Guys Make Without Ever Realizing (Plus Quick Style Solutions)

a young man in a fashionable suit

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Many guys don’t give much thought to their daily clothes other than figuring out what isn’t in their hampers. If you’re interested in dressing to impress, the first step is learning about the most common fashion faux pas. Avoid making these style mistakes by opting for other wardrobe choices and everyone will know how much care you put into your self-expression.

What Is a Fashion Faux Pas?

A fashion faux pas is a personal style mistake that causes two or more components of an outfit to clash. It comes from the original phrase “faux pas,” which is a general term describing anything that’s an embarrassing or significant mistake that results in a socially awkward moment.

When someone commits a fashion faux pas, their clothing choices cause them to look out of touch because they’re wearing something incorrectly. It’s all too easy to make these mistakes when you haven’t learned much about men’s fashion trends. 

A man stands holding the two middle seams of his brown denim jacket. He wears one gold ring, a gold watch on a black band, a white dress shirt, and a gray scarf underneath his jacket.

Common Fashion Faux Pas and Quick Fixes

Anyone can avoid making fashion faux pas by checking out the style mistakes men typically make. You’ll dress better, look more aesthetically collected and never worry about your appearance before leaving your front door.

1. Walking Around in Socks and Sandals

Everyone needs style essentials to build their custom look every day. Sandals might be one of the things your wardrobe will never go without. They’re comfortable in the summer and add a laid-back vibe to any look, but never slide your feet into them while also wearing socks.

Socks are supposed to keep your feet warm, dry and protected from grime that might slip into your shoes. Sandals are for sunny days when you don’t have to worry about most of that. Letting your toes breathe in your sandals is the easiest way to fix this fashion faux pas. Although, if you’re wearing sandals that double as iconic lounging shoes, you might be able to get a pass on your socks.

2. Wearing Sunglasses Indoors

There are so many reasons why it’s never good to wear sunglasses inside. You’ll prevent yourself from seeing anything clearly, which could lead to tripping down steps. You might also come across as someone who doesn’t care about your surroundings — or anyone in them.

Whether you prefer stylish aviators or retro shades, remember to remove your sunglasses when you step inside. Hang them on the neckline of your shirt or a lanyard instead. You’ll add instant flare to your style.

3. Forgetting to Get Their Suits Tailored

Anyone can order a suit online. Even checking the product’s size guide doesn’t guarantee it will fit well. Always take new suits to a professional tailor. They’ll measure you and make the necessary adjustments so it looks custom-made. Otherwise, you might show up to formal events in pant legs and suit sleeves that make you look like you’re swimming in fabric.

A collection of men's clothes sits on a bed. On top of the white duvet is gray slacks on a pants hanger, a black suit jacket over a polka dotted white button down, a red tie and a black shoe box with brown loafers. On top of the gray slacks is a brown, red, white and black checkered scarf and a watch on a brown band.

4. Wearing Mismatched Shoes and Belts

Consider shoes and belts extensions of each other. People notice when someone wears a black belt with brown shoes, especially if you’re at an event with a dress code. Get at least one pair of shoes and belt in a matching color so you always have accessories waiting for parties. If you need help remembering, set a reminder on your phone to double-check your belt and shoes before leaving home.

5. Matching Graphic T-Shirts With Expensive Watches

Graphic T-shirts come in endless styles. They’re a foundational part of many men’s daily choice of clothing, but they’re easy to use in the wrong ways. If you’re walking around in a graphic tee, nice jeans and an expensive watch, you’re already committing a fashion faux pas.

Expensive watches are for dresser occasions. If you want to wear one with an everyday outfit, at least opt for a band that resembles a laid-back material. A watch with a brown leather band would go well with casual brown leather sneakers, nice jeans and a graphic tee if that’s your style.

6. Untucking Their Dress Shirts

There are a few occasions when untucked dress shirts are stylish. If you’re wearing a polo with a straight hem or a button-down that ends no further than halfway down the zipper on your pants, your clothes may look perfectly fine.

It’s only a bad idea to untuck your dress shirt if it hangs lower than the seat of your pants. You should also tuck your shirt if you’re in slacks or formal trousers. Otherwise, you’ll look a little sloppy. What’s the point in wearing nice clothes if one aspect of your shirt makes you look like you’re not even trying to stick with the dress code?

A man stands in front of a business on a city street. He peers into the distance while wearing black rimmed glasses, a white dress shirt with rolled up sleeves, a black skinny tie, a navy vest, a gold chain attacked to the vest's buttons, a black wrist band and a gold watch on a black leather band.

7. Keeping Broken Shoes

Shoes can get expensive. It’s understandable if you want to make your current sneakers last as long as possible. When the sole starts slapping the pavement before your foot does, your shoes double as a fashion faux pas and a danger to your safety.

Try looking at your broken shoes as opportunities to accentuate your personal style. You could lean into your country roots with boots that have timeless decorative stitching or special leather that reflects water. Maybe you’d like to wear something new, like brightly colored sneakers made with woven soles and mesh.

Don’t worry about getting shoes that match every potential way you could wear your clothes. It’s better to have pairs for certain styles. You’ll always have shoes that match your mood when you’re feeling a specific vibe.

8. Wearing Long Jeans

Everyone has that one pair of jeans that are just a bit too long. You can feel them bunch around your ankles while walking around town, but then forget to donate them after your next laundry day. Extended hems are a big fashion mistake because they make you look smaller. Fix your hems instantly by rolling them before sliding into each leg.

Rolling your pant hems at least twice will bring the legs up high as your folding width. Try folding the hem up a half inch, then roll it up again. You’ll know you’ve done it correctly when the folded-up hem lays flat against your ankles. 

Pro tip: follow this video to get your actual inseam length. The next time you’re looking for pants, you won’t have to guess how much length you need to avoid this faux pas.

Refresh Your Style Skills

Avoid making any of these fashion faux pas any longer by reflecting on your typical style. Do you often wear socks with sandals or keep your sunglasses on indoors? Have fun trying simple style hacks and treating yourself to wardrobe upgrades to look your best and never encounter any embarrassing fashion moments.

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