Three style rules you can break

Don’t get us wrong: Style rules exist for a good reason. They’re a vital safety net, especially for those who have more of a, shall we say, cursory interest in fashion (which is absolutely fine, by the way). Yes, we’ve all benefited from style directives at some point in our lives, whether by avoiding embarrassment in the workplace, successfully navigating the dress code at a fancy restaurant or simply knowing how to match a shirt and tie.

So, why break away from those guidelines? For starters, many of these rules were drummed up decades ago to help men conform to societal norms that are simply no longer relevant. Also, you can only get so far in life by blindly doing what you’re told. If you want your style to be a true expression of who you are, then it’s perfectly acceptable to start thinking—and dressing—for yourself. Here are three old-fashioned lessons that you can unlearn.

Don’t Mix Patterns

Should you wear a pastel blue printed shirt with green camouflage shorts? Absolutely not. Should you take our advice as gospel? Absolutely not. We encourage you to remember that personal style is exactly that: personal. The best way to achieve a style that is truly your own is to do the things that others wouldn’t dare to do.

Tuck In Your Shirt

It’s one of the first pieces of style advice that we receive, but are those words of wisdom worth following? It makes sense if you’re wearing a suit, of course, but in less formal situations there are plenty of arguments for leaving your shirt fully or partially untucked. For one, a tucked shirt worn without a jacket can draw attention to the waistline, which is not a virtue for many guys. For another, a tucked shirt rarely stays in place: Sit down, bend over or lift your arms above the height of your shoulders and your shirt tails will inevitably balloon above your belt, leaving you with an unflattering muffin-top. Yes, you could wear shirt stays, which are essentially inverted suspenders for men, or you could save yourself the bother by letting it all hang out.

Blue And Green Should Never Be Seen

This is surely an example of the rhyme-as-reason effect. Why else would people be so opposed to seeing these two colors together? Consider another, more appropriate poem such as “Keen to be seen? Wear blue and green.” Here’s hoping that it catches on. While we’re on the topic of underrated color combinations, navy and black work well together too. “You’re on the right track with navy and black.” We could do this all day.

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