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This is an “essentials” list complied by Zuberi, myself and a girl who has worked in Men’s Fashion.
Again, as with the other information in this “Well-Dressed Loser” guide, this is for guys that want to rock a “Well Dressed” or “Looking Good” style without looking like a total nice guy pushover. It is not necessarily an “edgy” style however. This style (arguably, just like every other style) works best if you are above-average looking and are in decent physical shape.
If you aren’t in good shape, rather than trying to find clothing to hide this issue or trick people- get your ass in shape. We will give you all/the only information you need.
If you are in good shape but know that your “looks” are a bit plain, you may benefit from an edgier style than the suggestions below.
These recommendations will work and appeal to the majority of guys that are committed to being top 10% guys who maximize their looks with proper fitness and nutrition.
If You Are Poor…
This guide discusses building wardrobe.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend- you just need 1 not-totally-inexpensive, cool, current and masculine outfit to wear OVER and OVER.
Yes- just wear it OVER and OVER. Keep it clean though.
When I moved to Los Angeles, I wore the same pair of expensive jeans and biker boots EVERYDAY. I rotated Affliction (trendy at the time) t-shirts over the jeans and washed them when they got dirty. Though not right away, I started meeting a ton of women when I got my approach anxiety under control. More women commented on the “look” my ONE outfit gave me than a lot of my friends who spent $5000+ on their wardrobe.
Being poor is not a reasonable excuse to dress poorly, all you need it 1 outfit that is cool, current and masculine.
Remember- if you clothes are not cool, current and masculine- nobody, guy or girl, will mistake you for that.
Nordstrom, although an expensive store, has a LIFETIME no-hassle return policy. I have returned things that were 5+ years old, worn out and clothing items that went out of style. It’s a good idea to hold on to your receipt even though they can usually look up your purchase if you made it on your credit card. You could hypothetically buy (rent) and return your clothing every fashion season in exchange another new outfit. Since I genuinely like the store, I don’t recommend that you abuse their return policy. Although Nordstrom is a chain, the clothing at each Nordstrom store will vary, the company is really well run and and nearby stores usually will carry different items based on the region’s demographic. It’s worth going to every Nordstrom store.
Like John W. Nordstrom, Kohl’s also has a LIFETIME no-hassle return policy.
Kohl’s, although they have improved, doesn’t carry much fashionable clothing. Some of their newer stuff,Rock & Republic and some of the Marc Anthony is pretty good though. Kohl’s is definitely an affordable place and you can probably grab a few things there. And Return them… if you ever have to.
A final, even-less-expensive, option is buying high-fashion clothing on eBay. Look around on eBay for theEXACT name of the item and size you need after you try it on in a department store. The only ‘problem’ with eBay is- you can’t return used clothing, but you can re-sell it.
Zuberi, myself and our 2 fashionistas blondies put together several pictures as well as some commentary on pieces. I also have links to external websites, some which are ‘affiliate’ links where I will receive a small commission (at NO EXPENSE to you) if you make a purchase. The commission from Amazon is about 5-6%. I appreciate it if you buy via my links, it’s how the blog makes money.
Good Looking Shirts
Plain White T-shirts;
Long-sleeve and short-sleeve(standalone/layering)
Do not buy a cheap brand, just buy fewer higher-quality shirts.
Basic white, v-neck T-shirt you can build on. Add dog-tags and a fashionable jacket for a clean look with edge.
Basic long-sleeved white tee. Great for layering (under vest or jacket) or accessorizing.
Plain Black T-shirts; Long-sleeve and Short-sleeve
Basic black V-neck tee. Great to wear on it’s own with some accessories or perfect for layering.
Long sleeved black shirt. The buttons give it enough style to be worn on its own, yet it is still basic enough to be layered with a vest or jacket.
2(x)ist – 2(x)ist is a high[er]-end affordable brand found at Nordstrom and Neiman-Marcus.
We want to keep it simple but not have you end up in Hanes or Kirkland (Costco) cheap looking stuff. If you wear that stuff, wear it UNDER your clothes or sleep in it. In our opinion, 2(x)ist, is better looking that the cheaper stuff and you won’t have to spend an unreasonable amount of money.
Cool Graphic T-shirts
BLACK & WHITE GRAPHIC TEES
Black & white graphic tees look good on almost any skin-tone, an exception being- super pale. This shirt is interesting but not over done and the hard lines give a little edge. Add a necklace and watch or ring to complete this casual/stylish look.
V-neck graphic tees. The writing is a subtle and cool graphic. Long necklaces like dog-tags look great with v-necks.
Black & white graphic tee. This is a very edgy shirt, the soft print tones down the in-your-face sexual nature a little bit. Wear this when you are in the mood for a night out to get a hot piece of ass.
Shirt above under a leather jacket for a dressier look.
