Most fashion rules are made for breaking.
Nice clothes cost a fortune
Stores like H&M and Uniqlo, recent arrivals to Australian shores, have changed the way we buy our staple garments — it no longer costs a king’s ransom to purchase good quality versatile pieces like a plain white tee, a comfortable navy jumper, or a smart pair of chinos, the sorts of items we mix and match in a number of outfits throughout the week. Sure, you need to spend big on your big-ticket items — it’s easy to spot the difference between the tacky shine of a cheap off-the-rack suit and a bespoke one made with top-class material, and stylish, durable denim is another thing worth splashing out on — but the investment will be worthwhile when the garments are still in good condition and regular rotation in your wardrobe years later.
Big blokes can’t look stylish
Okay, shopping’s a bit trickier than it is for your mates who fit into a standard medium like a glove, but that’s where a tailor can help you achieve the perfect fit that will flatter your bigger body shape. Resist the urge to cloak your extra kilos in an XXXXXL top and don’t try and fool anyone by squeezing into something one size too small, either — the right fit, dark hues to shrink the perception of size, jackets that broaden your shoulders and slim your silhouette, and confident posture all work wonders for men who are more James Corden than James Bond.
Every button-down shirt is a dress shirt
To borrow a line from the new President, wrong. Fake news. Just plain wrong. A dress shirt has no pockets, is cut longer so it can be tucked in, often has a stiff and wider collar, and is usually made of a finely woven cotton that’s a little smoother than more casual shirts, perhaps even with a bit of a sheen. Anything else isn’t a dress shirt — breast pockets are the dead giveaway. It’s important to know the difference — trying to dress up a causal button-down can ruin the overall look of your suit in formal contexts, while drying to get away with a dress shirt in a casual setting while fabric is flapping around your thighs is a shocking look, too.
Black and brown can’t be worn at the same time
The origins of this myth lie in the belief that brown is a dark colour, so pairing it with black produces a muddy overall look… but brown doesn’t have to be dark, and these two colours can play nicely together. Lighter hues can contrast beautifully with black to offer your outfit a bit of light and shade with plenty of definition and contrast — think about a smart pair of chinos with some black leather Oxfords, or slim black jeans with tan Timberland boots.
And nor can black and navy
Same deal — black and the shade of blue right next to black are so similar that pairing large blocks of these two colours can make your outfit look like an amorphous blob of darkness, but employing different tones and textures can provide the necessary contrast. Black is complemented better by tones of navy with a bluer rather than a darker base, and mixing up texture also helps separate the two similar colours — a knit navy jumper with black denim, for instance, or shiny black leather plus a navy suit with a textured matte finish.
For more menswear myths busted, visit: http://www.mensstyle.com.au/fashion/five-myths-of-mens-fashion/