How To Dress Better For University

I get asked the following question a lot, “Do you wear suits everyday?”.

The answer to that is no, I don’t. I am only a university student and as mentioned in the previous post I hardly ever wear a full suit. I do however wear my suits pieces as separates quite frequently. I usually wear my suit trousers with sweaters for meeting friends and my suit jacket with jeans for the occasional nightout. This sort of explains why majority of my suits are in relatively unconventional colors and styles (patch pockets, wide peak lapels etc.).

The follow up question I commonly receive is “Then what do you wear casually? Or to like to school?”.

I get asked this question a lot more than expected. I tend to describe my style as “casually tailored, arousing double takes”. ‘Double takes’ is to reference my preference for bolder tailored pieces such as loud windowpanes or wider lapels.

Although I do know a handful of students that wear a blazer or suit to classes, I generally try to avoid such attire. It receives unwarranted attention, as it’s a little pretentious. More importantly, you should feel physically and mentally comfortable in all the clothes you wear. If you start second guessing the attention you are receiving then you shouldn’t be wearing it.

In such a case, what can you wear for university that portrays a thoughtful stylish nonchalant young adult image? Because university logo hoodies and sweatpants sure don’t cut it…

If you are interested in incorporating tailoring pieces in your daily university wear, which I am sure you are because that’s what this webpage is about, here is what I recommend: use seasonal/patterned collar shirts or your dress trousers. To clarify, I am referring to casual shirts and less conservative trouser colours.

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For your shirts I suggest picking one in a casual collar, like a button down with a rather generous collar and prominent S-curve to streamline your neck and face lines or a band collar (aka a shirt with no collar as pictured). The material is of extreme importance as well. Pick a seasonal fabric shirt, linen for summer and flannel for winter, or one in a oxford cloth. Any other cotton fabric will make the shirt look too formal for a class setting.

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This electric blue linen shirt is from Uniqlo. Considering Uniqlo’s shorter sleeve sizes, I bought it in an S and permanently have it rolled up. Whether it be a T-shirt, I am an advocate for tucking in my upper half but this can be disregarded if you are 1) not wearing a blazer over, 2) not wearing a formal shirt and 3) not wearing a mid/high rise trouser – because anything tucked into a low rise trouser will misalign your proportions.

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I completed the look by pairing it with trusted pair of raw denim jeans from Gap.  With the consistent rotation around my dress trousers, I don’t get much wear out of it as denim heads do. But, as you have probably experienced, the darker hue of denim jeans works with almost everything – making it an easy pick. For footwear, sneakers (due to its casual nature) would be more appropriate. However, I own more “dress shoes” than sneakers, hence the burgundy penny loafers from Weejuns. Just ensure that your jeans are a little slimmer and not TOO long, if not you will create an undesirable stacking effect.

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Dress trousers are easier to pair but usually requires more confidence to pull off as tucking in your upper half would be necessary to portray the trousers’ beauty. I do not suggest using a formal colour dress trouser, especially if its navy. Wearing a navy trouser separately will seem like you lost your jacket. Pick one in a subtle pattern or medium colour and ensure that your trousers are a mid to high rise.

Although I currently do not possess any photos (soon to come) at the moment, a dress trouser works well if anything, from a mock neck to a turtleneck to a linen T-shirt to even a signature scoop neck.

Ultimately, style is inherently subjective and if you are more comfortable with scrolling into class with joggers and a hoodie then do it. But if you feel that you would like to incorporate more tailoring pieces, embody your respective style and portray a cleaner image then swap out that hoodie for a seasonal shirt or your joggers for a tailored trouser.

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Thanks for reading.

 

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