Introduction

At the end of last year I produced a two-part article that set about dispelling some common fashion myths and rules. Or as I like to refer to it: ‘Sh*t My Dad Says’.

With 2013 quickly coming to a close, I thought now would be the perfect time to release another edition in the series. After all, with the passing of another year comes another wide selection of stupid, weird and off the mark remarks my father continues to drop like bombs.

We’ve already proven that black and navy CAN work together, considered whether pleats are still ‘in fashion’ and dismissed the old adage of never wearing brown in town, amongst others. But before we start on part three, we need to reinforce one simple guideline: learn the rules and then break them.

Of course, men’s style and fashion does have some unwritten rules, and more often than not they are there for good reason. However, with the passing of time some of these rules become less relevant – meaning they can be bent and broken if you so desire.

Yet you need to learn what the rules are before you are able to do any breaking. If you don’t understand the reasoning behind said rule, you will more often than not end up creating a look that is a train wreck of mismatched and clashing colours, or just plain weird. After all, we’re aiming for style here, not avant-garde, right?

So without further ado, let’s explore a few more fashion myths my old man religiously sticks to…

1. “Red & Green Should Never Be Seen”

Ah yes, that old chestnut. Anyone with a casual knowledge of the colour wheel (mine’s saved in my smartphone) will know that these two colours, due to their placement, are contrasting.

This means they are notoriously hard to combine. Especially when you consider how strong and eye-catching each colour is individually; both used at the same time in an outfit would be too much. But if you do get this pairing right, you will reap the rewards.

The secret to pulling off red and green together is to make sure that you vary the hue of each colour as much as possible, ideally in different directions (one lighter, one darker). It also helps to introduce another neutral item in the mix to balance them and anchor the entire look.

For example, why not combine a pair of burgundy chinos with a mint green polo shirt and a navy cardigan? Or perhaps try some olive chinos with a pink Oxford cloth button-down and grey lambswool jumper?

Varying their hues creates enough contrast for the colours to be worn at the same time without them appearing too full-on to the people you pass on the street.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Red and Green Outfit Ideas Lookbook

he by mango winter 2013h&m aw12he by mango aw13matalan aw13saturdays surf nyc ss14ted baker ss13farah aw13ben sherman aw11ami ss14
Outfit Examples
  • Asos Roll Neck JumperAsos Roll Neck Jumper
  • Reiss Governor Double Breasted Mac GreenReiss Governor Double Breasted Mac Green
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Cotton ChinosHe By Mango Slim-fit Cotton Chinos
  • He By Mango Straight-fit Cotton ShirtHe By Mango Straight-fit Cotton Shirt
  • Topman Dark Green Tonic Skinny SuitTopman Dark Green Tonic Skinny Suit
  • Reiss Contra Plain Wool Tie BordeauxReiss Contra Plain Wool Tie Bordeaux
  • J.crew Cotton-chambray ShirtJ.crew Cotton-chambray Shirt
  • He By Mango Casual Technical JacketHe By Mango Casual Technical Jacket
  • River Island Dark Red Cable Knit Chunky ScarfRiver Island Dark Red Cable Knit Chunky Scarf
  • He By Mango Slim-fit 5 Pocket Cotton TrousersHe By Mango Slim-fit 5 Pocket Cotton Trousers
  • A.p.c. Crew Neck Lambswool SweaterA.p.c. Crew Neck Lambswool Sweater
  • Asos Check Shirt In Long Sleeve In Twisted YarnAsos Check Shirt In Long Sleeve In Twisted Yarn
  • Nn.07 Simon Slim-fit Cotton-twill TrousersNn.07 Simon Slim-fit Cotton-twill Trousers
  • River Island Brown Classic Lace Up BroguesRiver Island Brown Classic Lace Up Brogues
2. “Black & Brown Will Make You Frown”

Wow, what is it with my dad and making these sayings rhyme? Such a strange man. Anyway, the same principle applies here as well.

Browns at the darker end of the colour spectrum (think chocolate, bistre and taupe) can often be mistaken for black, so pairing the two together can lead to a lack of definition between pieces and the ‘muddying’ of the look as a whole. As we’ve said before, it’s all about contrast.

With this in mind, when you’re pairing black and brown together, make sure you opt for lighter shades of brown. For instance, why not try pairing tobacco brown tweed trousers with a big chunky knit and some even chunkier black brogue boots?

