1. Make The Commitment
Before you move to a new place, whether it’s for school, a job, or just for a change of scenery, you have to commit to making this change.
If you don’t commit to this type of change as firmly as you can, you likely won’t follow through. So make sure that before you make your move you decide how you want to look.
One thing I didn’t do that I should have was start to build my new wardrobe before moving. This would have allowed me to start fresh from day one, and make it much easier to commit solidly right off the bat.
2. Make the Right Upgrades
One of the things I didn’t want to do when I came to college was be too dressed up all the time. As much as I love wearing a suit (yes, I’m 18 years old and I love wearing a suit; there is some hope for my generation), I knew that it would be overkill for 95% of the classes I’d be taking, and virtually all of the extracurricular and social activities I’d be participating in.
So I decided on more of a business casual look. I have lots of dress shirts that can be casually worn, slacks, sweaters, and dark jeans.
I still have suits for special occasions and athletic clothing for the gym, but I primarily go business casual. Depending on where you are moving and what for, you may be picking a different style. Whatever it is, figure it out and stick to it. Make all the upgrades you need to pull it off right the first time.
3. Understand Details Are Key
Moving from t-shirts to button downs is huge, but sometimes the smaller, not talked about details are the best ways to improve your look.
Wearing a dress watch.
A more professional haircut.
Take a few of the smaller things to the next level, and that may be more effective than anything else you do.
Another great example of a small detail worth addressing is clothing fit. In my experience, how well a piece of clothing fits is far more important to a good look than any other factor.
I’ll take a $100 suit that fits perfectly over a $2000 one that doesn’t any day.
4. Stick To Your Budget
It can be hard to stick to a budget when rebuilding a wardrobe.
There is so much to buy it can feel daunting. Add that to the fact that you are in the already expensive process of moving, and it can seem impossible.
But I’ve managed to completely rebuild mine while sticking to the budget of a broke college student, and have proven it isn’t hard if you’re willing to shop around.
Check out all the stores and online shops you can. Finding sales is a topic that goes way beyond the scope of this article, but it really isn’t that hard if you’re willing to put in the effort of going to a few stores.
You should also look at thrift stores. I know, I know, thrift stores and style don’t sound like they would go together. But trust me, they can at times.
Most of what you’ll see in thrift stores I wouldn’t recommend you ever wear, but there some occasional gems, especially when it comes to suits and jackets. A few weeks ago I bought an Italian wool, grey pinstripe suit that was basically brand new.
A quick alteration and cleaning, and for only $27 I have a pretty awesome suit. Most of the stuff at thrift shops you’ll want to avoid, but with some time and effort you can occasionally find something that works well for an incredibly low price.
5. Appearance Isn’t the Only Upgrade
If your goal is to look better in your new area, appearances aren’t the only thing you should focus on.
In fact, it may be secondary. Getting in better shape is without a doubt one of the best ways to look better.
This may mean losing weight, gaining weight, or developing tone. Right now I’m still working on gaining some lean muscle mass(I’m the typical basketball-playing skinny white kid). I’m trying to be careful about it so that I don’t grow out of the new wardrobe I built myself, but even if I do it’ll be well worth it . And that’s not to mention the other benefits that go along with being in better physical shape, like saving money and living longer.
When I moved on to a new chapter in my life, upgrading my style was an obvious step.
Dressing more professionally has helped me in many ways, and I think it will continue to do so in the future.