I know that almost of the public schools in America allow you to dress free-style with simple dress code rules such as no hats, no bandana, no tank top or girls without wear camisole, crop-top, no logos about alcohol, cigarette or drugs then it’s okay. Unfortunately, most of the middle and high school requires you to wear uniform. I don’t really need to discuss the good and bad of it because even if I want to or not, I can’t really do much to change it.
That’s why, I will show you some tips that even when you can’t swag up, it will make you a lot subtler and pop out while stacking on uniform. I will divide this subject into 2 different versions. The first part will be designated for school uniform students and the second is for students who don’t have to.
Without further ado, I will begin immediately into the article.
The first tip is to bring your uniform to a tailor to adjust the fit. Even though you can’t really express yourself in a uniform. But honestly, the good side of it is that you don’t need to wake up every morning thinking what to wear today.
There is one thing about the uniform is that they were mass produce to fit all of the body types and sizes. That’s why you will have a very baggy feel when wearing a uniform.
I honestly advice you guys if you want the best fit possible, bring your uniform to a tailor and ask them to adjust to fit your body. it may sound like a lot of work and it actually is. But, it’s one extra step differentiate between the scruffy and the neat.
Then, how to tailor perfectly?
Taper knee down
When bringing to a tailor, ask them to taper from knee down, meaning starting from the knee slimming towards the ankle. Remember to keep the leg opening at around 5 inches then your pants will surely have a very nice fit and compliments your shoes a lot.
In case you don’t want to tailor then you can pin-roll your pants.
Shirts are a little more complicated and there are several points to pay attention to. Firstly, the shirt collar.
To look neat, your collar should not be sluggy. When bringing to a tailor, ask them to taper the collar a little bit tighter which is enough for 2 fingers to fit.
Also, there is a trick so that your collar can always be straight which is asking the tailor to cut a hole on the inside of the collar and slide a piece of plastic or cardboard.
The shoulder should always be shifted beyond your shoulders causing wrinkles. Not only will it pull your chest causing tightness and looks very stretch in the buttons, thus result in extreme discomfort when moving.
The appropriate way is when the shoulder plane rests exactly on your shoulders.
The intersection between the shoulder plane and sleeves should be exactly where your shoulder bones end. But to be honest, don’t stress out about this too much. As long as it is not too tight, then a little drop shoulder is fine.
Moving onto the torso part of the shirt.
Too loose, you will get the muffin-topping effect, meaning that your body will look like a muffin cupcake – large up top, small at bottom.
Too tight, the buttons will form wrinkles, putting pressure on your shoulders and making you extremely uncomfortable when moving. If you aren’t sure then don’t worry because most of all the tailors will advice you on this.
Obviously, the sleeves shouldn’t be too long or too short. I personally suggest you to always roll up the sleeves or put up them.
Lastly, the hem of the shirt.
If you want to have a perfect fit for a dress shirt standard, then it should be around 5-10 centimeters long from the hips. My aesthetic has always been wearing elongated tees so that’s why I will also wear elongated shirts. It means the hem will be longer than my butt.
However, if your school requires to tuck your shirt, then this doesn’t really matter.
Buy your own clothes
Talking about an extra step to look neater, then tailoring is nothing compared to buying clothes and replacing your uniform badges. However, I want to warn you that this only applies depending on your principle and security guards of your school.
On pants, just buy similar color pants like your school uniform. For example, if the uniform is black, then buy similar black pants. If they are navy, then buy similar navy pants.
For shirts, usually they are casual plain color shirts but it is rather difficult because some of you might have uniforms with patterns or striped designs that will be hard to replicate. Unless you replicate tailor a brand-new shirt and then cut out the badges of your school uniforms, replace them to the exact place of your shirts usually on the chest or arms.
I want to warn you one more time, this really depends on your principle or security guard.
To look fresh and make yourself really stand out then bracelets and socks will be your best friends. Back when I was in school, I usually wear rubber brand bracelets or braided bracelets because firstly, they are very comfortable when you put your hands on the desk to write and secondly, their price is affordable.
Other than those two factors, on break times and on sport activities, I don’t want to take the bracelets out to be able to do activities and especially not getting bullied or get ask to give him.
At this age, I honestly don’t advice you to wear designer socks from Fear of God, Off-white, Balenciaga and Vetement unless you buy them with your own money. If not, then sock from those fast fashion brands are already very fresh and suits your budget.
There is a sock brand that I recently discovered is named Stance socks which offers a lot of sock designs such as NBL, MLB, Disney, Star Wars, Tupac, etc. with a lot of designs such as the bandana on Tupac’s head.
Design socks with interesting patterns are also a good “conversation starter” item for those who are extremely shy with girls so you can have a nice topic to talk about or the girls will initiate the conversation.
Generally, these are the two accessories to spice up your outfit.
I don’t suggest you to go to school wearing pendants or lanyards because they will be get in your way and might be uncomfortable. You can wear them sometimes if you want though.
