Back To School Style Mistakes Men Make

You’re headed back to campus and we’ve got some style tips to help you look your best this Fall. We see a lot of these common mistakes young guys make by either trying too hard or not trying enough. You want to find a balance between effort and casual dress, all while staying comfortable.

The good news is a little birt of effort in the style department goes a long way, so all of these back to school style mistakes are easily avoidable.

 

Socks and Slides

There’s no excuse ever. Pick up some Vans slip-ons, they’re just as comfortable and low-maintenance, plus they’re much more stylish.

Slip-On Picks:

Vans

SeeVees

Sperry

 

Too many logo tees

Leave that for all the annoying kids who are decked out in their logo tee, pants, and socks. They look ridiculous, don’t join them. Stick with the basics and go with something from H&M and Uniqlo, they make our favorite t-shirts that Ashley uses all the time with clients.

 

Not Putting In Any Effort

Your wardrobe doesn’t have to be fancy but you should care about what you’re wearing.  That’s why we made it easy on you and put together a list of all the essentials you need for a stylish back to school wardrobe.

 

Basketball Shorts All The Time

Why? Unless you’re on the court or on the couch you shouldn’t be wearing basketball shorts.  Grab some dark joggers instead, they’re just as comfortable and look a lot better.

Jogger Picks:

H&M

PacSun

Gap

Mack Weldon

 

Too much hypebeasting

It reeks of trying too hard. If you want to sprinkle it in here and there, totally fine. But don’t jump in with both feet and wear all the trends at once, all the time. Again, we did a back to school essentials article that sprinkles in just the right amount.

 

Not caring about grooming

Look, there might be days you don’t want to style your hair. Fine, no problem, throw on your favorite baseball cap. But, here’s no excuse to have overgrown, unwashed hair or neglected skin. Your overall appearance, especially when it concerns hygiene, will be a huge make it or break it situation when it comes to people wanting to hang out with you. Check out all of our grooming tips in our grooming section. From haircuts to skincare, we’ve got all the tips you need.

 

Wearing only workout gear

Unless your an athlete and it’s absolutely necessary because of your schedule, then there’s no excuse. It’s lazy and looks like you might be hiding a less than desirable physique. You wanna feel just as comfortable? A pair of some Adidas Ultraboosts, black joggers, a tee or a hooded sweatshirt, and a bomber jacket will look 100 times sharper.  All of our picks are right here.

Men’s Back To School Essentials

You’re headed back to campus and we’ve got some picks to help you look your best this Fall. We know that school can be stressful and the last thing you have time for is thinking about what to wear. However, we can all agree that you still want to look your best which is why picking up these pieces will take the guesswork out of what outfit you should wear because they all can go together easily and stylishly.

The key to solid back to school items are ones that are comfortable, stylish, inexpensive, and versatile, and these back to school style essentials will have you covered for the entire year.

 

 

Sneakers

You need a good everyday sneaker that’s comfortable, stylish, and affordable. We’re huge fans of the Vans Old Skool sneakers which come in a bunch of different colors and patterns, though I love the black and white ones the most. If you’re going to get a pair of white sneakers, I’d opt for leather like the Stan Smiths which are easier to keep clean than canvas kicks.

Picks:

Vans

Stan Smiths

More Sneaker Picks

Jason Markk sneaker cleaning wipes

 

Well-Fitting Jeans

Some well-fitting slim jeans in dark indigo, black or dark grey will get you through the entire year and beyond. Remember you only need to wash them every few months if you let them air out every day on the back of your chair or on a hanger.  Want some fit tips? Check out our jeans fit guide.

Picks:

Levis

Uniqlo

J. Crew

 

Pull-Over Hoodie

A pull-over hoodie is super comfortable and versatile. You can wear it on on its own or you can layer underneath your jacket when it gets cold. Definitely skip the logos here, leave that to the kids who look ridiculous in their all logo fits. One note, we’re not fans of the zip-up hoodies because they tend to look sloppy and have this weird bunching in the front when you sit.

Picks:

Champion

J.Crew

Uniqlo

H&M

 

T-Shirts

Pick up 5 or 6 of these since you’ll pretty much be wearing this every day and stick with basic colors like black, white, navy, and grey. Remember fit is king. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-fitting t-shirt and jeans outfit – it’s unbelievably attractive and that simple knowledge on fit will instantly set you apart from everyone else.

