Being Young and Staying Refined

Everyone is always trying to seem older, act older and be older than they are and often this fails miserably. It’s often quite obvious when someone is trying to be older than they are because age is experience and we are still to young to have the experience to act that age. However something I enjoy is refinement, because being able to look refined is easier to do and gains so much more attention.

Let’s think about this when standing on the street would you be more likely to ask the young man dressed in a hoodie and sweatpants with his cap tipped to the side or the young man in a button up and tie carrying a shoulder bag and seemingly important? Well for most the man in the tie is much more approachable and has a more friendly appeal to him and that makes him seem better to ask. So in my mind refined is what makes a person approachable.

If you’ve read here before you will know through my writing on minimalism that a simple but refined minimal wardrobe is great. It is multi-functional and fits all occasions. It is rare that someone will complain that you are overdressed for an occasion, however underdressed is a complaint we hear all the time. We would all rather see someone who looks classy then sloppy. Also you may have discovered from my writing that it is actually affordable to have a minimal wardrobe. You pay reasonable prices for well made pieces, you buy functional accessories and everything can work together when need be.

There is absolutely no fault in wearing a tie everyday, if anything people will mistake you for much more important than you are, which hey in my mind is much better than being mistaken for same homeless. The stigma associated with teenagers is already bad, our reputation isn’t great because people expect us to be the generation of mistakes and figuring it out. For the most part the way teenagers dress does nothing but reinforce that opinion, we aren’t doing anything to prove them wrong.

As a young person just recently out of school and just living alone while working I have learned that things that are so simple such as hair and clothes make a huge impact on how we are treated by older folks. I have never received any disrespect for wearing a tie, I’ve never been stated as childish or immature, because well looking refined and put together is nothing bad. We all admire these well addressed men in magazines, tv shows and such, and look they are all really well put together and refined looking. The best part being that this look is easy to obtain, not all of us can afford gucci or Louis Vuitton but that doesn’t mean that we need to look bad. There are more consumer based brands that provide these options and they are easy to come across, a good dress shirt or vest does not mean you need to buy from a professional suit place.

For example I wear simple denim pants, some are a little too tight admittedly, button up shirts in either black or white, vests and nice sweaters, I top these off with dress shoes and a nice tie. This look isn’t hard, denim isn’t expensive, vest can be found at so many young retail places and well ties and dress shoes are also really simple. The difference is that many people own a nice suit or dress clothes and yet they reserve it for a fancy occasion, instead they are wearing sweaters, and jeans all the rest of the time. Both of these styles of dressing can be around the same price, it really isn’t all that hard.

What I really want to convey here is that looking refined and looking like you know what you are doing isn’t difficult whatsoever and in fact in my mind is more favourable both to look at, as I said it is more approachable and for not that much of a change in cost you can change the way people see you drastically. It isn’t really a challenge to button up a shirt and put on a tie compared to just pulling on a hoodie, so why not?

A fun fact is that many jobs nowadays base your interviews off so many different aspects, and one is how comfortable you are. Many employers have noted that they can tell when someone is clearly not used to dress clothes and this can impact their decision, because in theory looking good all dressed up helps confidence but if you don’t do it often than it can seem foreign and it can really impact how people view you. However on the flip side if you are used to wearing nice clothes and dressing refined you will seem so much more comfortable and it will show in your confidence.

Dress clothes and looking refined also doesn’t mean a tie everyday, it is simply a way of combining clothes to look put together, matched and approachable. Dress clothes have never inhibited my abilities and I have managed to do heavy lifting, moving, and physical labour while wearing a tie, they don’t stop you from anything and hey whatever your doing you will most likely look damn good while doing it. So why not?

As always thanks for reading today’s post and thank you for coming back if you’ve read here before. I hope you’ve learned something or found a new idea and I wish you another awesome day!
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How Can I get a Minimalist wardrobe

As we discuss all the aspects of minimalism I speak about the wardrobe a lot, it seems to be a crucial aspect to minimalism and allows for many aspects of your life to be simplified. To begin a minimalist wardrobe is sleek, simple and allows for a simplified routine.

Let’s think about how much laundry we do somedays, not everyone manages to do laundry every week and most of us don’t have to because well you really don’t need to worry when you have multiple weeks worth of clothes. However when you do have to do laundry it becomes a cumbersome task and can take a while. Minimalism aims to change that, by downsizing your closet, keeping essentials and once again making everything multifunctional.

