Fashion / Men's Fashion

Quick Fixes to Men’s Biggest Fear – Dressing Nice

So maybe you’ve been dressing the same way since you were a freshman in high school. Maybe your mom’s been buying all your clothes for you since you were twelve. Maybe you’ve been shopping in the same store at the same mall for as long as you can remember because you just don’t know where else to shop.

But you DO want to be attractive and look your age, don’t you?

Changing your style doesn’t have to be time-consuming, expensive, or exhausting. From my experience, a lot of guys don’t want to bother because:

  1. They don’t want to spend a lot of money or effort
  2. They don’t want to throw out everything they own and start over
  3. They don’t want to be pushed too far out of their comfort zone
  4. They don’t want to look like they “care too much” about fashion

Well, you can put all those fears to rest! Today, I’m going to show all you guys how to:

  1. Ease into a new style
  2. Incorporate the basics you already have into your new style
  3. Save time and money on your wardrobe
  4. Get inspiration for easy-to-wear daily looks

Before we get into the details, let me ACTUALLY show you how easy it is to look better.

You could be this:

carly mens 10

Or you could be these:

carly mens 8 carly mens 9

Notice that all three outfits consist of the same three things: A top, a bottom, and shoes. Nothing foreign. Nothing out of the ordinary. And all three outfits cost about the same. (Outfit 1 – $105, Outfit 2 – $109, Outfit 3 – $102) Yet, can you tell how much better the last two outfits look?

Workout Clothes Belong in the Gym

You wouldn’t walk around in your pajamas, would you? (If you answered yes… please don’t do that either.) The first step to dressing better is to wear actual clothes. No sweatpants, no athletic shorts, no t- shirts with stupid slogans on them, no running sneakers. Yes, I know they’re comfy. They’re also sloppy. Stop. Mixing your workout clothes with real clothes doesn’t make it acceptable, either.

Don’t Be a Walking Billboard

Chances are you’re not a model. You’re not getting paid for advertising any brands, so why are you walking around with their logos emblazoned on your chest?

Cargo Shorts

A summer staple for a guy’s wardrobe… that has really got to go. I’m putting these into a category of their own because take a look in the mirror and you’ll know why. Quick way to look better: STOP WEARING CARGO SHORTS.

Wear Clothes that Fit You

Don’t be lazy – try clothes on before you buy them! If you’re unsure of your size, grab a size above or below the one you think you are. Worst-case scenario, you hand off both to the sales assistant in the dressing room and go find something else to try. And if you have clothes that you’ve grown out of or have yet to grow into… don’t wear those either! It doesn’t matter if they’re comfy. There are tons of comfy clothes out there for you that will fit as well. And if you have absolutely no idea what size you are, here’s a size chart. Get a measuring tape and use it. I’m serious.

carly mens 6 carly mens 7

NOTE: Not all stores use the same sizing, particularly with tops. This is the size chart for 21MEN.

Swapping and Integrating Basics

We’ve gone over clothes that you SHOULDN’T wear. So how about the clothes that you should keep.

  1. Basics (plain/striped/patterned/logo-less) t-shirts, zip-up hoodies, pullovers, button-ups, etc

carly mens 5carly mens 4 carly mens 3

  1. DARKWASH fitted jeans (doesn’t necessarily have to be skinny jeans! Just not baggy, too long, too short, etc.)

Nothing too far out of the ordinary, right? Dressing better doesn’t mean you have to jump straight into cardigans/blazers/khakis/dress shoes. But if you’re planning on getting there…

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone (slooooowwwwwly)

  1. Crewneck t-shirts → v-neck t-shirts, tank tops, graphic tees
  2. Zip-up hoodies → cardigans → blazers
  3. Darkwash jeans → khakis → color jeans!
  4. Khaki, black, etc. bermuda shorts → color bermuda shorts!carly mens 25. Nice, clean sneakers (Vans, Supra, Converse, etc) → Boat shoes → Desert Boots → Dress shoes

carly mens1


Two categories that you need to know about: Neutrals and actual colors.

The great thing about neutrals is that you can wear them with anything: other colors, other neutrals, whatever. That’s why you can wear the same pair of jeans with almost every single top you own and you ‘ll look fine.

DO’S and DON’TS of colors

–      DO mix neutral colors with actual colors

–      DON’T be afraid to wear more than one “actual color” at a time.

–      DON’T be afraid to wear more than one neutral color at a time.

–      DON’T wear only one color. Neutral or not. You’ll end up looking either ridiculous or like you’re going to a funeral.

–      DO experiment with color pants! You lose a neutral color on the bottom, but you can always wear the neutral color on top.


Where to Shop

21 MEN – Forever 21’s clothing line for men (YES, it’s an actual thing). Not only can you find a good variety of basics, there’s also a lot of trendy stuff for when you’re feeling more adventurous. The best part? Most clothes (even sweaters and cardigans!) are under $30. 21 MEN can usually only be found in large Forever 21 stores, but if you’re willing to shop online: With free shipping on orders $50 or more!

H&M – The #1 store for basics, in my opinion. The clothes here are a bit higher quality than 21 MEN, and can be more expensive. However, they are well worth the investment.

TJ Maxx/Marshalls – God’s gift to this world. TJ Maxx and Marshalls carry name brands at discount prices, and the merchandise changes frequently. You’ll have to work to find your size and style, but when you do… it’s a beautiful feeling.

Uniqlo – An edgy and colorful clothing line from Japan that’s also great for basics. The clothes are high end, as are the prices. Occasionally, however, there are some kick-ass sales. $10 jeans, anyone?

Kohl’s – Do I really have to tell you about Kohl’s? Look out for the constant sales and coupons:

Go Straight to the ‘Sale’ Section

You might have to do a bit more searching and have a bit more patience when shopping here, but your wallet will thank you! Some of the best pieces I’ve found (for myself and for guy friends) have come from the sale section. (In fact, almost none of my clothes were bought at full price – and for someone with two closets, that’s a lot of clothes!) Keep in mind, however, that it’s a ‘hit or miss’ kind of thing. The key is to keep at it!

However, don’t forget… Price =/= Worth

When you’re shopping, ask yourself: How often am I going to wear this? I’m all for cheap clothes, but a $5 t-shirt that you’re never going to wear is worth less than a $30 cardigan that you can match with everything and will wear weekly.

Need Some Inspiration?

  1. Mannequins in-store and models on the store’s websites
  3. (if you’re feeling adventurous)


Now go out there and dress to impress the girls, or guys, or whoever, but most importantly…




Carley Chan



2 thoughts on “Quick Fixes to Men’s Biggest Fear – Dressing Nice

  1. this is fine IF you want to adopt this particular style. I’d be pretty bored if all guys dressed in this young-male prep-casual-ish style, because it is pretty generic, and it is pretty easy. nothing wrong with that, especially but there are SO many ways for guys to dress well that doesn’t look like this – as a girl, I LOVE when guys have great urban style. note: urban style =/= sagging pants.

  2. I consider the tips in this article to be the basics; the start to dressing better, but by no means the end. I’m right with you with absolutely loving street style, even if it doesn’t exactly fit in with the “formula” in this article. But of course I can’t cover everything, or else I wouldn’t have a blog post, I would have a book. If you choose your look because you love it, all the more power to you. If your look is because you don’t know or care about what you’re doing, well, this article is for you. By all means, be unique, be adventurous – I’m simply trying to combat the existence of NO style.

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