Other than accessories to wear on your body, a super essential item for ALL of the students are backpacks. There are a lot of options for backpack nowadays. In the US, it might be 9/10 people always wore backpack from Jansport. Of course, there’s nothing bad about that because this brand manufactures very quality backpacks that look very cool and especially very affordable.
Jansport is like a student symbol for students across America. Other than Jan, there is a brand called Sprayground that makes backpacks using very popular designs and logos from designer brands.
Another backpack brand that I extremely like is Herchel. Even though these are backpacks at a higher price point, their products are very nice, timeless and quality is very well-made.
Other than the specific backpack brands mentioned, brands such as Pacsun, Urban Outfitters, Zara, H&M and other fast fashion also make the best mens backpacks that are very nice looking with lots of designs and a price that’s quite affordable when buying on sale.
Take note that these backpacks are not very high quality. Don’t buy those that have lots of zippers, metal studs or locks because of wear and tear, especially going to school. Those details will fall out for sure.
If you like more sporty backpacks then adidas, Nike and Vans are also the very good choices. Again, I won’t suggest you guys wearing designer brands such as Bape or Supreme because they will get very beat up.
Sneakers are one of the most essential for students. Here, I highly recommend you to opt for Vans because firstly, they are very affordable meaning that they are right for a student’s budget.
Secondly, you don’t have to worry about if your Vans are beaten up. Other than that, Vans have A LOT of variety, colors and options. Recently, it has been very trendy to custom your own sneakers. I have seen a lot of people embroidered theirs or even just draw on their own Vans. So, you only need a pen or a sharpie with your imagination, you already have yourself one of a kind pairs of sneakers.
Vans Men’s Atwood Shoe
This is one of the most popular design of Vans because of its basic outlook to easily and perfectly match with uniform and other outfits. Besides, its price range is quite affordable compare to its premium quality.
You can’t go wrong with this Vans!
If you don’t like those sneakers that are too heavy logo like me, this is a go-to pair of shoes to style with. Its brand logo is very small and elegant, which is on the side, tongue and the outsole. The material is very durable, good to beat up and longevity.
Besides, another feature that you will love about this Vans, other than its low-profile for more comfort to move and play sports, its signature waffle-designed outsole will provide more grip to prevent slippery better.
It’s soft and comfortable to wear, as well.
Vans Unisex Classic Slip-On Shoes
Checkerboard is on top of the trends last year and in 2018, it doesn’t have any signal to stop yet. If you still haven’t had a pair of checkerboard, look no further than this signature Vans.
Figured as a slip-on pair of sneakers, it is very comfortable and convenient to slip on and off. Besides, such patterns are not only easy to style with, but also an interesting emphasis to your boring uniform as well.
Other than great fit, striking comfort and nice design, this pair of Vans also delivers perfect shock absorbance as well. Besides, its price isn’t very expensive but brings a more trendy, new wave rather than Adidas Superstar or Stan Smith.
Vans Unisex Authentic Canvas Shoes
What I really about this Vans model is that apart from those solid color pairs, there are some light custom shoes on its outsole such as the rainbow tape. As I said, you can use a pen or sharpie to customize your shoes more based on your imagination.
And this Vans has ideal outsole to paint because it’s large and mostly in white or black. Besides, again, it doesn’t way too much on logo. There is just a small on the side as well as a brand logo on the backside of its outsole to create a truly elegant and subtle look.
On the other hand, I like the shiny gold-tone hardware of its eyelets, which is a sophisticated emphasis. Again, the signature waffle outsole is perfect to avoid grip for your movement.
Apart from Vans, Converse is also a very good option as well with lots of colorway and prices are fairly cheap. Recently, I’ve been liking sneakers that are being retro that I will introduce you some of my favorites below. Their price is not too expensive but brings a very trendy, new wave rather than Adidas Superstar, Stan Smith and Nike Roshe.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Core Ox
One of the best-sellers of Converse – Chuck Taylor All Star Core Ox. I like their design with just a brand logo nicely printed on its tongue as well as on its backside. The shoes keep its simple, elegant and casual look perfectly.
Its material is not as thick as Nike or Adidas, but in turns, because of its slim fit silhouette, such Converse shoes create a clean and flexible look more than sporty feeling like other. That means they are fitting better with uniforms, in my opinion.
For more flexibility and comfort, you can go with the low-profile pair that keeps your ankles free, mixing with either low or high socks is okay. My advice to choose size for this model is level a half size up for a perfect fit.
Converse Men’s Chuck Taylor All Star Core Hi
If you don’t usually take part in sports or outdoor activities, a high-profile pair of Chuck Taylor All Start is also an ideal option to rock your uniform and make it stand out from the crowd.
What makes its material distinguish from others is the cotton canvas. It is softer, more comfortable and durable than other low-grade canvas. That’s said, it’s perfect to beat up and leave your personal marks on without fears of its value would be strained down.
