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[ONGOING PROJECT] Help a college kid upgrade his style

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    [ONGOING PROJECT] Help a college kid upgrade his style

    Hey guys, I'm a college student currently trying to upgrade my style. I've been browsing Dappered and some similar sites for the past year, and now that I feel like I know enough, I feel it's time to start building my wardrobe. I officially started with the recent LEC sale; picked up three pairs of jeans, a shirt, and a sweater.

    Unfortunately, I don't have enough clothes to start wearing them yet. With an acceptable rotation period, I'll suddenly be dressed much better once every week and a half, and that's just kind of awkward. So, for the next two-three months, I'll be trying to build my wardrobe that should culminate in an overnight shift to a much better style. But, I'm young, and still a bit unsure of myself, so I'm going to be looking to you guys for some advice. If it's okay with the moderators, I'll be using this thread as my base of operations.


    Welcome to the forum! Keep us updated and let us know if you have any questions. We're here to help!



      Go for it man. We are here to help. So what pieces did you get during the sale also, did you know there is a nice 40% going with an additional 10 bucks off purchase of 50 dollars?

      my Recomendations:

      1. dont buy any more jeans (three is a great number to have) if you have an indigo great fitting jean, that will become your workhorse.

      2. Cop some chinos 1 to 2 pairs.

      3. Most important shoe game, college is a good look for chuck T's. when i was in school, I would wear mine all the time, granted then i was more urban than prep, Jordans over Chucks, but they are a great sneaker that can be casual and to some extent business casual (depending on color and place your at)

      Good Luck and keep up the good work

      "The key to Success is the Quality of Execution"



        Boat shoes and Flannel Shirts!



          Welcome! I assume you've seen these posts by Joe; I think they're a good place to start on the basics:

          In college I had more time than money and I wish I would have thrifted more. So many great deals to be had. As I'm sure you already know, the key is getting pieces that are very versatile and work together. IE, I would focus the bulk of your budget on pants and sweaters in the classic colors (khaki, navy, charcoal) and add some white oxford shirts. Maybe a nice sport coat if you don't already have one. I would make accessories (tie, PS, socks, belt, etc) your fun/stand out pieces. These pieces are usually cheaper (especially if you thrift) and will give you that variety you're looking for. Plus by picking classic colors, you have more options when mixing and matching.

          Just my IMO. Actually, sorry, I don't think you asked for advice; I'm sure you have it down.

          EDIT: Refreshed and saw the posts above. Agree with MaxMan on the jeans and chinos. I think shoes are a personal preference, I think almost whatever you pick will be better than beat down gym sneakers. My vote [depending on climate] would be a brown boot that you can dress up and dress down, or a <a>rugged lace up.</a>

          My Measurements: 6' 1" height, 35" sleeves, 41-42" chest/jacket, 35" waist, 34" inseam, 11.5D/EEE shoes, 200 lbs



            I'm in a similar position dreadpirate, LEC is my favorite retailer by far (even after the recent increase in price). I also benefited huge from the various bonobos promotions/deals and I have a nice fleet of chinos, but my updated wardrobe is just beginning.

            I am definitely also interested in advice as well. My personal style is somewhat a middleground between traditional, urban, and prep, if such a thing is even possible.



              Boots. Wait till you've got some cash and shell out for a pair of Clarks Desert Boots instead of some knockoff. DBs/Chucks with even just one dark pair of jeans can, between the two of them, take care of your bottom half the vast majority of days.



                Well, I'd say to start, decide what you want your style to be. This is a great series that helps you figure that out for yourself with assignments to complete to lead you in the right direction:


                Also, learn to tell quality from crap. You're on the right track with reading Also check out, especially their videos from season 1. You want to buy the best quality you can afford, because it will look better on you and last longer.

                I'll just chime in with thrifting again... I've gotten some great stuff for next to nothing just in the last few weeks, but the last 2 days I've gone and gotten nothing. It takes patience. Read the articles on thrifting. They're excellent. Going to the thrift stores and feeling through the stuff there you will quickly learn the difference between quality and crap.



                  Welcome! In addition to the advice above, make eBay your friend--some stuff isn't worth the cost, but you can also find some real steals if you know where to look (i.e. Albert's awesome eBay shoe thread). Most importantly, just remember to focus on fit over price--you'll look much sharper in properly fitting clothes than expensive, ill-fitting stuff. Welcome and good luck!



                    Why not incorporate some of what you just bought into what you already wear? I actually think It'd be more awkward to change styles overnight which is what it sounds like you are planning on doing.

                    It's difficult to say without knowing what you wore before, but for most people it takes a bit of "practice" before they can pull off a new look. If you're wearing totally new clothes from day one I'd be willing to bet you'd feel awkward and uncomfortable. Instead, incorporate one piece with something you already wear on a regular basis, and overtime it it will become innate for you. Plus, blended looks are especially effective if you are young or in college.



