In my previous post, “Cashing In The Style ‘Reality Check’”, I made it clear that you needn’t be hindered by your poor clothing decisions of the past.

Correcting the mistakes you made is a relatively simple process, and can easily be sorted out in a matter of minutes…

However, today I’m going to give you five good reasons as to why fashion faux pas can sometimes be a very good thing to make.

1) Trust your eyes, not the rules

As I mention in the introduction to my eBook:

“Regardless of my benign intentions, you’ll always need to keep … in mind: You are your own best judge! If you think a navy suit is going to look awful, don’t let me sway you into thinking otherwise.”

Fashion rules were made to be broken, and if there’s one ‘golden’ rule, it’d be that you alone are best at assessing what looks good (and what doesn’t) on your own body. Only you alone can see and feel what’s happening when you put on a pair of jeans; only you are able to say how well a shirt fits, or what colours work best against your skin tone.

2) We learn from mistakes

It’s sad but true, we always learn the best lessons from our own faults. Can I ever forget the mid 90s craze of oversized, puffy sweaters in which I partook? Unfortunately not; but now I know better – now I’m able to spot poor decisions such as these a mile away, so ultimately I’m much better off for it!

3) Fads happen for a reason

There’s nothing wrong with feeling part of the in-crowd; even though those ‘funky’ shades aren’t a wise investment, we all have our moments of acquiescence. Sure, I know my new aqua cardigan is going to hit the recycle bin in a couple of seasons time (if I’m lucky that is), but it doesn’t stop me from falling for its allure.

If you treat yourself to a single piece of ‘fad-wear’ every season, you’ll find your style senses aren’t too overwhelmed, plus you can be happy in the knowledge you’re a “red-hot fashionista”, even though it’s only for the briefest of moments.

4) Signature looks define us

Okay, some looks need to be banished: socks and sandals, novelty neckties, etc. But that’s no reason to throw out an entire ensemble that’s come to define you. If you wear an incongruous day-glo watch to work every day and have your colleagues turning their heads in wonderment, it’s not necessarily in your best interest to stop wearing what’s made you such an attractive proposition in the first place.

So long as you’re making ‘fashion waves’ for all the right reasons, there’s nothing wrong with throwing in a touch of controversy to liven up your look.

5) Timing is everything.

Use your knowledge to impress when it’s least expected. The unanticipated change in look will make others reconsider your stance when normally they wouldn’t – use that you your advantage.

Up for a promotional review? Blow your seniors away with a sudden look of authority which says, “…that other stuff is just me trying to experiment; I know how to dress when it counts!”

Perhaps use a sudden change in tailoring to show off the extra ten pounds you’ve shed over the holidays; a double whammy too stunning to ignore.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

3 Responses

  1. Blank Blog

    fashion mistakes can be embarrassing. but i agree with #2 that you learn from mistakes. sometimes it is funny to look back and reflect on the stupid things you wore that made you look silly.

    giving a new fashion style a shot can really surprise you. i say you never know until you’ve tried it! although, admittedly, I do stay away from some things because i am just that stubborn.

    i would have particularly liked to have read examples of great fashion faux pas in history that ended up being the hottest thing to date. =)

  2. Johnathan

    I dread to think about all my fashion mistakes – I was so clueless about style until the turn of the decade. Now I cringe at every photo in the album!

    You’re absolutely right about trying out new fashions – I was amazed at how well ‘slim fit’ and ‘tailored’ shirts looked on me. I thought they’d emphasise my chunky frame, but in fact they ended up defining my figure really well!

    Great fashion faux pas of history 😀 I think the sheer size of that post would crash the server; great suggestion though!

    Cheers for the comment!

  3. Terence Sambo

    very clear words of wisdom on clothing……. fashion rules are for fools…like ppl say, at the end of the day is how you pull off whatever ur wearing that counts :o]