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Potential Outfits That Will Not Make Me Look Stupid

Bunkermush

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Hello,

My name is bunkermush. I am a new member of this forum, and I would like to discuss possible outfit combinations that will make me look good enough to not be laughed at in public.

To provide context, I am currently a seventeen-year-old high school student who is a senior. What's important is that I plan to do great things in life. These things may involve professional job interviews where I have to wear nice clothing, or they can also involve weddings. So, I've decided to prepare for those future events by building a wardrobe at an early age. I am aware of my young age, but I do not even know if I am still growing.

Currently, I weigh 121 pounds (~55 kg) and am 5'5" (165 cm). In the past year, I have only grown half an inch :)(). Yes, I am short and sort of skinny, but I probably will not grow any taller given that I am already taller than my father by a few inches. The thing is, I have broadish shoulders due to my experience of being on my high school's swim team. So, I guess I am not that skinny, but I have a semi-athletic build. Technically, I have started building my wardrobe since freshmen year, but I really want to make sure my wardrobe stays classic and maintains a solid A+.

Here is what I currently have:
IMG_1520.JPG

Both of the shirts on the left are from Calvin Klein. The one on the right may look a bit goofy, so here is a better picture:

https://www.macys.com/shop/product/alfani-slim-fit-stretch-mens-dress-shirt-only-at-macys?ID=694147&EFCKEY={"EXPERIMENT":["2207","2412","2554","2366","2420","2243"]}&SEED=3155770858677408231

IMG_1524.JPG


This is a "light blue" dress shirt. I put the phrase in quotes because the blue is not really light. The camera captured this picture in an interesting setting. It is obviously a blue color, but it may not be the desired blue color that makes people say, "Wow!" when they see me wearing this shirt. Regardless, it's a blue color, so I do not plan to throw it out anytime in the near future.

IMG_1525.JPG


The dress shirt on the left is not white, but ivory. I bought this shirt on Amazon, and I probably will never wear it. I had no idea what I was thinking when I bought this shirt. The shirt in the middle is yellow, and the shirt on the right is a coral and white checked pattern. The photo below emphasizes this pattern:

IMG_1526.JPG


IMG_1527.JPG


I only have three pocket squares, and I'll probably only use one for the rest of my life: the white linen in the center. The left one was only to compliment my light green dress shirt from the first photo, and the right one was made by my tailor for free as an act of kindness.

IMG_1528.JPG

Black tie, navy tie, eggplant polka dot, designs. The three ties on the left are 2.5", while the ties on the right are 2". I know that these ties are skinny, but I've mentioned before that I have a short and relatively small body. I feel that no matter how broad my shoulders are or how big my chest is, I cannot wear 3.25" ties. Some of you may agree or disagree with this, but that's just how I feel with my own body. I am confident wearing these skinny ties because wearing ties that are even 3" will throw off my proportions. Also, note the skinny lapel below.

IMG_1530.JPG


This is the suit that carried me through freshmen year all the way through the end of my junior year. I don't want to call it a navy suit because you will see that it does not match with Navy stuff, but it is a dark blue suit which is obviously not a black suit or a rainbow suit (thank god). Notice the skinny peak lapels and slanted pockets with a ticket pocket. I have received many compliments just for wearing this suit.

IMG_1531.JPG


Through the middle of my junior year, I felt like wearing a three piece suit, but I didn't want to spend another $200-300 on another new/used suit, so I bought a cheap navy Bar III waistcoat on Macy's that was on sale for $20. To this day, I do not know whether or not if this was a smart move. As you can see, the colors obviously don't match, but I felt comfortable wearing it.

IMG_1532.JPG


I usually wear my suit with the black oxfords, but I am also considering wearing them with the double monk strap navy suede shoes as well. No, I will not get brown shoes no matter what you people say because brown to me is... ugly. Maybe in the future, I will purchase a nice pair of brown Allen Edmonds, but black is the way to go for me.

