Your client has raised an eyebrow. Your mother has given you that look again. Despite having an office job and an independent lifestyle, you’re still dressing like you have better things to do than pick an outfit for longer than five minutes.
And we get it. You don’t want to dress to impress all the time, and with the horrible commute conditions plus the scorching summer weather, you’d rather choose comfort over style. We’re not forcing you to make your rounds in a suit, but there is a difference between looking deliberately (and stylishly) low maintenance and looking like a slob. Here are five easy upgrades you can do right now.
1| Give up the graphic tees
Unless you’re under the age of 25 (or the designs are particularly witty and have significant meaning), ditch the graphic T-shirts. The cartoonish drawings make you look juvenile, like an adult significantly clinging to his old college days. Choosing the appropriate T-shirt improves your appearance and elevates your look. Instead of going for graphic tees, pick plain, crewneck T-shirts that drape over your torso well.
T-shirt by Uniqlo
2| Iron your clothes
The detail most men tend to overlook is how neat their clothes look. Creases and crumples might be insignificant to you, but for others, they diminish the value of clothes and their wearers. First, make sure your threads are folded or hung properly in your closet; don’t rummage around and leave them in a messy heap like you’re 16. Also, it doesn’t take long to iron out a few wrinkles. An easier and also portable option is to use a steam brush.
Polo shirts by Brooks Brothers
3| Get a pair of decent, well-fitting jeans
Still wearing loose, faded jeans or the ripped skinny kind the mid-aughts gave us? Please get rid of them, and get a pair of well-proportioned dark jeans in a classic cut. These are great for dressing up or down, worn with a vintage sneaker or leather brogues. Plus, jeans can go for long without having to toss them in the wash. Your closet will thank you.
Jeans by Mango H.E.
4| Trade in your ratty old sneakers for desert boots
Of course people notice your shoes. You could be impeccably dressed, from shirt to trousers, but your favorite shoes, in all their inappropriate ratty glory, just ruins everything. While we’re suckers for a good vintage sneaker, there are certain pairs best left to retirement, particularly if their original colors have long since faded. Why not try desert boots? They’re a great choice for men who want to look more grown-up, without looking too grown-up. These go well with both casual or dressed-up looks.
Shoes by Tod's
5| Don a cardigan or a sport jacket
The thing about wearing a cardigan or sport coat is that it’s a quick and effortless way to spruce up a look, but it’s also easy to take it off when the occassion becomes more relaxed occasion (or it’s just too damn hot outside). In scenarios where you want to appear a bit more competent, slip one over a button-down shirt or even a plain crewneck T-shirt.
Sport coat by T.M. Lewin