Kenzie’s Beauty Corner: Men’s Fashion Essentials

The New Classic: Ryan Yowell, sophomore psychology major, shows off an effortlessly cool look with a fitted grey sweater, dark wash jeans and sleek black jacket. These classic style staples are great for date nights.

Kenzie McCoy

While college gives the opportunity for students to roll out of the bed and come to class in whatever sweatpants look less dirty that day, it also prepares you for the working world every once in awhile. Job fairs, mock interviews, presentations and date nights give guys and gals a chance to find their own, personal style.

I’ve always been jealous of the ease that men have when it comes to fashion. While I’m taking too long to fix my hair, guys are simply jumping out of the shower, throwing on their clothes and bolting out the door. This is the image I, and I’m sure many other women, have of a man’s primping routine. However, with maybe a couple more minutes in the morning and a few tricks, guys can take their routine from drab to eye-catching.

I asked my boyfriend, let’s call him Tim, if he had any ground-breaking advice for college guys and their fashion and grooming choices. He quickly muttered something about wearing tighter clothes and trimming your beard. Let’s flesh out these words of wisdom a bit more, shall we?

Embrace fitted clothing

When you reach adulthood, it’s time to trade in the baggy cargo pants for slacks and fitted jeans. And yes, there’s a line between form fitting pants and a pair of “I can’t sit down” pants. There has to be a compromise.

When comparing Tim’s current look with how he dressed a few years ago, I noticed how his taste in clothes has  matured from loose, sloppy-looking clothing into more fitted, polished pieces. Even if you don’t want a lot of form-fitting pieces, grab a couple staples to add to your closet. A tapered leather jacket or peacoat and straight-cut, dark-wash jeans can make all the difference and add structure to your winter look. Fitted button-ups and rolled sleeves are also winners. It doesn’t take money to wear the right size of clothing.

Do as the Vikings did

I’ve always had to beg Tim to trim his hair and manscape on the regular. While I don’t have a problem with beards in general, they demand upkeep. When facial hair isn’t shaped, it can make your face look wide and your look messy. After spending some time watching the show “Vikings,” Tim was eventually convinced that maybe trimming your beard could actually be manly. In the show, they were all about haircare. While giant Viking braids may not be the norm today, the pointy beards, half-shaved hairstyles and man-buns are very much in style.

Grab the beard trimmer, pull up a picture of a Viking and let the inspiration take you. For example, shaping the edges of a beard enhances one’s jawline. Embrace and mantain your luscious locks, rub in some beard balm onto your clean facial hair and you’re primed ready to impress the world no matter what you’re wearing.

Upgrade on a budget

While college is a great time to transition from a dude to a grown, hard-working man, it isn’t the time to spend a ton of money on high-dollar wardrobe decisions. While updating your look can be great for impressing professors, future employers and your girlfriends, it isn’t great for your billfold. My advice is to purchase a few staple pieces over the course of your college career, gradually updating your closet so that, when you graduate, you will be well suited for a new job and any new aspects of your life.

Here’s some items to consider swapping out this season: Old t-shirts for  casual polos; Distressed jeans and juvenile cargo pants for dark wash jeans and fitted slacks; Baggy sweatshirts for fitted sweaters and fleece pullovers.

With these style tips in mind, head to one of Topeka’s thrift stores, like Plato’s Closet, and find your hidden gems. Invest in a few staples that you can mix and match on the regular, then slowly accumulate pieces with more personality to create your own unique style without much hassle or breaking the bank.