By JEFFREY BREUER
For many young men in college, dressing “well” is a thought that has never crossed their mind. A morning’s routine consists of not much more than throwing on a t-shirt and pants, paired with whichever shoes are closest nearby. While it is absolutely fine that some young men choose not to think more about how they present themselves, I have found over my years at Cornell that many aspire to a greater sense of personal style and self-confidence. If you’ve been thinking about expanding and emboldening your style, here are a few tips to get you started:
Replace running shoes with more versatile sneakers.
Especially for first-years, this is a crucial pitfall. I cannot express how many outfits I’ve seen lose a lot of their merit because of a pair of Asics or Mizunos. Fortunately, many brands that make top-quality running shoes also offer more versatile sneaker options. For example, look into the New Balance 574, which is available in a wide array of color schemes at a decent price point. These shoes present a more purposeful look while maintaining the support and comfort that running shoes can provide. Additionally, Vans Authentics, Adidas Stan Smiths and New Balance Court 300s offer a really great look in their white color varieties when paired with outfits that have splashes of color elsewhere.
Replace white crew socks with no-show or darker alternatives.
While wearing shorts, no-show socks can provide a much cleaner look for your outfit, as athletic socks and the like can confuse formality, especially when wearing nicer-looking shoes like desert boots, chukkas or bucks. When wearing pants, darker socks tend to stand out less or can provide an opportunity to show a bit more of your personal style when dressing for more formal occasions.
Replace hoodies with sweaters or sweatshirts.
Although Mark Zuckerberg’s contribution to the Internet with Facebook has made an unforgettable impact on how we live our lives, his trademark hoodie is definitely worth forgetting. Now synonymous with being thrown on before walking out the door, hoodies can be replaced with more subtle sweaters and sweatshirts in basic colors like grey, navy and olive. Uniqlo offers quite a good selection at a very affordable price, so that’s an excellent place to start.
Replace messy hair with a classic haircut.
A great way to begin to build a cleaner look is to look towards the past. If you rarely get a haircut or find yourself tired of your current cut, try a bonafide classic like the “high and tight” for shorter hair or an “undercut” for longer hair.
Replace T-shirts with button-downs and polos.
While it might be tempting to construct a wardrobe that solely consists of t-shirts due to their simplicity, button-downs and polos offer more mature options that can be made more formal if necessary. When worn with a pair of khaki shorts or dark denim, these shirts can show your professors and classmates that you mean business.
While these options might be some of the easiest to implement, this is by no means an exhaustive list. Furthermore, the goal of dressing “better” should be more about finding your personal style rather than subscribing to another person’s opinion, so take the tips above simply as opportunities for exploration. I look forward to delving deeper into men’s fashion in the coming weeks and hope to see our campus further develop its collective sense of style.
Jeffrey Breuer is a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. When he isn’t worrying about what he’ll be wearing tomorrow, Jeffrey can be found cheering on the Big Red at Lynah Rink or digging through books about Cornell’s history for interesting facts to annoy his friends with. The Dapper Man appears on alternate Mondays this semester. Jeffrey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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