Alternatively, inject some 1970s-inspired chic via a black roll neck jumper and tan brown leather jacket combination – perfect for those brisk Sunday afternoons this winter.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Brown and Black Outfit Ideas Lookbook

massimo duttimassimo dutti september 2012allsaints aw12office shoes aw13coach aw13avva aw12reiss aw13ben sherman aw12Woolrich John Rich & Bros aw13
Outfit Examples
  • Reiss Lucia Textured Shirt With Curve Collar WhiteReiss Lucia Textured Shirt With Curve Collar White
  • Reiss Pilot Textured Cotton Knit BlackReiss Pilot Textured Cotton Knit Black
  • Asos Skinny Fit Suit TrousersAsos Skinny Fit Suit Trousers
  • Topman Brown Tweed BlazerTopman Brown Tweed Blazer
  • Gant Rugger Cable-knit SweaterGant Rugger Cable-knit Sweater
  • Topman Black Ultra Skinny TrousersTopman Black Ultra Skinny Trousers
  • Reiss Textured Cotton Knit Wine BerryReiss Textured Cotton Knit Wine Berry
  • United Colors Of Benetton Tweed Slim Fit TrouserUnited Colors Of Benetton Tweed Slim Fit Trouser
  • Asos Brogue Boots In LeatherAsos Brogue Boots In Leather
  • Reiss Madson Suede Bomber Jacket RustReiss Madson Suede Bomber Jacket Rust
  • John Smedley Belvoir Rollneck Merino Wool SweaterJohn Smedley Belvoir Rollneck Merino Wool Sweater
  • Reiss Castle Brushed Oxford TrousersReiss Castle Brushed Oxford Trousers
3. “I Just Can’t See Myself In It”

Not so much a rule, more a plague of the modern gentleman. It’s not just my dad whom I’ve caught saying this but my flatmate, friends and passersby as well.

Do you know the best way to see yourself in something? TRY IT ON! After all, that’s why the shop was put there in the first place. I’ve not been in a shop yet that has forced me to buy something I’ve tried on and hated, so where’s the harm in trying?

Experimenting with your own preconceived ideas of how you ‘look’ and what your ‘style’ is – that’s the ultimate method of dispelling fashion myths. Because you don’t know until you’ve given something a chance.

Just remember to keep an open mind, try not to dismiss straight away if it doesn’t fit perfectly (this can often be altered) and, if in doubt, type the item into FashionBeans’ search bar to find a wide selection of articles on said piece, showing you how to wear it and incorporate it into your current style.

Lookbook Inspiration

Is it time you tried something new? Whether it’s a trend print such as camouflage or floral, a slightly bolder colour than you are used to, or an unconventional fabric such as velvet, experimenting with your look and introducing new elements can make a world of difference to your personal style:

Experiment with your look with men's trend piecesIdeas for AW13 include quilting, gilets, camo print, florals, checked tailoring, velvet & fashion trainers.

Luigi Bianchi Mantova aW13massimo dutti september 2013cruciani aw13drykorn aw13he by mango aw13zara soft wear 2013ami ss14gant rugger aw13reiss aw13urban outfitters aw12gant pre spring 2013lbm 1911 aw13
Key Pieces
  • He By Mango Velvet Premium BlazerHe By Mango Velvet Premium Blazer
  • Reiss Kanye Double Breasted Coat Lapel CamelReiss Kanye Double Breasted Coat Lapel Camel
  • Vito Check Suit In Jungle GreeVito Check Suit In Jungle Gree
  • United Colors Of Benetton Camo SweatshirtUnited Colors Of Benetton Camo Sweatshirt
  • He By Mango Herringbone Husky JacketHe By Mango Herringbone Husky Jacket
  • Reiss Crest Colour Blocked Felted Wool Jumper NavyReiss Crest Colour Blocked Felted Wool Jumper Navy
  • Topman Green And Navy Checked Skinny Suit JacketTopman Green And Navy Checked Skinny Suit Jacket
  • He By Mango Check Wool-blend PeacoatHe By Mango Check Wool-blend Peacoat
  • Topman Houndstooth JumperTopman Houndstooth Jumper
  • Valentino Camouflage-print Leather And Suede SneakersValentino Camouflage-print Leather And Suede Sneakers
  • Rolando Sturlini Leather Chelsea BootsRolando Sturlini Leather Chelsea Boots
  • Marc By Marc Jacobs Leather-trimmed Quilted GiletMarc By Marc Jacobs Leather-trimmed Quilted Gilet
Final Word

So there you have it, a few more fashion myths dispelled and another year ahead of me hearing more stupid things from my dad’s and other people’s mouths.

With that in mind, I want to hear your own fashion myths. Do you stick to fashion ‘rules’ or break them? Are there any pieces, trends or looks you’ve wanted to try but don’t know how to get started?

Let me know in the comments section…

Matt Allinson