Recession Living 101: Time to freshen up your wardrobe

Many of the style guides for women also apply to men. Don't wear clothes too big or too tight, and keep accessories simple. Photo credit: Angelica Bonomo / Staff Photographer
Many of the style guides for women also apply to men. Don't wear clothes too big or too tight, and keep accessories simple. Photo credit: Angelica Bonomo / Staff Photographer

When it comes to getting dressed in the morning I have always been envious of guys. Fashion never really changes for them. What looked good 20 years ago can still be worn today. This might have to do with the fact that guys care more about function then fashion. If it’s hot, they wear shorts. If it’s cold, they throw on the hoodie. Not to generalize the entire male population, but for those to whom this applies, listen up. You aren’t in high school anymore. Time to add some polish to those T-shirts and jeans.

I understand the thought of revamping one’s wardrobe may be unappealing and daunting for many men who are content with the way they dress. Here’s the deal, I promise it won’t be expensive, it’ll be easy and I won’t ask you to wear skinny jeans. Whether you incorporate one or all, here are six simple and inexpensive ways to freshen up your style.

To begin, take a look at yourself. If you wear things that are too large, it looks sloppy or like you are trying to hide under over-sized clothing.

Step #1: Have your jeans start at the waist and wear shirts that are the right size for you. A simple way to tell if a shirt fits correctly is if the seam where the sleeve meets the body of the shirt falls at the edge of your shoulder. If it does, the shirt is the correct size for you. If the shoulder seam is on your upper arm, the shirt is definitely too large for you.

Step #2: Keep your shoes looking good and clean. A tattered, dirty pair of shoes is always a fashion don’t. I don’t care if you wear dress shoes or sneakers, Vans or Chucks. Keep dirt off your shoes.

Step #3: A great way to liven up your look is to incorporate more color into your wardrobe. Black, white, grey and navy are the consistent colors I see on the guys on campus. Why not try rich colors like bright green or sky blue, or Caribbean colors like violet or salmon. Wearing a bright colored T-shirt under your hoodie will liven up otherwise dull neutral tones and it will have the most impact because you are wearing color near your face.

This leads to Step #4: Lose the over-styled graphics on your jackets and shirts. They look tacky and cheap. Solid colored pieces are more flattering and always look good no matter the season.

Step #5: Having one or two great pieces will really keep you looking stylish. This may be a cool blazer for more dressy occasions, or a leather jacket. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that you know you will wear often and is flattering. Stores like H&M and Jcrew carry a great line of well-made garments for men.

Step #6: Add some personal touches, also known as men’s accessories. Both glasses and sunglasses are a great way to express yourself. You could simply be wearing jeans and a T-shirt, but with the right glasses you suddenly look fashion savvy. You may want to have a couple of pairs, one bold and one that is more subdued. Men’s jewelry, like a simple wristband, whether it be a sports band or made out of leather, is another easy way to add that last element to your personal style. Just remember to keep it limited to one or two pieces.

You can find bright-colored T-shirts and flattering jeans at affordable stores like Old Navy and Target. Like I mentioned before guys, I know you like to keep it simple. In addition to the tips I provided, make sure your clothes fit you properly and you will never have to stress about style again.