The 13 biggest mistakes you're making when you get dressed every day, according to stylists

wardrobe clothes closet
Some small mishaps could be ruining your entire outfit.Shutterstock
  • Business Insider spoke to stylists about common fashion mistakes people make when they get dressed.

  • One expert said tucking sweaters in all the way around can make your outfit seem bulky and lumpy.

  • Skipping accessories and jewelry can make your look seem plain, according to one stylist.

Unfortunately, it's easy to unwittingly sabotage your outfit with a single fashion misstep.

But there are also plenty of easy ways you can level up your style game while avoiding wardrobe faux pas.

Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when getting dressed and how to avoid them, according to stylists.

Rolling your sleeves instead of folding them can make your overall look appear sloppy.

rolled sleeves no
Rolled sleeves can look bulky.Getty/Royalty-Free

TV fashion stylist Dawn Del Russo told Business Insider that rolling isn't actually the best way to adjust your sleeves.

"Don't roll your sleeves — fold them. The best rolled-sleeve look is attained when you unbutton the cuff and fold it up two cuff lengths. Then fold the bottom up halfway and fold the cuff over that," said Del Russo.

Try to remove wrinkles or scuffs before wearing something.

steamer steaming clothes
Removing wrinkles can be pretty easy.Shutterstock

"If you can't steam it, buff it, or cover it, don't wear it. Details differentiate the good from the great," Nicole Russo, a New York-based personal stylist, told BI.

Tucking your sweater or blouse all the way around might make your look appear chunky.

sweater tucked in
There's a right way and wrong way to tuck, according to stylists.Shutterstock

Tucking in your top can be a shortcut to looking polished, but there's a catch.

"Most people will tuck a top in all around, which creates bulk in weird places. For sweaters, use a skinny belt worn high up and pull the sweater over to create the illusion of a tuck," said Del Russo.

And for a blouse or thinner top, Del Russo told BI, you should pull most of the shirt's fabric toward the back and tuck that into your pants or skirt.

Proper fit is important and should not be overlooked.

Getting clothes tailored can be seen as an investment.DragonImages/ iStock

Samantha Brown, a New York-based wardrobe stylist, told BI that one of the biggest mistakes people make when getting dressed is not appreciating the necessity of a good fit.

"Wearing something that's too large or too small will never look stylish and pulled together," she told BI.

Short of having all your clothing made to measure, you can achieve a near-perfect fit with off-the-rack garments simply by taking them to a tailor for alterations.

Pairing flared pants with flats might make your look seem unpolished.

wardrobe mistakes
Styling wide-leg and flared pants isn't always easy.Edward Berthelot / Contributor / Getty Images

"A common mistake is wearing flats with any pant silhouette that flares at the bottom, e.g. wide-leg, bell-bottom, boot-cut, or cropped flare pants. This usually makes legs look shorter," said Andrea Seemayer, stylist and founder of A.Lynn apparel.

She said she recommends wearing these types of pants with a heel, but if you don't like heels you can also try wearing a platform shoe, or a low wedge that can add a hint of height without sacrificing comfort.

Skipping accessories and jewelry could lead to a boring look.

woman clutch purse patterned pants
Adding a few tasteful accessories to an outfit can take it from fine to fabulous.Shutterstock

Though some people may be worried about going overboard with accouterments, Brown told BI that most people could stand to add a bauble or two to their ensembles.

"I find that most people are under-accessorized. The proper jewelry, scarf, handbag can completely elevate an outfit. Don't skip the completer piece," said Brown.

An outfit that's tight or loose all over might give you an imbalanced look.

baggy outfit
Try mixing your proportions to keep your outfit chic.Edward Berthelot / Contributor

Though you should always wear what makes you feel confident, Russo told BI that an outfit that sits close to the skin all over the body can end up looking unbalanced.

"Think proportions — don't mix tight with tight. If the top is tight, go looser on the bottom and vice-versa," she said. In the same vein, pairing a boxy top with a flowy skirt or wide pants can end up creating a bulky look.


If you choose to wear a bra, make sure it functions well with your outfit.

You wouldn't build a house on shaky foundations, so don't build your outfit on top of the wrong kind of underwear.pruit phatsrivong/Shutterstock

"Wearing the wrong bra under a top can look bulky and distract from the style of the top. And of course, a bra strap showing is always a no," said Del Russo.

Ideally, a bra should disappear beneath the fabric of your top while supporting your bust and preventing any accidental skin exposure.

Silk and wool might look great together, but the combo could feel uncomfortable.

no wool and silk
Try pairing wool with something else.Jeremy Moeller / Contributor / Getty Images

Although it may look great, wearing a silk blouse with a wool blazer might feel like you're rubbing a static balloon on your stomach all day.

"Wool is a common cause of static electricity with silk. Wearing the two together causes the silk to cling and become uncomfortable," said Seemayer.

You may want to pair your silk garments with cotton or another textile instead.



Always check the transparency of your clothes before you wear them.

woman butt leggings
Always check to make sure your pants aren't sheer.patrone staff/iStock

"Lighting can play tricks on you. Even though a garment looks opaque in the dressing room, when you arrive at the office with the fluorescent lights, it could be completely transparent," fashion stylist Soneca Guadara told BI.

To guard against wardrobe malfunctions, check your outfit under different lighting before leaving the house and reach for an undershirt, camisole, or slip when in doubt.

You should always check the weather before getting dressed.

clear plastic lace up heels boots umbrella
You might want to weatherproof your look if it's going to rain.Daniel Zuchnik / Contributor / Getty Images

Checking the weather before selecting your outfit can help you feel as comfortable as possible.

"Sweating in too many layers? Ruined your suede shoes in the rain? Getting insight into temperatures will keep you more comfortable and looking better," said Russo.

If you live somewhere with unpredictable weather, it may be worth stashing an extra pair of waterproof shoes or a lighter layer in your car, bag, or office for sartorial emergencies.


Dress shirts should almost always be tucked in unless you want a super casual look.

untucked shirt
They're usually designed to be tucked in.iStock

Unless you're going for a particular kind of ultra-casual look, Guadara told BI that you should never leave a dress shirt untucked.

"Dress shirts were designed to be tucked in ... leaving your button-up dress shirt hanging out of your pants or skirt just looks sloppy and very unprofessional," said Guadara.

If you can't bring yourself to completely tuck your shirt in, try a half-tuck down the front of your pants or skirt. This style appears slightly more intentional than leaving the shirt hanging down freely.


Waiting until right before you have to leave to select an outfit might lead to a sloppy overall look.

clothes outfit on bed
There's often no need to rush and put outfits together right before you leave.Shutterstock

"Planning an outfit the night before or even thinking through these factors as you shower in the morning can help streamline the process of getting dressed," Brown told BI.

Doing so also gives you time to consider factors like the weather, where you plan on going, and what garments you have clean and ready to wear.

This story was originally published on December 12, 2019, and most recently updated on January 26, 2024.

Read the original article on Business Insider