The fashion world is a weird place. If you believe everything you see in GQ, Esquire and the like, there's a good chance you'll end up broke and confused.
Personally, I try to avoid these major media outlets. Instead, I follow people who offer practical advice to which I can actually relate.
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But it's almost impossible to ignore sites like GQ because they're everywhere, especially if you spend anytime on social media.
In an effort quell the tide of ever-changing, subpar advice, here's a short list of style myths you should totally ignore.
Myth #1: Everything you wear should be one size too small
As a shorter guy, I'm all about wearing clothes that fit. If my clothes don't fit, I look like a little kid playing dress up.
But fit ≠ tight. In fact, depending on your body type, slim fit isn't always the best option. And super tight clothes certainly aren't comfortable.
Just look at these guys:
I'd like to see these dudes climb a flight of stairs or bend over to tie their shoes without bursting a seam!
Myth #2: It's completely normal to pay hundreds for a t-shirt
You can pay whatever you want for clothes. These days, we can get t-shirts for $7 or $700. The crazy thing is, you're often paying more for the label, not the craftsmanship or fabric quality.
I own a couple of $40-50 t-shirts, and they're really nice. But there's no way I would drop $100+ on a plain white t-shirt just because some hot shot designer's name is on the tag.
Myth #3: David Beckham is the most stylish man on the planet
He's definitely a well-dressed man, but when you're six feet tall and built like a fitness model, it's not that hard to put together a great outfit.
Myth #4: Socks are evil
When did socks go out of style? We all know that there are certain types of shoes that aren't meant to be worn with socks – like boat shoes – but I think this trend has gone a little too far.
I blame GQ:
I can understand going sockless with loafers or even certain bluchers, but ankle boots? Black Oxfords? Double monks??
Come on. This looks weird, it's uncomfortable, and it smells bad.
The good news is, you don't have to do it. I certainly won't! And when I do go sockless, I'll make sure to wear the best no show socks I can find.
Myth #5: You need to be stylish when you're working out
There are only two things that matter when you're exercising: safety and comfort. If you're safe and comfortable, and you can still manage to look good, that's awesome!
But don't fret about looking like a magazine spread at the gym. That's not what you're there for.
Myth: #6: You should try to dress like celebrities
The thing is, many celebrities can't even dress themselves. Sure, they look great in GQ photo shoots, but that's because professional menswear stylists handpicked every detail of their outfit.
Plus, GQ's analysis of celebrity getups are often plain wrong. For example, one GQ writer claims that Tom Hardy knows how to wear a double-breasted suit.
She praises his haircut (which is a mess) and skinny tie (which is too narrow for that jacket).
She doesn't mention the fact that his jacket sleeves and trousers need to be shortened – basic alterations that shouldn't be ignored.
I'm a fan of Tom Hardy's work, but this outfit proves that he does not, in fact, know how to wear a double-breasted suit.
Don't believe everything you read on the internet.
Myth #7: Wearing sneakers with a suit is a good look
The vast majority of men shouldn't wear sneakers with a suit. It's a mismatched look that's almost never appropriate – no matter what GQ would have us believe.
In my opinion, very few men can pull this off. And, even if you can pull it off, when would you want to?
Just say no to this trend.
Myth #8: Ryan Gosling is the second most stylish man on the planet
See myth #3.
Myth #9: You need to buy more stuff
Most men don't love shopping, and most people own too much stuff. You don't need to keep buying clothes. It's possible to build a complete wardrobe and be done shopping for a long time.
If you've thumbed through an actual print edition of GQ recently, you've probably noticed that every other page is an advertisement.
Even their website “articles” promote ongoing consumerism.
Do we really need more stuff in our lives? Will buying 25 pairs of sneakers make us happier? Probably not.
Myth #10: This is cool
Myth #11: You should pay attention to fashion shows
There's a whole industry that pretty much decides which trends (colors, patterns, fits, pieces, etc.) will be cool next year or even 2-3 years from now.
They gather at events like London Fashion Week to share ideas and do business, and it's a world that most people (myself included) simply don't understand.
Believe it or not, some of the crazy stuff you see on the runway eventually ends up at your local department store. But that doesn't mean you should try to emulate what you see at these shows.
Unless you work in the industry or really want to be ahead of trend, you can feel free to ignore the fashion world entirely.
Myth #12: Everyone should wear Yeezys (or anything else created by Kanye West)
Maybe I'm missing something, but “Yeezys” just aren't apealling, and I'm pretty sure they're going to look totally ridiculous in a few years.
Don't get me wrong: I consider Kanye to be a creative genius, and I enjoy some of his music. But I'm not going to buy his sneakers, and I think GQ should give the Kanye worship a break.
Myth #13: Fashion and style are the same thing
What's the difference between fashion and style? One of my favorite websites, Dappered, has an awesome explanation:
Fashion is temporary and expensive. Style is timeless and affordable.
I think giant media companies like GQ promote fashion over style 90% of the time. I think they're pushing men to spend a lot of money chasing trends.
This isn't a good strategy because it can only lead to debt, confusion and insecurity (a feeling of never having enough or being good enough).
As my buddy Barron says, f#%k fashion. Let's focus on style by:
If you focus on these things and avoid getting distracted by trendy, fleeting advice, you'll be stylish and confident for life.
Do you agree? Have anything to add? Leave a comment!