As a high school senior I would often fantasize about what college guys would be like and how they would put high school boys to shame in both style and maturity. Turns out, they don’t. They still think farts are funny, they still play video games for way too long and they still think jeans and a t-shirt are appropriate in every situation.
After only a year of college under my belt I’ve seen way too many guys wearing the same giant t-shirts with the same smelly sneakers with the same old jeans to not reach out a helping hand. Let me help you!
1) Buy A Button Down Shirt!
Most guys don’t realize the power of the button down. Besides putting on a suit, which I’m sure you don’t want to wear everyday, the button down is one of the few ways to automatically appear classier and more mature than your peers. Trust me, if you’re the one guy rocking a button down in a sea of ketchup-stained t-shirts girls will be all over you like white on rice!
2) Wear Tighter Clothes That Fit You!
I’m not saying wear a tank top or a muscle shirt straight out of the Jersey Shore, but girls enjoy some eye candy just as much as guys do. When you’re wearing a giant t-shirt that could double as a parachute we can’t see your body. Whether you’re wearing a button down or a t-shirt make sure it does not sag way below your butt. Your shirts should stop at your hip. And although your shirt shouldn’t be skin-tight, make sure it flows closely around your body.
3) Find Out What Colors Look Good on You
I’m not asking you to run around and ask people if you’re a summer, spring, fall or a winter. Just find out which colors look best for your skin tone! There is a reason that girls choose certain colors and avoid others. Wearing a select group of colors based on your skin tone and eye color can really make a difference. Some colors will go well with the undertones of your skin and make the color of your eyes really pop while others may do the opposite. So, learn what colors look best on you and stick to those colors. Knowing what color family looks best on you will not only make you look better, but it will also make shopping easier when a shirt comes in every conceivable color and you have no idea which one to choose.
*But please don’t be that guy that finds out that red looks good on him, so he buys two hundred bright, red shirts at the nearest Target and calls it a day. Find out which colors look good on you then explore different shades of that color. Your friends may not care or notice if you’re wearing the same color everyday, but girls will.
4) Be Careful With Hats
I’m not saying never wear a baseball cap. I know that along with jeans and t-shirts baseball caps seem to be the bread and butter of the college guy’s wardrobe. But you need to realize that hats may not be suitable in every occasion. If you’re going to go out on a date or any other similar occasion when you’re trying to make a good first impression you need to leave the cap at home. Besides causing a serious case of hat hair, which is a huge pet peeve for all girls, baseball caps are painfully casual. No matter how put together your clothes look, wearing a baseball cap will more than likely undo it. So, wear them in casual situations if you like, but not on any type of special occasion. And if you must wear a cap on a daily basis, don’t wear the same old one everyday. Buy a variety of them and keep them clean.
5) Buy Better Shoes
Here’s a simple rule: If you can wear them at the gym, you shouldn’t be wearing them outside of the gym. This doesn’t mean that you need to be wearing leather shoes everyday, it just means that you need to buy some nice sneakers that are nice enough that you wouldn’t wear them at the gym. Save your old, beat up Nikes for the treadmill. And hopefully this goes without saying, but if you’re going to wear sandals do not wear them with socks. Just don’t.
6) When the Occasion Calls For It, Rock a Tie!
Wearing a tie with a button down or under a vest can bump you up from semi-casual to semi-formal. Feel free to let your personality show through the tie you choose, just stay away from ones that have distractingly busy or just plain weird patterns. Also, consider whether you want a skinny tie or a wide tie. If you’re on the slender side and you want to look wider choose a skinny tie and vice versa.
7) Pull Up Your Pants!
If you’re a rapper, then by all means let your pants sag to the ground. But if you’re not, you need to get a belt or buy new pants. To be honest, it just looks sloppy. Unless you have some serious swag they are nearly impossible to pull off. So leave the saggy pants to Lil’ Wayne.
8) Invest In Some Khakis
Don’t panic! You can still wear jeans most of the time, but khakis are another simple way to make you stand out and to make you look a little less casual. They’re really easy to wear since they are a neutral color so they can go with most shirts.
9) You Are Not Kim Possible, Stop Wearing Cargo Pants Everywhere!
I understand that cargo pants are incredibly useful because of all of the pockets, but they aren’t the most flattering for you to wear. Because of all of the huge pockets that you fill with stuff they generally look a bit bulky on you. Whatever you wear shouldn’t just be functional, it should be fashionable too. And if you’re whining about not being able to have a million pockets for the sake of fashion I ask you to see the functionality that girls sacrifice daily to look good for you. Do you think high-heeled shoes are the most functional shoes? Hell no! But they look good on us, and you like it when we wear them so we do it. So suck it up and wear some normal pants!
10) Be Comfortable
Regardless of what these basic rules say you should always try to be comfortable. The point of these rules are to help you catch more attention from girls which will, hopefully, boost your confidence and make you happier. But if you’re uncomfortable none of that will happen. So, remember that these rules are basic and not tailored to the individual. Feel free to modify them to fit your style and who you are as a person. Except for the rule about not wearing socks with sandals. You are not allowed to modify that.
Maya Motayne is a sophomore at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is an English and Communications double major and a member of the Jimenez-Porter Writers’ House. She is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and a contributing writer to the online magazine Her Campus.