Graduates Get Ready

You Need Some New Stuff

When you graduate, your wardrobe isn’t going to be the same. All the things you wore in college are now useless.
 
I’m not joking. How many t-shirts can you wear per weekend? Two. That’s it.
 
Here’s some advice for you from the mistakes I made.
 
First, don’t buy everything at once. Until you get settled in on your job, you don’t know what you should we wearing day to day and how much clothing and different styles you need.
 
Second, buy in cycles. If you buy all your clothes at once, it’s going to need replacing at the same time. If you need ten shirts total, buy five now and five in a few months. Start to stagger out your purchases and focus on buying things that’ll last.
 
Finally, be minimal, especially to start. You don’t need five pairs of shoes when two will do. Let’s go through exactly what minimal is and what you need.
 

Suits

How many suits you need depends on your job. Everyone needs at least one or two though. Even guys in tech have weddings to attend. I recommend one blue and one grey suit, both solid. This gives you four outfits total when you swap jackets.
 
A piece of advice, suit jackets are great for swapping with suit pants and slacks, but solids work best. This’ll give you a lot more options.
 
If you’re wearing a suit every day, consider three suits total and some slacks to mix and match.

Shirts

Every guy needs dress shirts, that’s a given. I’ve always gone for blue and white because they do everything. Big meetings, day to day, or a nice family dinner, a white dress shirt does it all.
 
I started Williamson because I hate fashion. I don’t understand it and it’s expensive, but I realized it makes a real difference. The easiest way to go from zero to hero is a better fitting dress shirt and custom makes all the difference.
 
I’ve been a big fan of ten dress shirts. That gets you through two weeks of wearing each once. I’ve found, when careful, I can wear a shirt two or three days before washing because I wear undershirts. This extends the life of the shirt and my laundry frequency.

Slacks & Chinos

Never underestimate a good pair of well fitting slacks or chinos. They’re versatile from business casual, to date night, and happy hour with the guys. Some will even do well on the course.
 
I have two pairs of dress slacks and two pairs of casual slacks and these are my go-to's. I wear dress slacks a dozen times before washing, at least. They’ll help you diversify your looks and make your wardrobe seem fuller than it is. Try and stick with basic colors like grey and navy.
 

Shoes

Every guy needs at least two pairs of dress shoes - brown and black. That’s it though! You don’t need a dozen different pairs and I find myself opting for the same pair every day. In Hong Kong, almost everyone has one pair of black shoes and wears them until they fall apart. I’m a brown fan.

Let’s Recap

If your graduating and going into a professional role, you’ll need at least the following:
  • 2 suits
    • Grey
    • Navy
  • 5 dress shirts
    • White
    • Navy
  • 2 slacks
    • Grey
    • Navy
  • 2 dress shoes
    • Brown
    • Black
That’s it though! Give yourself some time before going to buy more. It’s tempting to want to build your wardrobe out or have interesting styles and fashions, but it isn’t necessary to start. I bought a lot of things I never wore to the office and that was a huge waste.
 
Good luck out there, gentleman. As always, if you have questions about what you should wear just ask.