I posted a repsonse earlier but I think it got eaten by the internet.
Thanks so much for all the speedy replies - lots of really great advice. Feels amazing that other people have been through the same thing - makes me feel a little less of an oddball. :D
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)
Thanks for the link, really interesting idea. I'll try see if I can get one going - how much does your tumblr reflect your style and how did it help you change it?
I'm away on business for the next few days, but when I'm back I'll post pics of some different outfits/combinations - suggestions would be more then welcome!
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 a white shirt with the suit before and actually quite like it, especially without a tie - although one thing I'd say is that it does feel very very formal (but I kinda like that)
Yeah, sorry think that might have been a language thing, I meant 'smart' not as 'intelligent' but as classy, stylish or dapper ;)
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.
Thats not the issue, I dont feel uncomfortable wearing suits and ties etc, I really enjoy it and like the way it looks. The anxiety comes with getting away with quite radical change in style when my friends are generally quite casual and I am known for my casual dress and disdain for dressing up (a denial thing.) What I'd like to know is how to manage changing my style without feeling too self-conscious about it.
aw I was getting to quite like this look, and had a compliment on it. I'll post a pic when I can to see what you guys think.
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.
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....
Yeah I've been incorporating bits of dressier clothes into my everyday wardrobe for a wee while. Started wearing more shirts, sometimes loosely buttoned over a t-shirt sometimes properly and I've been wearing my tweed blazer often, dressed down with jeans, t-shirt and a hoodie. On most of the occassions where I've worn a button down with the blazer I've had a hoodie between them for a casual touch. A couple of weeks ago I was at a leaving party for an old friend and I decided to wear black trousers, one of my light blue casual-ish workshirts, smarter black leather sneakers and my tweed blazer. I got a couple of comments at the start of the night but I said what my friend had said at the wedding and said I was just trying things out. My friend who was leaving seemed happy that I had made the effort to dress up for her party.