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style/confidence advice

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Hi There,

I'm not sure if this is the best place to post this topic - please feel free to move it somewhere more appropriate.

Basically I am looking for a little help. it may sound weird but I really want to change my clothing style to look much smarter than I do at the moment. I've just turned 30 and have spent most of my life dressing very casually - t-shirts, baggy jeans, hoodies, thick woolen jumpers etc etc.

I've always sortof fantasized about dressing a lot smarter but the desire has got a lot stronger in the last year and I've made a couple of concessions towards it. I used to refuse to wear shirts but over the last frew months I've started buying them - some plain coloured dres shirts and a couple of more casual chambray ones. I've begin wearing them but I still feel pretty self conscious around my friends or in public. I also bought a blue pinstripe suit last year with a dark blue shirt and black tie and earlier this year I put an outfit together consisting of a white shirt, black skinny tie, tweed blazer and black slim cut trousers - but I never have the opportunity really to wear these clothes. Its gotten to the stage where I get home from work, take off my casual clothes and dress in a smart outfit at home. I have even begin going to the supermarket or for walks dressed smartly (I know it sounds weird). I recently wore my tweed outfit to a wedding and my best friend (a girl) said I should dress in a suit and tie more often

My biggest problem is knowing how far to go and getting over the horrible self conscious feeling when I amdressed smartly or my total fear of dressing smartly in front my friends or family as they are really used to me never dressing up. I have also had a very bad run of luck with girlfriends in the past having always gone for casual tomboy kind of girls. Its always ended badly and I thought maybe going for a different kind of girl, someone smarter and preppier might be more of a success. I have also been growing more and more attracted to preppy-styled girls who dress smartly - I just know I have no chance getting a girl like that the way I currently dress. (Thats not the sole reason for wanting to change my style)

I was wondeirng if anyone here would be able to give me help or advice to overcome my anxiety or help me with developing my style more.

Many Thanks,

David

post #2 of 30
Welcome to Styleforum David.
Stay away from the preppy girls altogether as they won't be your crowd. Preppy girls are going in a different direction than you are, so to speak. This may change when they hit their mid 40's but not before, and even then it will only be an affair.. Trust me on this.
As for your clothes....never 'pose'. Just wear the stuff as though you have been wearing it all your life; as though you don't really care about it.
And if you see a woman you like, be prepared to smile or say hello after a double take. If you still haven't said hello after a triple take, you'll end up looking like some creep who keeps staring and that will make any woman feel extremely uncomfortable. Relax and look relaxed.
If you won't mind to post a few photos, it would be nice to see your better shoes, shirts, jackets and ties. Perhaps we can make a few suggestions from there.
post #3 of 30

You'll find that many members on here work in industries where casual or semi-casual attire is required and nothing more. They share your interest and affinity in 'smart' clothing (as you put it) so you'll find that you're in welcome territory here.

 

I'm in a similar situation as far as my wardrobe. What I wear to work isn't always what I'd like to wear when I go out for a drink. I think the wisest thing is to sit back, consume the wealth of information available on this board, and overtime begin to figure out what your personal style and likings are. 

 

One approach I've taken is to begin a tumblr where I basically keep a tab on suits, jackets, ties, shoes, and wardrobes that I find interesting. As time and finances allow, I'll slowly begin to incorporate some of these into my personal wardrobe. (Link is below in case you're interested in perusing)

post #4 of 30
I went through a similar experience when I started to dress less casually several years ago. Among my friends, casual means t-shirts and sneakers. When I started hanging out with them in button downs and my trusty Craftsmen from RM Williams I did feel a bit anxious and got some comments. However in time my new clothes just started to feel like my second skin and I stopped thinking about it. Just keep pushing yourself and in time you will feel at home regardless of what you are wearing.
post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Man Of Lint View Post

Welcome to Styleforum David.
Stay away from the preppy girls altogether as they won't be your crowd.

