Turn a potential fashion faux pas into a huge style gain with these quick smart fixes

A dull colour pallet

Fix it with… Earthy tones

The problem: It’s pretty easy as a man to cultivate a stylish but relatively safe pallet of colours in your wardrobe, and there is of course nothing wrong with the likes of navy, grey and black. But surely not every single day? Life is too short not to add the occasional pop of colour, plus it can help make your outfit. 

The Solution: Introducing a new colour to your style arsenal doesn’t mean you have to go all out and make a grand statement, it can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Why not start with a pair of dusky maroon chinos? This and other earthy tones such as a forest green will sit comfortably with navy, black and grey, and makes for an easy starting point when putting a look together.

Too few buttons, too much chest hair

Fix it with… The button rule 

The problem: There are a lot of subtle signifiers in men’s clothing, such as rolling your sleeves up (ready for hard work) or popping up your collar (you love the rugby). But the buttons on your shirt is a big one. How many can a man leave unbuttoned at the top on, say, a hot day in the office? It’s a social minefield… 

The solution: Yes, unbuttoning a shirt by more than the top button says ‘relaxation’  but think though before you go deeper, as you really don’t want to look like a Barry White album cover. Here, once and for all, are the button rules for men: one for work, two for the weekend, three for festivals, and four for… well, never. 

You’ve puddled yourself

Fix it with… A turn-up or a tailor

The problem: Puddling is a technical term meaning essentially ‘your jeans are too long, mate’. This might not sound like the worse sin in the style bible but it’s probably one of the most common fashion faux pas made by modern man and it will ruin an outfit for sure.

The solution: There are two simple fixes here. The first is to add a turn-up to your jeans; this is both quick and easy to do. Fold them up by around 2cm and keep rolling until they sit about an inch above your shoe. This is a fairly contemporary trend, but will look great for a man of any age. The second is to have them taken-up by a tailor. Again, this isn’t a complicated task and you’ll find one on just about any high street. Ask for somewhere between a half and full break on your shoe or, in other words, resting on them with a slight crumple.

Overdoing the patterns

Fix it with… A t-shirt to break it up

The problem: From stripes to florals, rocking patterns and looking good can be tough to pull off. A pattern can overwhelm an outfit and it can make you stand out like a sore thumb.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge however, just make sure when you do, you do it well.

The Solution: Don’t let a strong pattern overpower you, instead take the power back into your own capable hands. How? It’s simple, break-up that heavy block of pattern by wearing your shirt open and with a t-shirt. This softens the impact of the design and you can layer patterns like we’ve done here with a thick stripe coming between the camo. All in all, a quality look for warmer days ahead.

The wrong socks

Fix it with… These two hard-fast rules

The problem: The politics of when to wear a sock and with what shoe is a controversial matter. It can divide popular opinion like no other style issue, and becomes even more pressing as the weather hots up and the nation’s pasty legs come out to play. 

The solution: Despite endless nuances and contradictions in sock etiquette there are thankfully some certainties in spring and summer. One: never wear socks with a deck shoe. And two: always wear with trainers (even if they’re trainer socks). The latter isn’t just an aesthetic consideration but a practical one, no one wants sweaty and stinky feet. Not now. Not ever.