Fashion for Men in Their 20s

Are you an upperclassman in college looking for an internship or a recent graduate ready to start work in the ‘real world’? If you don’t know by know, putting time an effort into your style can only help you (read more about that here).

Trust us, you’re not alone if American Eagle/Hollister clothing is about the only thing that’s in your closet. We’re here to help you change that.

We put this article together so you can become a bit more fashion-forward without breaking the bank. The reality is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to reap the benefits of dressing well.

So, without further ado, here’s our article Fashion for Men in Their 20s:

What Are Others In Your Industry Wearing?


For starters, it’s really important to be aware of what is your industry’s norm; what will your peers be wearing?

For example, if you are in graphic design a more casual approach is generally more appropriate. However, if you are in investment banking, a formal suit and tie are necessities.

All that being said, you don’t want to be a clone of everyone else. So have a base but don’t let that stop you. You can always dress better (but not too much) than your counterparts and let that assist you in your personal and professional life.

The Advantages of Dressing Well

The benefits of dressing well arrange from more positive attention from women to better job prospects and promotions. This isn’t just some made up mumbo jumbo. In fact, there are many published studies on the benefits of being fashionable.

Here is are a few excerpts from Enclothed CognitionJournal of Experimental Social Psychology, Adam, H., and Galinsky, A. (2012):

“Clothes can have profound and systematic psychological and behavioral consequences for their wearers,” Adam and Galinsky said. Future research, they suggested, could examine the effects of other types of clothing: might the robe of a priest make us more moral? Would a firefighter’s suit make us more brave? “Although the saying goes that clothes do not make the man,” the researchers concluded, “our results suggest they do hold a strange power over their wearers.”

A Few ‘Big Picture’ Tips

One of the most important things to realize is that curating your own style won’t happen overnight. As they say, Rome wan’t built in a day. It’s going to take a bit of investment as well as your time to really get the results you want. And eventually, you’ll be the proud owner of a quality wardrobe.

Another tip to keep in mind is that you don’t have to spend gobs of money to get what you want. As you are in your twenties, you most likely won’t have an excess of income. Don’t let this be an excuse to stop you from dressing your best. A few fashion stores with lower price points include: Zara, Jack Threads, H&M, The Gap, Urban Outfitters, and even Target.  Great looking pieces don’t have to break the bank.

One last thing to do is to slowly start getting rid of your old wardrobe. You can either donate clothing items to your local Salvation Army or give it to younger family members (cousins work too!). You really want to clear out your wardrobe as it will clarify your new direction of where you’re going with your style.

7 Fashion Items That Will Boost Your Style


1. Button-Down Shirts

Button-down shirts are very versatile; they look great at work or during play. Just make sure that your shirts are too long so they can be worn tucked in or left untucked. Overall, you really should be moving from tee shirts to button-downs.

2. Accessories: Watches, Socks, and Belts


A simple accessory ensemble can really separate you from the crowd. Click here for inexpensive watches. Remember to not wear anything too flashy.

3. Outerwear

In the colder months, layering your outerwear and rocking scarfs will result in an awesome look as well as keep you warm. Old puffy jackets should be retired unless you’re skiing or snowboarding (even still…).

4. Dark Denim

Dark jeans are very sexy and can be worn in a variety of situations. They look fantastic worn out with friends on a weekend or incorporated into a business casual outfit. We love the Levi 511’s; not too baggy, not too tight.

5. Shoes


“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” – Marilyn Monroe

We believe this quote holds true for both females and males.

6. Sweaters

Unless you work in tech or about to get your pump on at the gym, you can lose the hoodie. Sweaters offer a much more sophisticated look and should be a staple in your wardrobe, especially in the fall!

7. Well-Fitted Suits

The baggy, non-fitted suits with pleated pants are definitely a no go. We can’t stress the importance of owning a properly-fitted suit. Black suits are for ultra formal events and funerals. So we recommend picking up a gray suit. Yes, brown shoes work well with gray suits (super well, actually).

“A well-tailored suit is to women, what lingerie is to men.“ – Unknown

A Few Final Words of Caution

Avoid going out and buying a ton of clothing right away. Space it out. If you don’t, you’ll most likely end up with a bunch of pieces you’re not really a fan of. You should only buy clothing you absolutely love. Cultivating your style is a process, not an event. 

Another piece of advice is to avoid graphic tees. Blatant brand advertising from logos, slogans, and band shirts aren’t Upswing approved.

The most important thing to remember is to avoid loose clothing like the plague. Swimming in your button-down and baggy cargo shorts are a style sin.

Your main objective is to wear clothing that fit you well. This will result in a well put together, manly appearance.

For a full list of fashion don’ts, click here.


So, what do you think? What are you going to add to your wardrobe?



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