suit set with sneakers outfit

Avoid These 21 Common Fashion Mistakes for a Stylish Wardrobe

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Mistakes: We all make them. And while some are weightier than others (say, wearing your clothes inside out all day versus accidentally sending a sensitive email to the whole office), it’s fair to say that we’d all like to avoid mistakes if we could. Though fashion mistakes may not matter as much as other mistakes in life, they do count. And here’s why: Have you been feeling stuck in your style and frustrated with the way your outfits look? Do you feel like you could do better but you don’t know how? It could be that you are unknowingly creating one of these “fashion mistakes”. So, let’s uncover them together, as well as the fashion fixes you need so you can banish wardrobe woes for the last time.

And just so we’re clear: These are “mistakes” (for lack of a better word) that are common and usually thought of as such. At the end of the day, what ultimately matters is not what others say or think about you, but how you feel in what you wear! This post is not intended to get you to change what you love; it is meant for those who are not in love with their style and want to make changes.

Okay, ready to begin?

1. Wearing Too Many Trends or Logos at Once

blue button down and white linen pants outfit summer

Unpopular opinion alert: Embracing too many current trends or logos at once can make you look insecure. Why? It appears as if you need to fit in and gain the approval of others by wearing what’s popular. Not only that, but too many trendy pieces and logos take a stylish outfit and turn it into a cluttered and confusing one.

Does this mean you should avoid new trends and logos like the plague? Of course not! I’m not against a trendy or splurge moment, and if you aren’t either, then just stick to one or two trends or logos at a time to keep your look cohesive. Dress for yourself, not social media.

2. Wearing an Ill-Fitting Bra

It’s a common fashion mistake we’ve all faced at one point or another. Wearing a bra that looks like it’s trying to cut off your air supply can mess up any outfit.

It’s time to show some love to what lays underneath, because a well-fitted bra not only gives you that extra oomph (mentally and physically) but also smoothens out your silhouette, making any top or dress look a hundred times better. Do yourself a favor – get measured by a pro and invest in the best bra brands. Your wardrobe (and your back) will thank you!

3. Wearing Clothes That Are Too Baggy

jumpsuit and clogs outfit

Thanks to Gen Z, the baggy clothes trend is like pineapple on pizza; you either love it or question humanity’s choices. Though some may say that baggy clothes are stylish and “in” (ultimately, you get to decide), the truth is, baggy clothes are hard to pull off in a flattering way, and for most, they come across as frumpy, ill-fitting, or the wrong size. Simply put, oversized clothing can make you appear larger than you are.

However, the pendulum doesn’t have to swing to the other side and you certainly don’t have to wear tight everything. More on that below!

4. Wearing Clothes That Are Too Tight

Just like how wearing clothes that are too baggy can potentially be unflattering, wearing clothes that are too tight is also problematic. This can not only make you look uncomfortable (discomfort is never a good look), but it can highlight imperfections and insecurities as well.

Instead of too-tight clothing, opt for clothes that fit well and flatter your figure. Proper fit is important for a polished appearance and overall; we just want to enhance your silhouette and body type! We don’t want clothes to be too baggy or too tight. Skimming the body is justtt right.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the “rules”. You can still wear oversized clothes or very fitted clothes – just try to keep balance and proportions in mind. For example, if a clothing item is balanced out with the opposite fit, this generally results in an aesthetically pleasing look.

An oversized t-shirt with biker shorts or a tight top with a flowy maxi skirt are a few examples of how this works.

5. Wearing an Outfit Straight off the Mannequin

striped shirt and espadrilles outfit

You saw an outfit you liked on the mannequin at Target so you bought the whole thing. Though there’s nothing wrong with knowing what you like, not mixing and matching your clothes to create a unique look is a common fashion mistake.

It’s okay to have a style that is reminiscent of a certain style icon or brand, but you don’t want your outfit to be so specific that someone would say, “Yep, she got that entire outfit from Target.”

