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Multiple styles


Senior Member
Feb 6, 2004
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Hi all,

I find myself attracted to both well-tailored clothes (mtm shirts with spread collars, cufflinks with wool slacks) as well as preppy clothes (blue buttondown oxfords, khakis, plain cashmere sweaters, brown belts and shoes).

Is it better in the long run for me to maintain a coherent/consistent image or do you think I switch back and forth? For example, should I confine myself to well-tailored clothes in the office (and perhaps wear preppy clothes on Fridays), and wear preppier stuff on the weekends?

Also, I'm neither white nor did I attend a preparatory school in America. I attended a public school founded by British colonialists in the early 19th century. Would dressing in a preppy manner make me look like a wannabe? (Be honest on this one.)

I absolutely shun trendy wear because it neither suits my body nor my personality. I look pathetic in trendy wear.

I look forward to hear what you have to say ...


Minister of Trad
Nov 7, 2003
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I think both looks are fine to maintain. Most around here seem opposed to the preppy look, but I like it myself. It suits my day to day dressing more. I think it has become a classic American look that is not really associated with East Coast prep schools any longer.

Probably at the office the tailored look would be better. It seems to me like you've got it figured out fine.

(who has never attended a private school in his life)


Senior Member
Feb 10, 2004
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My take is, go for whatever looks good on you and is appropriate to the environment--nobody will know or care what kind of school you did or didn't attend.  Affecting an arcane "secret society" handshake would be a couple of bridges too far, but no one has a monopoly on buttondown shirts or cashmere sweaters IMO.  Attitude is your most important credential: don't act like a "wannabe", and you won't be taken for one.

I'd follow the office norm weekdays (shooting for the upper end of the bell curve, with an extra subtle flair here and there) and then wear whatever you want on the weekend.  If you confuse some people with your multiple looks, well, they'll survive the experience, and it might even pique their interest.

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