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College student here, could really use some feedback

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone.

 

First post here :)

 

I will soon have a total of 400 USD to spend on setting myself up with a decent pair of clothes I can wear around town, to church on Sundays, to some college classes, etc. Something casual but that makes me look older and more mature.

 

From top-down, the basic template for my first outfit is:

 

* Charcoal grey or darkish grey light/athletic blazer/sports jacket (something like this but darker or this)

* A fitted dress shirt (mainly I want one that is dark grey with stripes like this but a bit darker and I'll add more later)

* Dark blue straight jeans (like this, thisthis, or one of these)

* Wide brown belt with silver buckle (something like this or this)

* Brown lace up shoes, somewhat dressy (could really use some recommendations here)

 

I would mainly work around wearing jeans + nice dress shirt + blazer.

 

What do you think about my plan?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 33
The outfit "template" we will call it, I have no problem with. Your listed examples however, could use some improvements.

1. For the Charcoal/Grey Blazer, I would go with a medium grey. It will give you more contrast between it and the jeans. That said, there isn't anything wrong with charcoal if you like it. As for your choices, you can simply do better. Buy a nice one and have it tailored. I am a big fan of Ebay for tailored clothing, just have it dry cleaned when you get it. The Buying & Selling section of this forum also works. If you must have new, try H&M.

2. A fitted dress shirt, great. Your color choice, less great. You will look like a wall of grey/charcoal with blue pants (Ok a wall of grey/charcoal with maybe some stripes). Go with a light colored shirt here. My first choice is always white. It is simple and always appropriate. It also looks great with jeans in my opinion. My second choice would be a lavender, as it will look good with grey. You might try Brooks Brothers or some of the J. Crew Thomas Mason offerings.

3. Do not buy jeans at men's wearhouse. The levi's you listed would be an excellent choice.

http://www.sears.com/levi-s-men-s-514-slim-straight-fit-denim-jeans/p-041T0047000P?sid=I0084400010000100600&aff=Y

Stick to a darker shade of navy.

4. I have no problems with either of the belts you listed, but I like the second one better. It has fewer designs and such on it.

5. Here is where I would spend the most of your budget: Shoes. My first choice would be an Allen Edmonds Kenilworth "second" or on sale in the dark brown color:

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/allen-edmonds-kenilworth-oxford/3180151?cm_cat=datafeed&cm_ite=allen_edmonds_%27kenilworth%27_oxford:360534&cm_pla=shoes:men:oxfords&cm_ven=Google_Product_Ads&mr:ad=12528040313&mr:adType=pla&mr:keyword={keyword}&mr:referralID=NA&mr:trackingCode=3DB8CAC7-5BB9-E011-8116-001517B1882A&origin=pla

If you can't find it on sale or afford it, you can try for a Allen Edmonds Provo on sale or "second"

http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline/producti_SF4214_1_40000000001_-1

(A second is a shoe from a manufacturer with a "defect", but as most will tell you, you can usually hardly tell. It is often an imperfect stitch or nick in the sole which don't matter)

Stick with shoes that are a dark or chocolate brown.
post #3 of 33

Here's a question - Why do students think they have to dress differently, surely they are just people too?

post #4 of 33
He is just giving a demographic, sometimes it is helpful. Usually people start out with "I am 30 and a banker, or I am a high school student or I am a college student or I'm a lawyer and starting out." Almost everybody does it.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Mulberry View Post

Here's a question - Why do students think they have to dress differently, surely they are just people too?

Probably to dissuade recommendations of pinstripe suits and the like.

post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by diglett View Post

Probably to dissuade recommendations of pinstripe suits and the like.

 

Can't imagine anyone wearing a suit to college. Can't imagine wearing a suit to work actually, but that's another story. I generally wear suits when going to the pub and dancing etc and I occasionally wear them around the house.

