12 fashion mistakes that are making you look less stylish, according to experts

By Jessica BoothINSIDER

  • Most outfits have lots of time and thought put into them.
  • Whether it be mixing certain patterns or the fit of the clothing, there are things that can make your outfits look sloppy.
  • We spoke to stylists who told us tips to make our clothes work best for us.

Trying to look as stylish as an off-duty supermodel isn't as easy as it appears to be. Even the outfits that seem the most effortless weren't just thrown together - they all have a lot of thought put into them, because having a great sense of personal style is often something you have to work at.

From picking out accessories to mixing certain patterns and colors, it's easy to make a slew of common fashion mistakes that can make you end up looking less stylish than you'd like to. You may not even realize you're making these mistakes, which is where the fashion experts come in.

Of course, you can and should wear whatever makes you feel comfortable, but INSIDER spoke with a few professional stylists who pointed out some of the clothing mishaps they see most often that can make an outfit go from fabulous to just OK, and how to fix them:

If your sleeves are too long, you could look sloppy.

Many people can relate to the frustrating problem of finding an item that fits well everywhere except one spot - maybe the sleeves are too long, and you just figure you can make it work. But wardrobe stylist Katie Quinn told INSIDER that it actually does impact your look, saying,

"Sleeves should end just past the wrist bone. Even when an item fits perfectly everywhere else, a sleeve can be cut too long and make it look too big. This is an extremely common alteration that doesn't cost much and can make an item go from good-looking to tailor-made."

Leaving the product labels on clothing is almost the same as leaving the tags on.

You know those little tags found on the wrists of coats? Leaving them on ruins the effect of a beautiful piece of outerwear. Quinn says, "Occasionally, manufacturers stitch labels near the bottom of sleeves just outside the wrist that gives consumers information about the product features at a glance, typically along the lines of 'Made in Italy' or '100% Lambswool.' These tags are designed to be easily removed and are not part of the design of the coat."

Ignoring comfort completely can make you look awkward.

If you live by the motto that style doesn't always equal comfort, you may want to rethink that. Wearing something that doesn't actually fit just makes you seem awkward.

Molly Dickson, Botkier style ambassador and celebrity stylist, told INSIDER, "I think that dressing for comfort is very important. If you are wearing super sexy high heels with a cocktail dress, but you can't walk, the look ultimately fails."

Always leaving your shirts un-tucked makes your whole outfit less put-together.

Leaving every shirt un-tucked, especially longer or baggier shirts are going to look unprofessional and less than polished. A simple fix is trying the half tuck.

Top Los Angeles stylist Laurie Brucker told INSIDER, "This is probably one of my absolute favorite styling tricks. By adding this style detail into any outfit, you elongate your legs, you slim your frame, and you instantly add style to an otherwise styleless look. The trick is to take the front half of your top and tuck it into your pants, then play around with the fabric so that it drapes softly over your pant line and around the back."

Opting for clothes that are too distressed can make you look messy instead of chic.

Jeans with rips and holes may be popular, but if there are too many, you can easily come off as sloppy.

Celebrity fashion stylist and co-found/creative and style director of Athleisure Mag, Kimmie Smith, told INSIDER, "Distressed pieces of apparel and accessories add a 'cool factor' to your look, whether it's rocker or vintage. But garments and pieces that truly look like they should have been recycled make you look unkempt."

Keep the distressed to a minimum, and always add some glamorous accessories.

Leaving the vents sewn shut on coats makes it seem like you don't really know what you're doing.

You know those little threads connecting two pieces of fabric, usually found on outerwear like coats? They're supposed to be snipped so it's open, not left sewn shut -- although many people don't realize that.

Quinn said, "Vents are a design feature that allow a garment to easily move around you as you move and walk. They are sewn shut during the final stages of manufacturing to allow for easier shipping. Leaving vents sewn prevents proper movement in your coat and just makes you look silly. Snip the 'X' thread and pull the loose thread from behind to look perfectly polished."

Forgetting to add accessories is going to make your outfit look unfinished.

Accessorizing is one of the biggest keys to looking stylish.

Brucker said, "Adding those final touches to a look can instantly update, revive, and excite any outfit. Statement necklaces and earrings are a great place to start for the beginner! I always say that when you wear clothes, it's just clothes, but when you put on the accessories, you make your look an intentional outfit with personal style."

Doing a full vintage or retro look can come off as more of a costume than a stylish outfit.

Retro touches might be in, but they should be just that: touches.

Fashion stylist and costume designer Tiffany Hasbourne told INSIDER, "A nice twist to it would be mixing your vintage sweater with a skinny jean or high-waisted pant to give it a current sleek look.

"Going head-to-toe with a vintage look will have people looking at you like you are going to a costume party. Just be prepared to mix a little old with new when it's time to bring that beloved vintage item out of your closet."

Not tailoring your clothes can be a big mistake.

One essential of perfect styling is wearing clothing that fits correctly. For many, that means getting things tailored. Dickson said, "One of the most important aspects of creating a great [look] is the tailoring. Booking a tailor is the first thing my team does for an upcoming fitting. A woman can be wearing a beautiful dress, but if it doesn't fit properly, it can completely ruin the look."

Wearing coats that are too oversized can ruin a look.

Oversized coats can definitely be cool, but they have to still fit in some way. If your coat is just oversized, it won't work. Quinn said, "Overcoats are the wardrobe item that is most often bought a size too big. Customers will even say, 'I knew it looked big, but I didn't fit in the smaller size.' When this happens, the answer is to keep looking, because that coat is not the right cut for you. A well-fitting coat should fit your shoulders and still be comfortable over your sports coat or heaviest sweater."

Forgoing little stylish touches leaves your look a little boring.

Don't just put on jeans and a sweatshirt, add some jewelry, and call it a day. Add some personal touches by doing things like cuffing your sleeves or the bottoms of your pants legs.

Brucker says, "Cuffing up your sleeves, whether it's a denim jacket or a sweater, instantly elongates balance out of your outfit. This especially works great for petites as it lifts the look and creates space. Cuffing up your pant hems has a stylish effect, especially when worn with ankle booties."


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