Picks:

Uniqlo

H&M

Amazon Goodthreads

The Best Budget-Friendly T-Shirts

 

A Versatile Jacket

Our favorite being a bomber jacket – whether it’s leather, nylon or cotton. It doesn’t matter what your size or build is, this jacket looks great on every guy and it’s super easy and comfortable.  It’s really easy to add layers, like a hoodie, underneath when it gets cold. Also, it just looks cool-as-hell so wear in and out of school.

Picks:

H&M

Gap

J.Crew

Bonobos

 

A Casual Button-Down Shirt

Versatility is key here and you want one that you can wear untucked or partially tucked in the front. Casual button-downs are shorter in length then dress shirts so they should hit around mid-crotch. Pair this with your jeans and sneakers, maybe throw on your bomber jacket for the ultimate, “Oh this? I just rolled out of bed and threw this on.” It looks cool, stylish, and like you put in zero effort in the best way possible. We recommend solid oxfords and darker, fall plaid casual button-downs.

Picks:

J. Crew

H&M

Uniqlo

5 Shirts Every Man Should Own

 

Crew Neck Sweatshirt

We like sweatshirts because there’s a casualness that compliments your on-campus fits and you can throw them in the wash instead of having to have them dry cleaned.  As with hoodies, skip the logos and keep them clean and simple.

Picks:

Champion

Everlane

Uniqlo

Todd Snyder

 

Backpack

Like everyone, you need something to carry your notebooks, laptop, and gear every day and just like your clothes, it’s important to pick up a backpack that keeps you organized, looks sharp, will last you all year, and won’t break the bank. We’ve discussed the ins and outs of our favorite backpacks before, and the key is finding the right size and style.

Picks:

Incase

Herschel

Aer

Everlane

More Backpack Picks

 

Sunglasses

The right shape can instantly up your style game, but the wrong shape can really work against you. Stick with a classic style that compliments your face shape.  Check out this article for more on how to choose the right sunglasses for your face shape.

Picks:

Ray-Ban

MVMT

Crap

Warby Paker

Additional Picks

 

A Second Pair Of Pants

A man can’t live on denim alone so it’s wise to consider a few more options. We definitely recommend chinos, they’re comfortable, stylish, and affordable. If you go for chinos, go with navy or charcoal grey as that’ll go with everything. If chinos aren’t your style grab some sharp jogger pants for a different option. Go with black or charcoal as they’ll not only look the best but it will keep them from looking too much like your workout gear.

Chinos:

Bonobos

Uniqlo

J.Crew

Gap 

Joggers:

H&M

PacSun

Gap

Mack Weldon

 

Is Men’s Streetwear Attractive?

Streetwear can be a pretty divisive topic these days, it can look good but also can go really wrong.  While we always believe it’s important to cultivate a stylish essential wardrobe, it’s definitely good to also experiment with new trends and styles, especially as you’re on your journey to discovering your own personal style.

In this episode of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re weighing in on whether or not streetwear for men is attractive.

So, is streetwear attractive?  In our opinion, yes!  But it comes with a few caveats.

For The Right Person

Can streetwear look good? Yes, definitely.  But it has to work with your existing style and confidence.  If you’re the type of guy who can experiment with different styles and pull it off with confidence, then go for it.  It definitely takes a certain amount of swag to make it work.  If not, it can look fake and like you’re trying too hard.

Don’t Try Too Hard

Much like “Bad Boy Style”, streetwear is an overall look that can come off as really inauthentic if it doesn’t mesh well with your pre-existing overall look.  You can look like you’re wearing a costume and like you’re trying way too hard.  So, if you go for it, proceed with caution and give some consideration to when and where you’re adopting this vibe.

Does Well-Dressed Mean Boring?

We talk so much about an essential wardrobe and timeless personal style, it’s hugely important. A sharp timeless wardrobe is the foundation of great personal style and, ultimately confidence. This week on 2 Minute Tuesday we answer a great question from our reader/viewer Arthur.  He asked, “Does well-dressed mean boring?”

Tune in and find out what we think.

Timeless and Classic, Not Boring

Hopefully, we can help you reframe your thinking that dressing in a classic, stylish way might be boring. Rather, it’s always appropriate and timeless.  You never have to worry about being out of style or not being appropriately dressed, and you can feel confident that you’re always going to look great. Trends come and go at lightning speed and flash doesn’t equal substance.

Embrace Your Personal Style

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, things like adopting a particular style (Bad Boy style, for instance) or popular trend just because you think it’s going to make you stylish or show personality isn’t the way to truly build your own personal style.  It’s going to feel inauthentic and like you’re trying too hard.  By starting with timeless essentials and building from there you’ll then be able to figure out what styles really speak to you as you gain more confidence and build on a solid foundation.