COLORED GRAPHIC TEES
Bright blue two trees graphic tee. This is a bright attention-getting tee without being too much. Great for a casual look or dress it up by throwing a blazer or leather jacket over it.
Bright yellow graphic tee. This is a bright, happy standout color with an interesting graphic that draws people in. The black hard lines add a little edge to the yellow. Don’t be afraid of bright colors they can look great and inviting. Just make sure not to over-accessorize if you wear a bright tee.
Colorful palm tree graphic tee. This is a comfortable light weight fabric with a cool wide neckline. The graphic is fresh and joyful. This shirt is great for daytime in a warm climate.
X marks the spot graphic tee. This is kind of an “I don’t care” shirt. You look like a cool guy that isn’t trying too hard because the colors are muted but the design is still interesting. This shirt makes a subtle statement. Add accessories to this shirt since it isn’t as flashy.
Recommended (updated seasonally by Sara, ongoing feed)
Guess? for Men: For the past 3 years, Guess? has some of the very best graphic tees for men. Try to avoid the one’s the say “Guess?” all over them though.
International Concepts (INC) for Men: This is a pretty fashionable, affordable brand that is tucked away in Macy’s department stores. They usually have a few items per season that are really nice. I’ve specifically gotten compliments on their dress shirts and vests.
Plain, Long-sleeve, Button-down Shirts: White & Solid Color
White button-down shirts are very versatile. They give you a fresh, clean put-together look for day or night. Wear them with gray jeans for day or night. Wear a vest and blazer over them for a more formal look. Add dog tags or a long necklace and diamond stud earrings to add a little edge and style.
Light blue button-down. Blue is flattering on most skin tones. Be careful not to wear blue shirts with a similar shade of blue jeans. The light blue here is paired with very dark jeans for a nice contrast. Blue shirts also look great with gray jeans.
Plaid Button-down (To Combine with Plain Shirts)
Plaid button-down. An easy go-to shirt for many occasions. It says casual and sweet with style.This can go from a day look to a casual night look.
Recommended (Updated Seasonally by Sara, ongoing feed)
English Laundry: This is an excellent brand for most guys, just above the shirts that have too much stitching on the outside.
Current, but not over-styled (True Religion, studs)
Here’s the deal on jeans.
GET AT LEAST1 PAIR of expensive/high-quality jeans. All you need is ONE pair and just wear them over and over. In 2008, I wore the SAME pair of Affliction Ozzy Osbourne ‘Rosary’ Jeans every single day and met a lot of women.
If you are broke, go to a store such as Nordstrom and try on some jeans, write down the exact name of the ones you liked. After that, go to home and look on Ebay for the exact pair of jeans. They will be much cheaper.
Even though you may not, women can tell the difference between a pair “Kirkland” jeans from Costco and high-end of fashionable jeans. You wouldn’t wear an ugly sweater from the 1990s, so don’t view jeans any differently. Don’t wear outdated jeans unless you have given up on your sex life. Higher-end, more fashionable jeans fit better- especially if you have a decent body too.
Dark straight leg jeans. These jeans are dark so they can work for day or night. Straight leg cuts are flattering but not too tight, like skinny jeans, so they look good most body types. These jeans are clean and fashionable without looking try-hard.
Light Jeans (Light[er] Blue)
There are two good examples below.
Just so you know, “80s Stonewash” is not “in” right now. So you shouldn’t be IN them.
Light wash jeans. Clean, not overly distressed.
Light blue jeans with a fashionable shiny (silicone or wet) wash.
Fashionable Jeans (i.e. Gray or Black)
Gray jeans. Light gray wash, straight leg. These are fashionable and look good with almost any color.
Fashionable black slim-fit, wet wash jeans. These show that you know what is current in fashion. Just don’t over accessorize.
At Least 1 Pair of Black Dress Pants (Slacks, USA)
At Least 1 Pair of Basic Shorts
As you may have been told- “Never wear shorts! They are never fashionable!”
There is actually some truth to this.
Most guys do not have attractive body or muscular legs- in which case a plain-looking, generic preppy pair of khaki shorts won’t do much for them. If you have a good body (you should be working on this anyway) and nice legs, shorts are an option. Not necessarily the first option, but an option- especially in ‘beachie’ areas or more laid back atmospheres. Just don’t tuck a t-shirt or a stupid polo shirt into your shorts. You aren’t on your way to a Nascar event or 5th grade.
Khaki cargo shorts. These shorts go are very versatile during summer. You can throw on a cool graphic tee and some accessories for everyday wear. Or pair them with a white button down for a dressier look in hot weather.
We recommend you go into a store and try on and play dress up until you’ve found the perfect pair of jeans.
You can consider ordering them afterward, but pants are definitely something you should try on.
Good Looking Shoes
1 Pair of Fashionable Sneakers
New Balance sneakers. The black and white tones are great neutral colors that you can wear with almost any casual outfit. They aren’t too loud so they won’t take away from the outfit. As long as your sneakers are current with fashion, nice and clean you’re good. Chris owns these.
