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Style Essentials from YXU Creative Director

Posted on 12 November 2018

(Sorry Ladies, this one is just for the guys, don’t worry, your time will come)

Like any other popularity-hungry teenager in middle school, my sense of style consisted of poorly-sized boot leg jeans, horribly ironic graphic tees, point-and-shoot selfies, and some sort of ‘sick’ running shoe, all exclusively from Hollister, American Eagle, or Abercrombie and Fitch (it was mid-2000’s people). And whether we want to admit it or not dudes, everyone went through some sort of phase like this. It may have been to impress your crush or just to fit in but let’s not lie to ourselves.

Here is the thing though: at some point you grew up (as in you physically got older). This means a couple of things but the main one is that it is time to get rid of the ironic tees and the things that aren’t really your size and invest in some true pieces for your closet. 

I’m not proclaiming to be any sort of style guru, and generally my sense of style favors the absurdly bold, which I know is not for everyone. But over the years, through travel, work, and just a vested interest in the fashion world, I have become something of a style consultant to most of my friends, and even a few strangers. In truth, I’m not really sure how I ended up in this role because really I just wear whatever I want, but I guess it works a good amount of times, and it’s been a lot of fun getting to throw clothes at my friends and force them to try all of it on.

I know we don’t usually talk much about the fashion/style/apparel side of YXU but we do know what industry we are in and so we want to be a wee bit relevant. I’ve let this content out to the world on a few other channels but it’s evergreen style concepts so why not check it out again.

But I do think that there are a few essential pieces that all modern millennial dudes should own. Keep in mind that this list may not be for everyone.

Desert Boots

So I know that of all things that are unique to everyone’s personal style, shoes are probably one of the biggest items every man holds in fairly high esteem, especially with the sneaker-head explosion in the last decade. But I think a solid pair of desert boots can fit into almost every dude’s style. They have a very classic-and-clean look to them but can be made as simple or as edgy as you choose. Clark’s by far has the best selection in terms of color and price range. Find a nice grey or tan pair to start and remember suede stains easily.

Denim Jacket

There are few things that actually are better with age: whiskey, wine, and denim. The denim jacket is something that has and will always be a classic. Denim comes in just about every color and shade you can think of so let your creativity and style run wild with this choice. A recommendations that my mom always told me that has stuck with me: jackets last a while so don’t be afraid to spend a little bit more on them, and these are definitely words to live by. The other thing is that size matters (well, actually fit matters). Make sure when you try on your jacket to have a thicker undergarment in consideration of the winter months. A great place to start looking for a denim jacket is your local thrift store, because they tend to have quite a few and you can peruse and get an idea of what wash/color you like, as well as maybe the fit you prefer.

Slim/Straight/Skinny Jeans

Before anyone freaks out about seeing the word ‘skinny jeans’ let’s get a quick update as to what the modern day version of skinny jeans means. We are talking new age skinny where your junk has a little bit of room to breathe. So once again, find what style/fit looks best on your body, skinny jeans aren’t for everyone. I’m a pretty slim dude so skinny works for me, but if you’re a little stockier then straight fit might be for you. If you’re feeling bold, go with a little more distressed look and don’t be afraid to cuff, or pin roll to switch things up. I know I threw some shade earlier but Abercrombie & Fitch really does have some of the best denim for a great price, especially with their athletic fit that features stretch denim without looking like meggings.

White Button Up

I feel like this should be a given because the men’s button up shirt is the go-to staple for “going out.”. But this is maybe one of the easiest most versatile items any dude can own. It can be dressed up with a tie; semi-casual with your top couple buttons undone, edgy with a long line t-shirt underneath, and the possibilities keep going. Do yourself a favor, find one that you like, get it tailored to fit your body (tailoring is cheaper than you think and makes all the difference, aka FIT), and take care of that sh*t like it’s your baby. In summer, have one that is linen because it breathes better and is lighter than your usual. Final tip of the trade, and don’t ask too many questions: unless your white button up is super thin (aka linen) wear a black t-shirt underneath. I repeat: Do not wear a white t-shirt. You’ll thank me later.

Stay tuned for Part 2 in the coming weeks!

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