I remember life back then:
- Living like a real adult
- Making money (not asking for it)
- Facing new decisions & challenges
- Being judged non-stop on your IMAGE.
Yep – that last one is a big deal.
Your image is more important than you may have been taught earlier on.
If you want to make an impact on this world…
And start strong while you’re young…
You have to be perceived as someone who can make an impact.
Don’t let clothing issues get in the way of your reputation (both in and out of the office).
Follow these 10 style tips for young men below.
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Style Tip #1 – Have Self-Confidence
Before anything else… understand that a big chunk of style depends on a confident attitude.
Self-confidence doesn’t just help you engage with women. It’s an internal driving force for remembering who are you are, what you stand for.
When you’re in sync with your sense of purpose, it sends a strong signal that affects the “aura” you give off – and even the clothes you wear.
So how do you build that confidence? Start by learning from a good mentor. An older guy who exudes confidence the second he makes eye contact with anybody (without coming off as arrogant).
Entering the real world – you’ve got to open your eyes to the inconvenient truth: books are always judged by their covers.
Appearances do matter. Especially when it comes to first impressions.
Isn’t a good personality still important? Absolutely. But some people won’t ever be exposed to it if they can’t see past your lackluster “cover.”
To nail first impressions, your style and image have to work within society’s system of what’s acceptable – what’s expected of young professionals.
You want to dress in a way that can easily grant you those precious seconds to sell a thought, make your case, and influence others.
That means you must stick to crisp, clean, and well-fitted clothing. That’s what encourages people to take you more seriously. Any young doctor, lawyer, consultant or salesman needs to understand this.
It also matters to dress appropriately for your age. If your wardrobe screams “student” or “teenager” – you’re going to be treated like you’re still a kid. You need dressier clothes that show your maturity so you’ll gain the respect and trust of everyone (older and younger).
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Style Tip #3 – Level-Up Your Footwear
Still wearing running shoes all the time (even when you’re NOT running)? Explore other options.
Why? It boils down to a traditional school of thought that’s still alive and well these days: you can judge a man by his shoes.
People see shoes as a way of measuring your net worth – or assuming your career and social status.
So I believe in spending good money on a pair of high-quality dress shoes. It’s a classic type of footwear that works for nearly all occasions.
A pair of quality leather shoes is one of the best investments – provided it’s durable and comfortable to wear for many years (with nothing more than some light cleaning and the occasional shine required).
It’s not just about looking sharp. These shoes represent attention to detail, and how carefully you present yourself (not giving people any reason to ridicule your young age or starting salary).
Style Tip #4 – Take Care Of Your Clothing
In general, being young means you’ve got less disposable income. Budgeting is a must.
But at the same time – there’s no excuse for not keeping your clothes in great shape.
With just a few bucks, be selective with buying things such as wooden hangers for your suits, shoe trees for your shoes, a reliable iron, and detergent.
And then there’s the free stuff – information. Be educated on ironing your shirt properly (so you don’t end up ruining the fabric or leaving marks).
Those bits of information go a long way – sparing you from making costly mistakes in the future.
Style Tip #5 – Nail The Fit
At home, you might still enjoy wearing those baggy shorts or oversized shirts even though you have slimmed down…
But outside, remember that fit is king. It’s your top concern in the style pyramid (before you think of fabric and function/style) for any clothing item.
Rule of thumb: If it doesn’t fit (and can’t be slightly adjusted to fit) – do NOT buy it. It won’t work.
Style Tip #6 – Own A Well-Fitted Suit
No matter what your job is, you’ll most likely wear a high-quality suit at some point in life.
So if you’re going to buy one, make sure it’s a classic suit. Consider factors like notch lapels, the proper length of the jacket (the back side shouldn’t completely cover your butt) and a clean, consistent stitching (check this by opening the vents and breast pocket).
For any suit that’s off the rack – do take the time to have it adjusted. Some department stores still offer the service, but chances are you’ll need to find a tailor independently.
Skilled tailors would know how to make small changes that take it from “mediocre” to “perfect for you.” They could even turn a ten-dollar suit from the thrift shop into a staple of your dress wardrobe. That’s right – it doesn’t matter where the suit comes from. As long as it looks amazing on you!
Note: Be careful in picking the color of your suit. You wouldn’t wear something bright or flashy to a funeral or corporate event. Make the best choice based on the relevant occasion and your shoe color.
Style Tip #7 – Choose QUALITY Over Quantity
What good is a wardrobe that’s oversaturated with items that either (A) don’t feel good to wear or (B) are difficult to match with one another?
The truth is it’s pretty much a dump – where the good stuff gets lost in the mix while the rest have to be cleared or replaced. While you’re still young, this is one of those mistakes you’ll be glad you made. Because it gives you the wisdom to make better purchases (even beyond clothing) at an early age.
But also – you should aim to build your own interchangeable wardrobe which includes:
- A good core of white and blue dress shirts (the backbone of most sharp outfits)
- Simple ties with dark shades of blue, green or red (a small repeating pattern is fine)
- Jackets, trousers, shoes with the right colors and textures (which don’t clash with your shirts)
This system provides a set of all clothes you’ll need 99% of the time – and every single piece is something you’ll enjoy wearing.
Style Tip #8 – Get Rid Of Worn Out Clothing
Certain jean styles might’ve been trendy during your teenage years (like tears, holes or distressed looks).
Eliminate those pants (or clothes with similar styles) from your closet right away. You want to move past that rebellious, individualistic phase for good.
Upgrade your legwear by sticking to what works: clean, well-fitted indigo jeans.
Also get a couple of dark-colored slacks or chinos (either straight or slim fit) to add some variety.
Style Tip #9 – Throw Out T-Shirts & Hoodies
We know that Mark Zuckerberg normally comes to work in a gray hoodie – as if he was running a local gym instead of Facebook.
But how many men like Zuckerberg are on this planet? Exactly…
The average guy doesn’t have such privileges – and will be judged in a negative way if he wears UN-dressy shirts or tops.
That includes different hoodies and t-shirts (especially graphic tees). To play it safe, donate the majority of those items to charity. Save a small portion for home or gym use.
Your focus should be on having different well-fitted casual button-downs and long-sleeved sweaters. You can also opt for sports shirts or polo shirts during warmer days.
Style Tip #10 – Ignore Fashion Trends
Finally, don’t fall prey to the whimsical whims of fashion.
Mainstream fashion trends change too fast to really become staples of your style. And young men can’t afford a complete wardrobe overhaul every month. So avoid anything that doesn’t survive past an “in” season (like skinny ties and jeans).
Stick to timeless clothing pieces and classic colors, patterns, textures, and combinations (those which have existed since your parents’ and grandparents’ younger years) – since those will never disappoint.