5 Tips to Go from Drab to Fab on Little Money
Athletic does not equal grunge
The stained jeans, ripped t-shirt, baseball cap and knock-off tennis shoes qualified for athletic wear in high school and made it possible to fit in with the grunge crowd at the same time. In college, athletic chic needs to grow up a bit. Invest in a pair of clean jeans, a college t-shirt, sweat shirt or jacket, a pair of name-brand shoes and a matching baseball cap. If name-brand shoes are too expensive, substitute plain shoes – such as Jack Purcells -- that are not trying to pretend.
Buy a suit and three ties
The suit should be as expensive as you can afford. Don’t go for an odd color, such as olive, but instead opt for a brown tone that allows for easy mixing and matching. Pants with cuffs are a good idea for that extra pizzazz. Invest in one showpiece tie made from silk, which is a bit costlier than the others. The other ties can be bargain basement models that complement the color of the suit.
Buy dress shoes and belts that match
When wearing a suit, be sure that the belt and dress shoes match. Opt for leather shoes whenever possible.
A vest helps get more mileage out of a dress shirt
Ideally, a white dress shirt should be dry-cleaned and starched after each time it is worn. If this is not in the budget, add a vest to your attire. Wear it over the dress shirt the next time a suit is called for, and it is possible to stretch the times that the shirt needs cleaning.
Cleanliness is next to godliness (and fashionable)
Pay attention to your finger nails. Make sure they are clean and well-groomed. Wear a watch, which is a great fashion accessory for men. Find a dry cleaner and inquire about student discounts. A professional wardrobe does better with the attention of a professional who can clean, press and starch as needed.