4 valuable fashion rules to live by

Whether you are setting out to make a favorable impression or just being comfortable in your skin, your fashion says a lot about you.  Fashions change, but certain fashion-sense nuggets never go out of style.

 Check the tags to ensure they receive the proper care.
Check the tags to ensure they receive the proper care.

The following pointers, courtesy of Be Fashionable Global Network, will help ensure you are always your fashionable best.

 Don’t ignore the tags

Have you ever pulled out a t-shirt from the dryer to find its two sizes too small? This could have been easily avoided if you had looked at the tags before tossing it in with the rest of your clothes.

There’s more to the tags at the back of your collar than the size. It holds the special care instructions that keep your clothes lasting longer. Although it can end up looking like an alien language, there’s a rhyme and reason behind these symbols. The trick is learning how to read them, so you know how to care for your clothes.

For simplicity’s sake, the dry cleaning symbol is a circle. Most pieces sporting this will need to be cleaned by a professional.

Check the tag of the shirt you’re wearing now – it likely has far more symbols than a single circle. Each one indicates the different washing, drying, and ironing instructions for the fabric.

If you aren’t sure what they mean, look it up. Print out a copy of it and hang it in your laundry room, so you never mistake a ‘dry flat’ garment for something you throw in the dryer at its permanent-press setting. It’ll save you from trying to pull off shrunken or pilled clothes as deliberate fashion choices.

 Don’t forget the French Tuck

First made popular by Queer Eye’s Tan France, the French Tuck is a simple technique that can totally change your look. If you haven’t already watched the show, it’s a way of tucking a small portion of your shirt into the front of your pants or shorts.

“It’s going to balance your proportions and help you look taller and leaner,” France says in the series.

Now, to be perfectly clear, this maneuver doesn’t work on every shirt. The French Tuck is at its best when paired with a casual look. When in doubt, there’s no harm in experimenting – although you may catch some side-eye if you’re in a professional setting.

 Don’t blow your paycheck on clothes.
Don’t blow your paycheck on clothes.

Don’t use all your paycheck on clothes

Who doesn’t like coming home from work every night to find their online order waiting for them at their door?

Although online shopping makes curating your style super convenient, it can put pressure on your finances if you end up indulging your need to shop too often.

Once you get in the habit of clicking ‘buy now’, it can be hard to stop. You’ll use up more and more of your budget until you’re no longer contributing to savings but dipping into them whenever you see a new must-have. Once you clear your savings out, they won’t be able to help when an emergency comes.

Luckily, there’s always a financial backup for these financial emergencies, including installment loans and lines of credit. But looking good shouldn’t come at the cost of your finances. Your style should fit your budget just like a bespoke suit fits your frame.

Check in with your budget to see how much you can afford to spend on clothes. Money management apps like Mint make it easy to track your expenses and figure out what your finances can handle.

Don’t automatically buy a suit off the rack

With your finances fresh in your mind, you’ll want to cut some corners when shopping. As one of the most expensive pieces in a man’s closet, the suit is often the first item on the chopping block.

 Don’t run the risk of buying a suit off the rack… it may not fit you properly.
Don’t run the risk of buying a suit off the rack… it may not fit you properly.

The option to buy one off the rack comes with a lot of savings – at least from its initial price point. However, by going for the cheapest option, you run the risk of getting a suit that doesn’t fit you. Nothing quite makes a bad impression like a man swimming in his suit jacket or wearing pants that pool around his feet. You’ll look a kid wearing his dad’s clothes.

While a tailored suit is more expensive, it’s measured to fit your exact body shape. A tailor will alter it to sit perfectly on your frame while accentuating your best attributes – and hiding the unflattering ones! As long as you don’t lose or gain weight, it will likely look good on you for a lot longer than an off the rack suit. There’s also a chance you won’t stand next to a colleague in the office and realize you’re wearing the exact same suit.

That being said, the initial investment in a made-to-measure suit may not fit your new budget. If you aren’t ready to drop that kind of money on this piece, make sure you shop for an off the rack suit, being sure to discuss it with a knowledgeable sales rep.

Although they may be simple, these fashion faux-pas can impact your style. From washing things incorrectly to buying a suit off the rack without care – don’t get caught doing them. When you can kick these habits from your life, you’ll look your best wherever you go.