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Advice for undergraduate - Page 2

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemmywinks View Post

People are definitely going to ask why you're all dressed up, and assume you were at work or something.

OCBD are actually very easy to incorporate into regular wear, provided you have the appropriate cut of a shirt. I usually wear mine with non-indigo jeans, shorts, and certain chinos. The thing with chinos and jeans are that some cuts will ultimately look more office dress than others. The cut of pants can really determine whether you have a streetwear look, a casual look, or a business look. Try looking at slimmer pants to kind of 'tone down' the perceived formality of the OCBD. The OCBD is actually one of the most versatile pieces of clothing in my opinion.

+1 on the above.

What does the average Northern U student dress like? I think that the average state of dress is something to be considered, as each school has their own style.

Having said that, I think OCBD are perfect shirts for the college male. OCBD and polos can easily be the backbone of a college wardrobe. That and fun t-shirts (odds are you won't wear these nearly as much once you leave college, so enjoy it while it lasts).

I would avoid slacks, dress shoes, and anything else that is business or business casual. Not to diverge into life advice, but you really do not want to be that one person who shows up to parties looking like he came from work on wall st. And we can all be honest, there was "that guy" at each and every one of our schools. You're in college. I would say think preppy rather than business if you really want to up your dress in undergrad; think preppy student rather than a Fitzgerald cut suit at Brooks Brothers.

For shoes, I would stick with boat shoes, Rainbows, and suede/canvas loafers or mocs. Dress shoes in a non-business setting are hard to pull off, unless you're a trend setter type IMO. The closest thing I have to a dress shoe for casual occasions are suede oxfords, which means not even close to dress shoes. Even JFK wears Converse All-Stars when he is throwing a football around.

My top advice would be to figure out the whole slim/tailored fit thing. A well fitted anything (be it casual/preppy/business) will be head and shoulders above trying up a wardrobe just for the sake of going dressier.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkingOnIt View Post

+1 on the above.

What does the average Northern U student dress like? I think that the average state of dress is something to be considered, as each school has their own style.

Having said that, I think OCBD are perfect shirts for the college male. OCBD and polos can easily be the backbone of a college wardrobe. That and fun t-shirts (odds are you won't wear these nearly as much once you leave college, so enjoy it while it lasts).

I would avoid slacks, dress shoes, and anything else that is business or business casual. Not to diverge into life advice, but you really do not want to be that one person who shows up to parties looking like he came from work on wall st. And we can all be honest, there was "that guy" at each and every one of our schools. You're in college. I would say think preppy rather than business if you really want to up your dress in undergrad; think preppy student rather than a Fitzgerald cut suit at Brooks Brothers.

For shoes, I would stick with boat shoes, Rainbows, and suede/canvas loafers or mocs. Dress shoes in a non-business setting are hard to pull off, unless you're a trend setter type IMO. The closest thing I have to a dress shoe for casual occasions are suede oxfords, which means not even close to dress shoes. Even JFK wears Converse All-Stars when he is throwing a football around.

My top advice would be to figure out the whole slim/tailored fit thing. A well fitted anything (be it casual/preppy/business) will be head and shoulders above trying up a wardrobe just for the sake of going dressier.

What exactly are you referring to by "dress shoes?" If you mean conservative black oxfords, I completely agree he should avoid them. Monks, nice boots and loafers on the other hand (ideally in some shade of brown or burgundy) can work pretty well.

Re: slim fit, it's a great look if it suits your body type but not so much so if it doesn't. Avoiding worsteds is probably a good plan to avoid the "just came from the office" look. Chinos, cords, etc. are all good choices.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by archibaldleach View Post

What exactly are you referring to by "dress shoes?" If you mean conservative black oxfords, I completely agree he should avoid them. Monks, nice boots and loafers on the other hand (ideally in some shade of brown or burgundy) can work pretty well.

Re: slim fit, it's a great look if it suits your body type but not so much so if it doesn't. Avoiding worsteds is probably a good plan to avoid the "just came from the office" look. Chinos, cords, etc. are all good choices.

Agreed on avoiding worsted. I would disagree ever so slightly on the slim fit--less billowy without going to the tight end of the spectrum--as I find it generally better, though it is ultimately personal preference.

