• I'm happy to introduce the Styleforum Happy Hour, our brand new podcast featuring lively discussion about menswear and the fashion industry. In the inaugural edition, a discussion of what's going on in retail today. Please check it out on the Journal. All episodes will be also be available soon on your favorite podcast platform.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

19 years old - time to dress like a man & need help

acecow

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
4,135
Reaction score
682
From my own experience transitioning from hoodie + jeans to a more dressier alternative:

1. Don't spend too much money right now as your tastes will change a lot still.
2. Go with the basics and learn to carry your new style effortlessly, otherwise you will look silly to others.
3. Transition carefully, say, from jeans and t-shirts to jeans and shirts.
4. Pay a lot of attention to fit, as you won't need more expensive clothes at your age. It's all about how they fit and not about mother of pearl buttons.
5. Go to trendy stores and search for classical items there. Best example would be H&M. I have a lot of clothes from them, including some beater shirts, corduroy pants, sweaters, socks and even a suit. In fact, if you are 19 and in shape, H&M is your best bet at the mall.
6. Read this forum a lot, but don't let it influence you too much. Develop your own sense of style relative to your age. Don't forget that most of the people who will post here are much older than you and, therefore, dress older. You don't need that.
 

cptjeff

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
4,642
Reaction score
318
A good intermediate step is to go to oxfords (or other casual collared shirts) for your shirts, replace the hoodies with sweaters (wool or cashmere if you're in a cooler climate, avoid synthetics), get mature jeans, meaning straight, slim, dark, and clean. And no sagging or stacking or anything like that. A few pairs of 5 pocket cords and khakis would fit in nicely too.

Upgrade your shoes too. Penny loafers, bass bucks, that sort of thing. Classic casual styles. And with those, ditch the white athletic socks. They go with nothing. Plain dark socks, you don't have to go with Over the calf dress socks and such if you don't like them. But don't just get plain ones. Get some stripes, some argyles, classic patterns. Get them in more fun colors if you like, it's a great way to add some personality to an outfit. Gap usually has a nice selection, 3 pairs for $16 regular price, and you can occasionally catch good sales.

Easing into it is definitely a good idea. Buy slowly, and make sure things fit. Don't buy stuff too large- that may work for hoodies and such, but it won't look good with more classic attire.

You'll also need a suit or two. Look around here for ideas of how they should fit. (MC WAYWRN is a great place to start.) Charcoal or navy, since you're primarily going to be using it for interviews at this point in your life, and those colors will never be inappropriate. Doesn't have to be all that nice at this point, save that until you get a job. But do stick to wool.

You'll also want to have a blazer or two. A navy blazer is safe, and if it fits right it can look great. You should also look into stuff like tweed. NYC isn't cold cold, but having warm clothing wouldn't hurt.
 

gp123

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Thanks guys, this forum is great learning a lot. Yeah I'm fit and skinny. I've been to H&M they have good selection just wish they would have a online store would be much easier. Hardest part about doing this change for me is I feel like if I do it I will look so ackward since most people I see my age are not wearing shoes or dress shirts or dress pants or anything like that. So I don't want to go overboard but do want to lose the childish look.
 

bringusingoodale

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
1,491
Reaction score
48
It will be too difficult to maintain your allegiance with your hoodie wearing self once you take the advice from here. Seriously if you do wear penny loafers, there is really no way to say you are going to delicately and strategically transition yourself from that style to that style. Most people will laugh at you whether you know it or not for wearing penny loafers if all you have ever worn were tennis shoes.

My advice will go against the few you have gotten: splurge and take on the prep look without apologies. (if you can afford it). checkout this site if you have no clue what prep means www.prepidemic.com. My strategic advice if you can't afford a full on splurge: buy and stock up little by little (this may take a while) and when you are ready BAAM! The new you will come out.
 

acecow

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
4,135
Reaction score
682
Oh yeah, start with shoes that are classical and modern at the same time, if that makes sense. I started updating my casual wear with these two and I still wear them a lot:
These are Ryan Rowe. I was lucky enough to snag them at ridiculously low prices when they still were on 6pm.com. Should've bought 2 of each if I knew how much I'd like them. Right now it's harder to find them for cheap.
 

HPress

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
181
Reaction score
0
Originally Posted by acecow
6. Read this forum a lot, but don't let it influence you too much. Develop your own sense of style relative to your age. Don't forget that most of the people who will post here are much older than you and, therefore, dress older. You don't need that.

Yes. It's a fine line, picking clothes that fancy but age appropriate.

I think this provides a good template:

 

HPress

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
181
Reaction score
0
Originally Posted by bringusingoodale
It will be too difficult to maintain your allegiance with your hoodie wearing self once you take the advice from here. Seriously if you do wear penny loafers, there is really no way to say you are going to delicately and strategically transition yourself from that style to that style. Most people will laugh at you whether you know it or not for wearing penny loafers if all you have ever worn were tennis shoes. My advice will go against the few you have gotten: splurge and take on the prep look without apologies. (if you can afford it). checkout this site if you have no clue what prep means www.prepidemic.com. My strategic advice if you can't afford a full on splurge: buy and stock up little by little (this may take a while) and when you are ready BAAM! The new you will come out.
Am I the only one who thinks preps look like douche bags? BTW, unless you actually grew up in a preppy environment and picked up the style there, you won't pull it off anyway. Everyone will see you for the wannabe you are.
 

