I am a high school student, btw.
Disclaimer: This is my opinion on High School style. This guide pretty much just includes the basics.
- I like to wear plain V-neck shirts in solid colors. To me, V-necks have a bit more flair than just the run-of-the-mill crew necks. Some of the basics are white, black, heather gray. Since it’s gonna be spring/summer, pick up some of the brighter colors as well like light blue, yellow, red, melon, etc.
- However, that doesn’t mean crew necks aren’t as good. Plain crew necks won’t look as good as a plain v neck, and you may look hobo-ish. The key to looking good in crew necks is a good fit. Keep the shirt trim and cut close to your body. It looks a lot better if you’re athletic.
Ringer t-shirts (V’s and Crew’s) always look good, but may throw out a punk-band vibe.
- Henleys are another option. Make sure they are light, spring colors like aqua, white, yellow, etc. The only problem with these is that I have yet to find a store that sells them cheap with good colors that can last more than a season. American Eagle sells some henleys, but they seem pretty thin and don’t look like they’ll last more than a season.
American Eagle looks like they have all of their bases covered, T-shirt wise. Their quality is a bit iffy for $15, but pick ‘em up when they’re < $10 each.
.You want it to look fitted on you, and baggy t-shirts scream either 1) bigger and trying to hide it, 2) Can’t fit-shirts properly, or 3) hobo.Last Reminder: It’s just a t-shirt
Button Up Shirts
- For button up shirts, look for plaids/gingham as they are more kid-friendly. I hate to say it, but Abercrombie probably has the best selection of plaids, except they’re about 70 bucks for a shirt. If you have some money to blow, hit up Abercrombie/Hollister for their plaid shirts. Gap has really nice shirts with decent quality.
- OCBDs look great with shorts/chinos, but idk if you’d wanna go that route in high school. It works on some people, but it makes others look like they’re trying too hard. Make sure you iron them, because I think it looks a little sloppy when they’re all wrinkly. Get light, spring colors. Sea/bright blue, light blue, light green, light/pale yellow, pink, etc. all look good. Make sure that they are kind of faded/muted colors, though, because bright blue or hot pink pretty much just screams “DOUCHE”!
If you’re slim/alright (read: not obese), you should be able to pull off short sleeve button up shirts. Make sure they are fitted, especially in the sleeve and body area.
- Always unbutton the top button, unless you think you’re cool enough to wear it buttoned. I like to keep the first and the second buttons open. It gives off a more casual vibe. If you’re wearing an undershirt, make sure you can’t see the undershirt.
Please, please, please, don’t unbutton the shirt completely and wear a t-shirt under. Please.
- Keep them slim fitting, and make sure they end around the middle of your pant’s fly. When you wear them tucked in, it’ll look out of place at school. It’s okay if the shirt is slim in the body, but tight in the neck. You’re probably not going to button the top button most of the times you wear the shirt.
- I notice that skinny people have trouble finding well fitting shirts, so don’t be afraid to buy sizes smaller than what you usually get. (I’m a pretty hefty guy, and I can still wear Old Navy Kids XXL shirts, and they fit me great, minus the neck).
If your shirt is shorter and doesn’t look like a dress on you, it’s probably a casual shirt. Dress shirts have longer tails so that they stay tucked in when you want them to. Avoid dress shirts, they look sloppy untucked, and tryhard tucked in
Last Reminder: Roll up the sleeves
Sweaters right now should be light, nothing to hot or heavy.
- For zip up hoodies, American Apparel is king. They feel great, look great with everything, and are really versatile. The red, navy, and grey are pretty much staples. However, they are a bit prices, at ~$40 each, iirc. Even if you buy the 2 packs, it’s still a lot for a hoodie. Hit up Amazon and look for American Apparel hoodies there (some styles/sizes may not be available). For a cheaper option, I’d look at Old Navy’s hoodies. They look great, but I’ve never tried them. I can’t speak for the quality as it is Old Navy. Your call.
- Another great alternative are pullover hoodies, but the only pullovers I have are from colleges. I have yet to find a plain pullover. Abercrombie has some pullovers with two buttons at the top (like a henley). They look great and don’t have that much branding, but they are ~$90 a pop, which is a little too much. If you can find them on sale and in your size < $30, I’d go for it.
Plain pullovers or solid color pullovers with a small design (stripes, blocks, etc) look great for a street style look.
- Cardigans/V neck sweaters are in the same field as OCBDs+chinos. They make you look more mature, and some people can pull them off without looking like an adult.
