7 Common Fashion Mistakes Every DC Guy Makes

Our friend and colleague Mr. Carl Pierre of In the Capital fame recently penned a piece about all too common fashion mistakes seen all too often in DC.  We pitched in a few words.  If you find yourself doing any of this.  Stop…now.

“Over the past few years D.C. has garnered a reputation for being a paragon of urban growth in a variety of respects, including a burgeoning job market for college graduates, accelerated neighborhood redevelopment, and a seemingly bullet-proof government sector that continues to remain as a fiscal anchor for the region as a whole. But despite all of these accolades, there is one thing D.C. seems to heavily lack: male fashion sense. You may scoff, but I’m quite serious. Despite the high concentration of ‘suits’ in this city, I would venture to say that an overwhelming number of the men that wear them are simply not doing it right.

Fashion-wise that is.

Now this isn’t to say that all men in this city are incapable of dressing well: quite the contrary. There are actually a handful of guys in this city that truly understand how to properly dress and style themselves in a way that maintains a refreshingly au courant variety in their wardrobe (many of which convinced me to write this article in the first place), and its their tasteful choices in clothing that provides the stark contrast as to how truly awful a great deal of the male population in this city are at dressing themselves.

I have partnered with Grant Harris (stylist, entrepreneur, and professional men’s fashion writer) and InTheCapital’s own Kendrick Jackson (a rather dapper fellow to the people out there who know him personally) to put together a quick list of seven heinously egregious yet unfortunately common fashion mistakes many D.C. men find themselves regularly committing.

1. Not knowing your proper size which leads to ill-fitting…everything. - Whether you’re a 44R or a 40L, the men in this city tend to wear suits that like they inherited it from their dads: they’re baggy, are snug and loose in all the wrong places, and make it look like you casually picked a suit out of a bin (which honestly could’ve happened).

2. Wearing athletic socks on non-athletic occasions - Just because your tube socks are black doesn’t mean that people haven’t noticed that you’re wearing tube socks. Save the gym wear for the actual gym guys.

3. CONSTANTLY wearing powder blue or sky blue dress shirts - I suppose this particular issue is endemic only to D.C. men, but it seems as if every other guy in the street is wearing a blue shirt that’s either powder or sky blue. It’s honestly pretty mind-boggling that despite the incredible advances we’ve made in cotton-dying technology that D.C. men insist on wearing a very specific type of dress shirt color to work every day. Come on guys, take a leap and try changing the wardrobe up a bit, purchasing different colored dress shirts is not an expensive venture.

4. Wearing the wrong belt colors - I know, sounds stupid but it’s a very serious problem in this city. Let me break this concept down to a few words: wear a brown belt for any suit that’s not black. Period. No exceptions.

5. Wearing anything on your hip (i.e. ID badges, cellphones, etc.) - Unless you’re carrying a gun, mace, baton, and additional bullet magazines on your hip (and by that I mean you’re a police officer), then there shouldn’t be anything clipped or attached to your hips. I don’t care if you work for a senator, have whatever clearance at DARPA, or you have a particularly attractive work ID photo: wearing it on your hip is tacky and you look dumb.

6. Square-toed shoes - Square-toed shoes were a big hit when they were first introduced into men’s fashion, with almost every designer and retailer clamoring to stock them at their stores… in the 1990’s. It’s 2013, get it together.

7. Improper Tie Length - It’s to the point of absurdity that I am writing ‘tie length’ as an actual problem with D.C. men, but it’s an unfortunate truth: guys don’t know how to properly adjust the length of their ties. A lot of fellas in the city don’t seem to understand that the tip of a tie should reach the buckle of their belt, but for some reason many guys feel the need to make their ties incredibly short or obnoxiously long. If you find that your tie barely reaches past your nipples, heads u: it’s probably not the right length. If you find yourself moving your tie aside when using a urinal, heads up: it’s probably not the right length.

Well there you have it folks, those are the more noticeable common fashion faux paus that D.C. men seem to be most guilty of committing. If you notice yourself, a family member, or a friend falling into any of these D.C. fashion traps, do yourself (and them) a favor by speaking up.

I know we’re growing as a city but there’s no reason why we can’t look good while doing it.”






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  • j_dapper

    Couldn’t agree more with this article. I live in NYC, and you’d be surprised how many men up here still make these same mistakes.

  • http://www.imagegranted.com Grant

    @j_Dapper Thanks for reading! contrary to popular opinion NYC is only perfect 6 days a week, lol. I can talk since half my family was born/lived/lives there. Hope to hear your comments again soon.

  • stamponstyle

    This was such a great read! A very well needed posted for not only DC, but nationwide. I share these types of faux pas with my clients and friends all the time. I will be sharing this! Please keep spreading the word.

    • http://www.imagegranted.com Grant

      @Stamponstyle Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s true the piece was DC specific but can be related to the global market. Please feel free to pass on to your network. What other content would you like to see?