Mixing and matching different pieces can create versatile and stylish outfits, so don’t be afraid to experiment with new combinations! Mix and match clothing styles, brands, colors, textures – everything.

6. Not Wearing the Right Colors for Your Skin Tone

Luckily, my season (winter) aligns with my favorite colors (black and white), but even if your favorite colors don’t line up with what you’re “meant” to wear, just remember that understanding the right colors for your skin tone is meant to help you – not restrict you.

If bright colors wash you out and all you wear is bright colors, then that could be why you feel as if you never look your best or your outfits always look off.

Wearing the wrong colors can cause dark shadows on your face, wash you out, or clash with your skin tone, so to fix this common fashion mistake, understanding if you are cool-toned or warm-toned is an important first step. Then, you can see what season you fall under and ultimately, find the right colors that flatter!

And even if you don’t want to follow the color palette all the time (I don’t), at least you know a few “wow” colors that make you sparkle should you want to shine for a special event or occasion.

Want to learn more about what season you are? I have a resource to help with that!

7. Not Dressing for the Occasion

cocktail dress hotel photoshoot flash photography

Nobody wants to feel out of place but unfortunately, dressing inappropriately for the occasion can do just that. Ignoring the dress code is a major fashion faux pas that screams, “Help, I didn’t read the invite!”

Consider the dress code, weather, and context when choosing your outfit for a big event. It’s not about losing your personal style but adapting it to play by the rules, ensuring you shine appropriately without sticking out for the wrong reasons.

If you really want to stand out, throw your own party and make up the dress code rules. Don’t be the only person that wears black to a white party because you want all eyes on you!

(And if you have to Google “What is business casual wear?” or “What do I wear to a tea party?”, there’s no judgment here. You’re just using the tools at your disposal.)

8. Overlooking Proper Grooming

Though it may seem like a no-brainer, grooming is an essential part of your overall appearance.

If you want a put-together look from (literally) head to toe, pay attention to your hair, nails, and skincare for an effortlessly beautiful look that complements your outfit, instead of detracts from it.

9. Not Dressing for Your Body Shape

striped shirt and shorts parisian summer outfit

Wearing clothes that are the right size for your body is important in avoiding common fashion mistakes, but that’s just a piece of the fashion puzzle.

It’s important to dress for your individual body shape as well as to highlight your best features. Are you a rectangle? An hourglass? Petite? Plus size? Somewhere in between?

Understanding your body shape is the best solution to avoiding the most common fashion mistakes so you can make clothing choices that reflect your own style and make you feel comfortable, confident, and happy!

Knowing your body shape can help you avoid ill-fitting clothes and help you determine what jeans are best for your shape, how to flatter your tummy, and then some.

Need help knowing what body shape you are? I have a resource to help you!

10. Wearing Too Much Makeup

There’s a time and a place for a glam look, but for your day-to-day life, heavy makeup can age you and easily look overdone.

Instead of caking it on, opt for a more natural look to enhance your features. Better yet, embrace the Parisian way of skincare and makeup!

11. Ignoring Your Personal Style

leopard print maxi slip skirt outfit with adidas samba sneakers

With all this talk about fashion rules and common fashion mistakes, you may think that your style doesn’t matter. Not true! Your overall look is only as good as you feel.

Don’t wear a certain color if you hate it. Try not to be swayed by trends if they don’t align with your personal style, inevitably leading to a wardrobe full of clothes you won’t wear and a wallet full of…well, less money.

It’s important to dress in a way that not only reflects your personality and style preferences, but your lifestyle and budget too. Keeping up with the Joneses is so last year.

12. Wearing Wrinkled Clothes

Going that extra mile to ensure a put-together look can be annoying, but it’s worth it. Maybe your clothes sat in the dryer too long (guilty), resulting in wrinkles, or perhaps your “closet” is really just a pile of clothes on the floor. Whatever the reason, wrinkled clothing can make you look sloppy and unkempt.

