STYLE | GIRLFRIEND

Reader Question

    College Guy Style: Three Outfit Wardrobe Upgrade

    28th November 2012

    Today, Gabi tackles a co-ed’s style question…

    Reader Nick asks,

    I’m in college and I’d like to greatly upgrade my wardrobe to improve how I dress around campus and out at the bars. Are there three outfits you can recommend that I can buy that will help me right away???

    If only all guys were like you, Nick. Thank you for asking. Really. Per your request, I’ve created 3 looks to wear when you’re out and about, out of your dorm room:

    1.  a casual cool look for class

    2.  the classic guy’s guy look for going out

    3.  a clean cut look for a date

    Good news is you probably already have most of this stuff in your wardrobe, it’s just that maybe you don’t know how to style it. I highlighted the items I think you are least likely to own, so you can add them to your wardrobe ASAP. If you DO own them I applaud you and but if you don’t YOU TOTALLY SHOULD. 

    1. You start your day in class, and here’s what I recommend you wear.

    Pants: Obey, $68
    Flannel: Gap, $50
    Henley: H&M,$20
    Sneakers: Vans, $45
    Belt: Topman, $24
    Backpack: Herschel Supply, $55

    Any effort beyond sweatpants is appreciated, but if you go the extra mile I’ll go out of my way to sit next to you. Classrooms can be pretty chilly, so feel free to layer with a henley and a flannel; kangaroo pocket hoodies are not attractive. Casual sneakers can be worn (practically) everywhere except the gym, where you have to wear actual running sneakers. You should only wear running sneakers when you are actually trying to sweat, not just sweating. Anything that requires a belt – such as jeans – is great, but these pants are way more fun, and the first thing you need to add to your wardrobe:

    Essential College Wardrobe Item #1 COLORED PANTS

    Even if you’re not super confident or outgoing you can wear these. I’m even willing to say ESPECIALLY if you’re shy you should wear these, because then you don’t have to go out of your way to introduce yourself.

    Girls will come to you.

    The brightness of color is your call; Feel free to go with a bright mustard yellow or this muted burgundy. Now, you may be intimidated by what to wear with some color pants, but it’s actually pretty simple. The short and simple answer is a neutral. Black, white, grey, brown and oatmeal go with everything, end of story. The slightly longer and slightly more impressive answer is any color. Yes, that answer appears just as long as the first one but that’s because there are a bunch of weird secret rules that vary from person to person so they’re really more like guidelines and it’s really just about experimenting. Like college.

     

    2. If you wear this out on guy’s night you aren’t going to need a wingman.

     

    Jeans: H&M, $20
    Shirt: H&M, $6
    Jacket: ASOS, $70
    Shoes: Clarks, $145
    Belt: Urban Outfitters, $12

    Jeans are an obvious choice, and the right one. Just make sure they are straight-leg, dark denim (as if it hasn’t been drilled into your head enough). A plain tee can be one of the most attractive things a guy can wear, as long as it fits right. Throw a little something over, such as this next item you should own:

    Essential College Wardrobe Item #2 Bomber

    This is such a shamelessly classic America jacket I just find myself falling in love with it and any boys wearing it. Yesterday I watched The Dreamers starring Michael Pitt (No relation to Brad), and there’s a scene where he wears one of these (in this color) and he became my new celebrity crush. It looks great with just a tee, but it can be dressed up with a collared shirt. It reminds me of a high school letter man jacket, but stripped down without the semantics for the bad boys who didn’t play sports. And as we all know, all girls love a bad boy.

    Finish the look with some casual shoes, like simple sneakers or these:

    Essential College Wardrobe Item #3 Wallabees

    When I first saw these online I thought nothing of them. It wasn’t until I was walking to class and wiping the sleepies out of my eyes that I looked down and saw a boy wearing these and decided I really really like them. They are like the perfect alternative to those moccasins that everyone seems to wear in college that really should be reserved for walking from your dorm to the bathroom because they have absolutely no sole or soul amiright? This kind has both a chunky sole and a sexy foreign soul from across the pond.

