Being scholars in a collegiate environment is an amazing opportunity.  To walk this campus with the confidence that there is a bright future waiting for you is outstanding.  But with an upgrade in education, we should make sure that we appear just as studious as we are. With that being said, as styles come in and out what’s always been in style is what’s inside. I would just like to give some opinionated advice on what could improve an outer appearance.

There is nothing more attractive than an intelligent, strong male, but a polished appearance brings something extra to the table.

10 Things Every Man Should Strive To Have In His Closet

1) A Suit- When buying suits, it may be best to start with a basic color/pattern.  A nice suit that fits always brings something extra to an interview or presentation. Try basic colors to make sure that it isn’t too distracting.  It’s okay to try different colors but it’s a personal suggestion to start basic first because bright, loud colors aren’t acceptable everywhere.  Also, make sure to get a good fit.  Not everyone can afford a tailor but simply asking for help from a sales associate may help.

2) Pants, Pants, Pants- Wearing pants around the waist is a must. Your style is your style, rather it be skinny jeans to a baggy jean, but to have a more professional image, please, wear your pants around your waist. A fitted or straight leg jean has always looked great and probably always will.

3)Dress Shirts- A blue or white dress shirt is always a good look. Worn with a suit, slacks or khakis, dress shirts are a serious, professional add to your collegiate attire.  Make sure that these are also an appropriate fit.  Baggy shirts can make your appearance look sloppy, while too tight may just look wrong.

4) Cargo Shorts- These are a great look for the Spring, Summer, and Fall.  With a polo, a t-shirt or a long sleeve shirt, cargo shorts are a versatile, comfortable add to your collegiate attire.  As I say about all pants: Around the waist is best.  Basketball shorts or red plaid underwear hanging out of the top of your pants does not add to your collegiate appearance. Some clothes choices are not your fault, rather it be income or simply not knowing, but there is rarely an excuse for pant sagging. Pants were made to be worn around your waist, not your thigh, knees or ankles. If you can’t walk without holding them up or wobbling, try something different.

5) Sweaters – When late fall hits, men with sweaters are an attractive yearly style.  Once again, I’d suggest you start with basic patterns as you advance into more stylish ones because basic is always in style. V-neck, crew neck,  all add to your collegiate image as you walk campus.

6) Footwear- Sneakers with a suit is a temporary stylish add but when that fades, make sure that a pair of black or chestnut bench-made shoes are apart of your wardrobe. Loafers or Sperry’s (or Highland Creeks) are also a versatile shoes to have in your closet.  And also, sneakers are something to keep in the closet.

7) A Tie- I understand that not all men know how to tie a tie.  A tie is a nice transition of an outfit from a business casual attire to business.  As I said before, basic patterns should be where you start shopping and then broaden your collection.  As much as I love NC State ties, others may not feel the same.
8) Belts, Suspenders/Braces- Anything to keep your pants around your waist.  These can be expensive, so bargain shop.  Remember that suspenders clamp to your pants and braces button.  Many men prefer braces.

9) Jewelry- It’s okay for a man to have jewelry.  It’s not completely necessary but it can be a nice add. Rather it be a wood piece, silver cross or even a nice watch to let the world know that you know what time it is.

10) Coat- A nice coat is necessary because you know how cold those walks to D.H. Hill can be. Keep something that you can live with for the winter that will go with most of your clothes.

Now, speaking as a woman, I know that dressing perfect is hard.  I personally fall short like every one else, but attire is still important. A conservative look is always nice.  Class will always pass, so keep it appropriate.
10 Things Every Women Should Strive to Have In Her Closet

1) A black pant suit- This is great for dressing up or down. You can wear them together or just the blazer for a sophisticated look.  You can also wear just the skirt/ pants for a more casual dressy look.

2) A little black dress- This is also another versatile add to your collegiate image.  You can dress it up and wear it to something professional or dress it down and wear it to a nice dinner.  What is important though, especially if wearing it to a professional setting is length, size and cleavage check. A finger tip length is often suggested. If you are unsure, than knee length is normally always acceptable. Make sure that your cleavage is not out as well.  If it draws YOUR eyes to it, it will drive other’s eyes to it as well; not a good look.  Ladies, your mind is beautiful enough that you don’t need to display your body.  A conservative look can do wonders.

3) A Classic Button Down Shirt- This is great with a pant suit, jeans, or leggings (if the shirt has length) with a black belt. This adds a little something extra if going to a casual get together and is still comfortable.

4)Jeans- Be sure to get the best, most honest fit for jeans.  As women of color, this can be a struggle because of curves.  Read the style of jean and see if it is made for your body type. This helps you avoid the dreaded “rear out of the jeans” look.  And getting an appropriate size also helps you avoid the muffin top.  It might even be a good idea to take your best, most honest friend with you to pick them out.

5) A Cardigan Sweater- Michelle Obama does an outstanding job with this.  It’s a classic and timeless look. Over your button-up shirt, dress, or even a t-shirt, cardigans are a beautiful add to your already beautiful look.

6) Jewelry- Earrings, necklace, pearls, silver, gold.  Expensive isn’t necessary. If going to something professional, try to avoid distracting jewelry. And for ladies like me who don’t have pierced ears, Clair’s, Icing, and Belk’s have a nice selection to add to your wardrobe.

7) Footwear- We have a large campus, so flat attractive shoes are a must.  Although the summer is a great time to break out the sandals, don’t neglect closed toed shoes.  They’re appropriate for professional times as well as rainy days.  If buying sandals get an honest fit.  Nobody knows what size shoe you wear, but everyone knows if the shoe is too small.  ALL OF YOUR FOOT SHOULD BE ON THE SHOE. Toes off the front of the shoe and heels off the back of the shoe is not a good look.  If the store doesn’t have your size it is okay to shop around.

8)Hosiery- Leggings, panty hose or tights add a lot to your collegiate image.  Panty hose and tights add a classy conservative look and patterns are fine with these.  I’d personally suggest you avoid leggings with a short shirt in professional interactions.  Remember that this is a different time but people from an older generation may be taken back with leggings as pants.

9) Leisure wear- Not everyday is your day, and that’s understandable.  That’s why leisure wear is a great add to your attire.  Victoria Secret’s Pink Collection, New York and Company, and Old Navy’s leisure wear is perfect for a quick run to Lil’ Dino’s, or a trip to a friend’s dorm.

10)Purses/Wallets-Different purses are appropriate for different things.  For Instance, don’t carry a huge purse to a party.  For that sort of gathering a clutch big enough to carry your phone, identification, and $10 is perfect.  If you feel like you can’t keep up with that, try getting one with a strap big enough to go around your wrist.  Big purses are good too, rather it be for going to the mall or even a meeting where you may need to carry a folder or notebook.  You may want to invest in a good wallet if you carry a big purse though, for organization purposes.  A big purse can be a black hole and often when attending programs on campus you need to swipe your card or show ID.  Having a good wallet can save tons of time. A hand bag is also a great look elbow to forearm extended.  All these are great adds to your closet.

As a reminder: expensive is not always best.  A great place to shop for clothes is Target because the clothes are still nice but at a less expensive price.  You don’t have to get a knock off brand either.  A polo without an emblem is sometimes better than a polo with an conspicuous fake emblem.  You know who you are and brands don’t define you. Overall, I want to restate that it is what’s on the inside that matters. Stay classy and continue to excel in your collegiate

environment with your collegiate image.