Wear This, Not That: 8 Things to Ditch From Your Wardrobe Now That You’re a Grown-Ass Man

You’re not a kid anymore, so it’s time to stop dressing like one. Regardless of how many times you’ve been told it’s what’s inside that counts, what’s on the outside matters, too. If you dress like a teenage slob, people will treat you like one.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to flip things around and start dressing like a man who cares about his appearance. In fact, so many guys are completely clueless and lazy when it comes to fashion that simply following the easy advice below will probably put you in the top ten percent of fashionable guys. That equates to more respect at work and more attention from women. In other words, it’s worth the minimal effort.

It will probably hurt to get rid of some of the clothes that got you through high school and college, but all good things must come to an end. It’s time to say goodbye to your Diesel jeans and Busted Tees and say hello to dressing like a grown-up.

Wear solid-color v-necks, not graphic tees

Every guy owns a bunch of graphic tees because every guy wants the world to know how great his taste in pop culture is. Harsh reality: no adult cares what band you saw in concert. If anything, we’re judging you for spending $45 on a tour T-shirt. If you absolutely can’t bear to part with your favorite graphic tees, you can hold onto them and use them as pajama shirts or maybe painting clothes. Otherwise, they need to go straight in the trash.

Wear polo shirts, not patterned and/or shiny short-sleeved shirts

Nothing screams unfashionable neckbeard like a button-down shirt with flames or dragons or some crap like that on it. Make the transition to solid-colored polos. And add some real flames to your old shirts, i.e. burn them.

Wear oxford cloth button downs (OCBDs), not black, striped “going out” shirts

If you start dressing like a grown-up man, the whole concept of a “going out” shirt will become ridiculous — your normal clothes will be more than acceptable for hitting the bar scene. Stick to light-colored collared shirts made of oxford cloth, as they are pretty much the most versatile item of clothing in a man’s wardrobe: good for work, good for a dinner date and good for a lazy weekend at the beach house, too. Stay the hell away from the black and maroon striped shirts you see douchebags wearing at the clubs.

Wear gray crewneck sweatshirts, not hoodies

There’s a time and place for hoodies and it’s called “college.” As soon as you graduate (or flunk out), the hoodies have to go. If you still crave that warm, soft feeling you get from being wrapped in a hoodie, you can get it from a standard gray crewneck sweater or sweatshirt. Worn over an OCBD, the gray sweatshirt is a staple of manly fashion. Don’t believe me? Ask our most fashionable president, John F. Kennedy.

Wear dark selvedge denim, not acid-washed jeans

If your jeans aren’t the same color all over, kick them to the curb. If they have more than just two pockets in the front (not counting the change pocket) and two in the back, toss them off a bridge. If they have words stitched on them anywhere other than the leather tag on the back, stab them to death. One pair of dark jeans made of selvedge denim (a fancy way of saying high-quality denim, like jeans used to be made out of) should be the staple of your wardrobe. They can be worn with anything from a navy blazer and bowtie to a ratty old (non-graphic) T-shirt. It’s a good idea to minimize how often you wash them — and never use bleach or any detergent that would strip their color.

Wear chinos, not sweatpants or track pants

Loose sweatpants and track pants are for fratboys, rappers and Justin Bieber. Real men wear slim chinos whenever they aren’t wearing jeans — preferably in khaki or navy blue.

Wear desert boots, not skater shoes

Dressing like a grown-up extends all the way down to your footwear. If you skateboard regularly, then by all means keep a pair of skater shoes around to be worn when you’re out skating. Otherwise, ditch the sneakers and invest in a pair of leather desert boots. Like a lot of the items on this list, they’re versatile enough to be worn casually or in most workplace settings.

Wear nothing on your head, not a baseball cap nor a fedora

The only time it’s acceptable to wear a baseball cap is when you’re at a baseball game or maybe when you’re at the beach. It’s never okay to wear a fedora (or any other kind of hat, for that matter). Don’t do it. If you’re balding and want to cover it up, just shave your head. Silly adult, hats are for kids.

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5 Responses to Wear This, Not That: 8 Things to Ditch From Your Wardrobe Now That You’re a Grown-Ass Man

  1. Charlotte Hannah
    Charlotte Hannah says:

    I’d argue that the only time it’s acceptable to wear a fedora is if you’re Frank Sinatra. Otherwise, just no.

    I used to work at a store in the mall, and I actually tried to talk a dude out of buying a fake leather fedora from me. He wouldn’t be swayed, though. Cringe.

  2. Everybody has an opinion… I think this website’s opinion on most of these are wrong. Anyone cn be a fashion critic these days.

  3. I have to disagree with the comment on hats. First, that is not a fedora, that is a trilby. Secondly, there is no problem with wearing a hat so long as it goes with the outfit. If you plan on wearing a hat don’t get a cheaper made hat for $5 from the mall, find a haberdashery and invest $50 or more in a well constructed bowler or homburg. If you are in a climate with hot summers consider getting a Panama hat.
    Moral of the story is that a cheap and poorly made hat will look childish, but a quality hat paired to the right outfit will look amazing.

  4. In other words, become boring. Not everyone chooses to dress like a claims adjuster after college, you know. Attractive graphic tees are fine. There are graphics beyond the bad bands you liked in High School, you know. Hoodies are fine on the weekend, and sneakers are fine as well. Are you really saying a pair of sharp, neutral colored Adidas can’t be worn as an adult? Most silly of all is the bias against hats. Men wear hats. If you live in a cold climate, you wear a knit cap in winter. If it’s rainy, you wear a billed cap to keep the rain out of your eyes. Maybe not a baseball cap, but how about a nice driving cap? And if you are balding, you wear a cap in summer to keep the sun from burning your scalp. Yes, even a non-garish baseball cap. There’s absolutely nothing immature about head wear.

  5. I do disagree with some of these. First, I stopped wearing button down collared shirts made of oxford cloth after I graduated college, and I do not want to wear a stiff dress shirt after I leave my office. I do not own any “Club Shirts” but I do like to wear a nice broadcloth or flannel when it gets a little cool. I try to stick to solid color Tee’s but I have few graphic Tee’s that just make me happy. I think the comment about sneakers was more about “Skater Shoes” not athletic shoes. I have noticed men, way too old, to be wearing Skater Shoes, but I love a nice pair of retro sneaker’s which give men a bit of an edge. I live in South Florida, where wearing a jacket or coat is too much, but a nice hoodie is just right. And hats are a necessity in the sun.