There’s no class on how to be an adult or lesson curriculum on dressing like one. Most people get some advice passed down by their parents, but there are plenty of full-grown men and women running around today with no idea whether they’re really pulling off the mature, tailored style they wish to embody. First off, don’t worry if you have no idea what it means to “dress like an adult.” Rather than focusing on your age, consider the style that you like, the types of environments you frequent and what pieces you admire on others. Everyone dresses casually, and there’s nothing wrong with rocking your beloved Muppets graphic t-shirt on the weekend. However, knowing how to dress like adult is more about how to dress properly for every occasion. Learning these basic adult styling tips will help you feel more stylish and sophisticated.
Invest in Wardrobe Staples
Every adult needs at least two formal wear options, several button-down shirts or blouses and at least three pairs of tailored slacks. You should always be able to put together a decent outfit for a meeting or job interview, and these pieces can be dressed up or down depending on the shoes, accessories and outerwear you pair with them.
Stick to a Neutral Palette
Avoid extremely bright and distracting colors and patterns. In most professional settings, you’re better off choosing colors that are subtle and easily combined to make multiple outfits. Colors like black, navy, gray, beige and olive are good base tones. There are some settings where you can add brighter accent colors to these, but don’t do that until you’re sure it won’t be out of place.
Make sure all of your clothes are properly washed, ironed, and stored on hangers so they always look crisp and pressed. Avoid wearing anything that is stained, frayed, torn, or untucked. Simply caring for your clothing properly and knowing how to wear it can make you look ten times more put-together.
Have Your Clothes Professionally Tailored
Visit a men’s apparel retailer or boutique to find clothing that is suitable for your age and can be professionally tailored. Adult clothes cost more money, but they also last longer. It’s important to invest in staple pieces that you can always rely on. This includes suits, dresses, and skirts.
Keep Accessories to a Minimum
Avoid wearing cheap, layered accessories that distract from your image. A simple pair of cufflinks, a good pair of earrings, or a sleek watch are statement pieces that always look good. Anything made of plastic or rubber should be thrown away immediately. Dressing like an adult means buying things that are catered to a mature audience; choosing the right jewelry and accessories will help you customize your looks and feel more elegant.
You can dress like an adult and still have fun. Be creative, download a personal styling app, and focus on dressing for the right occasion. You don’t have to lose any semblance of personality to come off as mature and stylish. Learning how to color coordinate, using texture to infuse a look with style, and pairing the right pieces can make a tremendous difference in how you present yourself to the world.