Do not stay away from a girl just because she seems to run with a particular crowd, not everyone fits the mold of their "group". Do proceed with some caution.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Man Of Lint View Post

Welcome to Styleforum David.
As for your clothes....never 'pose'. Just wear the stuff as though you have been wearing it all your life; as though you don't really care about it.
And if you see a woman you like, be prepared to smile or say hello after a double take. If you still haven't said hello after a triple take, you'll end up looking like some creep who keeps staring and that will make any woman feel extremely uncomfortable. Relax and look relaxed.
.

Do this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by suitantie View Post

I've just turned 30 and have spent most of my life dressing very casually - t-shirts, baggy jeans, hoodies, thick woolen jumpers etc etc.

You can buy t-shirts and jeans that fit you and still look put together while casual. I would recommend it. If you need help, take your female friend shopping with you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by suitantie View Post

bought a blue pinstripe suit last year with a dark blue shirt and black tie

Do not do this. There is very little contrast with such an outfit. Contrast if your friend. A classic example would be navy pinstripe suit, white shirt, and burgundy tie. Even just changing the shirt from dark blue to white would probably be fine. Your tweed outfit with white shirt and black tie is a good example of success in this regard (although most would not have chosen black for the tie).
Quote:
Originally Posted by suitantie View Post

My biggest problem is knowing how far to go and getting over the horrible self conscious feeling when I amdressed smartly or my total fear of dressing smartly in front my friends or family as they are really used to me never dressing up. I have also had a very bad run of luck with girlfriends in the past having always gone for casual tomboy kind of girls. Its always ended badly and I thought maybe going for a different kind of girl, someone smarter and preppier might be more of a success. I have also been growing more and more attracted to preppy-styled girls who dress smartly - I just know I have no chance getting a girl like that the way I currently dress. (Thats not the sole reason for wanting to change my style)

This is based on my personal opinion and experience so take this with a grain of salt: People change. Your friends/family will get used to you dressing up. If you enjoy it, then keep at it. As for girls, while there is something to be said for dressing for a certain "type", for the most part, having your own personal style will benefit you the most with any type of girl. The type of style you choose (for the most part) does not matter, the fact that you have chosen a style shows off individuality and motivation.
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsmith View Post

I went through a similar experience when I started to dress less casually several years ago. Among my friends, casual means t-shirts and sneakers. When I started hanging out with them in button downs and my trusty Craftsmen from RM Williams I did feel a bit anxious and got some comments. However in time my new clothes just started to feel like my second skin and I stopped thinking about it. Just keep pushing yourself and in time you will feel at home regardless of what you are wearing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauss17 View Post

This is based on my personal opinion and experience so take this with a grain of salt: People change. Your friends/family will get used to you dressing up. If you enjoy it, then keep at it.

These are both great bits of advice. Yes you may hear some comments if you suddenly change your manner of dress. But if you are committed to dressing how you want people will get used to it, and they will eventually stop thinking of your style as "different from before" and start thinking of it as "you".

I'm only a few years older than you and went through a style reawaking around the time I turned 30 as well. In my opinion, the best thing about growing up has been not having to apologize for dressing and acting like a grownup.

Welcome to the forum. There's a lot of information to take in - I advise you to take your time, read, look at the WAYW threads a lot, and don't go overboard with new attire at first. Best of luck to you.

Edit: I can't really offer any advice on the girl front - in my case the clothes changed but the woman thankfully did not. smile.gif
post #7 of 30

I would say that dressing stylish is not necessarily dressing "smart" as you have said.  Plenty of smart people dress with no thought and don't care how they look and plenty of dumb people ress great.  You want to be more stylish, right?  :-) 

 

Anyway, it might be good to ease into it.  Getting a couple of blazers is a good way to go because you can wear a blazer (sport coat) with jeans and a t-shirt and look great.  You can also dress it up a little more with some trousers and a dress shirt if needed.  You can even wear sport coats with a logo t-shirt if done properly.  Just have fun with it and see what works for you.  It sounds like a suit is really not needed at this point....  

 

If they ask why you have changed, just give a quick answer like "yea, just decided to change it up a little" or something like that. People may hate on you for the sudden change. 

post #8 of 30

Hi suitandtie,

 

I am slightly older than you but have a similar story. I changed almost overnight. My workplace is as casual as they come. I handled remarks by being honest. A typical response to "What are you dressed up for?" could be "It makes me feel good about myself". I don't believe I am coming across arrogant or pretentious. In fact, I think they understand the feeling. I've noticed that it may be contagious as my boss has started to up his game.

