How to Create a Basic Wardrobe to Transition from Late Teens to Early Twenties

Two Parts:Building Your WardrobeAccessorizing

Are you a man wondering how to look more grown up while still maintaining a cool youthfulness to your dress style? Read on and all will be revealed.

Part 1
Building Your Wardrobe

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    Get a few basic solid-colored t-shirts. These are great for casual activities, such as going to the beach, to the park, or gym, etc. Have at least one for each day of the week.
    • A t-shirt is a "t-shirt"; that is, $10 buys you a shirt of good quality and usually made of cotton.
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    • They should fit snugly to your body. The neck part of the shirt should cover most of your collar bones, the length should be between the button of your jeans to the middle of its zip. Avoid large patterned shirts, in general. they more plain they are, the easier to mix and match them up with other clothing. Try to go for v-necks, which are more stylish than circle necks.
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    Buy some plaid shirts. Go with long sleeved button down shirts with colored checkers on them. Use these for activities in between business and formal... like going to college, church, dinner, the library, etc. Generally, get a shirt which ends somewhere in the middle of your pants zipper, with one pocket on the left side, with multiple darker and lighter layered patterns, although it is more up to personal preference. The price tag is often a good indicator, as better looking ones tend to be more expensive. Unless you live in a colder climate, get the thinner ones, which will allow you to wear all day comfortably without sweating.
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    Ensure you've got office wear. Get a few plain shirts if you got desk job. Recommended colours are light blue and white, but you may get other colours if your dress code is more relaxed. However, try to stick to very very light, pastel colours. If you simply must have some pattern, try a textured pattern, such as a white shirt with white textured stripes, to give it a more fancy but subtle look.
    • Also, even if it is not a job requirement, try investing in a blazer jacket. Sooner or later you will need one. A two buttoned, single pocket jacket will be nice. Recommended colours are black, grey, and very dark navy. Even if you are a student, dressing up with one will present you better during lecture presentations.
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    Buy some shorts. Wear shorts that have a buttoned and zipped mechanism, much like that of a pair of jeans. They should be of a decent thick quality material, and reach to cover about half of your knee. Wear this to casual occasions such as to Starbucks, hanging out at the mall, casual lunches. Pair with t shirt to dress it down, pair with flannels to dress it up.
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    Get good jeans. Dark blue, or grey straight cut jeans. The most pattern you should have is a fade at the thighs. Wear it to semi-formal occasions like dinner, library, hanging out, just about anywhere except formal occasions, work, and the beach. Match with a t-shirt to dress it down, a flannel to dress it up, and a blazer over a t shirt to dress it up.
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    Don't forget formal pants. Wear un-pleated, straight leg black pants for formal wear. If you do not want a pair, get a pair of pants that matches with your blazer.
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    Think about shoes, too. Get at least one pair of dress shoes, black. Wear with jeans and blazer, or dress shirt, with or without blazer. If you have other colored blazers and dress pants, get a pair of light brown shoes. Grey clothes go very well with dark brown shoes.
    • One pair of casual shoes, such as boat shoes, sneakers, moccasins, or loafers. If you can afford it, try to get two, one pair to go with black clothes, and one pair to go with other color clothes. For example, a blue shoe might match a black t-shirt and jeans, but will not match a red or green t-shirt. A black or dark shoe would match most colors, and a light brown shoe will match most colors that black do not.
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    • Slipper shoes look like loafers, made of canvas with rubber soles. They are really flimsy, and to be worn where you would wear a typical flip-flop slipper. They look WAY better, and keep the dirt from sticking to your toes. Do not get sandals, flip flops, or thong slippers. This is the most casual you should go.
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Part 2
Accessorizing

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    Get at least one tie, which matches your blazer. The width of the widest part of the tie should be the same as the widest part of your blazers lapel.
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    Don't forget belts. Get at least 3 belts:
    • One for the formal attire, make sure it matches your formal shoes. Hold it up with your shoe, and if it looks pretty much like the same material, its suitable. Try to avoid too fancy belt buckles.
    • Get at least one, or two casual belts. Choices are more relaxed here, but try to match them with the shoe you are wearing, sneaker or whatever.
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    Consider jewelry.
    • For necklaces, try to avoid anything too sparkly, and try to keep the diameter of its largest part smaller that the length of your two finger joints closest to the fingernail. Also, don't wear chokers, and its length when worn shouldn't go lower than your nipples.
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    • For earrings, keep it simple, silver metals are the best for fair skinned individuals, darker skinned people might also want to consider gold colors. Try to avoid precious stones.
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    • For bracelets, think similarly to how you do for necklaces, except the largest piece should not exceed the your largest fingernail (not including your thumbnail).
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    • For rings, try to stick to plain metal bands. Wear them on your ring finger. Advisable to avoid other fingers. Wear only one at a time.
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    Get some sunglasses. Strive to attain at least a pair. Even wearing a pair with shorts and a tee will dress it up while still looking casual. The pattern and shape will be up to you. There are other guides for this.
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    Be careful about tattoos. Make sure they can be covered up at the office. Do not get them on your face, lower back, palms, hands in general, or neck. Go to a reputable tattoo artist, for the sake of the quality of the tattoo. Its permanent.
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    Avoid certain undesirable accessories. Do not wear any of the following: dangly earrings, tongue rings, other facial rings, navel ring, chokers, head bands.
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    Always keep some good jackets around. Wear fitting and comfortable that keeps you warm, it doesn't really matter if its leather, or wool, or some mix. Generally try to keep it darker than your shirt and pants. Exception if it's a white jacket.
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    Wear a nice watch. That way you won't have to check your phone all the time, which can be considered rude in social or business settings.

Tips

  • Treat your unibrow.
  • Long or short, keep your hair neat.
  • Match your belt with your shoes.
  • Keep your facial hair neat.
  • Match your sunglasses and other jewelry with your shoes.
  • For casual situations a messenger bag will suffice. For business situations get a good leather (or faux leather) briefcase. Don't wear a backpack.


  • Match your clothes with your shoes.
  • Throw out, sell, or donate any clothes that do not fit, are too old and soiled, or smell bad, or have holes. That way, even in a rush, chances are you will not pick anything bad to wear because everything is good!

Article Info

Categories: Fashion Styles