Menswear: New You's Resolution

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I have been burdened with the curse of having a “baby face”. I guess it’ll eventually pay off once all of my peers face the wrath of wrinkles without me. But for now, as a 22 year-old PharmD student, getting asked what high school I go to by my barber is not a good look (true story). It also doesn’t help that I can only grow a maximum of 39 facial hairs (27 contribute to my pubescent moustache, while my pathetic goatee is comprised of the remaining 12). I decided to gear my new year’s resolution towards combating this genetic “gift”. Since I can’t change my face, I plan on upgrading my wardrobe to portray a more grown up appearance. Hopefully, this’ll inspire you to revamp your style, too.

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I think outfit #1 strikes the perfect balance between casual and formal. A dress shirt buttoned all the way to the top is not only trendy, but instantly shows class and effort. I chose to pair the shirt with oxford shoes to stick to the dressed up theme.* To keep from getting too proper, I threw on two of my favorite accessories. The 5-panel cap (see title photo) and polka-dotted socks are fun pieces that keep the look cool. Try something similar to look well put-together, while still showing off your personal style.

*Savvy secret: Check out thrift stores for dress shoes. I bought the pictured pair for $6 (originally $90!) at Unique in Plainfield, NJ. They even offer an extra 25% off on Mondays!

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With Outfit #2, my goal was to find a way to incorporate a blazer into an everyday look. I did so by layering a hoodie and a t-shirt underneath it to keep it casual. The black jeans also add an edgy feel to the outfit to balance out the formality of the suit jacket. To pull it all together and add a final hint of sharpness, I chose a pair of black brogue shoes and some argyle dress socks.* I think this is a sleek, masculine look that’s easy to pull off. Just make sure to stick with a monochromatic theme, an extremely popular trend in the fashion game today. I went with an all-black colorway with just a bit a maroon for some pop of color.

*Savvy secret: The shoes, socks, and pocket square were all free. The first two are hand-me-downs from my dad. Don’t be afraid to go through Pop’s old stuff. Remember, history repeats itself, and fashion trends are no different—retro items can cycle back and become cool again. As for the pocket square, I made it myself by cutting up some fabric I had lying around the house. It’s a simple, cheap way to jazz up an outfit.

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Outfit #3 shows the easiest way to dress up any look. All you have to do is wear a button-up or polo beneath a sweatshirt. It’s amazing how just the peaking of a collar from underneath an outer layer can transform an outfit. I also wore an all-gold watch because it makes me feel fancier. The rest of the outfit is really casual because, like I said, the collar is all you need. So if you’re not quite ready to grow up yet, transition into adulthood slowly with that little trick.

So there’s my 2014 new year’s resolution—to counteract my “baby face” by infusing formal elements into my everyday apparel to look and feel more adult. Remember, this is just my way of switching things up. There are a lot of ways to use clothing you already own to refresh your style. Keep experimenting and exploring. Don’t be scared of a little change, embrace it. Happy New Year! (At what date does it become inappropriate to say that?)

Stay swanky. Stay savvy.

Sheldon