 

I tell me friends the same thing. When we go out, I just dress it down.

 

Good luck!

post #9 of 30

OMG...

 

If you feel strange and uncomfortable wearing suits and ties, then why are you so eager to wear suits and ties? I don't understand. If you felt more strong and confident, then I'd see where you were coming from, but it seems like you want to dress up because you think that people will like it. Here's a tip: if you're twitchy and nervous, it won't matter what you're wearing. You still won't get the girl. You've probably already figured that out. Dressing up in a costume isn't going to make you more attractive to women. When you start to talk to them and you're tongue-tied, it won't matter what you're wearing.

 

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in, and work on your self-confidence.

post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Man Of Lint View Post

Welcome to Styleforum David.
Stay away from the preppy girls altogether as they won't be your crowd. Preppy girls are going in a different direction than you are, so to speak. This may change when they hit their mid 40's but not before, and even then it will only be an affair.. Trust me on this.

 

Don't take advice from a guy who says things like this ^^^^^ He's clearly speaking from bitter experience.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauss17 View Post


Do not stay away from a girl just because she seems to run with a particular crowd, not everyone fits the mold of their "group". Do proceed with some caution.

Agreed. Style of dress isn't a good measure for predicting personality.

post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauss17 View Post


 Your tweed outfit with white shirt and black tie is a good example of success in this regard

confused.gif

 

Don't do a white shirt with tweed. Unless it's an OCBD, and even then, do it with caution. I suggest a tattersall or gingham check, or light blue if it must be solid. Tie should be casual, too; wool challis, ancient madder, knit...

post #12 of 30
I somewhat disagree with this. I IMO believe that clothing adds confidence. Yes it should be built in its own regard, but wearing a suit certainly makes me feel a million times more confident than having on shorts and a t-shirt

OP, I am a couple of years younger than you, but let me say I believe you have come to the right place. I learned tons from this website, but have developed my own personal style which I can certainly say is unique to me! This site helps you do that, how? well WAYW thread is definitely a good place to start. It gives you an idea of what you may or may not like. There are some guys here who wear stuff that takes a lot of confidence to pull off, they have that, you dont have to start wearing red chinos tomorrow,. Nicely fitted jeans, shoes and a button down shirt is a good place to start, as you get more comfortable, up the ante by adding blazers, color and playing with patterns. Overall, browse the site occasionally, especially the picture threads and see what appeals to you, as only you can decide what you can be comfortable wearing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyMac View Post

OMG...

If you feel strange and uncomfortable wearing suits and ties, then why are you so eager to wear suits and ties? I don't understand. If you felt more strong and confident, then I'd see where you were coming from, but it seems like you want to dress up because you think that people will like it. Here's a tip: if you're twitchy and nervous, it won't matter what you're wearing. You still won't get the girl. You've probably already figured that out. Dressing up in a costume isn't going to make you more attractive to women. When you start to talk to them and you're tongue-tied, it won't matter what you're wearing.

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in, and work on your self-confidence.
post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 

Hi Guyss,

 

Thanks for all the speedy replied and advice - its really good to know that other people have been through the same sort of thing and I'm not just an oddball!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Man Of Lint View Post

If you won't mind to post a few photos, it would be nice to see your better shoes, shirts, jackets and ties. Perhaps we can make a few suggestions from there.

I'm away on business for the next couple of days but when I get back I'll take a few pics of the different clothes/outfits I've been wearing to see what you think? From suggestions from here would be great, good idea btw, thanks :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauss17 View Post


You can buy t-shirts and jeans that fit you and still look put together while casual. I would recommend it. If you need help, take your female friend shopping with you.
Do not do this. There is very little contrast with such an outfit. Contrast if your friend. A classic example would be navy pinstripe suit, white shirt, and burgundy tie. Even just changing the shirt from dark blue to white would probably be fine. Your tweed outfit with white shirt and black tie is a good example of success in this regard (although most would not have chosen black for the tie).

