I'm a 3rd year college undergrad, and will be spending 4 months studying abroad in Ireland this fall.
At my home university, I usually wear chinos, OCBDs with the sleeves rolled up, and boat shoes, for an easy put-together looks that's common among my fraternity brothers. Word is that, in Ireland (and England) boat shoes carry the image of a 16 year old boy stuck in secondary school. This stereotype is fairly inescapable, unless you appear to be physically on a boat.
I definitely don't want to come across as seeming posh, or over-blatantly American, so I am planning on swapping out my boat shoes for another style. In your opinion, what type of casual shoe that goes my current style would be right for going to class and hitting the pub afterwards? While I enjoy a bit of dressing up, I'd like to avoid the text-book preppy image of white Polo or Lacoste canvas sneakers.
I've been thinking about getting a pair of white converse high-tops, and giving them enough time to look a little worn in before taking them abroad so that they don't stand out as being too bright. I'm aware that this look is owned in part by the teenage-boy indie crowd, but part of me really enjoys the understated simplicity and versatility of a plain pair of white Chucks.
Maybe I am over-thinking this whole thing. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.