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On Not Dressing Like a School Kid

Plenty of men’s fashion originated as uniforms, particularly from the military and navy. When you wear too many uniform inspired pieces at once, you can quite easily resemble a private school kid in a regulation uniform. Even a single military-style garment paired with freshly pressed pants can make it look like you’ve been forced into the outfit. Here’s how to look like you have chosen your outfit rather than an institution choosing it for you.

Why your clothes look like a uniform

If you’re wearing a pea coat with cotton slacks and dress shoes, anyone would be forgiven for thinking that the outfit was assigned to you. The effect is particularly pronounced if you select dark colors such as navy, grey and burgundy. Uniforms tend to be drab with clean, harsh lines, with the material of each garment matched. Avoid looking so plain by incorporating some variety into your outfit, with different textures and colors to create a more interesting look.

Wear your own style

Being more creative than a school administrative board is key to not looking like you’re off to learn your times tables. When wearing military inspired clothes, tie in an unexpected accessory or a splash of color to show that you are the master of your outfit. A bright scarf, an interesting hat or quirky shoes will do the trick. Even something as simple as unique buttons on your pea coat can make it look more stylish and less regulation.

Your clothes need to fit

One all-important factor that makes grown men look like awkward school kids is wearing ill-fitting clothes. It’s acceptable for a small child to be swimming in an outfit five sizes too big because they’re expected to grow into it, but once you reach your full adult size it is time to buy clothes that fit your dimensions. Similarly, you can’t wear pants that are a few inches too short, revealing an awkward amount of your hairy ankle. Leave that horrid look to gangly teens who have shot up in height but haven’t gotten around to purchasing a new pair of slacks yet.

Match the shoes

A hallmark of a kid who hasn’t quite grasped the idea of style yet, is pairing the wrong type of shoes with an outfit. Wearing canvas shoes or runners while the rest of you is smartly dressed shows that you are naïve when it comes to fashion and makes you look like an awkward teenager. Similarly, don’t pair dress shoes with a casual outfit. Even if you only own a few pairs of shoes, it’s not hard to match the style of your shoes to your clothes.

No kid accessories

If you’re using a backpack, wearing a wide-brim or legionnaire hat, or have a novelty watch, you’re doing it wrong. Banish the childish accessories, particularly if you tend to incorporate uniform inspired pieces into your wardrobe.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/

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