6 Men’s Fashion Trends Women Hate

As a stylist, I’m well-versed in all things menswear, including trends. While it’s great that more men than ever are trying new things with their wardrobes there are some trends that women just aren’t into.

Know that there is a difference between style (timeless, versatile) and trends (fleeting, extreme) and that a good essential wardrobe is not driven by trends. Here are our picks for 6 men’s fashion trends that women hate!

6 Men’s Fashion Trends That Women Hate

  1. Overly tight skinny denim – There’s a very fine line between trim/slim and tight. Don’t do the latter, nobody wants to see that.

  2. Overly distressed clothing – Speaking of denim, super distressed jeans with a ton of holes in them just isn’t a trend that looks good on men (especially when they’re skin tight too). Stick with dark to medium washes with no or very limited distressing.

  3. Margiela split toe boots – A very hard item to pull off, just keep it simple, these are too fashion forward for most men. Stick to versatile, essential shoes.

  4. Over accessorizing – A ton of stacked bracelets, a huge lapel flower, all these things just add up to way too much going on. Keep it to simple, minimal items and no fewer than one, maybe two at a time.

  5. Large logos or graphics – My stance on them is well-documented and most women will agree, those overly loud, aggressive logos just aren’t attractive.

  6. Dad sneakers – These bulky sneakers are really trendy now and just don’t look good on most body types nor are they versatile enough for different outfits.  Go with timeless and classic white or black sneakers.

10 Biggest Style Mistakes Young Men Make

As a stylist, my clients range anywhere from teenagers all the way up to men in their 60s and 70s, and these are 10 mistakes I’ve noticed with my younger clients when I first start working with them. The road to finding your own personal style is a long one but keep these in mind as you’re figuring out your own path!

10. Ill-fitting clothing

Whether you’re on the thin side or are a bigger guy, your clothing should always fit properly. A lot of times many young men try and over-compensate in either direction to make up for what their body type is, but don’t do it.  Big or small, proper fit is always king.

9. Oversized ties and knots

Buying a tie that’s too wide and using massive knots will only serve to make you look like a little kid, so make sure you use a knot that’s proportionally sized for your frame and suit.

8. Trying to be a hypebeast all day, everyday

Focusing solely on brands and labels plastered all over you is only going to send the signal that you’re dressing for the wrong reasons.  Be judicious in your brand choices and know that understated is always going to look good.

7. Dressing well means being uncomfortable

Thinking that you can’t dress well and be comfortable at the same time is something that I get all the time and it drives me crazy! A properly fitting shirt or jeans should always be comfortable and flattering.  Are they going to be as comfortable as baggy sweats and an old t-shirt? No, but ultimately if you want to be taken seriously you should always be cultivating and presenting a thoughtfully stylish appearance to the world, not one focused only on comfort.

6. Buying all statement items

This is a problem for most men looking to dress better, but more often with younger men because I notice they confuse fashion with style. Fashion pieces can be loud and make a statement, but that doesn’t make you stylish. Here or there, sure, it’s fine, but it’s important to always have basic, foundational items that are stylish and versatile as well.

5. Not having a foundational wardrobe

Speaking of the foundational basics, it’s critical to always start with the basics and get the right jeans, t-shirts, button-ups, shoes, and sweaters first. Don’t underestimate the style and power of a sharp, basic wardrobe as the building blocks of great personal style.

4. Dressing exactly like your friends and not trying different things

Going along with following hypebeast trends, I see a lot of men fall prey to dressing just like everyone else in their squad. You’re young, have fun with your clothing and style and embrace your individuality. Figuring out what looks good on you and makes you feel best is an important step in figuring out your personal style.

3. Looking good is expensive

One of my least favorite misconceptions about style is that unless you’re rich, you can’t look good, and that money matters in dressing well. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Looking good on a budget is absolutely doable, no matter how low the budget, and it just takes some knowledge and focusing on well-fitting, basic items.

2. Mixing too many patterns and colors

Just like focusing only on statement pieces, many younger men confuse being loud and wearing excessive patterns with being stylish. But in reality it’s just the opposite. Focus on more subtle details and cohesive pieces to give your outfits the best look.

1. Not caring how you look

This applies not just to clothing, but to grooming and hygiene as well. If you focus on looking relatively clean and well-groomed you’ve beaten a majority of young men out there.  Anyone that makes fun of you for caring about your appearance is a lost cause, so don’t even worry about the haters.

As I said earlier, don’t forget that personal style is a journey and like any journey, it’s bound to have a few bumps along the way, the important part is learning from your mistakes and figuring out what works best just for you.