The Young Man's Style Guide - Tops & Trousers

Irrelevant of whether you are having a job interview, going on a date, or just popping into town for a bit of shopping, it is important to always look your best. We're not saying that everyone should have a Barney Stinson-esque collection of suits and suitjamas, far from it in fact, but knowing how to dress well can have a dramatic effect on how the people around you perceive and act towards you. We're serious, and if you start following the young man's style guide you'll quickly start seeing what we mean.

Shirts & Tops

Almost every man will own a couple of t-shirts and probably a few smart collared shirts, but this is not all that the world of fashion has to offer us. Granted most are similar and are generally somewhere in between the two, but this is certainly no bad thing. We are not going to go into every type of shirt that a young man could possibly wear, but here are a few shirts and tops that every stylish young man ought to own.

White Collared Shirts:

Sombre formal occasions are not really the place for brightly coloured shirts, so in order not to be talked about for all the wrong reasons it is important for every young man to own at least two quality, smart white shirts.

Casual Collared Shirts:

Whether plain, striped, plaid or otherwise, a casual collared shirt looks great whether worn by itself or as an over-shirt. Having an over-shirt with the buttons undone and the sleeves rolled up is a great casual look, and if something a little less laid back is required you can always do the shirt up and roll down the sleeves. You never know when that kind of versatility will be needed.

Polo Shirts:

A popular compromise between a t-shirt and a buttoned shirt, polo shirts look great in any number of colours, and are a great choice of shirt to go with when meeting 'the in-laws' for the first time as they are neither too laid back nor overly formal. For heaven's sake though, do not wear polo shirts with company logos on them in a casual setting. It's not a good look.


Pull-over jumpers are available in a wide range of styles, from the simple long-sleeved top to the collared single buttoned variety that have grown in popularity over the past few years. Which ever you choose, single block colours are always a good choice and – though they are a little risky – some that employ two colours can look very stylish indeed. Stay away from patterned jumpers! (unless it's Christmas, then its ok).

What Tops To Avoid:

  • Hoodies: Trade them all in for hooded coats, cardigans, jumpers, collared shirts and the like. Maybe keep one for if you're ever hungover.
  • Sports Team Shirts: Unless you play for the team or will be supporting them that day, do not wear your sports shirt. It's tacky.
  • Branded University Tops: You are not in uni anymore, and wearing these looks a little like you are desperately holding on to it.

Casual Men's Trousers

When it comes to planning what we're going to wear trousers are generally more of an after thought. Many men are content with having 2 types of trousers, the smart pair for formal occasions and a casual pair (usually jeans). When it comes to formal occasions you cannot really do much better than a good pair of blue, black or grey suit trousers, so let's focus on casual men's trousers.

Denim Jeans:

A staple item of apparel in most men's wardrobes, jeans are casual, durable, and great for day-to-day use. They come in many different styles (boot cut, skinny, straight, etc.) and which one you choose to go for ought to be based on your body shape and size. A young man's style should not be dictated by what others are wearing, but by what looks good on him. Just because all of your friends are wearing and look great in skinny jeans, doesn't mean that you with your legs built from years of playing rugby and going on skiing holidays should do the same.


Jeans are not the only acceptable casual trousers to wear, and sometimes it is nice to mix it up a little bit and try something a little bit different. Unlike jeans, corduroy trousers come in a range of colours, allowing them to become a more involved part of an overall outfit. Comfortable, sturdy and breathable, corduroys are also ideal for smart-casual affairs as they do not wear or become as scruffy as jeans have a tendency to do.


Comfortable, hardy and particularly hard wearing, chinos were originally made for the British and French military during the 1800's and became popular amongst the general population due to their practicality and aesthetic appeal. When you think about Chinos, generally speaking, you think of a light brown, khaki pair, but nowadays you can find them in a wide range of various colours. Just as versatile as jeans and corduroys, chinos look great with t-shirts, collared shirts or polo shirts.

What Trousers To Avoid

  • Joggers: Unless you are planning on not going out and having no one over, joggers are not suitable (unless you are going jogging, there's nothing wrong with being practical).
  • ¾ length trousers: Though fashionable in the early 2000's, ¾ lengths are not particularly in vogue at the moment (nor will they ever be again, if we're lucky).
  • Leather Trousers: If you've ever watched E4 you've seen the episode of Friends where Ross tries to pull these off. He doesn't and chances are neither can you.

In part two of The Young Man's Style Guide we shall be covering jackets, coats, shoes and fashionable men's accessories, so don't forget to visit the BlokesBags Blog again soon.