post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauss17 View Post

The outfit "template" we will call it, I have no problem with. Your listed examples however, could use some improvements.
1. For the Charcoal/Grey Blazer, I would go with a medium grey. It will give you more contrast between it and the jeans. That said, there isn't anything wrong with charcoal if you like it. As for your choices, you can simply do better. Buy a nice one and have it tailored. I am a big fan of Ebay for tailored clothing, just have it dry cleaned when you get it. The Buying & Selling section of this forum also works. If you must have new, try H&M.
2. A fitted dress shirt, great. Your color choice, less great. You will look like a wall of grey/charcoal with blue pants (Ok a wall of grey/charcoal with maybe some stripes). Go with a light colored shirt here. My first choice is always white. It is simple and always appropriate. It also looks great with jeans in my opinion. My second choice would be a lavender, as it will look good with grey. You might try Brooks Brothers or some of the J. Crew Thomas Mason offerings.
3. Do not buy jeans at men's wearhouse. The levi's you listed would be an excellent choice.
http://www.sears.com/levi-s-men-s-514-slim-straight-fit-denim-jeans/p-041T0047000P?sid=I0084400010000100600&aff=Y
Stick to a darker shade of navy.
4. I have no problems with either of the belts you listed, but I like the second one better. It has fewer designs and such on it.
5. Here is where I would spend the most of your budget: Shoes. My first choice would be an Allen Edmonds Kenilworth "second" or on sale in the dark brown color:
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/allen-edmonds-kenilworth-oxford/3180151?cm_cat=datafeed&cm_ite=allen_edmonds_%27kenilworth%27_oxford:360534&cm_pla=shoes:men:oxfords&cm_ven=Google_Product_Ads&mr:ad=12528040313&mr:adType=pla&mr:keyword={keyword}&mr:referralID=NA&mr:trackingCode=3DB8CAC7-5BB9-E011-8116-001517B1882A&origin=pla
If you can't find it on sale or afford it, you can try for a Allen Edmonds Provo on sale or "second"
http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline/producti_SF4214_1_40000000001_-1
(A second is a shoe from a manufacturer with a "defect", but as most will tell you, you can usually hardly tell. It is often an imperfect stitch or nick in the sole which don't matter)
Stick with shoes that are a dark or chocolate brown.

 

 

Thanks, Gauss!

 

Medium grey blazer sounds fine. I still want to have a dark grey dress shirt to wear with my jeans at times, but you're probably right that it won't look good with a jacket. I'll just get one two other dress shirts to wear with the blazer. I need to have a few different colors anyway. I have fairly long dirty/gold blond hair and am light skinned, and according to charts on RealMenRealStyle, I should mostly wear light colors. I like white, but I think it will just make me look younger right now which is not what I want. Dark navy jeans sound good. basically what I was looking for, and I like the way Levi's look. The first pair of shoes are too expensive, and I doubt I will be able to find them cheap enough to afford them, but the "Allen Edmonds Provo" look great. Those belts were examples only. I don't really like the second one because it looks a bit rough. I like this one by Levi a bit more.

 

By the way, I intend to wear the dress shirt tucked in but without a tie. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lord Mulberry View Post

Here's a question - Why do students think they have to dress differently, surely they are just people too?

 

 

 

Hi, Lord Mulberry...

 

In my opinion, there is a difference. A college student in my branch of study who wants to look ready for the corporate world needs to look like he is already in it. It makes it easier for everyone to imagine him in the job already and slowly he will develop a reputation for being professional and prepared, and that helps a ton around here. Literally every guy my age I see at college is wearing shorts, t-shirt/badly fitted polo, and boat shoes/flip flops. It's horrible. They look like they're going on a fishing trip while walking around on campus and attending classes.

 

And I see 30+ year old men dressing the same way to church and, well, everything. It's not different when you get older. These people continue to look immature, unprepared, and just unready to actually take on real world responsibilities. Well dressed people always look more sophisticated and more mature.

 

My work ethic and good manners have already made many friends among the faculty at my college and I'm known for being a professional and mature lad. Unfortunately, I haven't had much dressing sense in the past and I couldn't afford to buy anything good (except from thrift stores), so my dressing and grooming made me look immature, unprofessional, and uncaring while my personality and character said the opposite. I just want to line these up to look how I am; professional, mature, and hard working. :)

 

Thanks

post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by GntlemanFighter View Post



Hi, Lord Mulberry...

In my opinion, there is a difference. A college student in my branch of study who wants to look ready for the corporate world needs to look like he is already in it. It makes it easier for everyone to imagine him in the job already and slowly he will develop a reputation for being professional and prepared, and that helps a ton around here. Literally every guy my age I see at college is wearing shorts, t-shirt/badly fitted polo, and boat shoes/flip flops. It's horrible. They look like they're going on a fishing trip while walking around on campus and attending classes.

And I see 30+ year old men dressing the same way to church and, well, everything. It's not different when you get older. These people continue to look immature, unprepared, and just unready to actually take on real world responsibilities. Well dressed people always look more sophisticated and more mature.

My work ethic and good manners have already made many friends among the faculty at my college and I'm known for being a professional and mature lad. Unfortunately, I haven't had much dressing sense in the past and I couldn't afford to buy anything good (except from thrift stores), so my dressing and grooming made me look immature, unprofessional, and uncaring while my personality and character said the opposite. I just want to line these up to look how I am; professional, mature, and hard working. smile.gif

Thanks


What was it the Harvard President said about seeing students wearing suits?
post #9 of 33
Ah yes:

'One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o'clock, there are two possibilities,' he said.

'One is that they're looking for a job and have an interview. The other is that they are an a**hole.
post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 

Ich,

 

You do know that wearing a "suit" and wearing a "jacket" without a tie are two different things, right? One is casual and one is not. If you read my post, you would realize that I do not intend to wear a suit to class, but a jeans/dress shirt combo occasionally with a jacket.

