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Men’s Style Rules That Were Meant To Be Broken

Breaking bad. In a good way.

The year is already moving by at a lightning pace and with that notion comes the chance to wipe that style slate clean.

Before you fill your wish list with the same old stuff you wore this year, we humbly suggest going a different route. One that’s a little more rebellious. One that might earn you a spot on the naughty list, if Santa disapproved of fashion risk takers.

You know the saying – rules were meant to be broken – and it holds true where your wardrobe is concerned.

Start off the new year with a new-found boldness and tell all these rules to take a hike.

“You Shouldn’t Pair Black & Navy”

You’ve heard since you were a kid that black and navy don’t play well with one another. But you’ve grown up, they’ve grown up, and now everyone can coexist peacefully and sing Kumbaya together.

Runways have been filled with this look in the past, and you can make it just as cool by keeping only one thing in mind: don’t opt for a shade so dark it’s visually confusing next to the black.

As long as there’s a clear differentiation between the two colours, you’re good to go. You may also want to play with different textures to freshen the look and create depth.

“Wearing One Shade Head To Toe Is Wrong”

Is it the right look when you’re meeting your girlfriend’s ultra conservative parents for the first time? Maybe not.

But when you want to make a statement, there isn’t much that speaks louder than a bold head-to-toe hue. Black-on-black is the tried-and-true method of pulling off the monochromatic look, but today we’re interested in something more high-risk/high-reward.

Remember that when you’re dressing in one colour, fit matters even more than usual. Balance out tones, textures and proportions so the outfit looks like a thoughtful choice rather than a still-drunk-from-last-night accident.

“Sneakers Are Only For The Gym”

With the massive number of current trends surrounding kicks of all kinds, it would be a shame to limit your sneakers to the gym.

We wouldn’t advise wearing the same sneakers you just trained for a 10km run in, but you can rock a similar style. Some are even making sneaks look cool with suits, though that’s an advanced look you may not be ready for yet.

If you’re new to it all, stick to sneakers with more casual get-ups, like fitted denim or the slick sweats you’re about to see next. The key to pulling it off is to make sure your sneakers look fresh and are well taken care of. And if in doubt, go with white simple sneakers as they’re the easiest to pair. 

“Sweatpants Are For Sleeping & Lounging”

Update that to “sweatpants are also for around the house.” It’s about what you wear with them. If it’s ratty sneakers you’ve had since your school days and a t-shirt with holes in it, then yes – that outfit belongs under house arrest. If it’s cool kicks and a top from your favourite streetwear label, you’re free (and encouraged) to wear it outside your living room. More and more labels are jumping on the high-end sweatpants bandwagon, so you’ll have plenty to chose from when you’re ready to brave this style.

“Double Denim Is A Fashion Faux Pas”

Don’t go full Timberlake (unless Britney Spears is on your arm, in which case no one is looking at you anyway), but do toss out that silly old rule that double denim can’t be done. Denim is our most versatile textile for a reason. The easiest way to double down on denim is to choose pieces with drastically different washes. Contrast a lighter denim on top with darker denim on the bottom. If you’re feeling reckless and want to match tones, keep the denim dark. An all-light look belongs on the farm, and even then the pigs are probably judging you.

“Blue & Green Should Never Be Seen Unless There’s A Colour In Between”

You may have heard this cutesy rhyme when you were a budding man about town: blue and green should never be seen unless there’s a colour in between. Yawn. Colour theorists and fashion designers love to make the masses follow their arbitrary rules, don’t they? But no more.

Today we take back the perfectly-acceptable colour combo of blue and green. You can team them up all you want, as long as you get the tones right. Some greens are blue-based and others are yellow-based. Your best bet is to mix blue-based greens with like-toned blues.

“Mixing Patterns Is A Big No-No”

Not only is it acceptable to go pattern-on-pattern, it’s on-trend. You can go as big as you want with this one. If you feel like tossing all caution to the wind, invest in some serious statement patterns.

Animal, abstract, botanical, geometric – anything big and bold will do, and you won’t be in any danger of looking like your grandma’s wallpaper. If you want to keep things more subtle, mix and match classic patterns like plaids and pinstripes. Keep colour and scale in mind at all times: the former should coordinate while the latter should contrast.

“Socks Should Always Be Worn With Shoes”

Let your feet go free. There are a few different ways you can approach your footwear’s emancipation from socks. If the occasion is casual, wear canvas shoes that can easily be tossed in the washing machine when they need a freshening up.

If the occasion calls for something more formal, wear loafers or dress shoes without socks. Leather is better, as it resists odour. You may also want to invest in a foot powder or antiperspirant, and use cedar shoe trees in between wears to help your shoes properly dry out. Alternatively, opt for no-show socks which will keep your feet and shoes clean without hassle.

“Well Polished Shoes Are Always Best”

Wine gets better with age. You get better with age (we’re just guessing). And some of your shoes also get better with age. Note: there are caveats. We can’t get totally lawless here. If you’re in a tuxedo, clean and polished shoes are a must.

But if you’re going casual, a little wear and tear won’t hurt. In fact, it might even enhance. Johnny Depp has been wearing the same beat-up boots since he first became a star and they add to his eccentric charm. Next time, instead of throwing out your lived-in footwear, pair them with some denim and a leather jacket. Instant rockstar status.

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