Dress To Impress…What Guys Should Pack For College

A generic T-shirt and baseball cap might have worked at high school social events where you already knew everyone in attendance, but when you get to college, that just won’t cut it.

Every year, as fraternity rush parties begin and new freshmen come looking for a good time, most fraternity members wonder how they’re going to get a quality pledge class out of the guys that show up to their house looking like 14-year-olds.

Sure, confidence and charisma are the most important things, but still, these guys need help from the feet up to their heads. So, let’s start at the feet.

  • Shoes

No, your basketball shoes or Reeboks aren’t going to work. Invest in some Sperrys. You should also have a pair of “tennis” shoes (read: Nike Air Maxes) that you never wear to play sports. Keep them clean and wear them to impress for more casual parties.

I know it seems like only girls should have a big shoe collection, but that’s not true. You should have dress shoes, casual shoes, sports shoes, etc. You shouldn’t use the same pair of shoes for everything.

  • Pants

First, I must admit that I too was swag-less when I arrived at college. I knew not to wear T-shirts and baseball caps to a college party, but I didn’t own a pair of jeans. I always found them uncomfortable. But not only should you have a couple pair of jeans, you should have different colors and cuts of jeans.

I was extremely hesitant about having dark jeans, but now I love them — mainly because girls love them. Learning about dark-colored jeans taught me to think outside the box. Don’t dress too conservatively. Be willing to try new styles.

  • Shirts

T-shirts aren’t always bad. You just have to be careful. Don’t wear TapOut or Ed Hardy. Wear a simple stripe or solid color shirt. You can’t go wrong with a solid-colored Polo T-shirt.

Classy is key. My family and girlfriend can attest to my obsession with button-up, long-sleeve, collared shirts. When it’s cold, they can be paired perfectly with a good-looking sweater. When it’s warmer, short-sleeve collared shirts are perfect.

Also, invest in a nice suit. It will come in handy.

  • Hats

This category is easy. It’s backwards snapback or nothing. (I prefer nothing, but the snapback works wonders for some people. I just can’t pull it off.)

  • Where to Shop

This all sounds expensive, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be.

Start asking for gift cards to Urban Outfitters, Ralph Lauren, American Eagle, etc., for birthdays and Christmas — or graduation if you are fortunate enough to be reading this while still in high school.

Shop online at members only sites, like JackThreads and PLNDR, which offer awesome sales on awesome apparel to their members. It’s free to sign up.

Now get out there, and start looking desirable to the opposite sex. The transition is tough but necessary. Beware of tackiness.

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John Edwards

John Edwards

John Edwards is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is pursuing a journalism degree. Currently studying abroad in Rome, he can usually be found hanging out and studying at his fraternity. He also enjoys running and spending time with family and friends.
John Edwards

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