Well, I don’t wanna jinx anything, but I think it's finally happening. After a bizarre and isolated year mostly spent on the couch, it would seem as if we’re approaching a light at the end of the tunnel.
I stepped outside of my apartment last week and, for the first time in a very long time, witnessed a glimpse of what used to be known as “normal,” but what now feels completely exhilarating. There were lines outside of popular restaurants, signs of bustling nightlife, and a wave of optimism in the air so thick you could practically feel it.
Long story short: The Roarin’ 20s are upon us, and I could not be more excited.
With this transition back to a more in-person, "real-life" life, there are a few adjustments that are probably necessary, and this month is the perfect time to start making sure this summer will be everything you deserve. Most of us may have a few new bad habits that need breaking, ruts that need digging out of, and, most importantly, wardrobes that need refreshing.
If you're anything like me, you've been rotating through the same few pairs of loungewear for the past year, and this most certainly cannot continue into your Hot Boy Summer. There are Hinge matches to meet, dinners with friends to be had, and concerts to attend. Your closet needs to fit the part! That’s why I, with some help from Fresh Clean Tees, have some simple swaps for your quarantine staples that'll effortlessly elevate your style and have you feeling like your (new and improved) old self in no time.
Swap 1: Ratty T-Shirt From College -> White V-Neck
There’s no shame in whatever you’ve had to wear to get through this nightmare of a year. Many guys I know reverted to some version of their high school “style” once leaving the house was no longer on the table. This mainly manifested in the form of worn-out, potentially discolored t-shirts from, like, a college intramural basketball team or whatever.
This is of course a reasonable option for a night in of PS5 play, but I don’t think you’re going to be doing as many of those, at least not for a while. So when you still want to be comfy yet look put together, opt for a well-fitted v-neck tee in a crisp shade of white. When picking out a piece this simple, shape is everything. That’s why I recommend the white v-neck from Fresh Clean Tees. It offers subtle structure for a flattering fit without feeling boxy, and it’s size-inclusive, great for layering, and there’s a spectrum of colors available if white’s not your thing.
With the brand’s super-soft cotton blend, better known as StratusSoft, you won’t even notice you're not in that go-to hand-me-down shirt, but, lucky for you, everyone else will. You can’t go wrong with this one.
Swap 2: Grey Athletic Sweatpants -> Well-Fitting Joggers
If 2020 was the year of the sweatpants, then 2021 will be the year of the joggers.
Tailored, universal, and socially acceptable to wear to non-virtual events, joggers are the perfect segue from quarantine drab to easy street style. I like the dark khaki Topmans via ASOS best.
You can find them in a variety of fits and colors, but I love how a nice, dark pair of joggers can be easily taken from a day look to a night look with the comfort you love (and have grown accustomed to) from a soft pair of pants.
That washed-out light gray pair of sweatpants with the hole in the crotch might have been fine for video dates, but do yourself a favor and invest in a nice pair of joggers to hang out with that girl from Bumble you’ve been chatting with for a literal year. It’s what she deserves.
Swap 3: Company-Branded Swag -> Bomber Jacket
I know that I personally fell back onto the style crutch of old company-branded sweatshirts this past year. While your former workplace swag might have a place in a virtual happy hour, real life deserves something a little more nuanced.
For this, I’d suggest an elevated item of comfort, like the fleece bomber jacket from Fresh Clean Tees. This is a timeless piece that you’ll find yourself going back to again and again. It can work for a casual night out with the guys or a lovely coffee date. This jacket says “I put some thought into how I look today, but I’m not trying too hard.” The super-soft fleece also makes it girlfriend approved.
Big fan all around.
Swap 4: Worn Out Running Shoes -> Fresh Pair of Neutral Canvas Sneakers
You probably haven’t been putting on shoes this year unless you’re sliding on the pair of whichever shoes — they might not even be yours, belonging to your roommate or significant other — are closest to the door to take out the trash, or maybe wearing that dingy pair of tennis shoes for the occasional grocery store run. Either way, it's safe to say you haven’t invested in a new pair of kicks recently because...why would you have?
If this describes your situation, might I suggest selecting your favorite casual footwear brand — you can’t go wrong with Vans, Converse, and the like — and finding a pair of generally palatable neutral slip-ons that you can wear for literally any occasion that pops up in your newly thriving social life. They’re clean, they’re easy, and if you’re a sock guy, they feel great with a pair of the no-show socks from Fresh Clean Tees. Either way, you’ll be getting a lot of use out of them this summer. Shop smarter, not harder.
It’s safe to say we’re all relieved and excited about the upcoming summer and year ahead. For the first time in a while, many of us will once again have the opportunity to travel, hug friends, and maybe even kiss some strangers. You want to be ready for it.
So get that second vaccine dose if you can and haven't yet, get a haircut scheduled, and bookmark this post for some easy, fashionable, and affordable closet swaps. Happy Hot Boy Summer!
— Kendall Pennington