 

Also, are you making an argument that students should not wear suits because the president of one college (albeit Harvard) doesn't like it? Larry Summers thinks students wearing suits are a**holes. He has a right to his opinion, but I think you are taking his words a bit out of context and trying to make a statement with them that probably don't match what he meant. First, he made that statement in reference to a pair of twins walking pompously into his office with very expensive matching suits. Second, not wearing suits is very different from wearing anything you wear on a boating trip or around the house. I strongly doubt he would be pleased to see Harvard students walking around with only shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops just because he doesn't like seeing students in suits. It's not a black and white issue; there are many shades of grey here.

post #11 of 33
imo you'd be better served by spending your $400 on a selection of quality button-down oxfords and a few pairs of nice jeans, rather than a single outfit. Are you going to wear the exact same thing to church every weekend?

You really don't need a blazer for college. All you need to do is elevate your dress one step above your peers. If you're dressing better than the professors everyone will assume you're an asshole.
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 

Good point, Mandres. But if I have a nice blazer, a few dress shirts and 1-2 pair of jeans with a nice pair of shoes, I should have quite a few nice possible outfits. Also, I intend to get some cheap (but nice looking with good collars) polo's of varying styles and colors that I can wear for very casual events. It should be okay! I'm currently looking for a pair of shoes like the Allen Edmonds Provo that Gauss mentioned but cheaper (I'm actually looking for them on ebay). That will help.

 

I don't actually intend to wear the jacket around campus much if at all (unless it's cold). I mentioned that I also wanted it to wear around town, to meetings, and church! The idea that I would wear it around campus seemed to be assumed because I'm a college student, but I only mentioned I'm a college student to give people an idea of where I am in life, my age, my usual environment, etc. I agree that wearing a jacket to classes would be overdressing (especially at an undergrad level at a junior college).

 

Thanks!

post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandres View Post

You really don't need a blazer for college. All you need to do is elevate your dress one step above your peers. If you're dressing better than the professors everyone will assume you're an asshole.

Unfortunately, it's often impossible to be better than your peers while still staying "below" your professors; as a physics undergraduate, I regularly encounter professors in short-sleeved button down shirts, cargo pants, slip-on shoes, etc.

post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by GntlemanFighter View Post


Medium grey blazer sounds fine. I still want to have a dark grey dress shirt to wear with my jeans at times, but you're probably right that it won't look good with a jacket. I'll just get one two other dress shirts to wear with the blazer. I need to have a few different colors anyway. I have fairly long dirty/gold blond hair and am light skinned, and according to charts on RealMenRealStyle, I should mostly wear light colors. I like white, but I think it will just make me look younger right now which is not what I want. Dark navy jeans sound good. basically what I was looking for, and I like the way Levi's look. The first pair of shoes are too expensive, and I doubt I will be able to find them cheap enough to afford them, but the "Allen Edmonds Provo" look great. Those belts were examples only. I don't really like the second one because it looks a bit rough. I like this one by Levi a bit more.

If you want to wear a grey dress shirt with jeans, no problem. Just don't wear it with the blazer/sport coat. While I am not sure about this "RealMenRealStyle", I have to agree on mostly light color dress shirts. Also, a white dress shirt does not inherently make you look older or younger. The Allen Edmonds Provo can be found for $100 from the Allen Edmonds shoe bank.

My favorite belt to wear with jeans: http://www.express.com/square-buckle-leather-belt-5579-38/index.pro
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by GntlemanFighter View Post

Good point, Mandres. But if I have a nice blazer, a few dress shirts and 1-2 pair of jeans with a nice pair of shoes, I should have quite a few nice possible outfits. Also, I intend to get some cheap (but nice looking with good collars) polo's of varying styles and colors that I can wear for very casual events. It should be okay! I'm currently looking for a pair of shoes like the Allen Edmonds Provo that Gauss mentioned but cheaper (I'm actually looking for them on ebay). That will help.

I don't actually intend to wear the jacket around campus much if at all (unless it's cold). I mentioned that I also wanted it to wear around town, to meetings, and church! The idea that I would wear it around campus seemed to be assumed because I'm a college student, but I only mentioned I'm a college student to give people an idea of where I am in life, my age, my usual environment, etc. I agree that wearing a jacket to classes would be overdressing (especially at an undergrad level at a junior college).

Thanks!

The problem is, at your budget it's hard to get a "nice" blazer in addition to everything else you posted above. It's possible - you can find a good used jacket in a thrift store or on eBay or in the Buying and Selling forum here - but it's not easy if it's your first. You might not be totally sure what fits you, or you might not know how to distinguish something nice from something, well cheap. And even if you know exactly what you're looking for, it might take some time before you find it...

I'm just saying, it sounds like you don't need a jacket or blazer or suit, so DON'T BUY ONE. You'll regret it. At your budget you can get a few good shirts, a good pair of shoes on eBay, and a good pair of jeans. Stick with that, you'll look great at church.

(Actually, I'll say - if every other college student at your church is wearing a suit or a blazer, then go ahead and buy something cheap to fit in. But I'm guessing that's not the case.)
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