Above: Compliments of Chloe Grace’s excellent student fashion blog, which is worth checking out.
I’m not a fashionista or grooming expert, but I know enough about style and self-maintenance to say that if you’re a college guy, you should go the extra mile to look nice, pariticulary when your peers and showing up to class in gym shorts.
It makes a difference. Professors notice.
Fip through magazines like GQ, Details or Esquire, even if you’re broke and will never be able to afford Mark McNairy clothes. (Guess what: most guys never will.)
The sexiest part about guys is the way they smell. Maybe I just have sharp olfaction, but smell is the first thing I notice.
In high school, I used to play this game with my friends. We’d be at football practice, and all the guys’ baseball caps would be thrown into a corner. By sniffing each one, I could tell who it belonged to.
Purchase a good cologne. You’ll need to spend some money. Old Spice and Axe don’t cut it.
If you already use cologne, use less. A little goes a long way. Two squirts at either side of the neck, on the wrists, or on the shirt collar is plenty. Take it from the guy who notices when you’re wearing too much. Let your cologne accent your body, not overpower it.
If you don’t use any hair product, start. If you do, use half the amount you’ve been using. Guys put way too much stuff in their hair.
This is my hardest struggle. I catch myself hoping that maybe another bit of pomade on my finger will make my hairstyle perfect. Eventually I have to face the fact that I’ve used too much, and start over.
Stop using that shitty, sporty body wash that dries out your skin and has a silhouette of an athlete on the bottle. In the shower, I try to only use natural products. Humans have been caring for their bodies in nature for a long time, making the current onslaught of manmade chemicals for skin and hair needless at best.
Try Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, which comes in a variety of scents. It’ll be the strangest bottle of body wash you own, with pseudo-Christian messages about “all-one cleanliness” and “a return to nature” printed in micro text around the entire thing, but it’ll clean you with no synthetic preservatives or detergents.
For my hair, I use Baxter of California Hard Cream Pomade. Hans de Fuko sponge wax is also great but has less hold. I also recently discovered Uppercut Deluxe‘s line of styling products, which are excellent, and the line offers something for all hair types. Added bonus: all these products are inexpensive.
For cologne, my current favorite Luna Rossa by Prada, which is what I imagine Daniel Craig wears whenever he leans in the doorway of his oaken bedroom. It smells deliciously clean and is incredibly versatile. I bought my last bottle in London for about £45, so it’s probably around 90 bucks.
I’m in college. I live on the cheap. You don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to appear put-together. Drink less, run more, hit the gym, brush your teeth. It’s not hard to look like you take college (and yourself) seriously.
If you’re spending your days lounging in your dorm room surrounded by pizza boxes and beer bottles, you’re going to develop slob habits. People don’t hire slobs and professors don’t notice them.
Don’t be sad if you’re not the best at styling. Not every guy is a GQ guy, and not every guy needs to be. There’s this popular image now of a rugged, outdoorsy man who also uses $300 cosmetics, wears distressed, worn-looking clothing that can’t be put in a dryer, and cleans himself with all-natural body bars that are hard to find and smell like lavender and hunting rifles. This image is stupid and unrealistic. Just wear clothes that fit, and fill your closet with neutral colors.
Lastly — and I know this is a cliché — but confidence is really the most important accessory. I love good cologne as much as the next guy, but what really impresses me is someone with the confidence to ground his grooming and his garb in a total package: a good posture, strong handshake, and friendly smile.
You don’t have to be cocky, but you do have to like yourself a little bit. My friends who are fashionistas buy t-shirts from Wal-Mart and jackets from Goodwill. They cut them up and make them their own, and when they go out at night, they slay. They don’t find the best clothes, they’re simply fearless with the clothes they afford. This is street style, and this is where designers at the very top of the fashion world draw inspiration. Fashion starts from the street. Couture comes from what people with little money and lots of creativity wear.
Study hard, gents.