3 Random Sartorial Mistakes That Bother Me


As we head into this holiday season, with shopping and gifts on the near horizon, I want to point out a few pet peeves of mine. They are simple areas of improvement that can benefit guys everywhere. Not major investments, they are more simple behavioral changes; minor yet still egregious sartorial errors that people make on an all too regular basis. So, before you get that fancy overcoat or pick up some new shoes, please read this first.

My first pet peeve is something that should be fairly obvious to most men, but unfortunately is not. Should you receive a sport jacket or overcoat that has not yet passed through a tailor’s hands, please snip out the basting stitches which keeps the various vents and pockets sealed shut during shipping. Though the fact seems to escape some men, let me be clear: they are supposed to come out. Pockets are meant to be opened as are vents. Particularly annoying to me is when I see some guy out on the street in a dark overcoat with its rear vent stitched closed with a big white X. It makes me want to carry around scissors all winter long.

Another outerwear issue which I simply cannot fathom is wearing a short ski parka over a suit jacket. The effect of this totally inappropriate clothing choice creates a tutu-like effect with the skirt of your jacket; not to mention the damage and wrinkled inflicted on your good clothing. This look is simply juvenile, incongruous, and in a word, laughable. Your outer coat should always be longer than the suit jacket or sports coat.  Please don’t do this.

Lastly, a big pet peeve of mine is fake dress shoes. You know the ones – trainers doctored up to look like oxfords. I hate to break it to you, but you’re not fooling anyone – really. It just looks wrong for so many reasons, not the least of which is that when those awful shoes are sighted, whatever else you have on is more or less ignored.

Men often complain about dress shoes being uncomfortable, which to me means that they are wearing the wrong shoes. Dress shoes should be comfortable all day long. Are they just like a pair of sneakers? Of course not, but you don’t wear sneakers with a suit – well, actually in some cases you can but that’s for another day. If you have persistent arch pain or other foot issues, see a doctor and consider investing in some bench made footwear or custom orthotics.


Chris Hogan, an association executive based in Washington, D.C., blogs at OffTheCuffDC.com. A lifelong interest in style and clothing led to sales and management positions at several Ralph Lauren stores and an active wardrobe consulting practice