 

I've tried the white shirt with my suit and I really quite like it - I'll post a couple of photos of thesuit with different coloured shirts and see what you think?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dapperdoctor View Post

I would say that dressing stylish is not necessarily dressing "smart" as you have said.  Plenty of smart people dress with no thought and don't care how they look and plenty of dumb people ress great.  You want to be more stylish, right?  :-) 

 

Anyway, it might be good to ease into it.  Getting a couple of blazers is a good way to go because you can wear a blazer (sport coat) with jeans and a t-shirt and look great.  You can also dress it up a little more with some trousers and a dress shirt if needed.  You can even wear sport coats with a logo t-shirt if done properly.  Just have fun with it and see what works for you.  It sounds like a suit is really not needed at this point.... 

 

I didn't mean 'smart' in the 'intelligent' sense - rather smart as in stylish, not casual way.

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by VinnyMac View Post

 

If you feel strange and uncomfortable wearing suits and ties, then why are you so eager to wear suits and ties? I don't understand. If you felt more strong and confident, then I'd see where you were coming from, but it seems like you want to dress up because you think that people will like it. Here's a tip: if you're twitchy and nervous, it won't matter what you're wearing. You still won't get the girl. You've probably already figured that out. Dressing up in a costume isn't going to make you more attractive to women. When you start to talk to them and you're tongue-tied, it won't matter what you're wearing.

 

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in, and work on your self-confidence.

 

I don't feel uncomfortable dressing in button downs and suits and ties, I really like the feeling and think it looks good, I just feel uncomfortable dressing like that around my friends for fear of being judged or ostricised I guess. I've always been quite adamantly against dressing up (as sort of denial, I think) and so known for being casual that change is quite daunting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RDiaz View Post

confused.gif

 

Don't do a white shirt with tweed. Unless it's an OCBD, and even then, do it with caution. I suggest a tattersall or gingham check, or light blue if it must be solid. Tie should be casual, too; wool challis, ancient madder, knit...

 

aw, I was beginning to really like the look. I'll post pictures for more advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by austerlitz View Post

I somewhat disagree with this. I IMO believe that clothing adds confidence. Yes it should be built in its own regard, but wearing a suit certainly makes me feel a million times more confident than having on shorts and a t-shirt
OP, I am a couple of years younger than you, but let me say I believe you have come to the right place. I learned tons from this website, but have developed my own personal style which I can certainly say is unique to me! This site helps you do that, how? well WAYW thread is definitely a good place to start. It gives you an idea of what you may or may not like. There are some guys here who wear stuff that takes a lot of confidence to pull off, they have that, you dont have to start wearing red chinos tomorrow,. Nicely fitted jeans, shoes and a button down shirt is a good place to start, as you get more comfortable, up the ante by adding blazers, color and playing with patterns. Overall, browse the site occasionally, especially the picture threads and see what appeals to you, as only you can decide what you can be comfortable wearing.

 

Great advice though, I've already been wearing my tweed blazer with casual jeans/sweaters/hoodies so people have been getting used o it, and I've had a lot of compliments on it. I've also been introducing a lot more button downs into my wardrobe - mostly in 'going out' sort of suituations but still played down with a hoodie between the shirt and blazer/with jeans/trainers etc. I also dressed a little smarter for a friend's leaving party a couple of weeks back. I wore a smart-ish workshirt with black trousers, my blazer and smarter black leather sneakers. A few people commented on the fact i was dressed smarter. I brought up what my friend had said at the wedding and my friend (who's leaving party it was ) seemed happy i had made the effort for her party.

post #14 of 30

When it comes to style, you need to be aware of the kind of lifestyle you have to sustain it. It would be inappropriate to wear c asual clothing in a conservative banking industry for example. So when you have figured out your style, confidence comes naturally.

post #15 of 30

Believe in your own style choice!

 

Be confident! Everyone will have different opinions, take them as your references only, don't care too much

 

Try not to change the whole look at once but maybe just add on a more formal jacket/blazer to match with jeans and t-shirt

 

You know what, even you change yourself according to others opinion, there are still more opposite comments

 

Just let it be and be the most comfortable you!smile.gif

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