     

    3. This outfit can be worn on a date but it can also get you a date.

    Pants: Gap, $35
    Shirt: Hawkings McGill, $49
    Sweater: H&M, $35
    Shoes: Clarks, $120
    Belt: Martin Dingman, $50

    Girls put effort into their regular, everyday outfits, but they put in A LOT of effort for date night. They won’t express it – and maybe not even until you’ve already been dating them a while – but they want you to, too! Shave, use some aftershave, iron your shirt, tuck it in, wear a belt! And wear some fun textures. These pants are moleskin, and I don’t know what the feels like, so you can totally be like “hey, feel my pants, they’re moleskin!” and I won’t have a second thought about it. Wear a cashmere or neppy sweater and I’ll be more inclined to put your arm around me than you are. You can even wear the sweater solo, but if you want to step it up a notch (which, YES, you do) pair it with an OCBD.

    Essential College Wardrobe Item #4 OCBD

    ABBREVS 4 LYFE! An Oxford cloth button-down is perfect for all occasions, including date night. I don’t want to see you in a business shirt: this isn’t business, this is intimate. OCBDs can be both, and everything else, so use it to your advantage. And get them in every color. You won’t regret it; Trust me.

    Essential College Wardrobe Item #6 Chukkas / Desert Boots

    Now, if you’ve been on this site long enough you’ve seen Megan’s love for these shoes, which is so immense it accurately shows the love all women have for these shoes, including those who have never heard of them. I’m seeing them pop up now more often than freshman year, and it’s a good thing. Hop on this bandwagon now before all your friends do, but then invite them as soon as they notice yours. Their ladies will thank you.

    • http://www.twitter.com/iPodschun Derric

      Wish I had this post (and site!) when I was in college.

      As far as stocking up on OCBDs, JCPenney’s new jcp line and Target’s Merona brand are good options in the $20-25 range. I have Merona shirts and like them a lot, and next time I’m shopping for shirts I’m going to grab some jcp ones as Joe at Dappered really likes them.

      • gabi meyers

        The new JCP catalog is AMAZING! It’s actually sitting next to me right now

        • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

          Agreed! JCP gets a bad rap (I think, at least), but I’ve always liked it.

          • http://www.twitter.com/iPodschun Derric

            Their other brands have been hit or miss for me, but I really like everything I’ve seen of the new jcp line. Have a pair of the jeans (slim-straight in dark blue, of course) on the way.

          • http://www.twitter.com/iPodschun Derric

            Their other brands have been hit or miss for me, but I really like everything I’ve seen of the new jcp line. Have a pair of the jeans (slim-straight in dark blue, of course) on the way.

        • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

          Agreed! JCP gets a bad rap (I think, at least), but I’ve always liked it.

        • average joe

          the new JCP cataloge is amazing because AHEM, Nick Wooster is now in charge http://www.mrketplace.com/32888/nickelson-wooster-joins-jcpenney-as-mens-creative-director/

        • average joe

          the new JCP cataloge is amazing because AHEM, Nick Wooster is now in charge http://www.mrketplace.com/32888/nickelson-wooster-joins-jcpenney-as-mens-creative-director/

      • gabi meyers

        The new JCP catalog is AMAZING! It’s actually sitting next to me right now

    • ChrisReetz

      Great, reasonably priced picks. The ASOS jacket and the VANs sneakers stand out as must-haves – really, I want it all, but what can you do?

      Wearing the appropriate button down shirt (business shirt v. OCBD) for the occasion / outfit is something I am learning. Nice for you to point that out as it’s a good reminder for a beginner such as myself.

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        I’m very on board the asos train lately as well..

        • ThirdCoast

          I feel out of the loop that I never heard of Asos until now. Their store brand clothes looks like H&M. Inexpensive though so I just bought some “smart” shirts to check out the quality.

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        I’m very on board the asos train lately as well..

    • ChrisReetz

      Great, reasonably priced picks. The ASOS jacket and the VANs sneakers stand out as must-haves – really, I want it all, but what can you do?

      Wearing the appropriate button down shirt (business shirt v. OCBD) for the occasion / outfit is something I am learning. Nice for you to point that out as it’s a good reminder for a beginner such as myself.

    • Brett2142

      Breaking Bad has kind of permanently associated Wallabees with Walter White for me

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        ha! that’s hilarious. I don’t watch that show, but is that like, Walt’s thing?

