Advice On Dressing Like A Post-Collegiate Adult Male

When money's tight and your main requirement is class attendance, whatever you've got will probably do. If you're looking for guidance on getting duded up and not looking like, well, a student, an Ask MetaFilter thread has some great advice.

In response to the query of "How to dress like a man", a number of Ask MetaFilter members suggest peeking at the Put This On blog and podcast — as do we. As for their own advice, many can't go far enough to recommend that a man pick up a nice pair of shoes — not your average sneakers, boots or sandals, but actual shoes. There's a link proffered for this guide to matching shoes and jeans, and some personal anecdotes of what works:

I like to subscribe to what I just decided to name the One Stylin' Principle. The basic explanation is you take one item of your clothing and go all-out, but leave everything else normal. So, jeans and a t-shirt but some nice black leather shoes. Or, jeans and sneakers but with a fitted button-down. The idea being, Yes, I'm comfortable with what I wear, but I am going to show you that I do actually possess the shared cultural norms to look good were I to decide to do this all the time.

Handy stuff, especially for someone just getting out of school without a lot of guidance on how to dress. Women's clothing that "looks adult" is a lot more complex and varied, we've heard, but if you know of a good, simplified resource guide, we're all ears in the comments.

How to dress like a man [Ask MetaFilter]


    Wow. The guide for matching shoes and jeans is amazing. If that is considered helpful, then it's no wonder that there are so many poorly dressed men around.

    The main link has some interesting tips in it, but there are some real clangers in it: "I know you said "suit and tie" but I am a huge fan of an oxford shirt paired with a fun/colorful bow tie."

    My personal tips are:
    - Develop your own style gradually, working with what you already have. If you really don't have anything to work with, then get a couple of decent pieces (jeans, shirts), then build from that. Don't try to dress like everybody else. Sure, you don't want to look like a freak, but the people who are considered stylish don't dress like everybody else.

    - Don't follow trends too closely. It's far easier to dress stylishly if you aren't a fashion victim and don't follow every season's fashions. Update, yes, but don't jump at every fluoro t-shirt you see. This doesn't mean that you have to be conservative in your choices, but don't go for items that clearly will not stand the test of time (and waiting for it to come into fashion again in twenty years' time does not count).

    - Get inspiration from fashion magazines and websites. Don't try to be a clone, but there's nothing wrong with some inspiration. It doesn't need to even be modern fashion - if you avoid fads (much of the 1980s, flares and massive collars, for instance), looking at old photos of classic styles can give you good ideas.

    - There's nothing wrong with a little adventure. Flashing bow ties and mismatched shoes never look good, but a strong watch or pair of shoes can work wonders for an otherwise fairly plain outfit.

    - Don't skimp. This doesn't mean that you need to go over the top with buying labels or spending masses of money, but don't only shop at K-Mart, as you'll never pull off stylish dressing that way. Choose sensibly. This way clothing won't go out of fashion as quickly and ought to look better for longer.

    - Avoid prominent logos as much as possible. Subtle is better - nothing like showing off poor fashion sense like having massive brand logos on everything.

    - Don't view clothes shopping as a chore. You don't need to turn it into your main hobby, but don't shop for clothes only because your current clothing is falling apart.

    These are just a few tips that come to mind this lunchbreak. In the end, most of the general fashion tips for women also apply to men - and due to the far smaller range of styles available, it ought to be simpler to practice the principles.

    I always find that wearing a suit jacket with a pair of jeans, black shoes and a T shirt works well for this.

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