The Back To School Shopping Guide For Guys

Back to school shopping guides can be confusing. How do you make a guide that fits both a high school freshman and a college senior?

You focus on the essentials that every man needs.

Whether you’re in high school or college, the bare essentials for back to school clothing remains the same.

Once you have the bare essentials down, you can than direct your wardrobe towards a particular style, if you’re in high school you most likely want to get some trendy streetwear style, if you’re in college and want to tone down your crazy wardrobe, a minimalist style might be right for you.

Whatever your style is, you need to get the essential back to school clothing first.

Let’s begin!


When buying t-shirts avoid the big box stores that sell 10 t-shirts for $5. Often those shirts are boxy and not flattering at all.

For a nice slim fitting shirt at a reasonable price, I recommend American Apparel blank tees. Get yourself a few of these shirts in black, white and any other colors you like. (Here’s a guide on getting the right color for your skin tone)


I’ve bought and tried jeans from dozens of brands – from high end jeans that cost the same as a car to the jeans your dad buys from walmart.

What I’ve found is that I always come back to one brand – Levi’s.

What I love about Levi’s is that once you find your cut and size, you’re set!

You can just get the same size of the cut you like in different styles.

For me, the best Levi’s cut is the 510 Skinny Jeans. (Don’t worry they’re not that skinny, just nicely tapered).

Get yourself at least 2 pairs of jeans. One in a classic blue denim color and another in either black or grey (or both!).


When it comes to buying shoes for back to school, you want versatility and comfort.

You’re going to be walking around campus for hours on end and you want your feet to feel nice while doing so.

You also don’t want to be wearing crocs, you want something stylish.

A classic pair of vans works great here.

If you want something even more minimal, a simple white sneaker also works amazing.


You don’t always want to be the sneaker guy. Sometime a nice pair of boots goes a long way in making a simple outfit look a lot nicer.

You can always go with the classic Timberlands – they’ve been in style for decades, and for good reason, they look great and are function. They also look great with a pair of jeans.

Second Layer

Something to wear over your t-shirt when the weather is less than ‘California sunshine’.

A light jacket works great and gives off a mature look.

A hoodie also works great if you’re going for a more cozy cool look.

With these basic items you build a great back to school wardrobe. Now you can take your style to the next level with our guides on:

And if you’re looking for a more in-depth guide on building a wardrobe from scratch, check out our guide.