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Men’s fashion: Splurge on your style

Courtesy of MCT

As the season changes and the temperature drops, it’s time to prepare your near-adult self with the basic attire that will keep you warm outside and set you apart from the visiting high school seniors.

Stores such as J. Crew, Banana Republic and Macy’s are your best bet for finding the affordable basics that will last you years. I know what you’re thinking, “How is an $80, navy blue V-neck sweater in any sense affordable?” Let’s put it this way: it’s affordable because you only have to buy it once. This $80 sweater will stay with you for the next 15 years if it’s treated with the correct wear and care, which is hardly more than $5 per year. That’s about $30 dollars less than the thin, less sturdy versions you’ll find at stores such as Urban Outfitters or H&M that will lose their fit after wearing them more than three times.

The important things to remember when shopping at stores with price tags more closely resembling your weekly paycheck are to know what you’re shopping for and to keep your blinders up from distractions. Really, there’s hardly a need for any 20-something, college-aged guy to have a $42 linen pocket square or anything with “100 percent cashmere” printed across the label. What you do need are the basics that you can wear daily and that won’t go out of style a year after their purchase. Remember, if something’s only going to be cool and relevant for the duration of the summer, it only has to last for the span of those three months. If you’re looking to follow a trend, go to the stores who sell them for less. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself for not splurging on a snap-back by this time next year.

What you do need for the fall are some sturdily crafted sweaters, a few solid oxford shirts and some nice-fitting, dark-washed jeans.For the sweaters, go with something plain and monotone. There’s definitely nothing wrong with wearing a bold pattern every now and then, but if your student-sized budget can only afford two, you’ll want to make sure those two sweaters are going to match nearly everything in your closet. Your safest bet is to go with a navy blue and a gray, as having both will ensure a good match with any outfit. While the gray will go with almost any color combination, navy is a good, casual color that will pair well with anything expect black.

Oxford shirts, commonly called button-ups, are great because they can be dressed up or down with incredible ease. They aren’t something that can layer well under a business-formal suit, but they can be classy enough to be tucked into a wrinkle-free pair of chinos and paired with a striped cotton tie. While a solid white will always be your safest bet, a blue or tan version will match with almost just as much.

A dark, well-fitting pair of jeans is always a solid investment because you can wear them for days at a time and no one will have the slightest clue that it’s been a month since the last time they’ve made contact with a washer and dryer. The secret is to find a pair that won’t stretch out and tear after a week of wear.

To sum it all up, when shopping for a new season, and the weather that comes with it, it’s important to distinguish between what you want and what you need. Proportion your money toward the cool-weather basics that will keep you warm walking to class, and save your money on the trends you’ll regret owning when reminiscing through your college Facebook photos.

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