For a polished look, take the time to iron or steam your clothes before wearing them. Of course, there are some materials that wrinkle naturally. Linen, a natural material, wrinkles and that’s okay; it’s just part of the charm.

13. Not Paying Attention to Proportions

oversized linen blazer and shift summer dress

We’ve touched on how to balance oversized and fitted clothes, but there’s more when it comes to paying attention to proportions. Because I know what you’re thinking, Do I always have to pair something tight with something fitted from now on?

Short answer: No

Longer answer: Yes, wide-leg pants with a fitted top is a good look, but there are multiple ways to achieve a good look. Proportions are about balance. And though wearing a long blazer with a long dress (pictured) doesn’t sound like “opposites”, it works because I’ve balanced out the look with skin exposure on the bottom, creating a visually pleasing look.

As another example, wearing a long sweater with a long skirt may sound like it can overwhelm a frame, but there are small details that make this look work. Opt for a sweater with slits on the sides to “open” up the outfit, or choose a top that has a cropped, asymmetrical cut to make the outfit feel flowy and free instead of frumpy and stuffy.

Proportions are really helpful when it comes to creating a balanced outfit. Just start experimenting to find what works best for your body!

And while you’re at it, consider your accessories as well. We’ve all been there – lugging around an oversized bag that’s more suitable for a weekend getaway than a coffee run. Sure, we adore having room for our essentials (and then some), but when your bag starts to resemble a stylish piece of luggage, it might be time to reconsider, especially when that said bag is starting to swallow you whole.

Opt for a bag that flatters your frame and enhances your outfit, rather than one that could potentially swallow you whole. Think about proportions and select a handbag that balances your look, giving you that chic, put-together vibe without compromising on functionality.

14. Following Every Fashion Trend

Usually, following every fashion trend that the industry presents is a clear sign that you don’t feel confident in your own personal style. As a result, you keep “trying on” the next thing and the next thing, hoping that one will make you fit in and have that Eureka, I found it! moment.

But the truth is, not every trend will suit your personal style or body shape, and trying to force yourself into something you’re not only leads to a confused and overwhelmed outfit, not to mention a confused and overwhelmed mind!

Simply put, sparingly choose trends that complement your aesthetic and skip the ones that don’t.

This is also a great time to accept that we are all different in terms of tastes, bodies, and styles. Something may work amazingly for a friend and not for us, and that’s okay.

Say it with me now: Good for her, not for me.

15. Clinging to Outdated Trends

suit set with sneakers outfit

Since we’re talking about trends…holding onto outdated trends can make you look (and feel) out of touch.

Yes, it’s true that everything comes back around (capris, I’m looking at you), but it doesn’t mean you need to partake or hold onto everything in hopes that it comes back.

(Unless you truly love it and in that case, wear it no matter what the trend cycle says!)

A common fashion mistake is not making gentle wardrobe swaps to update your wardrobe with modern pieces for a fresh look. Though I’m not a fan of a fast-fashion-continuously-buy-and-toss-to-get-the-next-thing mentality, there are some instances where a few newer pieces can do your wardrobe some good, such as taking a break from skinny jeans and introducing a slim, cropped, or wide-leg into your rotation.

Or better yet, invest in the wardrobe basics for a wardrobe you rarely have to keep updating!

16. Not Investing in Quality Basics

Quality basics are truly the foundation of a good wardrobe. And though everyone has their own budget and idea of quality, the motto of “fewer, better” is certainly a good wardrobe principle to follow.

Instead of getting caught up in the fast fashion roller coaster (exciting, but tiring after a while), invest in well-made pieces that will last for years to come. Whereas low-quality fabrics can cheapen your look and lack longevity, high-quality materials make for a polished and lasting appearance.

Have you considered a capsule wardrobe? It may not be for everyone, but it’s a great idea if you want to focus on high quality wardrobe basics that you can mix and match to have endless, stylish looks.

