Fashion can be a scary word—especially if you’re a man. A horror film might seem more approachable, because men hold a couple of misconceptions about fashion that makes it seem much scarier than it needs it be.
Obviously this doesn’t go for all men. There definitely are fashion-forward men, and for them, we are thankful. But a large part of the demographic just isn’t getting it. This is a roundup of all the misconceptions men hold about fashion, and an argument against these misconceptions.
By the end, fashion won’t seem like such a scary word.
Fashion is just for women.
According to retail analytics company EDITED, the men’s clothing industry is predicted to be worth $460 billion by 2020, and apparently, the growth in menswear “outstrips womenswear.” The analytics company tracks growth in retail and found that since 2013, there has been a 38 percent increase in menswear arrivals in stores—which includes more variety.
Menswear is boring.
Men don’t have to stick to clothing that’s black, brown, green, red, and blue. Options are opening up for men in the fashion world. Menswear is expanding with more colors, shapes, textures, and fabrics.
Having style is too expensive.
With more ecommerce than ever and more affordable, stylish brands like Forever 21 and H&M, it’s possible to find stylish clothing that fits a smaller budget. In 2017, according to EDITED, 32% of the menswear market cost under $50. You just have to keep looking. Besides, there are always great sales online.
Caring about clothes makes you feminine.
First of all, being feminine isn’t an insult, but that’s beside the point.
People who care about what they wear will appear more presentable in professional settings. It’s a somewhat sad, but true fact that people judge others based on how they look. Obviously, everyone wants to believe they don’t judge others by the way they dress, and people warn against judging others based on clothing choices, but the reaction is automatic.
According to an article from Psychology Today, without thinking, a person will make snap judgements about someone else based on clothing choices. Caring about clothing doesn’t make a person feminine, but rather it makes a person conscientious of how they would like to present themselves.
You have to be a certain size or shape to look stylish.
Oversized clothing does not look “okay.” And too-tight clothing does not look “okay.” With all the resources out there and the variety in clothing, it’s possible to find clothing that fits every body type.
With just a quick search online, it’s easy to figure out how to dress any body type. There are some main male body types: triangle, inverted triangle, rectangle, oval, and trapezoid. Clothes will sit differently on each body type, which is why it’s important to figure out what clothing works with which body shape. Once that’s figured out, shopping stylish will be a whole lot easier.
Sneakers can’t be dressed up.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking sneakers are just for the morning run or for a jeans-and-tee look, but brands like Nike and Adidas have started making shoes that are meant for dressing up.
With the new styles, it’s easy to throw on a pair of Nikes with a nice pair of chinos and a paisley button-up—without looking ridiculous. So, if beat-up basketball shoes are the only thing you can find in your closet, you should be picking up your wallets and heading to the store to find some dressier sneakers.
Dressing comfy and fashionable are mutually exclusive.
If you haven’t heard of athleisure, you haven’t been out in a while. It’s become more acceptable to wear more comfortable clothes in places people used to avoid it. You can wear gym clothes to the cafe. You can stop in for a drink wearing some joggers.
Workplaces are even becoming more lax about what is and isn’t business appropriate. The world is changing, and it’s getting more comfortable. Fashion has adapted to fill the gap by creating more stylish cozy clothes.
Dressing well means you have to look like a hipster.
There are so many types of stylish clothing, and not everyone has to wear a flannel buttoned all the way to the top. There’s business casual, outdoorsy, urban, laidback, and the list goes on. Just check out Pinterest for some ideas. Pinterest isn’t just for women; there are many different styles for men on the site.
Style is all about wearing the latest (and sometimes strange) trends.
For men, it might be easy to cringe after hearing the word “fashion.” But style is very different than what’s trendy. Being fashionable doesn’t mean a guy has to wear something that’s bright and crazy. They just have to find their own look, and be confident in it.
You don’t have to dress like Kanye West to be fashionable. Actually a lot of people would argue that celebrity fashion is a different beast entirely. Just do you and try to do it well. Style is not an objective thing. It’s a subjective thing.
Cargo pants are flattering.
For some reason, cargo pants and shorts are some of the most-worn of men’s bottoms. But they are the biggest fashion no-no. Sure, there’s extra room for storage, but it’s not worth it. Cargo pockets add extra bulk and bulges where they shouldn’t be.
If you have a pair of cargo shorts and you don’t use them practically for outdoors activities, please stop wearing them.
A suit is the most stylish menswear outfit out there.
It’s possible to be well-dressed in something other than a suit. It’s possible to dress down and still be dressed up. Just make sure the clothes fit well. Wear some dress shoes with a pair of dark wash jeans. Or put on a blazer with a plaid shirt.
Those are just some misconceptions men have about fashion. But there will always be a couple more. For example, bootcut jeans are not made for everyone, not all button-down shirts work for dressy occasions, tailoring is totally a thing men do, the fit does matter, and square-toed shoes are a definite no-no.
Stick to these tips, and get out there and do you.