Regarding dress shoes, I don't want to seem absolutist but I generally mean the black or dark brown leather oxfords, wingtips, and, to an extent, monks. I agree that a brown or burgundy monk could be great with the right pairing, but I feel like boat shoes or suede loafers--no tassels--would be more all-purpose for a college student. My thought was to build on the wardrobe change slowly and get shoes that he would be comfortable pairing with shorts, jeans, and chinos unless he has the money for a significant wardrobe revamp.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkingOnIt View Post

Agreed on avoiding worsted. I would disagree ever so slightly on the slim fit--less billowy without going to the tight end of the spectrum--as I find it generally better, though it is ultimately personal preference.

Regarding dress shoes, I don't want to seem absolutist but I generally mean the black or dark brown leather oxfords, wingtips, and, to an extent, monks. I agree that a brown or burgundy monk could be great with the right pairing, but I feel like boat shoes or suede loafers--no tassels--would be more all-purpose for a college student. My thought was to build on the wardrobe change slowly and get shoes that he would be comfortable pairing with shorts, jeans, and chinos unless he has the money for a significant wardrobe revamp.

Fair enough. I agree with you if that's what you mean by slim fit. Also agree boat shoes are more useful for things like shorts but the second I pull out khakis or cords, monks definitely enter the equation. Perhaps as an option when he breaks out some of dressier outfits and to supplement the boat shoes. Not with shorts, though of course.

cheers.gif
post #20 of 27
I'm going to disagree with most here (except for GBR). But I also happen to think that most people who wear tailored clothing in casual settings look bad (including most on this forum). The exceptions are people who grew up wearing tailored clothing in a setting where it was natural for them to do so. Among those under 40, that constitutes a vanishingly small number of people.

I think khaki trousers look best with a crease, worn with leather-soled shoes and a tailored shirt. I can't imagine there are many colleges in the world where that is a cool look.

The key to dressing well is to express your style in a socially appropriate way. You can wear t-shirts with jeans and still look put-together, if both fit well.

It just comes back to what your friends and peers are wearing. I recommend wearing a better thought-out, better-fitting and better-made version of similar clothes.
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 

Wow, thanks for all the replies, there are some really good pieces of advice in here. It's also been interesting to see where people disagree with each other... in any case, thanks for your opinions. I guess I should start by saying that I definitely don't have any self-confidence issues, but part living is being socially sensitive to the people around you and how they see you. That's just part of life, and part of the reason I decided to post the question.

 

 

As a student, I definitely actually feel more confident wearing oxfords that fit well, for the same reasons a doctor wears a lab jacket. I feel more put together, alert, capable, and am recognized for it by my professors and classmates (the girls like it too, of course). Balfour hit the nail on the head when he said,

Quote:
Clearly, though, the OP needs to form his own view about whether he wants to fit in or dress to a particular standard based on his local conditions (per post 2).

 

The fact of the mater is that local conditions vary from Affliction shirts to Vineyard Vines. I don't think regular use of OCBDs with khakis or cords is particularly overdoing it.

 

Archibaldleach was also correct in assuming that the purpose of wingtips would be

Quote:

Perhaps as an option when he breaks out some of dressier outfits and to supplement the boat shoes. Not with shorts, though of course.

 

 

However, I've decided that the wingtips though, as was suggested, would be better left for occasions that call for wingtips. It might be time to buy a replacement pair of boat shoes though, favorably before my current pair walk away on their own.

 

To those who mentioned a sports coat, I do regularly wear a navy blazer to fraternity, and other school functions that don't require a full suit. Although not really what my question was about, thanks for the tips-- and to those of you who seemed concerned that I don't "get out" enough, you're a laugh.

 

The crux of what I've gathered seems to be: wear what you are comfortable and confident in, (within reason,) and the rest will fall into place. I think that I also enjoy the opportunity to show both sides of myself by dressing attentively in the classroom, but still wearing tank tops and college clothes to the normal keggers.