Related: Everything You Need To Get Started With Your Capsule Wardrobe

17. Sacrificing Comfort for Style

linen shorts and clogs spring outfit

Yes, we all want to look stylish (it’s the point of this post after all!), and it’s true that the way we feel about ourselves dramatically impacts the way we live, act, and interact with others.

While it’s important for our mental health to look stylish (however that looks to us personally), it’s also important to feel comfortable in our clothes. So what should you do? Find a balance between style and comfort in your outfit choices. After all, comfort is key to feeling confident in your outfit.

It may take some trial and error to find the pieces that are comfortable for you to wear while still remaining stylish, but it’s worth the hunt. Some of my favorites are knit dresses, elastic waist pants, jumpsuits, and matching lounge sets.

18. Choosing the Wrong Underwear

I don’t think we should feel bad if our undergarments show (Hello, we wear them. It’s not a secret!), and sometimes it’s just unavoidable.

But it’s true that very visible panty lines can detract from your outfit. The solution? Embrace the magic of seamless underwear (or a thong if you can tolerate it) for a smooth silhouette. These undercover heroes work wonders in creating that flawless finish under your most body-hugging dresses or those slinky silk pants.

So, before stepping out, make a quick mirror check part of your routine. After all, it’s the little things that elevate your style from good to great.

19. Wearing Too Much Jewelry at One Time

thongs shoes spring summer outfit

Ever found yourself in a sea of bangles, necklaces, and rings, feeling more like a walking jewelry stand than a style icon? It’s easy to go overboard but remember, the key to accessories is intentionality.

Overloading on jewelry can detract from your outfit, make you look tacky, and overwhelm your look.

The solution? Opt for a few well-chosen pieces to complement your look. We’re not against a sparkly moment, just stick to a key piece when adding that touch of sparkle.

To effortlessly pull off bold jewelry, opt for that one statement piece that screams “you” and let it take center stage. If it’s a chunky necklace you’re donning, ease up on the earrings. Got an armful of bracelets? Maybe skip the rings. It’s all about creating harmony in your look. Think of it as curating an art exhibit of your favorite pieces rather than showcasing the entire collection.

20. Not Experimenting With Different Styles

So, you’re stuck in a style rut but you’re hesitant to try anything new. Not experimenting with different styles can be a fashion mistake because it limits your creativity and self-expression!

Fashion is more than just a means to an end when it comes to putting clothes on your body in the morning; it’s a form of art, and by sticking to a single style or look, you may miss out on the opportunity to explore new textures, colors, and silhouettes.

When you’re in the beginning stages of discovering your personal style, experimenting with different styles allows you to discover what works best for you and helps you develop your own unique style sense.

Are you a seasoned style expert? Experimenting with new things also prevents you from falling into a style rut and keeps your wardrobe fresh and exciting.

Either way, trying out different styles (without abandoning who you are) can help you discover what flatters your figure and suits your taste. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. You never know what stylish surprises you may discover along the way.

21. Wearing Leggings as Pants

stirrup leggings as pants outfit

Navigating the leggings-as-pants territory requires a bit of finesse and a good dose of fashion sensibility to pull it off, but don’t worry leggings lovers, it’s not impossible!

While leggings offer plenty of comfort, it’s important to style them in a way that leans more chic than gym-ready (unless you are, of course, heading to the gym). Pairing them with a top that covers your bum and hits your thigh ensures you maintain both modesty and style, preventing any fashion mishaps.

Consider layering with another layer – such as a chunky sweater, blazer, or a breezy tunic to keep your ensemble balanced. And don’t forget, the fabric matters too – opt for thicker leggings to avoid any see-through surprises.

Fixing These Common Fashion Mistakes

Avoiding common fashion mistakes is essential for crafting a polished and put-together look. (And who doesn’t want that!) By avoiding pitfalls like frumpy clothing, low-quality pieces, and improper fit, you can elevate your style, and even better, elevate your confidence in your appearance.

Want to elevate your style even more? Up Next: 7 Ways to Elevate Your Style (And What You May Be Doing Wrong)

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Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making mychicobsession.com a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.