When I say the word Teenager, what comes to mind is a fully grown person trying to find himself or herself and in the process, fighting to move away from parents’ influence and childhood rules.But, call the same person a Future Adult, and what comes to mind is a person who amid all the angst of growing up and discovering the self, is working towards being a mature, responsible Adult and is on the way to being recognized as such.
So, when I talk to you with the knowledge that you are a Future Adult, I wonder why you are dressed in torn jeans and unwashed, unlaced shoes. I wonder why your hair is unkempt and your T-shirt crumpled and possibly lived in for a couple of days.
I’m told it’s casual.
But, is it cool? Does it have style? I must say no.
As you flex your muscles of freedom and responsibility, I have some tips to share about Casual Style which help you navigate these interesting years of pre-adulthood.
As a Future Adult, you are out of those cute, perfectly matched clothes your parents dressed you in. You want to be you. Not a younger version of your parents. You want to dress casual and you want to dress in style. You want to have the latest. You want to blend in with your crowd. At the same time, you want to stand out.
So what is Casual Style that sets you apart?
Here’s where you begin.
First and foremost, this is the age when your glands start working full time and they call for regular baths. This controls body odor, it controls dandruff that flakes and falls and it controls acne and rashes.
Second, you wear freshly washed and pressed clothes.
Third, a fresh pair of washed socks each day. Shoes washed at least once a week.
Fourth, brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. You may not want to hear about how this makes your teeth last longer in old age, but it definitely keeps friends close to you.
Now for your clothing style.
What goes for teen film stars with low slung jeans and gelled hair falling over the eyes maybe ok on stage, but when did regular humans dress like film stars in their strange costumes. Remember, girls aren’t particularly enamored with underwear peeking out of pants.
Don’t go with fads. They may not flatter you. Understand the fad to see whether it suits your body shape and whether you are comfortable in it.
So what is right and what should your wardrobe have?
A bunch of T-shirts, collared, round neck, v-neck for all seasons and turtle necks for winters keep your wardrobe full and give you the casual look. Checked shirts for winter and plains or just whites for summer are good. Tuck them in or leave them out based on how casual you want it and what the occasion is.
For guys, whites, blacks, pale or dark colors that aren’t too bright are safe and smart. For girls, the sky’s the limit in tops and color choices, but they need to make sure the color and patterns don’t clash.
The standard rules apply. If you are slender in build, horizontal stripes and patterns are good for you. But if you have a heavy build or are short in stature, vertical stripes and dark colors look good.
Pair these T-shirts and tops with a pair of khakis or denims. A good pair of denim pants is necessary for your wardrobe.
Too tight or too large clothing is out. The large ones make you look slouchy and untidy. One pair of torn jeans may be ok occasionally, but don’t make it your everyday wear. If you really want this pair of torn jeans, just make sure the worn patches are in the right places for a trendy look. That’s what style is about. To wear it the right way.
With jeans, straight cuts are the safest bet if you aren’t sure what looks good on you. Boot cuts and low rise go well on slender, tall builds. Stocky and short builds must say no to low rises, they make you look heavier and shorter distorting your upper and lower body proportions.
To top off your casual style, caps do the trick for boys. A chain or bracelet adds to it. Just do it one item at a time.
For girls, since there is a variety of patterns and color choices in tops, a pair of denims and a few pairs of leggings in black and some dark colors are the basics to maintain casual style. Leggings are a great way of going casual. They go perfectly well with many long tops. Whether you are heavy or slender, you can make them look good by taking care of the color of the leggings and the color and pattern of the top. Use dark colors if you are heavy and lighter ones if you are of a slender build.
Sky’s the limit for accessories for girls. We’ll come to that in another post.
Finally, dress to your body shape not to a fashion model’s.
For example, low slung jeans may be the rage all over, but they make people with short legs look shorter.
Are you heavy in build? Then horizontal stripes that may be going by the tons will make you look heavier. Better stick to plains or vertical stripes.