My favorite during the summer is a solid, dark colored, thin crew neck sweater with the sleeves rolled up above your elbow, chino shorts cut above the knee, Sperry’s, RayBan Wayfarers/Clubmasters.
Last Reminder: I probably chose the exact wrong time to write this part. Don’t wear sweaters during the summer unless you live in the Bay Area or it is currently < 70F.
Stick to basic colors like khaki, grey, navy. If you’re adventurous, try out colors like the ones in these
colors. Make sure that your colors match (blue/yellow, red/blue, etc).
- Since we (again) are still in hs, we can still get away with cargo shorts. Make sure that they fit like this
with the slim pockets. We are kids, but these look too boy scout-y.
Last Reminder: Enjoy baggy American Eagle/Abercrombie cargo shorts while we can.
As for jeans, slim fits are better. I wear Naked and Famous Weird Guys, but I know that my pair (around $100-$250) are a bit expensive for most teenagers.
- Bullhead by PacSun usually has great skinny jeans (Dillon/Gravels) and are usually 2 for $65. MFA usually recommends the Levi 514’s because they are slim enough for adults. Us kids usually will look better with slimmer fits, unless you like straight fits. Levi 511 are great with anything. If you can pull it off, 510s are another option (just make sure that they fit like this
- If you have bigger thighs, look at the 508 or 520’s. They’re tapered, which means they fit looser on the top, and fit like a slim fit/skinny jean on the bottom. They usually look better on actual people, because the models are to skinny to fill up the whole top half of the jean. The only warning I have is to make sure that below the knee, they fit you well, or else you’ll look like you have skinny chicken/girl calves.
- If Slim Straight or Straight jeans are you preference, the 514’s look better than the 501’s.
- Stay away from disgusting overbranding
, and bootcut/relaxed fit jeans. 501/514 are generally the loosest fit that can flatter guys.*
- Keep the colors darker. We can get away with distressing, and everybody else in high school wears it too, so holes, prewashed fades are fine. Just remember that when we’re older, they’ll look stupid on us, which is why MFA is against factory-made fades/holes.
- At this point, we/our peers could really care less if they’re selvedge or not. We’re gonna beat the shit out of it playing sports, partying, etc. so they don’t need to be an exceptional, top of the line, handmade in Japan, $400 quality jeans. Any pair will work. However if you do splurge on your jeans and get raw denim, our fades will be dopesickbadass with all the stuff we do.
Last Reminder: MFA usually advises against American Eagle, Abercrombie, Hollister, etc, but since we’re kids we can get away with their jeans. And pre distressing. And light colors. And skinny fits. And holes. Have fun while it looks good on us.
Versatility is key.
- As for shoes, canvas plimsolls (Vans/Keds style) and Chuck’s (converse) are good options, maybe boat shoes/chukkas can be pulled off. Van’s authentic canvas
in red, navy, black, or ebony ice grey look great. They’re low profile, sleek, and look good with the smaller leg openings that slimmer jeans have. These work well with either flat front or cargo shorts.
- Another plimsoll option is the leather Polo Ralph Lauren Vaughn. I get compliments from girls all the time about my shoes. I have the brown ones, and they look great with shorts, khakis/chinos, or jeans. However, they have fallen apart in 6 months with 4-times/week use.
- For the converse, stick to tried and true classic colors like red, black, and cream/white/off white. It’s your call between low cut and hi top Chucks, but I personally like the hi top version, as I’m not a fan of showing ankle when I’m wearing jeans. Unfortunately, these don’t look to good with shorts (hi or low).
- Some boat shoes will work, some won’t. Sperry Authentic Originals in Sahara work best with flat front chino shorts. The Sperry Bahama Chukka Boots look AMAZING in a suede/leather combo in tan or navy, but good luck finding these anywhere else. I’ve tried looking, but PacSun is the last place that I know of that has the suede/leather combo version in a nice color.
- Flip flops are fine. Stick to leather ones. Rainbow makes good ones, but Abercrombie/Hollister/American Eagle -esque style of leather flip flops are fine. If you must get rubber flip flops, Havaianas come in different colors and look good at the beach/pool. IMO, flip flops are kinda gross at school. You’re feet will probably sweat, and you’re at school, so kids might step on your shoes, stuff will get into your feet, etc.
We’re in high school, desert boots, penny loafers, driving moccasins during the summer will look out of place, and we’ll get shit from out friends for wearing them.
No show socks with Vans/Plimsolls, especially with shorts. You can go sockless with the Vans too, but idk if they’ll be comfortable. You either go sockless, ultra low no show socks, or sockless with Sperrys, especially with shorts. I hope you already know that wearing socks with sandals is a straight ticket to sartorial hell.