 

Thanks again for a wide variety of responses, and I'd be equally curious to hear what anyone else has to add.

post #22 of 27
Just for fun, not an actual proposal for gibs:

http://ivorytowerstyle.tumblr.com/post/50016448347/princeton-wardrobe-ca-1936

Also, those CJ boots are amazing. Fantastic piece of footwear.
post #23 of 27

I think you should just wear whatever you want. I'm currently attending university and my standard attire is sportcoat+jeans+loafers. I don't think I've ever suffered any type of undesirable consequences as a result of my dress. You might feel a little uncomfortable wearing wingtips the first few times, but I think you're probably going to feel that any time you do something that's out of your comfort zone.

post #24 of 27

You're all over-thinking this. It's college, this is one of the few times in life that no one gives a shit what you're wearing. Go crazy, experiment, wear whatever you want to wear. As long as you feel comfortable and confident in what you're wearing, no one will even notice the difference between for example an OCBD and a dress shirt.

 

However, if you're actually afraid of wearing simple things like blazers or dress shoes, you shouldn't even think of wearing them, because you'll never be able to pull it off. Stop being insecure, grow some balls, and start wearing what YOU like. I simply cannot fathom that people are afraid of wearing a certain piece of fabric. Your clothes will not alienate you from your peers, but your personality might.

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkingOnIt View Post

Even JFK wears Converse All-Stars when he is throwing a football around.

I didn't know JFK is still alive.

 

To the OP:

I am 18 years old and I usually wear cotton trousers with a tucked-in button-up shirt. While it might be seen as unusual, this style of dress feels natural to me.

If wearing dressier clothes feels natural to you, wear such clothes.

post #26 of 27

Ditto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan5653 View Post

I think you should just wear whatever you want. I'm currently attending university and my standard attire is sportcoat+jeans+loafers. I don't think I've ever suffered any type of undesirable consequences as a result of my dress. You might feel a little uncomfortable wearing wingtips the first few times, but I think you're probably going to feel that any time you do something that's out of your comfort zone.

 

To elaborate slightly, I don't think OCBD will be a problem if the whole ensemble works.  Switching khaki's for chinos, for example, while a subtle shift, can make the difference between looking like you just came from a sales job and looking like you are strolling around in classy casual.  Dark-wash denim of not terrible fit and quality will be a great ally, of course.  I would say that if you're leaning toward the wingtips, do it.  It seems like you're just second-guessing yourself;  you're not pushing for wingtips because your frat bros are doing it, you're feeling an urge to explore.  As others have said, it will come down to whether or not you are ready to own it.  I am a student on a university campus and the first few times I wore a sportcoat and pocket square people who knew me would ask me what my deal was -- I told them I was going to a meeting (true), but then after a couple of weeks they just stopped asking.  Some professors have now starting wearing sportcoats more frequently (I think as a result).

 

Dressier elements of your clothing will look more conspicuous / out-of-place if there is a contrast within your ensemble or if they swing the look into a more stereotypical outfit seen on a recognizable archetype (salesperson, tradly professor, yacht-club yuppie, etc.).  Brown wingtips contrasted against lighter chinos or jeans will definitely be noticeable, and will look good, but people will notice them distinctly.  I have found that more casual (not very pointy) black wingtips with black jeans garners less attention on me (not that I'm suggesting that specifically).  Suede can help to dress the look down a bit, especially as it's a trendy material right now.  Of course you can always go for a simple loafer, my own entry-point into daily leather footwear (I would avoid penny or full-strap loafers, as they look a little stodgy, but that's just me). Don't forget to wear appropriate socks, though! For the love of god, do not wear white socks, or any form of athletic socks.

 

My advice is summarized as follows:

  • follow your inner sartorial compass
  • find a way to own the new look and convince others to acclimate to it
  • after a few weeks you and everyone else will become accustomed to your new look and think only better of you for it
  • get the wingtips, maybe in suede
  • always have two pairs of shoes to rotate between, for longevity and hygiene

 

The boat shoes can be versatile, but they are so ubiquitous and, I feel, over-done.  I think a plain leather loafer will do you at least as well, and can be dressed up where a boat shoe definitely can't.  If you are leaning towards just replacing your boat shoes, I would suggest going for a plain leather loafer in medium-brown.  I have a pretty sizeable stable of shoes in my closet, but I end up going for the brown leather loafers surprisingly often...

post #27 of 27
OP, given your age and recent entree in to the frat world, shouldn't you be asking this question of the ladies at your school, not some faceless dewds on the internet? Wear to class whatever makes you feel comfortable while you fall asleep during lecutres, and wear to parties whatever gets you laid. You have the rest of your life to worry about the merits of 80-count vs 100-count OCBD shirts.
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