I notice a lot of men, women-- college aged to mid 40's, and teens (high school age) checking me out when I walk by them on the street, while they are either standing waiting for a bus, ride, or just having their smoke break.
Being someone who is still kind of new at this whole "dressing to impress" thing, and for someone who has social anxiety disorder... it was both a great confidence booster and something that makes me have butterflies. I am VERY self conscious. Example is, if someone smiles at me in a way that makes me feel awkward, I feel it has something that was done on my part. Or if someone doesn't make eye contact or is rude no matter if I'm dressed well, I feel it must be me.
Anyways, I noticed folks turn their heads and checked me out as I passed them by. Again, having anxiety, I felt even more out of place. A year ago, I only wore American Eagle graphic tees, light shaded relaxed fit blue jeans and colored hoodies (as outerwear, ha hah), and unkempt casual shoes. Nowadays I wear solid colored polo shirts or button down shirts, all of which are tailored to my body which is slim and "skinny".
Yesterday was the first day in my life I had ever worn a suit jacket, period. I bought a dark navy poplin blazer from Club Monaco 3 weeks ago, and have not dared to wear it till today. Yesterday was warm enough to adorn a blazer IMO, by itself so I left my black peacoat at home (THIS surprisingly also is a head turner...I guess not many guys here wear 3/4 long coats)
When I saw myself wearing it in front of my mirror before heading out, I LOVED how it looked on me-- very high arm holes, and the shoulders were 100% aligned, and the whole thing draped really well on me. Sleeve buttons were functional too, which is really cool for an OTR blazer IMO.
I felt like a badass, even James Bond-like, while having my blazer on, running errands. My blazer flowed really well against the slight breeze going my way, and can see the bottom sides flowing a bit, and felt the back vents flowing too.
Maybe it's because I look younger than I am, or because not many people here in my city dress well regardless of age, but I felt out of place when folks look at me. I'm usually wearing slim fitted dark denim, clean and polished black derby shoes, and a button down shirt with my black wool coat. Everything is not skintight, but very well fitted and tapered. I was downtown yesterday, in the financial district to be exact, and everyone else I saw either wore dirty white sneakers/runners, or very ho-hum clothing-- men and women alike. Sure, I see some men 2 piece suits and elegantly dressed older and younger professional women, too. The majority of everyone else I have seen, was wearing nylon jackets and dirty and unsightly sneakers and boots.
Everyone was either dressed very casually, or looked broke and disheveled, or their outfit only looks 95% good and 5% crap in my eyes... but let me tell you, my city is known for being poorly dressed and that fashion is not a top priority for us.
Anyone else here live in a city that is nothing like New York City, San Fran, LA, London, or Paris, and thus have a hard time "blending in" and feeling like you are dressed "too well" within your surroundings? I don't plan on ever dressing like I did a year ago where nobody checked me out (I basically blended in with the disheveled/unkempt crowd), but maybe I can somehow dress well and more casual?
I find I still get head turning looks from women and guys when wearing a colored sweater over a collared shirt, but to a much lesser extent than say just wearing a dress shirt by itself.
I forgot to add, however, is even though I sometimes still get treated badly at stores by some clerks or cashiers, I do notice when a stranger apologizes to me, they say "sorry sir" or "excuse me, sir" when I am dressed well. Last week, I even noticed on 2 occasions, two high school kids literally moved aside when I was walking towards them in a crowded sidewalk/bus stop, to make way for me. I didn't gesture or say anything towards them....it felt weird and awesome at the same time. Last year, I would have to be carrying lots of bags of groceries, etc in order for folks to move aside and be courteous. This has happened 3 or 4 times this month, which is surprising, given the fact I last year and prior, I would have had to walk around people who are not moving, or not moving more than 2 inches.
Maybe I should be glad I'm getting treated better and have people head turning for me, and somehow learn to accept it (positively) and not feel so self conscious about it?
P.S. Sorry for the long rant guys :p