Looking Sharp at College?

I love your style advice but I’m still at college and there’s just no way I’m going to be wearing a suit to class. It’d be way out of place. What can I do to look sharp without trying to dress like I’m on Mad Men?

2 Replies to “Looking Sharp at College?”

  1. Suits are out and neckties probably shouldn’t be a wardrobe staple, but you can get a really nice look by just updating the same basic jeans-and-sweatshirt/flannel look everyone wears to the next level of formality:

    Trousers: Replace baggy jeans or shorts with dark, close-fitted jeans or light-colored cotton trousers. Colored corduroys work well too, if you feel like a more flamboyant style.

    Shirts: Upgrade from T-shirts to patterned cotton dress shirts. They don’t have to be business-level formality, but something with buttons up the front and a turn-down collar frames your face and body nicely.

    Jackets: Swap a hoodie or flannel out for a light cardigan sweater or a casual sports jacket. Corduroy works well here too, as do cotton twill jackets and casual wools like tweed. Stick a loosely-folded pocket square in the jacket to complete the image.

    Shoes: Casual leather looks a lot nicer than canvas or rubber. You don’t have to spend a ton of money; just a plain brown leather blucher will set you apart from most of your peers.

    For special occasions, break out a necktie (or a bow tie, if you’re feeling daring). By that point people should be used to seeing you dressed a little more nicely than the average student, so it won’t shock them too badly.

  2. We’ve done lots of advice for students at the Real Men Real Style blog and YouTube channel — try this video from the YouTube channel for a start, and feel free to check out the blog for more advice!

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