Look Professional In Your 20’s

Posted on July 16, 2011

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So you’ve graduated and maybe even got a job and your feeling pretty good about life (besides that giant student loan hanging over your head). But who cares, for the first time in your life you have money to spend and a way to earn more. Your parents are proud of you and even though your friends might be all working the same 9 – 5, Monday to Friday routine as you, in the weekends the parties go crazy. So now that you’ve accepted that you’ve grown up, you need to look the part, because looking the part is about 60% of making an impression. So here are 7 things (plus some accessories) that are necessary in your wardrobe for you to look damn good in any situation.

So lets start off with the age-old suit. Now that you have a job, or have started going to interviews you’ve no doubt invested in a few suits, that’s good. But to really turn heads and get that lasting impression you need a well fitted suit. Off the rack is great when you don’t have the cash to flash, but if you do, or if you have a job, save up and invest in a fitted suit, trust me you will not regret it. Wearing a fitted suit is different to normal ones, its like the difference between a shop brand choc ice and a Magnum. Not only will it feel right to you and hug your figure, it will look like it belongs on your body, because it does! It was made for you and no one else, and it will show!

Firstly, if you don’t already have a watch shame on you! Using your phone to look at the time would have been great at university, it was useful and you got to show off your latest phone, but pulling your shiny iPhone out when your boss asks for the time look like showing off and juvenile. Invest in a watch, a good watch. The one in the picture is a Patek Philippe and you won’t be able to afford one of those for a few years. But a watch that you like and looks good, but that doesn’t mean one of those cheap as hell digital Casio ones. It has to look good to other people too, not just your messed up sense of fashion.

If you don’t know what the picture shows then I can safely presume you’ve been living under a rock for the past…I dunno the entirety of your life? Its called a french cuff shirt and its worn in formal events most of the times and by higher management to the office. At your age you should stick to single or double buttoned cuffs. If your getting a bit confused as to how many kinds of cuffs there are then take a look here, it will help you out. Back to the point, by a few of these kinds of shirts, one white, and the others whatever colour you think suits you best.

So lets take a break from the formal and talk about what to wear in casual times. T-shirt and jeans are fine, but you have to lose the logo’s. No more t-shirts with Ed Hardy, or Heinl written across them. You’re a grown up now, and in addition to acting like it, you have to look like it. As I said before, jeans are still fine, they are classic and will probably never go out of fashion, but get rid of all the ones that don’t fit you, and I mean fit you. Barely hanging onto your ass doesn’t count as fitting you. Start wearing more straight leg jeans, their timeless and look good. You might wanna get a pair or two of slacks as well in case you have to hang out with some people from work that are a little older than you. It’s for those and other semi-formal day outings that you should buy some polo shirts, they look mature and respectable when worn tucked in with a pair of slacks.

Now to shoes, and there’s a reason I put three pictures there. It means a minimum of three kinds of shoes, formal, semi-formal and casual. IT’s probably best to have the formal one in both brown and black, but if not possible then black is always a sure bet. For the casual one I put converse because that’s my personal preference when I hang out with friends, but any kind of fashion trainer/sneaker will do. Just remember, no Reebok’s or Nike’s, they belong in your gym bag, so keep them there.

I have no doubt that you have a coat, it’s a necessary attire for weather like ours, but do try to invest in a professional looking coat. The key here is semi-professional, so that you can wear it over your suit to work, but also with your friends to the bar. It’s a middle ground, not so formal that you look like your going to a White House fund-raiser, but also not casual enough that it gives off a cheap vibe. It might be hard for some of you but try to quit the sports hoodies, hoodies on their own are not a problem, just don’t wear ones with large brightly coloured writing on them that proclaim your love for some team or other.

So those are the 7 things I believe you need to look like a professional, but also one who can sit back and relax. None of these are over the top formal, their middle ground, which is how you wanna dress given your age, show that your making an effort but you know your place. Below are some other suggestions for accessories that you might want to get to give your attire that extra touch of class.

Cufflinks will be needed by your french cuff shirt so you better invest in at least 2 pairs. Pick out conservative ones, unless your one of those highly confident people who can pull off cufflinks sin the shape of a medieval knights helmet.

A tie bar is something that used to be worn by all men back in the 50’s and 60’s but went out of fashion. Now however, with the emergence of shows like Mad Men more and more people have started wearing them. Remember the tie bar should not go the whole way down a tie, only about 3/4. Just a quick tip on ties too, wide ties are gone, the new trend is slim. However for work ties, make sure they are not too slim, in the middle between what your dad used to wear and what Justin Timberlake wears is about right.

Sunglasses are of course your personal preference, but I always find that a nice pair that compliments your face looks very good when the sun’s out. If you have an angular or square face, go for shades with round edges to even our your angles, something like an aviator. The exact opposite for if you have a round face, go for something like the Wayfarer or Clubmaster that has sharp angles. Here too you should try to stick to timeless designs and not walk around wearing sunglasses worn by athletes doing the Tour de France.

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Posted in: Advice, Fashion