A guide to fashion as a Grad student – The Stute

Being a graduate student actually makes you more of an apprentice to your respective field of study and less of an innocent and inexperienced student. It ought to be noted that maintaining that image while handling academics can be made easier with this single skill known as sartorial decision making. 

During the undergraduate days, everyone enjoyed the liberty of experimenting with their fashion sense starting with oversized T-shirts and hoodies that literally appeared to be hanging on their shoulders, corroborated with low-waist jeans which almost trigger anxiety amongst others in public. But, those days proved to be fruitful if we observe it from the perspective of an adult, according to which, it is important to be independent if we wish to explore ourselves and truly come up with an answer to this famous question asked during interviews: “How do you stand apart from the crowd?”

A graduate student who looks for various career opportunities should begin with their wardrobe apart from their resume. Being smart and positive is really important when we wish to grab all the attention in the room. Academia is considered to be equally competitive compared to the corporate world as it involves frequent visits from guests, presentations, public events, conferences, and finally, the constant competition amongst peers.

In my opinion, the need for such advice is primarily for men. The reason being, women have always been outperforming men when it came to dressing. Men on the other hand prefer spending a relatively lesser amount of time on updating their wardrobes. In fact, there are men who still prefer digital watches over analog dials. Therefore, the following are some of the guidelines that men can follow in order to uphold the decorum of various interviews or meetings if they wish to keep their opinions on the table effectively.

1.) Sweaters to wear during presentations or lectures: 
The first thing that should pop up in your mind is “cardigan” sweaters. These sweaters go perfectly with a pair of trousers or chinos along with a formal shirt. Since most cardigan sweaters are made of a thin layer of wool, I recommended accompanying them with a formal jacket. It should be noted that clothes aren’t about the brands or how expensive they are; instead, it should be purely about how well they define us in front of the masses. 

2.) Shirts and trousers to wear on a daily basis:
I highly recommend that students unfold their shirt sleeves. Regardless of the type of shirt, they should be solid colors, preferably navy blue, jet black, or white, with black buttons and cloth cuff links. You can find cuff links by Massimo Dutti or Zara. On a daily basis, you could wear sports shirts with the same rules but from less expensive brands. In-fact, one of the most affordable brands for college students are ones like Arrow Sport and H&M. 

Trousers don’t have much variation when it comes to fit, colors, and materials. Some of the highly sought choices include anthracite grey trousers by Zara. But apart from this particular choice, students always have the option of khaki chinos which go perfectly with any shirt.

3.) Suits:
Suits are one area of clothing that can require an investment, in terms of tailoring rather than brand. The suit needs to fit perfectly and not be oversized, as most of us might have experienced while wearing our father’s blazer to the prom! It should be made to fit comfortably; suits can offer a tremendous amount of confidence and allow our true selves to be shown.

Photo courtesy : Real Men Real Style

4.) Smart Casuals: 
It is time for graduate students to understand the importance of the term “smart casuals” and give up leather jackets. The term simply means a pair of chinos or a pair of dark-colored jeans, a blazer, and a pair of leather shoes or navy blue loafers. If we wish to get a true definition of the term, then according to the Oxford dictionary, “smart casual means neat, conventional, yet relatively informal in style.”

Finally, smart casuals would look even more dashing if we accompany it with an overcoat and a watch with brown leather straps.

In conclusion, improving your sense of fashion can be very productive, as you might get more things done regardless of the circumstances.

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