How to Dress for College Men

There are many guys out there who are completely clueless about clothes and style. It’s a disappointing fact that men’s confidence level and even success with attracting women could be boosted if they would only pay attention to the clothes they wear every day and while out at bars and clubs. In college, the competition amongst guys who dress well is sparse indeed. Just walk around on any college campus and you will see the same repetitive looks or slovenly appearances that aren’t doing these guys any favors. This post is going to serve as an introduction on how to dress while in college or when you don’t have too much money but the principles are applicable to those of you who have money to spend as well.  The key of this approach is to keep your wardrobe both simple and versatile, so even if you don’t have much money, you can still look great. Also see: Getting a GF in College

Common Men’s Fashion Problems

The way that you are dressed will have some effect on how people perceive you. The problem for many guys is that they are either unaware of how they dress is having consequences on their appearance or they simply don’t care. It may be a shallow part of life, but, how you dress will have an impact on how you are both treated and the amount of attention you receive from the opposite sex.

The Size of the Clothes

For most guys, the fit of their clothes generally runs on the too baggy side of the equation. Other guys opt for clothes that are too tight. Either way, you are completely hurting you look by not getting the right fit. Don’t believe me? Go to your closet and find a shirt that you know is too baggy. Try it on. Then try on a shirt that is more fitted to your body. Notice the difference? Baggy clothes make your body lost in a sea of cloth; they sag, and just make you look bad all around. If you’re overweight, I know you may think the baggy clothes will help to hide your body, but the larger sizes just make you seem bigger. If you’re in that boat, consider getting into shape, and finding clothes that fit and help you look your best. The most important thing about the size of your clothes is simply trying things on in front of a mirror. Even t-shirts of the same tag size can look way different depending on how the shirt was cut. For instance, I know that Adidas shirts tend to look really blocky on me because I am tall but other shirts have a great fit with the appropriate length. How your clothes fit is the single most important aspect of having style and looking good. I don’t care if you have a $300 dress shirt, if it isn’t fitted properly, I can grab a $20 dress shirt at Target that is fitted for my body and will look way better. Oh, by the way, you totally can rock a $20 shirt and attract women left and right.


There are two factors to consider with color: your skin tone and how you will coordinate it with the rest of your outfit. Based on your skin tone, there are colors that will make you look terrible and others that will just work perfectly. Personally, with my fair skin, I know that red (if I don’t offset it with something else) will make me look washed out. This is a very important concept to grasp. Some colors work well with fair skin while others work better with dark skin. It’s not that you can’t wear certain colors at all, you just have to be able to not go overboard with it. Here’s quick article about color and skin tone. Color coordination is another big factor for dressing well. Your shirt may be perfect in fit and color for your skin tone but paired with the wrong pants, your outfit will look awkward. Color coordination takes some time to learn but once you’ve established the basics you’ll get the hang of it: Color coordination.

Spending too Much On One Piece

Having a signature piece of fashion such as a watch is great. However, when you have a limited budget it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot on one shirt, so that you have no money left over to complete your wardrobe. When you’re on a tighter budget you will have to look around and leverage sales and other special offers to add pieces of clothing to your rotation. That $80 shirt may be nice but you aren’t going to wear it seven days a week. So, find some less expensive items that you can turn into multiple looks with ease.

Clothing Categories for Your Wardrobe

Fitted T-Shirts Fitted t-shirts are the most basic staple of a man’s wardrobe and can be used for a super casual look. Gap and Calvin Klein have some really good fitted t-shirts that aren’t too expensive, as does American Apparel.  White and black are the colors that you should have. You can wear these t-shirts with jeans or pants, and include sneakers or boots. Doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Graphic T-Shirts The next step up from a basic t-shirt. As I’ve said before, fit and color are important when considering what clothes to buy but try to keep your graphic tees unique as well. Skip those ‘logo tees’ you see at places like American Eagle or Aeropostale because they are so bland and commonplace. Those designer t-shirts with the design house logo or emblem on it are a waste of money too, why pay 50-100 bucks just for that? Urban Outfitters usually has some good graphic tees in stock, though they can be hit and miss. Here are some graphic tees from around the web that’ll work well as an example:

Where to buy graphic tees: Karmaloop, Urban Outfitters, Pac Sunwear, Topman

Button Ups/Dress Shirts These should be a staple in your wardrobe. Button-up shirts can be worn casually or when you need to dress up. When it’s cold these shirts can be layered with a pull over sweater and when it warm they can be worn alone with a pair of shorts. If you go to college night at a bar or club, you will see many guys wearing an oversized polo or really tight muscle t-shirt. A simple way to stand out is by opting for something like an Oxford shirt, un-tucked with the sleeves rolled up. Pair that with an accessory like a watch and some unique shoes and you will have an effortless look. As far as colors go a light blue shade works well with a variety of different pants and shoe colors, so that should be a definite. Gingham and plaids can be versatile additions as well. Here are some shirt examples:


Pull-over sweaters are important during the colder months of the year. They can be worn over a t-shirt or with a collared button-up to layer. Use color coordination to layer your shirts, so for instance, wear a gingham shirt and a navy or black pull-over to really help the collared shirt stand out. Honestly, an Old Navy pull-over is passable and can look quite nice when paired correctly.


You don’t have to wear skinny jeans, just find pairs that fit. Different washes and cuts will give you different looks, so have a few on hand in order to mix and match with your shirts. If you have the money, consider investing in some designer jeans because the quality and durability can be noticeably better. Levi’s makes great jeans that fit well and won’t fall apart on you like some others will.


Start with the basic black and khaki. From there add shades of tan, brown, and grey. While you can get away with a more baggy fit with jeans, pants should be fitted so that you get a good look with them.


Have one brown and one black as a minimum.


Here’s basically what I try to have in my shoe collection: (one pair of each) trainer, white sneaker, nice boots, dress shoes. I’ll buy others as funds allow but that’s the basic setup. Basic white sneakers are pretty versatile, so when you don’t have too much money, they are a safe bet to get the most bang for your buck. Here are a few styles I like:

Trainers/Sneakers are good for both working out and a more casual look. Going to class and just hanging around campus are a few places to rock trainers. Also see, the Best Nike Running Shoes for Men

Boots can add a ton of style to a basic outfit. I’m not talking about cowboy boots or Lugz, rather, a pair of stylish boots that can be worn casually or with something more dressy. Here are some options in boots:


It’s not all about what you wear, in fact, a lot of what determines how you look has nothing to do with the clothes at all. The length of your hair and its style can have a dramatic effect on how you look and even how old people perceive you to be. Find a modern style that you could wear in several ways, not what happens to be trendy in the moment.

If you have facial hair, keep it neat and under control. Growing a beard or a moustache can really help to shape your face and give you an older look, however, it can look bad if not properly tended to.

Obviously, shower on a daily basis. Brush your teeth, floss, and rinse with mouthwash. Wash your face to keep you skin clear. Deodorant and a nice cologne which I have gone over here.

You can really take fashion as far as you want but you’ll always be well-dressed if you just keep it simple. Remember that fit and color will go a long way to making you look sharp, add in great grooming and you will have it at least 90% there. Get down the basics first and then you can expand and refine your style.



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