Joe Podelco / Lantern photo editor
OK men, so you’re not exactly sure how to dress to impress without feeling completely out of your element. Don’t panic. Your entire closet does not need to change. I guarantee that you can work with what you already have, unless you feel like going shopping for some fresh accessories.
Most importantly, every guy should have a pair of well-fitting jeans — preferably dark wash. You can wear these for almost any semi-casual occasion: dates, bar hopping and even some interviews. It all depends how you style them. For a more laid-back look, pair jeans with a Henley T-shirt or a basic zip-up hoodie. If you’re heading to a more formal affair, wear them with a classic blazer or sweater with a solid T-shirt underneath.
I’m sure many of you guys prefer sweatpants to jeans during the day. There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for sweats: length, waist and color. They should not touch the ground, but they also shouldn’t fall at your ankles. Somewhere in between usually looks appropriate. Make sure the sweats fit snugly around your waist — no one needs to see what color your underwear is today. Lastly, buy basic colors, such as black, navy, gray or white. These complement almost anything you decide to wear with them.
It seems to me that guys have more T-shirts than they know what to do with. Just make sure that under the dozens of shirts, you have some essentials. A plain white tee is the most versatile top you can own. It can be worn under a jacket, sweater, button-down or another T-shirt. Try to find at least two graphic tees to incorporate into your wardrobe to add an interesting element to any basic blazer or cardigan. I also recommend investing in a couple Henley shirts. They are extremely comfortable and will add definition to your arms, unlike most long-sleeve tees.
The coolest part of any guy’s outfit is usually his kicks. Whether they’re Nike High-Tops or Sperry Topsiders, shoes say a lot about who you are. For example, jeans and a blazer paired with colorful Nikes might say, “I know how to be serious, but I can also have fun.” It’s a creative way to express your personality, while still maintaining that polished look. Shoes do have a few guidelines that need to be followed: No socks and sandals, no socks with loafers and please, wear white socks with white sneakers. Black socks with these say, “I need to do laundry.”
I believe in wearing what makes you comfortable. Don’t change what you wear; just modify how you wear it. If you don’t like how jeans look on you, try twill pants instead. Cardigans might not be your thing, but you can wear a track jacket to achieve the same look. Work with what you’ve got and when you do decide to amp up your closet, just remember that it’s all about knowing what to look for to allow for efficient and stress-free shopping.