What I Wish I Knew

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Look at the picture above.  Jeremiah, on the right, looks like how I dress now, and I look like a guy who has no idea what he’s doing.  I just slapped on some colors together with no regard to how it clashes or flows.  People assume that I’ve always been stylish and always knew how to dress up, but they’re dead wrong.  When I first came to college, I wore shorts and tee shirts and was a freshman who had no sense of identity and no sense of style.  Eventually I realized that since I’m in college, I can be who I want to be and dress how I want to dress.  It took a while, but I’m still not there yet.  I’m constantly trying new things, tailoring my clothes, and I’m in this journey of self discovery with my style.  However, there are a few things that I’ve learned since my freshman year that would’ve saved me so much time in being who I am.

1.  There Is More To Wear Than Just Exercise Clothes

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I can admit that exercise clothes are comfortable and work great if that’s the look you want, but I find them boring!  They’re too simple and can’t be built upon to create new looks.  Plus I find them too baggy and baggy doesn’t feel good to me.

Thanks to fast fashion places like H&M or medium end stuff like J. Crew and Banana Republic, you can definitely dress up your look.  I never shopped my freshman year and thought that I’d have to spend thousands to get the look I want.  This is not true.

2.  Avoid Big Triangle Knots 

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Adults may say that these knots are conservative, but that is in no way true.  This came in the 70’s and 80’s and is truly gross.  Classic menswear (up until the 1960’s) had small, more cylindrical knots like the ones we show all the time. I subscribe to the four-in-hand knot:  It’s the only way to do it.  Big knots give weight to your neck and takes up a lot of room in your outfit.  Keep a small knot gents.

3.  Buy Suits With A Figure

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I don’t care if your suit was from Mens Wearhouse or Nordstrom, your suit should cut a nice figure.  Don’t buy a suit just because you like the color or pattern; just make sure it fits first!  Look at this khaki suit here.  It has a box cut.  The color is nice, the tie is okay, the light blue works, but it doesn’t give me any sort of figure.  It makes me look like a freakin’ box!  You don’t have to buy a skin tight suit, but you’ll give yourself a complete makeover when you buy a suit (or blazer) that accentuates the body you have.  Or better yet, buy one that gives that illusion.

4.  Buy Shirt With a Figure

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Doesn’t matter if you’re skinny or buff, but a baggy shirt will make you look fat.  Like the box cut suit, this shirt is doing you no favours.  Luckily, this can be solved by simply buying a size smaller or buying “slim fit shirts”.  It will do wonders to your look.

5.  Never Button Your Bottom Button

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This is not a fashion tip, this is an order.  Do not button your bottom button on a suit.  Your suit is meant to cinch at one point: the top button.  Buttoning the top button gives you a natural waist, closer to your belly button.  The “X” crease it makes provides a central point on your body.  Buttoning two buttons (or all three on a three button jacket) gives you two waists on your body, making you look stuffy and about to burst.  ONLY button the top and leave the bottom one alone.  

6.  Never Wear Suspenders and A Belt

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They both serve the same purpose.  Just pick one.  You don’t wear contacts and prescription lenses at the same time do you?   If you’re that concerned about your pants falling off, I suggest buy new pants or get them tailored to fit better.  If you feel your suspenders are too weak to hold your pants up, then buy freaking stronger suspenders.  Better yet, get ones that actually button into your pants rather than the clip ones.

7.  Learn To Match, Not Clash

UntitledGosh dang, I had the worst time in this department.  Everyone likes putting colors together, layers on layers, and etc, but you gotta learn how to do it right.  Come on, black and brown with navy blue shirts and a pink bow tie?  Trying a little too hard there, Past Ethan.

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Even this one is crazy thanks to that grey hat.

8.  If You’re Wearing a Tie, Tuck in Your Shirt

UntitledSeriously, I see guys do this all the time.  It’s pretty gross and looks sloppy, not classy.  It’s like make a decision:  Keep it cool and casual with an untucked shirt and jeans, or keep it clean with a tucked in look!  And look at how big that cardigan is!  Always buy clothes that fit, whether its shoes, shirts, or pants.  

9.  Tuck in Your Shirt if You’ve Got Layers

UntitledThis one is good, until you look to the bottom:  I didn’t tuck in my shirt.  Your shirt should never extend father than the layer you put on over it.  It’s just sloppy, hanging your shirt out.

10.  Get Socks That Aren’t Black

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Raj has definitely had a hand in this revelation.  Before, I just assumed that you could only wear black dress socks when being classy.  Little did I know that there was a whole world of modern patterned socks that can instantly add another piece to an outfit.  Keep away from your dad’s boring socks guys, there’a polka-dots, stripes, and others out there waiting to be used.

11.  Hem Your Freaking Pants Already 

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All of these looks ruined by the final detail of having pants that are too long.  Like I said before hemming your pants can do wonders to your body.  If you don’t, you will surely look sloppy and look like you’re wearing your dads pants. It’s the final detail that can make or break your outfit.

If hemming isn’t your thing, try cuffing your jeans.  This doesn’t work on dress pants, but it can give you a hipster, street vibe when you wear your jeans.

Conclusion

So there you have it guys.  I didn’t get to where I am today over night!  It took a long time of getting into my groove, trying new sizes, getting a tailor, and just being around guys like Rajesh and Tim who have helped me grow into the person I am today.  Hopefully, you’ll be able to learn what not to do thanks to this post and that you’ll continue to be educated and exposed to new ideas and new styles thanks to this blog.  I definitely could have used this when I was younger.

As I embark into the real world a little wiser and a little more stylish, I can only hope that I will continue learn and evolve into the guy I want to be, not only in style but as a person.  I wish the same to you guys!

So tell me which is your favourite tip!  Any pictures of me look particularly bad?  Do you wish you learned something when you guys were starting out?  Let us know by commenting below!

Always a pleasure,

Ethan W.  

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