There’s something thrilling about learning a life-held ‘truth’ is actually, ‘false’.
While most’ve moved on from believing in Santa and betting on making their first mill’ by the age of 30, there remain among us some weird, wonderful and downright stupid myths. Style related, obviously.
Like a friendly slap across the face, it’s time the harsh truth surrounding some of fashion’s biggest myths, came out. But, before you start wearing socks with sandals, some are actually style truths. So, it’s a game, really. Pick, true or false? The only way to find out just how fashionably foolish (or not) you are, is to read on. I double-dare you.
#1 “Death To Double-Denim”
False. Despite Justin Timberlake and Britney absolutely crucifying denim-on-denim (on-denim) in 2001, double-denim is today a worthy style opponent, but it can beat you – if you let it. The double up looks best when the hue, wash, and colour is mixed between the two denim pieces.
That means, a light, washed out denim Levi’s jacket should be paired with dark blue raw jeans, or some black denim skinnys under an untucked, Chambray shirt. Keeping the darker shade of denim on the bottom instead of the top, is a more foolproof move and don’t go too crazy on the distressing to keep it looking clean.
#2 “Shoes And Belt Should Match”
True. Matching shoes and belts in the same colour is the best way to dress. It doesn’t need to be exact, however, given you match the same colour groups. A barely noticeable tone difference in say, the tan of your belt and shoe, adds an edgy nonchalance to an outfit. But, too far from the mark with the shade and you look sloppy – think dark, red brown shoes and tan brown belt.
The last trick is to match the formality or informalities of your shoe and belt. A giant jean belt buckle cheapens patent leather brogues, and suede shoes look to fashion-y under a sleek, business belt. While it really is hard to set firm rules with this one, check the mirror before you head out and if it looks strange – change.
#3 “Pink Makes The Boys Stink”
False. Pink doesn’t make you stink; poor hygiene does. Now that’s settled, pink is the ultimate spring colour and, like florals, should be embraced. Pastels play up that whole south of France demeanour. As a sock, pocket square or necktie mix pastel with whites or grey and light, linen fabrics, and you’ll be sailing away in no time.
Solid, dark pink is a more statement choice. Try it with dress shirts, working impeccably under a grey suit; from charcoal to smoke. Add a navy silk tie and polka dot socks and head to work. Pink chinos are for the satorially brave. Pair with a polo or Oxford shirt and cashmere sweater for an all-American garden party look.
Pink is perfect. Just keep in mind to combine the perky hue with neutral colours and you’ll be peacocking like the men at Pitti Uomo, in no time.
#4 “No Sunnies Inside/At Night”
True. While sunglasses do stop unsuspecting UV rays from hurting our eyes, as well as being a great tiredness concealer after a big night out, there is absolutely no reason to wear them inside – airports and clubs included.
It’s rude, screams impersonality and looks like you’re trying to be a paparazzi-fearing celebrity. And frankly, it’s generally wannabe celebs (those who came 4th place in the 7th season of some forgotten reality show), who don the shades indoors.
And because there’s no sun at night, there shall be no ‘sun’ glasses either; just to clarify. But, wearing sunnies in winter or in overcast weather is fine; the cool accessories protecting the eyes from the grey-ish glare makes for a functional fashion statement.
#5 “Black And Brown Should Be Separate”
False. Like navy and black, brown and black can ride together in the same outfit. The myth stems from the notion that brown is a dark colour – close to back, so mixing the two can lead to a lack of definition between pieces, which looks messy without some contrast.
Solving the problem is easy. When wearing black, opt for lighter shades of brown. That means, coffee-coloured chinos and a black rollneck cable knit with black suede loafers and a tobacco leather tote. The extra kick in this outfit, is the mixing of fabric – the suede and wool – again adding definition to each piece, without a huge colour change.
#6 “The Only Way Is Slim”
False. The slim-fit – from jeans to trousers, has maintained a stranglehold on the male silhouette over the past decade. But, with the rise of sportsluxe, an ‘elegant comfort’ trend has emerged; permitting men to adopt slouchier bottoms, with tapered details in the parts that matter.
Cuffed tailored sweatpants and woollen, relaxed-fit trousers with pleats are perfect examples. And, yes, slim-fit is very much still ‘in’ but it’s no longer controlling things. The trick to smart/casual dressing is simple: A looser tee needs a slimmer jean, and a relaxed trouser needs a slimmer shirt. Contrasting top-to-bottom fits. Now, that’s no myth.
#7 “Stick To What You Know”
False. This is one big fat lie that plagues many men: “I couldn’t pull that off.” Or: “It’s just not my style.” Yes, you very much can wear that. And have you even tried? The best way to expand yourself – in anything, is to try new things. It’s the same with clothes, just try them on. We do live in an online world but retail stores have change rooms for a reason and if you’ve got a spare thirty minutes,why not go play dress-ups?
Then, head on home and get to know your wardrobe in a fresh way. The biggest myth debunker is trying on something (or a combination of things) that – by the rule book – doesn’t work, and then realising it actually looks good. That’s how trendsetters do it. By keeping an open mind and experimenting with colours, textures and shapes your personal style will come alive.