Now that you’re faced with having to dress yourself every day, figuring out what to wear can be a struggle. Do stripes and plaids go together? No. Should you wear cargo shorts that leave room to stow enough food for a small European country? Also no. Is it acceptable to wear outfits that are oddly reminiscent of middle school And 1 gear when you’re not on the way to the gym? Spoiler alert: the answer, again, is no.
These might seem like obvious fashion choices (I’m not even talking GQ worthy), but after a minute or more of wandering around a college campus, you’ll see a lot of weird things. From the hippie who’s barefoot in tie-dye with white boy dreads, to the aspiring acoustic musician in head-to-toe flannel playing guitar on the quad (9/10 he’s strumming Wonderwall), there should a 101 course on what to wear. If you’re still trying to create outfits that don’t make you look like a hipster or a hobo, these are the do’s and don’ts.
Do: If you’re looking for shoes that go with everything, you can’t go wrong with a pair of black or navy Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers. If you’re feeling fancy, boat shoes work, whether you’re an aspiring frat star or just feel like looking good in khakis. Make sure to air them out every so often, or you’ll have girls running out of your room at full speed when you take them off for the first time.
Don’t: Please avoid Crocs (I wish I didn’t have to say this, but it’s inevitably a look someone thinks is normal. I hope it’s not you). The only time it’s acceptable is for little boys, because it makes babysitting an easier feat (and do you really want a girl to compare you to her favorite nugget?). Whatever you do, do not pair them with socks. While you’re at it, say no to those sandals that velcro and make Tevas look amazing — not Chacos, the really heinous brown ones. I apologize in advance to every Dad out there who’s currently wearing them.
Do: If you live anywhere near a beach, flip flops will always suffice. Just don’t pair them with a puka shell necklace and you’ll be golden. I also suggest avoiding board shorts. You should look casually cool, not like you’re lost on the way to the beach.
Don’t: Five finger running shoes will never be okay, even if they make you feel like a climbing monkey. Sorry, but your childhood dreams of becoming Spiderman will never come true, not even with fancy footwear.
Do: Every college guy (and adult man in general) needs a pair of jeans that actually fit well. One nice pair of jeans means you rarely have to dress up. Same goes for khakis. Once you find a pair that doesn’t sag like you’re celebrating Throwback Thursday, buy about five pairs and you’ll never have to pull up your pants again.
Don’t: Forego cargo shorts (forever) with the help of denim that your mother didn’t buy you (unless she has great taste).
Do: Have a wide variety of shack shirts on hand. If you think you’re going to have a really good year, invest in shirts you won’t mind giving away. She’ll know if it’s from your middle school graduation, and she will not be pleased. Now that you’ve purchased items that will have you guaranteed to get it in, top it off with a couple of Oxford shirts. If you’re actively looking for a significant other, I suggest J. Crew.
Don’t: Avoid tighty whities, and make sure your boxers in general are hole-free and clean. If you have a surprise overnight guest, you want clothes to give her that don’t re-define disgusting.
I’d wish you good luck this semester, but with these wardrobe additions you won’t need it.