                      I like the thought process here, but I'd be weary of getting a ton of new clothes at once to build a wardrobe. You'll be buying a lot of clothes for the same season, in a current style or trend, and in one size. Pretty soon it will be winter, skinny ties will soon be ugly again, and you won't always have your 32" waist. I strongly recommend spreading your purchases out. Also the older you get, you will develop a more keen sense of style. I wouldn't be caught dead in things that I thought were the balls back not even six years ago when I graduated from college.

                      Building a wardrobe, and developing a personal style, are things that are supposed to take time. Let it be a natural migration, don't force it.

                      Good luck.



                        I'm going to go with Jose and mikesam. Start finding new pieces that you really dig and work them into your rotation as you go. My style has shifted a lot just since two years ago. I enjoy various forms of chinos and cords along with jeans. I 2nd Vinny's boat shoes and flannel choices. Find your signaure pieces that feel comfortable and wear them. I love Gap's waffle knit thermals for casual wear. They are very casual but look clean. There are a ton of ways to go here. Polos, or anything with a collar is a great way to dress a notch or two above in college. Random thoughts here, but hopefully something helps.

                        "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



                          Well, to start off with: What I bought (and what I have).

                          My wardrobe up to this point has been light blue Carhartt jeans (that seem to have stretched in the waist), (comparatively) ill-fitting t-shirts, four or so knitted waffle shirts, a single red polo, a pair of now-beat-up Pumas and some hoodies. I have a separate set of dress clothes consisting of one pair of black pants, one khaki pair, a dark cobalt shirt, an orange shirt, four or so ties, a leather belt, and a pair of cheap black George shoes from Wal-Mart. I have two watches, more on those to come. Lastly, my badass nerd jacket (I'll post a pic later).

                          I picked up this shirt in plum check,


                          three pairs of these jeans (two in 1-year wash, one in rinsed indigo),


                          and this sweater in varsity red.


                          I'll be able to start wearing the jeans, but compared to the shirts I usually wear, the new shirt (and sweater when appropriate) will be a bit jarring, especially when it's back to either the polo or a t-shirt the next day. I don't really plan on buying tons of new clothes. I'm thinking I can make it work with three or four more shirts, two more different pairs of pants (I could probably even get by with one), another sweater, and a different pair of shoes. I intend to pick up one of those Mossimo polos from Target next chance I get. I'm pretty picky, so the hard part will be finding clothes that I like enough to wear.

                          On thrifting: I'd love to, but I live in a rural town in the south-east corner of Kansas. There is a single thrift shop (St. Vincent de Paul's) and a pseudo-thrift/consignment type place. Neither are very good at all. There's also a consignment shop that doesn't deal in clothes. I'm not sure most of these people even know what Brooks Brothers or Allen Edmonds are, so it's unlikely that I'll find much in their donated clothing. Just so I'm not misunderstood, I don't mean to say that nothing short of BB or AE are worth thrifting for, I was merely making a point.

                          On my tastes: Boat shoes and Clarks desert boots have both been brought up. I'm not really a fan of boat shoes (or preppy style in general), but aside from that, it's completely the wrong time of year to start wearing boat shoes. I'm also not really a fan of the way Clarks boots look. They are very reminiscent of chukka boots, another style I dislike. That's not to say I don't appreciate the suggestions; keep them coming!

                          With this huge 41% Last Call sale going on, I'm trying to find a pair of shoes for cheap. There are a few different styles that look interesting, but I'm not sure which ones I want to go for. I'll throw up links to the ones I think look like they have potential tomorrow. I'm also going to re-format the first post for some functionality. For now though, I just want to say thanks for making me feel welcome. I'm really looking forward to this little adventure.



                            Just thought I'd put these out there. They are less prep boat shoe and the dark suede gives them a lot of wearing potential into the fall. I wear these all the time. You also dont have to like boat shoes haha, just thought I'd put a different syle out there.


                            "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



                              I think the first step is to step up your shoe game. better shoes = better looking.

                              in college, and in kansas, dressyness isn't a high priority for many people. I'd say a pair of motorcycle type boots, or a dressier work boot would treat you well. It's enough to separate you from the sneaker wearing masses without looking too dressy.

                              Jeans are a solid go-to in college, especially in kansas, and you can't go wrong. Try out a pair of grey jeans, or tan jeans for a change of pace. but a nice indigo you can never go wrong.

                              t-shirts = polos. whenever you reach for a tshirt, reach for a polo instead. make sure you get ones that fit well.

                              other than that, get some good button up shirts in checks, plaids, stripes, which are less dressy than the solids.

                              boom-my everyday college wardrobe