What about the person who can take nothing and make it something. Could that be seen as style as well? Although a well educated person in clothing could know the difference, is it still possible?
It's certainly possible with casual wear. Designers tend to look at what street kids are wearing, and copy it. They also raid thrift shops, and copy what they find. Yes, they put their own twist on it, but so does the person who buys the originals and figures out how to wear them. In my opinion, it is the most stylish people who make something enviable out of nothing.
I am curious to know if there is a way that I could walk into a room with everyone else wearing these suits, and myself not, and stillÂ be looked at in the same way as someone wearing the higher quality item? I know how critical people can be, and I would like to know if it is that big a deal and if so if I need to start saving.
I haven't much to add to HappyDog's response here. I am, however, curious why this should be a big concern, since, as you say, you're working your way through school and stores near you don't even carry the big names we drop. It sounds to me like someone in your position and location wouldn't be expected to have, say, a Canali suit, let alone Brioni or Kiton. If your suit is tastefully, conservatively styled, fits well, and is in good shape, that's going to be all you need for a while. Anything beyond that should wait until you have"”or are interviewing for"”the salary to warrant it. Aside from your bearing, which HappyDog rightly identifies as the most important part of making a good impression, you can "make something out of nothing" to a limited extent by accessorizing. Good shoes are important, and should be a budgetary priority, but I wouldn't go "fashion-forward" with your footwear. Your choice of ties and pocket squares is where you can get creative without breaking the bank.