So it’s a New Year and you’re another year older. Here at FashionBeans, we’re all about self-improvement – and what better place to put your proposed improvements into action than at the start of a brand new 2013?

Perhaps this year you’re looking to improve the way you dress? You’ve noticed over the last couple of years that the number of style conscious men has risen significantly – along with a dramatic increase in men’s fashion magazines, websites and tumblrs – and have come to the decision that you want to get involved.

Well, first of all, congratulations! It takes a lot of courage to admit you’ve got a problem, and now you can start making the steps towards recovery.

But where do you start? Even just a glance at FashionBeans’ home page – which can cover everything from Fair Isle patterns and roll neck jumpers to tassel loafers and tuxedos – can be enough to scare off any beginner. But don’t be afraid. Stick with us, and we will set you on your journey from fashion beginner to style icon.

First of all, with so many trends and styles of clothing to now choose from, you can often neglect the basics. So, without any further ado, here are the top five rookie fashion mistakes that you need to sort out before you go any further down the sartorial rabbit hole.

Top Five Rookie Mistakes
1. Oversized Suits

Or just oversized anything for that matter. It seems to me that most guys are wearing a size or two too big for them.

Larger clothing does not communicate whatever you think it does (power, masculinity, extreme weight loss?), it only ends up making you look small and sloppy. For a complete run down on how clothes should fit you check out our basic’s articles on casual clothing and suiting.

Examples Of Good Fit

2. Bad Trouser Breaks

This is pretty much enemy number one for guys who think they have style across the country. Yes, those are some pretty fly camo chinos you’ve got on son, but have you seen that pooling around your ankles? You look like a military midget.

Get thyself to a tailor and have him give your trousers a slight break – only the smallest of folds at the front of the trousers and reaching halfway down the back of your shoe heel.

Examples Of Good Trouser Break

3. Square Toe Shoes

I like to think that when it comes to fashion or just style in general, no item is ever truly out of the game. Just look at the resurgence we’ve seen in roll neck jumpers, cardigans and tweed trousers that were previously associated with being a granddad.

But in the case of the square toe shoe, I think it’s safe to say we’ve put the nail in that coffin for good. Because, hey, guess what? Your feet aren’t square are they? So your shoes shouldn’t be either.

The Fix – Round Toe Footwear
  • Topman Hudson Tyskatu Loafer
  • Topman Robri Suede Desert Shoe
  • J.crew Macalister Suede Derby Shoes
  • Maison Martin Margiela 22 Mens Leather Oxford Shoe
  • Allsaints Conduct Shoe
  • Reiss Ulliot Tassel Derby Shoes Amber
  • Grenson Fred Textured-leather Brogue Boots
  • Allsaints Cropped Military Boots
  • Grenson Dylan Suede Wingtip Brogues
  • Grenson Declan Black Chelsea Boots
  • H By Hudson Black Leather Viking Chukkas
  • Alexander Mcqueen Suede Tasselled Loafers
4. Untucked Office Shirts

This is the plague at any university town. It’s pretty much the definition of a ‘LAD’ look – just take your usual office dress shirt, leave it untucked and combine it with a pair of (most likely Superdry) jeans, then head straight on out to get hammered.

No, just no. All this communicates to people is that you either don’t know how to dress yourself or you just don’t care about how you dress. Neither of which are going to help you on a night out.

The Fix – Casual Shirts & Tucking Your Shirt In

5. Trim Your Wallet Fat

In the same way that bad shoes can kill a great outfit, so can an awful wallet. There’s nothing worse than seeing a guy who is well dressed, nailing the details such as pattern mixing, good shoes and grooming only to see a huge wallet-sized bulge in his pocket. I can’t imagine how embarrassing it must be to have to pull that thing out at the bar or on a date.

I’m pretty sure you don’t need all those old receipts, business cards and expired coupons. Get yourself a slim credit card holder that can fit a couple of notes, cards and an ID and that’s it.

Keep it simple, please.

The Fix – Slim Wallets & Card Holders
  • River Island Cardholder
  • Scotch & Soda Leather Cardholder
  • Gucci Leather Card Holder
  • Nixon X Horween Number Five Card Case
  • Reiss Howe Leather Card Holder Oxblood
  • Want Les Essentiels De La Vie Kennedy Leather Card Holder
  • Reiss Palace Leather Folded Card Holder Black
  • Mulberry Leather Card Holder 133780
  • Allsaints Gambit Wallet
Final Word

So there you have it, the top five rookie mistakes made by most people when they first start their journey to becoming a better dressed man. Hopefully, now that you know what they are, you will be able to avoid them and learn from so many others’ mistakes.

After taking on board the advice above, why not start at the beginning of our fashion basics series and go from there – it’ll give you all the knowledge you need as a beginner in this style game.

But as always, we prefer an open dialogue here at FashionBeans, so why not tell me if I’ve missed anything out? What other mistakes are there that the uninitiated should know about, which us more experienced fellows take for granted?

Let me know in the comments section below…

Matt Allinson