The decade of one’s 20s is a transitional period that starts in post college discovery and ends with full fledged adulthood (or at least I like to think I will have adulthood figured out by then). Often during this period of time you’re just making educated guesses about the next step–trying to find the balance between your carefree pre-20’s years, and responsible post 20’s years. For me a big way I have found balance is in my personal style. As each year passes I come closer to developing a style and color palette that suits the future adult me. Essentially my thought process with this is ‘yes; I don’t quite have my life figured out, but gosh darn it I’m going to have a wardrobe that says otherwise.’
With that being said I think men in this transitional period often find themselves at a lost as they are thrown from college days of sweats and t-shirts to a professional world of suits and ties, leaving them a very grey in between area. For the men in this stage I’d like to share some key fall wardrobe pieces and introduce you to the magic of layering aka ‘adult fashion.’
To begin let’s start with one of my favorite pieces on a man: A Collared Sweater
Now to be honest I can’t quite pin point what it is about a collared sweater that makes it stand out from the rest. I could make things up like it frames the face and emphasizes the jaw line, but what it boils down to is that I just find this style aesthetically pleasing on a man. Pair with a crew neck tee (solid color not from a Hanes’ 5-pack) or a button down as shown in the photo and instantly look like you’re one step closer to having it all figured out–I promise.
Up next: Slim Cut Jeans
Newsflash: the days of baggy pants are officially in the past and should never resurface no matter what comes upon the runway. A slim cut jean lengthens your legs and creates a clean cut silhouette where as baggy pants do little more than make it appear as if you just jumped out of bed. Now to clarify slim cut does not mean skinny–men you’re all different shapes just like women so I suggest going to a store and trying on different slim cut jeans to see what works best for you. I personally recommend a dark wash with no fading or distress marks for going out, family functions, and casual Friday then a light wash for a weekend/rugged look.
Then some: Slim Cut Chinos
While denim is both comfortable and versatile I highly recommend that all men invest in a pair of slim cut chinos to mix into their daily wardrobe. No longer are chinos synonymous with a light beige color meaning they can be worn out of the office place without seeming too soccer dad-ish. Grey, navy, and brown are all versatile colors that can be dressed up or down–just make sure that when you wear them they aren’t overly wrinkled.
Not to be forgotten: V-Neck Sweater
A classic style that will never lead you wrong is a v-neck (or crew neck) pullover sweater. The key to making this style suit your impending adulthood is layering it. Wear over your favorite plaid button down, a dress shirt and tie, or a good quality basic tee. Layering may seem ridiculous, but adding that extra piece shows you put effort into your appearance which indicates to others (bosses, future employers, etc) that there is a good chance you put equal effort into other aspects of your life like work.
Last but not least: Lace Up Boot
I must admit that men really did get the short end of the stick when it comes to variety of footwear available; however, that does not mean that they should settle on sneakers and dress shoes. Recently a variety of boot styles have come onto the market that pair easily with denim and chinos making them an ideal casual shoe for men. Invest in a quality leather pair and they will last you many years to come.
On a final note I’d like to briefly touch on the final piece of clarifying the grey area of men’s adult hood transition fashion which is basics. In the past you might have gotten away with buying tee’s in 5 packs from Target and using college t-shirts as your basics; however, as an almost adult I suggest delving into basics that come outside of a plastic bag. A good affordable starting point is H&M’s basic section where I recommend balancing crew and v-necks with some Henley styles–variety is the spice of life they say.
Any questions? Feel free to comment below and I’ll help the best I can–now get styling men!