        • Zachary

          It is. The Wallabees and his khaki colored zip up jacket. It’s kind of like a racer with a regular pointed collar. If you find one on the internet for me, you’ll have my eternal gratitude!

        • Zachary

          It is. The Wallabees and his khaki colored zip up jacket. It’s kind of like a racer with a regular pointed collar. If you find one on the internet for me, you’ll have my eternal gratitude!

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        ha! that’s hilarious. I don’t watch that show, but is that like, Walt’s thing?

    • Brett2142

      Breaking Bad has kind of permanently associated Wallabees with Walter White for me

    • RIGuy71

      So do you or don’t you tuck the OCBD shirt in with a sweater like pictured in date night? I’ve seen it both ways. Personally, I like it tucked in, but my 15 year old daughter is saying no. :

      • gabi meyers

        tuck it in! I’m sure your 15 year old daughter also approves of justin beiber’s purple skinny jeans ;)

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        oh my gosh, yes please tuck it in. let’s not get sloppy!

    • RIGuy71

      So do you or don’t you tuck the OCBD shirt in with a sweater like pictured in date night? I’ve seen it both ways. Personally, I like it tucked in, but my 15 year old daughter is saying no. :

    • Dan from Wisconsin

      Hey Gabi, those moleskin pants register as about twice the price you listed at when I check them out at the Gap. Great recommendation though! Why am I so excited about brown pants

      • gabi meyers

        Ah, they must have been listed as the Black Friday price! Sorry about that!

    • TJ

      I don’t know about wallabees. I’ve just never liked them. Desert boots and chuckas are great, but I just can’t get into them. I don’t like the shape or the look.
      I really like bombers. I have an old leather bomber that my grandpa wore in the war. I really need to take that out and fix it up. Speaking of jackets, how do you feel about baracuta barrington style jackets. I don’t have an actual one but it is a knockoff and looks pretty close.

    • JW

      I’ve definitely been looking for a casual coat. Thanks for the recommendation. Casual sneakers will be next!

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        Casual sneakers are a good investment. You don’t beat them up as bad, so you’ll have them for a long time!

    • JW

      I’ve definitely been looking for a casual coat. Thanks for the recommendation. Casual sneakers will be next!

    • Zachary

      I own some Land’s End moleskin pants. They’re really soft. Moleskin is that stuff you put on your shoes when they give you a blister.

    • Zachary

      I own some Land’s End moleskin pants. They’re really soft. Moleskin is that stuff you put on your shoes when they give you a blister.

    • Clueless

      College guy readers – what are some things you’re wanting this christmas?? I picked my 19yo nephew in the kris kringle and have no idea what kids these days are into. Any $100-ish suggestions?

      • Zachary

        Video games are usually a safe bet, I think. And a bunch of good ones came out this season, so ask his parents what he’s already got. Kind of impersonal, but hey, we’re guys.

    • Clueless

      College guy readers – what are some things you’re wanting this christmas?? I picked my 19yo nephew in the kris kringle and have no idea what kids these days are into. Any $100-ish suggestions?

    • Dennis

      Megan + Gabi,

      How about a list for post-college? It’d be great to see your picks for guys in their mid to late 20′s and 30′s.

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        Good ask, Dennis. We’ll get on it!

    • Dennis

      Megan + Gabi,

      How about a list for post-college? It’d be great to see your picks for guys in their mid to late 20′s and 30′s.

    • Steve

      I say don’t tuck the shirt in… haha… looks good with the tails peaking out under the sweater, and like you’re not trying to hard.

    • Steve

      I say don’t tuck the shirt in… haha… looks good with the tails peaking out under the sweater, and like you’re not trying to hard.

    • Rick

      I loved the bold choice of color in the pants for the first look, it was nice to see this color coordinated into an outfit. Usually the looks here are very very safe but this one was refreshing.

    • Rick

      I loved the bold choice of color in the pants for the first look, it was nice to see this color coordinated into an outfit. Usually the looks here are very very safe but this one was refreshing.

    • Matt S

      College life? I still live and die by Oxford button-ups, merino wool v-neck sweaters, and desert boots.

      • http://www.stylegirlfriend.com Style Girlfriend

        It’s true; those items belong in guys’ closet at every age!

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