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12 Common Menswear Misconceptions

Last updated: 08-10-2017

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12 Common Menswear Misconceptions

Wrong. I mean, it can be if we’re talking about super thick, bulky lambswool or tweed, but even then if it’s unlined, it should breathe and regulate temperature better than equally thick cotton (or, heaven forbid, cheap synthetics). Wool is nature’s high-tech fiber. It wicks, it reduces friction, and it breathes. A loosely woven, lightweight, tropical wool suit jacket or sportcoat will be much, MUCH more comfortable than cotton chino in the heat. Same goes for socks in the summer. Skip cotton. All cotton does is soak up and hold onto sweat.

The coolest jacket I own. A bonobos unconstructed, almost totally unlined, Itailan wool sportcoat.   

Speaking of cotton and sweat… the cognitive dissonance displayed by defenders of the white cotton undershirt is cult-like. Again, cotton does not wick. Once it gets wet, it stays wet for a very long time. Especially if it’s stuck snug up against your skin (unlike, say, a dress shirt which should have a little room to air out and breathe). An extra layer of sweat soaked material next to your torso won’t keep you dry. It’s suffocating and it’s uncomfortable. Ditch the undershirt all together, or, switch to tech-gear.

Yes, the 1990s were a mess of baggy, ill fitting clothing. But the unintended consequence of the “tailored” movement ended up being skinny jeans and painted on suits. Comfort and well-fitting can exist in the same universe. Think skim. Not cling.

Slimmer is not always better. Your clothing does not have to look like you were poured into it.

Good grooming… is good. But if your beard looks like it was cut with frickin’ laser beams, then you might come across as fussy. Leave the obsession over your eyebrows and hair part to the international soccer stars.

If you’re actively looking forward to out-dressing the groom at an upcoming wedding, you’re an asshole. Sometimes (often) it’s better to have the option of fading into the crowd a bit.

Part of dressing “well” is understanding the moment.

While the internet can be a fine place to pick up tips and ideas for looking good, it’s also filled with far too many arrogant, irrelevant goobers who have been convinced by social media that their perspective is not only gospel, it’s in high demand. Trust your gut. Beware the over-critical forum addict who speaks in absolutes. If he really knows everything about dressing well and living a stylish life, then why is he nose down in his phone/laptop so much, hammering out hyper critical, often hypocritical observations/delusions about other dude’s choices in clothes and footwear? There are exceptions to every rule. And that goes for the “rules” we spout off about on this website.

Sometimes you get lucky and get something that’ll last long on the cheap. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to start with something less expensive (to familiarize yourself with your tastes) before diving into the high end pool. And sometimes, the cost of an item (especially when it comes to luxury goods) doesn’t keep pace with the overall build and quality of materials used.

Nope. Not always. See below.

It’s the skinny suit/skinny jeans look of the moment. Pant cuffs just barely grazing (if that) the tops of your shoes. Thing is, pant breaks and suit jacket fits and denim shapes expand and contract over time. A medium break to your trousers will never go out of style. Also, if you have any sort of muscle on your lower legs, having zero break to your pants will almost always result in your trousers getting stuck on your calves once you stand up from a sitting position.

I haven’t worn a tie (other than for photo shoots and black tie events) in six years. I own plenty of suits and wear them often. Neckties look great. But that doesn’t mean having more than a couple is necessary. Of course, your occupation has a lot to do with whether they are or not.

Holding a drink for a photo shoot (or, in a movie or TV show) is often a crutch. It’s full blown “I don’t know what to do with my hands!“ and we here on this website are guilty of that too. Alcoholic drinks can be delicious grown up “treats” and sophisticated looking (thanks to tons of marketing). But alcohol is also addictive and dangerous. Knowing how to make a fire is a useful skill that’s impressive to some. Lighting yourself on fire is not. Getting hammered immolates your style.

Y’know what looks cooler? Mixing in a glass of water here and there.


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