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Burn Your Khakis When You Graduate

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College kids entering the workforce are retarded when it comes to fashion. The problem is that guys either try too hard or not at all. You’ve got Mark Zuckerberg showing off his closet that enables him to “focus on more important decisions” in life, and on the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got people creating charts to help color-coordinate suits with every conceivable color and style of shoes. Both are equally pretentious.

Men’s fashion is really just a function of risk-reward. Guys need to be pragmatic, live in the safe zone, and keep it simple. So, here’s some practical fashion advice for when you have to start looking like an adult:

Business Attire

• If your suit is too distinctive, your colleagues will remember it as the one you wear all the time. You can’t go wrong with a two-button, notched-lapel suit. It’s a classic look that fits nearly every body type.
• In terms of color, keep it to various shades of gray and navy, with a few varieties of pinstripes. That’s all you need. Brown suits are for back office guys.
• Pocket squares are for guys who build a three-layer toilet paper nest before making number two. What kind of idiot has to shit in public anyway?
• No pleats and no cuffs. Cuffed pants are for limo drivers.
• A belt is generally optional, but in the United States, you should wear one.
• If you can’t tie a decent tie knot, people will assume you grew up poor with a deadbeat dad. So go with a tight, symmetrical, half-Windsor knot.
• Don’t be cheap with the shoes; women notice. Besides, quality $700 shoes last 3-4x longer than anything you can get in the $300 price range. Keep it simple with some classic Prada loafers.
• Contrary to popular belief, flamboyant socks don’t add flair or personality. They just make you look gay British. Instead, buy twenty pairs of identical black socks. Doing laundry becomes infinitely easier. Then, throw them away and refresh every six months; it feels great to start the day off with brand new socks.
• Unless it’s a black tie function, never ever wear a bow tie. Bill Nye is a fucking loser, and an idiot.


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• For everyday wear, Mizzen+Mains are tough to beat – great fit and style, wrinkle free, and machine washable.
• But get most of your dress shirts made. The value of a custom shirt far exceeds the cost, and the relative value is a no-brainer.
• Stick with a stiff spread collar; it’s versatile enough to work with or without a tie, and goes with jeans or a suit. Oxford collars and shirt pockets are for Bernie Sanders supporters.
• If you sweat, wear an undershirt. Even if you don’t, having a visible undershirt destroys the entire outfit. You can’t beat NVSBL – they’re longer (stay tucked), more comfortable, sweat and odor fighting, and totally invisible. Hygiene and aesthetics aside, quality undershirts will significantly prolong the life of your dress shirts, and generally make you less disgusting.
• Monogrammed shirts are passé. Get your gun monogrammed instead.

Business Casual

• No khakis, unless your résumé still says you were president of your fraternity investment club. Wear jeans instead.
• If you’re wearing a blazer, make sure it doesn’t look like a suit jacket. Try a one-button, peaked-lapel, which looks great in the office, or out at night.
• No country club golf shirts, especially when the Masters is on.
• Wear whatever socks you want, but you still have to wear socks.

The Gym

• The era of baggy shorts is over. And mesh shorts are only acceptable in Myrtle Beach or the buzzer waiting room at Applebee’s.
• Get rid of the college apparel, unless you like barefoot running on a treadmill or bro-hugging dudes you’ve met once.
• These Birddogs are the best shorts on the planet – perfect for the gym, tennis court, or day drinking.
• While you’re at it, spend less time on a treadmill and more time playing a competitive sport. After all, the golf course is an extension of the office.


• There is no such thing as a “going out” shirt, especially on a first date.
• If you insist on wearing cologne, no one should smell you from five feet away or five minutes after you’ve left the room.
• No hats or sunglasses after sunset.
• Get a haircut every 3-4 weeks. And if you’ve got problems up top, shave it or transplant it.


Cedar shoe trees are a must, especially when you travel.
• Backpacks might be “suddenly cool for grown men,” but not with a suit. Grow up, and
get an adult bag.
• When it comes to watches, they serve a purpose – presenting yourself as “high-status” is proven to make you appear more attractive to women. Here’s everything you need to know about that.
• Other than wedding rings, watches, and cuff links, no jewelry. The only thing worse for a woman than meeting a guy she likes with a ring on his wedding finger is meeting a guy she likes with a ring on any other finger.

Again, this advice is all about risk-reward. Because the vast majority of men are fashion illiterates, the smartest thing you can do is keep it simple and stay in a safe zone.

So, these tips won’t get you on the cover of GQ; but on Wall Street and in the business world, you can’t go wrong with this advice, which is far more important.

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John LeFevre is the creator of @GSElevator on Twitter, and the author of the New York Times bestseller, Straight To Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, And Billion-Dollar Deals.

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