You can also use pen or sharpie to paint and custom your Converse shoes to make it even more badass and one of a kind. I also like the colorways of Converse, though it’s not as diverse as Nike or Adidas, they do offer the most basic tone with bright and true color to easily mix and match with multiple outfit.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Seasonal Colors Ox Unisex
As I told you in my “5 Types of Shoes every Guys Should Own” article, never miss a plain-white pair of shoes. And my choice for the best white sneakers are this Converse Chuck Taylor as you can beat it up on one side and easy to maintain it on the other.
While a full-black shoe adds a mystery, cool and masculine feeling to the wearers, a white shoe, on the contrary, add an elegant, subtle and gentle look, which nicely fits with student image, other than sporty vibe.
Besides, white is a colorway that’s very to style with. Apart from uniform, you can use it for casual outfits, hanging out or play sports as well. It’s durable and versatile. No joke!
In terms Adidas Gazelle, there are a lot of colorways to opt for specific taste and preference. As I said, such retro-style trainers with Olympic roots featuring triple stripe branding and suede leather on the upper is the best way for students to rock and emphasize their outfit.
These designs aren’t overlooked, they are simple, elegant, but still unique and eye-catching. Its low-profile midsole design is also a great option to help you move comfortably and conveniently, unlike those high-profiles. That’s said, it’s truly suitable for those active boys who usually take part in outdoor activities or sports.
The manufacturer also advises that if you want to have a great fit, go true size. On the contrary, a level down for a tighter fit.
Reebok is also a brand that I really highly recommend to you to try because of their sporty, touch and masculine outlook as well as their high-quality. The shoes are made out of mesh plus textile, which means it is very breathable to prevent odor event you use it to join sports all day.
Besides, as they are sporty sneakers, their weigh is very light, which helps you move easily and quickly. I really like the outer performance of this Reebok Workout as it’s elegant, simple yet still have nicely brand logo on the side as an impressive emphasis.
On the spine, there is a line of “Workout_2.0” in contrast color as well as Reebok brand name on the tongue. With this pair of sneakers, you can rock it with sporty outfits, uniform or casual clothes as well as using it to play sports is okay.
Pharrell tennis shoes
Lately, I truly like yellow items, might it be Yeezy’s effect. I don’t know but I like this yellow Pharrell so much. Come in solid color yet eye-catching, you can easily mix them with many outfits, like a basic outfit with basic tee, a slim-fit pair of jeans or putting on an additional flannel or jackets.
Besides, it will be an eye-catching emphasis for your uniform to stand out from the crowd. And surely, some girls will initiate talking with you.
Not just to show, Pharrell is also a sporty brand that most of their products are made out of high-quality mesh, like this pair of tennis shoes for example. From that point, you can entirely use it for outdoor activities and sports without fears of heat or stiffness or your feet getting bad odor.
The material is very breathable and flexible to fit neatly to your feet whereas provides space to breathe. Apart from yellow, there are also many other colorways to choose.
Might I needn’t talk much about this Nike Cortez, right?
This is one of the most popular pairs of shoes lately, not only for students but also for sneakerheads because of its sporty, masculine and cool outlook. However, I must say that this pair, (like most of other pairs of shoes) is too heavy logo.
Look at them! There is a brand logo on the side, on the tongue and on its spine. It’s the way too much! Not saying that there is also a Cortez logo on its upper. However, as made out of genuine leather, its outer performance is strikingly on point, powerful, character and street vibe.
However, I don’t recommend active guys to use it as a trainer for playing sports or joining outdoor activities as they are not as breathable as the mesh sneakers. Just use it to rock with your outfits.
There is an advice that I want to give you is that DON’T wear sandals to school. I used to wear them going to school and not only that it looks really under-dress but also could get dirty very easily and stinks your feet. You should also not wear shoes like Oxfords, Mocassins, Chelsea Boots and Harness Boots because they will look too over dress and will restrict you from sport activities.
In most of my recently articles, I mentioned basic tees. I recommend you guys to invest in them if you haven’t already. When wearing uniforms then basic tees will act as the best under-shirt to wear inside the uniform shirt.
If you have never tried wearing a t-shirt inside a shirt, then you should give this a chance and try this once. Wearing an undershirt inside a shirt will help you two things. First is to cover your chest, nipples and your belly to look less offensive. Undershirts absorb sweats and are much breathable, make you feel more comfortable and not dripping in sweats than wearing just a plain shirt.
Most of the shirts are made with poplin, twill and pin-point or synthetic fibers, making them not very breathable and hard to absorb sweats, resulting in your body always dripping wet and sweaty.
Brands that make very good quality basic tees and at very affordable price points are Uniqlo, Hanes, Fruit of the loom and a brand that I have been really liking a lot lately including the fit, quality and price is Calvin Klein.
So, I have concluded 5 tips to help you guys still wear your uniform and still stand out. Have you already known tips I have mentioned? There’s one thing I really want to advice you is that honestly, fashion is important and expressing yourself, which is something you should do. But sometimes, what I learn from my personal experience is that during your time as a student, try to network and hang out with as many friends as possible. Try and choose for yourself a sport or something that you really like and focus, put everything you’ve got into it.