1 Pair of Black Dress Shoes
Black dress shoes. Nice, basic black dress shoes are essential to have in your closet. They go with any dressy outfit that has black tones.
A variation of black dress shoes. Basic black dress shoes with a pop of color. These will go with any dressy outfit that has black tones. The pop of color is cool and different but optional.
1 Pair of Brown Dress Shoes (optional)
Brown, in general, is not a great color on most guys.
If you Indian, Middle Eastern or really tan- DO NOT WEAR BROWN.
Brown, like gray, unlike black, white or colors is a ‘fit in’ color and not a ‘stand out’ color. It’s the most boring color there is.
With that said, brown shoes do go with certain chino and khaki pants. Khaki pants are not exactly “in” these days however.
Brown dress shoes. These will go with dressy outfits that have brown or beige tones.
New Balance 574 - The newer 574 line is the more colorful New Balance line. They look great. Not too sporty like Nike, not too gangster like Reebok, but not too formal either.
New Balance 993/990 - This the updated version(s) of the original New Balance shoe. Some of these are more sporty than fashionable however.
Steve Madden - Steve Madden fits the “well-dressed” style perfectly. A lot of guys aren’t aware that they have men’s shoe. They do and the shoes are quite nice.
Rockport - Rockport is a very established brand that was kept their style traditional but also stay current. Very business and classy.
1 Pair of Fashionable Boots
Boots are really good supporting piece. Most new boots will work. Biker boots,
In general, stay away from “combat” boots, cowboy boots and “worker” boots. The first ends up very Neo-Nazi like and the second usually “don’t look too good,” to quote every girl that has an opinion on men’s footwear. The third makes you look like you work at a construction site.
Boots with more than 2-3 straps or have a ton of metal “lace holes” are also discouraged.
Black slightly distressed boots. These are fashionable and pretty simple, so they will go with a lot of outfits. And they are more casual than dress shoes.
Frye Boots - Fyre is regarded to make some of the very best fashionable boots. There probably isn’t better rated footwear on Amazon. Fashionable women often own some of the the women’s Frye line. They are always current and most pairs will go with EVERYTHING you own.
*Side Note- Don’t worry as much about your shoes as you do about your clothing. Shoes are not half as noticeable as your clothing. However, you don’t want dirty old shoes to take away from your look either. So just be aware and keep them current but keep the main focus on your clothing.
Good Looking Jacket
Fashionable Jacket. i.e. Leather, Blazer, Wool
(Beware the ugly plain blazer…)
Leather jacket. This jacket has a big stand out collar and is put over a basic long-sleeved white shirt. The leather alone gives the look edge and style.
Gray wash leather jacket. A more casual variation of a leather jacket.
Wool jackets. Wool jackets rarely go out of style. They are a great way to add style to just about any outfit.
We absolutely encourage you to leave the house and try jackets on. Please do that.
Good Looking Underwear
Black ankle socks. When you wear shorts, ankle socks are great because they don’t show. Black socks will work with pretty much any look that you wear socks with, so stock up.
Boxer-briefs. If you don’t wear them, start. They aren’t as bulky as boxers and they look better than briefs or “tighty-whities” that show skid marks.
Although not traditional underwear, Underarmour is wonderful and comfortable. You can wear it with or without boxer briefs underneath.
Ribbed Tank (aka Wife Beater)
Ribbed tank. This is to go under shirts not to wear alone.
Underarmour is a Godsend if you are endowed. No more unwanted flopping, incidents where you sit on your unit or involuntary public displays of excitement for strangers to text about. Underamour is made of 85+% nylon, so it won’t shrink and GAG you. If you are well-endowed and still want to do the ‘regular’ underwear thing, check out- www.wellhungarian.com to see some options. Not surprisingly, 2x(ist) offers some roomy pouches for your overgrown equipment.
5 Perfect Style Examples:
Leather jacket adds edge to a clean, dressy look. Skinny black tie gives modern, edgy elements to this look.
The jacket ties this look together. It hides enough of the sexy graphic on the shirt that it isn’t too in your face. The glasses soften the edge of this look. The dog tags, watch and glasses are just the right amount of accessories for this outfit.
The gray blazer is modern and flattering. It lightens the dark shirt and jeans. The dark jeans are nice and current, although they need to be pulled up so they don’t have as many fold lines. The shoes are fashion-forward and the pop of blue on white is placed well here because there is no color in the rest of the outfit. Beware of UGLYblazers!!!!
This outfit says cool, modern, great sense of style and confident. It is put together very well. The dark jeans and white button down are current basics that make a clean canvas for the cool, fashion-forward jacket. The scarf adds to the understated “wow” factor.
You should have a nice suit in your closet. Suits can be very flattering as long as they fit right. This is a fitted black suit with a fashion-forward tie, which shows you have a modern, classy sense of style.