3orangewhips

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2008
Messages
87
Reaction score
0
Originally Posted by HPress
Am I the only one who thinks preps look like douche bags? BTW, unless you actually grew up in a preppy environment and picked up the style there, you won't pull it off anyway. Everyone will see you for the wannabe you are.
Trad as a uniform can be douchey. Trad as a jumping-off point can be sublime. It all depends on self-confidence. Keep in mind that some people seem to hate anyone who dresses even a little more formally than they do. Ignore those people. EDIT: Last line not directed at HPress. Just at the world.
 

cptjeff

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
4,642
Reaction score
318
Originally Posted by bringusingoodale
It will be too difficult to maintain your allegiance with your hoodie wearing self once you take the advice from here. Seriously if you do wear penny loafers, there is really no way to say you are going to delicately and strategically transition yourself from that style to that style. Most people will laugh at you whether you know it or not for wearing penny loafers if all you have ever worn were tennis shoes.

My advice will go against the few you have gotten: splurge and take on the prep look without apologies. (if you can afford it). checkout this site if you have no clue what prep means www.prepidemic.com. My strategic advice if you can't afford a full on splurge: buy and stock up little by little (this may take a while) and when you are ready BAAM! The new you will come out.


If he wears stuff like penny loafers with the rest of his current getup, he would indeed be laughed at. They would be so incongruous to that sort of stuff, and they would look stupid. But jordans and stuff like that would look equally as stupid with slim jeans, an oxford and an argyle sweater.

I do like the transitional stuff acecow posted though. Simple and classic dark leather sneakers or ultra casual designer dress shoish things (what would you call those anyway?) could be a nice middle ground. You (the OP) could also go the route of beat up old dress shoes. Longwings, monks, e-bay (and the B&S) is rife with such shoes. Or chelsea boots, desert boots...
 

NorCal

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2007
Messages
8,830
Reaction score
1,526
Originally Posted by HPress
Yes. It's a fine line, picking clothes that fancy but age appropriate. I think this provides a good template:

For God's sake man! You must be trolling. I hope so. OP please don't go this route. Your 19 for fucks sake, rock out with your cock out. And if you can't handle that at least go for the Epaluet look.http://www.epauletshop.com/servlet/t...ing/Categories More than good enough for a 19 year old accountant.
 

GBear

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2010
Messages
1,614
Reaction score
922
I'm 20 and making the transition as well.

What I started off doing is trashing all of those graphic tees. They make you look foolish. Buy yourself some plain fitted t-shirts in a variety of colors. Stop wearing those frat boy cargo shorts. Instead, get slimmer fitted shorts. I started off with a couple pairs for cK. Then you can go from there. Like others said, you can go into button downs and such, which is what I am doing now. This route is relatively inexpensive and the results are definitely noticeable.
 

takashi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
68
Reaction score
0
The Best dressed man is a great template. (it's just the fit isn't good, that's all) The style of people can transform according to the budget (I think). It is no problem to wear Uniqlo/H&M etc. Once we start knowing about clothing, you may buy a shirt from Band of outsider or Ralph Lauren basics stuff. If you become good accountant, you will buy bespoke shirts and suits. This applies to the shoe choice (or anything really. watch, jacket, cuff links, socks, belt, glasses, you name it!), you may buy a pair of Clerks desert boots/Sanders, then, a pair of Church/Trickers, the high end bit will be John Lobb/Edward Green. Everyone here posted great recommendations, you have very very good start, lucky you
 

mlongano

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
303
Reaction score
5
First of all, congratulation on your deisre to dress more appropriately for a soon to be accountant...your attitude and preparation will give you a leg up on your competition when the time comes. Slow and Gradual Transition: Step 1 - Start by substituting slim dark jeans instead of baggy ill-fitting, worn out jeans. After you're comfortable in this look... Step 2 - Slowly start adding some oxford cloth, button down shirts and/or polos instead of graphic tees, and mix in a couple of pairs of casual shoes in place of the nike/jordans Step 3 - Replace hoodies with sweaters / sport coat; add a couple pairs of tailored khakis. Now your transition is complete, and you are probably about 21 and getting ready to start interviewing soon. Step 4 - Shop for two interview suits - one should be a navy blue, another a charcoal gray...both should be classic and conservative...for example Brooks Brothers 1818. Pay close attention to fit, and ensure that the end result fits you correctly. A moderately priced suit that fits well will look much better than an expensive luxury suit that does not fit correctly. Now you are 22 and an accountant. Time to look back to those old pictures from 2010 and laugh at how you used to dress. P.S. Some of your friends will never make this transition. Hopefully you can still remain friends with them. If not, move on. Life is all about new relationships and old relationships.
 

Featured Sponsor

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

  • 1 - 4

    Votes: 11 3.8%
  • 5 - 10

    Votes: 45 15.5%
  • 11 - 20

    Votes: 91 31.3%
  • 21 - 30

    Votes: 54 18.6%
  • 31 - 40

    Votes: 22 7.6%
  • 41 - 50

    Votes: 19 6.5%
  • 51 - 60

    Votes: 11 3.8%
  • 61 - 70

    Votes: 6 2.1%
  • 71 - 80

    Votes: 12 4.1%
  • 81 - 90

    Votes: 2 0.7%
  • 91 - 100

    Votes: 2 0.7%
  • 100+

    Votes: 16 5.5%

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
427,335
Messages
9,197,293
Members
193,176
Latest member
raviseo174

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Top