Lets face it. A college classroom isn’t the place to go to see the modern day pinnacle of men’s fashion. You wake up 20 minutes before class, throw on the sweatshirt and jeans combo that you may or may not have worn yesterday, a baseball cap to diffuse any presumption that you haven’t had your hair cut in the last 2 months. Is it the worst thing in the world to be fashion unconscious in college? No. But do you want that lady professor to give you a break on the paper you wrote the morning it was due? The chic sitting next to you, who despite waking up in that frat boy she met at the bar last night’s car, has matched her college sweatshirt perfectly to her sneakers, to notice you? Well it couldn’t hurt to give the impression that you at least thought about putting yourself together. I’m here to help.
Here are some quick and simple additions to your wardrobe that won’t necessarily get you in a GQ mag, but they may make you seem like you read one. And if your just finding out that women are shallow, sorry buddy, the world is a sad place.
Men’s Fashion: Black Cardigan
If like me, your go to outfit in college is a zip up hoodie thrown over whatever it is you decided to sleep in, a black cardigan is an easy and fashion-sensible alternative. It has throw over potential, it matches almost anything, and looks awesome with jeans.
On your worst day you could throw it over a plain White T and still look mildly awesome, but it’s best to go more creative. Wear it over a solid button down or even a flannel if you’re looking to make a statement. Just make sure whatever you wear under it is not primarily navy or brown. As I will repeat multiple times in this article, BLACK DOES NOT MATCH EVERYTHING! Just most things. Start with the cardigan and the fashion will come.
Men’s Fashion: Brown Shoes
When I was a kid, my dad sat me down one day and gave me some advice that I will never forget. He said “Always pull out, and a nicely polished pair of black shoes will match anything.” Well Dad, you were wrong. Not only do black shoes not match everything, but there are some things they look pretty awful with (and as I might add, pulling out just isn’t the same. Isn’t that what abortions are for?). If you wear brown, navy, or really any blue to make it easier, what you need is a nice pair of brown shoes.
Black shoes with everything and anything on God’s Green Earth is the most common mistake I see with men. This is why brown shoes are probably thee easiest way to show that you’re a step above. Personally, I like a round toe, but square toes are more common right now, which means they’ll be easier to find cheap. Go dark but not too dark. Wear them with brown, blue, and green. Just like black shoes they go awesome with jeans. Just remember this rule of thumb: If when you look in the mirror, you see an asshole wearing black shoes with shit that doesn’t match them: wear your brown shoes.
Men’s Fashion: Slim Fit Jeans
Let me first make a fashion distinction between Slim Fit Jeans and Skinny Jeans. Not the same thing. Slim Fit Jeans will be snug but not hindering, and make you look like you didn’t just roll out of bed, despite the fact that you may very well have just rolled out of bed. Skinny Jeans will make you look like a Jonas brother and while they can look awesome, you have to be skinny to wear them, and they are certainly not necessary. Slim Fit Jeans are awesome because they go with everything (unlike black shoes) and they are easy and stylish (unlike pulling out).
Slim Fit Jeans are the obvious sign of someone who, while clothes shopping, actually thought about how their clothes fit them. If you were fashion conscious in the store, then who is anyone to assume that you weren’t fashion conscious this morning? Get one light pair, and one dark pair. Do test-runs to see which looks better with which outfit. Just try to be suave when red sweater-red sneakers chic tells you she wants to get in them.
Men’s Fashion: Skinny Ties
The fat multi-patterned ties of the 80’s and 90’s have been laid to rest, and replaced with the way more stylish, and tastefully retro skinny tie. Your job at Ruby Tuesdays most-likely doesn’t require you to dress business casual but thanks to the skinny revolution, your lack of dignified employment does not mean you can’t rock a tie. It just means you have to dress it down.
My personal favorite casual fashion tie usage is under a sweater. Start with a solid colored sweater and find a shirt to match it. It doesn’t have to be a perfect match, rather, you would be better-off with colors that just go well together. You could go with a solid shirt but a patterned shirt (preferably flannels or stripes) will get you more of a notice. Then, just find a tie that matches either the sweater or the shirt. Both would look cool but this will inhibit your versatility and is not necessary. Example: Brown Sweater, White and Blue Shirt, Solid Blue or Solid Brown Tie. Add some dark jeans and your recently purchased brown shoes, and you my friend are good to go.
Experiment a little. When in doubt, ask your sister, or that super hot girl down the hall who told you that you were “like her big brother”. Trust me, you’re not getting her anyway.
Now go my slightly more fashion conscious brothers. AND DON’T LET ME SEE YOU WEARING BLACK SHOES WITH BROWN OR BLUE AGAIN!
Check Out More From Daniel Caufield: Top 5 Career Lies For The Single And Unimpressive