Today I will write in a wardrobe style that is more suited to men, I am researching and looking at the ways to achieve minimalism in a more feminine wardrobe. So to begin we need to get things down to the basics, this once again means we will need to implicate the rule of learning to let go. You need to simplify your wardrobe to a point where essentially you are prepared for one week and one day. Laundry must be done every week and clothes need to be well maintained and must be sustainable. My key point with a minimalist wardrobe is sustainable. I want to have less clothes that need to be replaced less and repaired less.

When changing your wardrobe over to minimalism you need to choose what your over all style will be. Because then you can choose clothes to complete that look, there are no real lazy days and there are no bad looks. I choose casual professional, because I don’t work in a job that requires a suit but I do want to look refined throughout the day. I wear a uniform for my job so my clothing is not a problem. Outside of work I want to look like a professional and still be comfortable. Since I am young dressing professional takes a little bit of extra work and really helps sell the fact that I am young and responsible.

So I will approach this lesson for a professional individual, there are certain things that will be required and there are also staple items. This is a great area to explore since it can be customized to your personal taste and changed around to suit your needs. Minimalism in wardrobe is to have a clean look, no logos or extravagant prints. Simple colours and simple designs allow for a clean and professional look.

Starting with pants, most people know that denim and jeans can be worn multiple times without wash. As jeans and denim don’t really hold any odours. I opted for chinos that are loose enough to drape down and resemble dress pants. As mentioned I don’t need to be in a suit for work so wearing dress pants is impractical. Chinos offer a very minimal look, clean edges for the pockets and a nice drape and cut where they meet the shoes. I would say have 4 or 5 pairs of paints and some would argue that you could even make do with 3. Look for simple colours, like grey, beige and other neutral tones. Avoid black because the wear and tear is visible, they fade quickly.

Next one of my favourite things to wear, this is button ups. Luckily button ups come in so many different styles and can be worn in so many different ways. Whether it is tucked in and professional or untucked and casual, button ups are probably one of the best items. I always choose to go tucked in and also throw a pull over or cardigan over top. Either way you do this you look more refined than a t-shirt and sweater. Add a tie and look instant classy! As for the look of button ups, I would stick to plain colours and maybe one or two plaid patterned, depending on your look. If you want to be professional stick to black, grey and white, if you are looking for refined but casual add some simple plaids, nothing too loud or out there just simple light colours. Keep 4 or 5 button ups which will be plenty for the week.

Next pull overs and cardigans, in my mind these are the essential to my wardrobe. They are so nice, warm and the button up style and flexibility makes them perfect. As I was saying you can put them over any button up to make it even more refined. I choose to keep grey, beige, brown and black sweaters as I find they can be paired with anything. As with the collar on a shirt the collar on a sweater is important. There are different types, cowl neck, rugby neck and v-neck styles. These can be visually matched with your shirts, all of these styles work with a button up it just depends on your look. I keep more sweaters than needed however if you have 4 really nice ones then you are set. You can mix and match like crazy, most are made of wool which means another layer of warmth and also a comfy look and feel to them.

It cannot be argued that everyone needs to own some t-shirts. Mostly I use them as undershirts to my button ups and I prefer v-neck shirts to allow them to remain unseen under a button up. Keep the shirts plain white or light grey to keep a simple look, this way they should remain mostly hidden under nearly any shirt. Also this means that on more casual days or stay at home days you can rock a shirt and sweater if needed. I wouldn’t however go out with just a shirt and sweater, only around the house. Remember just because you have a button up doesn’t mean you are wearing a suit, they can still be very casual. All of these pieces can look a variety of ways it just depends on how you wear them.

As for undergarments I would keep one for every day of the week plus two extra pairs for emergency. This reinforces the fact that laundry needs to be done on a regular basis and needs to be kept as a habit because otherwise you will run out of things. As a side note the benefit to many of these clothes is that if you haven;t done any intensive work in them they can be hun up and used again without the need for washing. This sounds lazy but it is actually true and can be done multiple times.

Finally keep one suit, one good suit for those occasions. It is rare that it will be used but it is good to have.

Overall a minimalist wardrobe is simple, clean and of course multifunctional. The pieces all need to be used over and over and in multiple combinations. Everything should be well maintained and last a long time, there is no reason for it not too.

If you have any questions or comments please leave one below. Any feedback is greatly appreciated and of course stay tuned for more in my series on minimalism.
Thanks for reading !
Have an awesome day!