I will inform you guys on some important disclaimers:

1. ALL of these clothes presented are tailored. They fit me well, so I am not worried about their fit. I finally had the courage to go outside and see a tailor in the beginning of my junior year, and I love her (not that way). Also, ALL of my dress shirts are supposedly slim fit. I say supposedly because even though they advertise the shirts like that, some hug my body differently than other slim fit shirts. Some are spread collar, others are semi, etc. Take that into account.

2. NONE of these clothes are Tom Ford material or any of that expensive stuff. I am not rich; I am Vietnamese, born to two immigrant midgets who work their asses off to feed me. All of my dress shirts were on sale for <$30, and my suit was a gift. Everything I bought was on a low budget, but fit>quality at this point. Hopefully, when I make good money, I will expand my budget and aim for bespoke.

I wear these clothes during mock trial meets, formal settings, interviews, etc. I also look forward to getting a charcoal gray three-piece suit before my senior year ends. That should be fun.

While it may seem like I am spending a lot of money on just fashion for a teenager, I will let you know that I want to be presentable to adults. When I was at the 8th-grade honors society ceremony, I had people laugh at me for wearing a clip-on tie, an ill-fitting black suit, and horrible shoes. I don't want that **** to happen to me again. As the title says, I don't want to look stupid, even for a teenager. In my life, I put a huge priority on fashion, and I want to give these people a message from how I dress. Obviously, I'm not going to wear a suit and tie to school every day, but I want to wear clothes that fit me well (I'm 5'5" & 121 lbs again) and are perfect for the occasion. I get decent grades, and I have a part-time job.

So, how can I improve my looks from these outfits? Anything I need to know about the color wheel? Anything that needs to be disposed of? Interchanged? Please let me know. Thank you for your attention in this matter.
 
Last edited:

ter1413

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Keep gradually reading and adding.

White shirt(s) would be my first thought.
 

johng70

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OK, you're 17. Unless you go to college, you're not wearing a suit to an interview that I can imagine. Do you live in the US or somewhere else?

You talk about not wanting to be laughed at vs. being stylistically different. I will say here are a couple suggestions:
1. Get rid of the suede monk straps - I certainly wouldn't suggest wearing them with a suit if you're worried about other peoples' perception of you.
2. Pocket squares - I would be careful about wearing them. In some parts of the country they're more readily acceptable than others. For someone interested in how they are perceived, you should pay attention to how people dress where you are located - not on TV and not somewhere 10,000 miles away.
3. 3 piece suits - same thing. 2 piece are still common. If you do go 3-piece, I recommend AGAINST the "odd" vest like you've done - a suit should have a matching vest - i.e. same exact material and pattern.

Generally speaking I would recommend a good-fitting navy or charcoal suit, and black shoes and you're set. Forget vests and forget pocket squares for now. ESPECIALLY when you're worried about how others perceive you. Having a neat, clean appearance is what will impress other adults. Those monkstraps, pocket squares and vests are likely to be perceived as pretentious by a good number of adults. That's fine for people that don't care what others think - you sound like you do care.

As a 17 year old, you're not entering a job where you're going to wear a suit. Stop obsessing over it. Worry about the clothes you wear 363 days a year - a single suit with 2 shirts and 2 ties is plenty for your needs right now. If a special occasion comes up you can buy a special occasion tie.

You're on the important path of making sure your clothes fit. That's critical as a young adult. But, worry less about getting more suits/ties/dress shirts when you're not going to be wearing them very often. Worry about your wardrobe the rest of the days in the year.
 

Jacobs

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Young man, I find two main faults with your post. I may be wrong, and nit-picking, but consider these things. You say you want to be presentable to adults, but you are 17 years old. I highly suggest you begin considering yourself an adult immediately. You may have a lot to learn about life, and older men may look down on you as a kid, but looking at yourself as a kid is a great way to excuse your mistakes and put off responsibilities. Remember that your clothes will have very little to do with the way that older men perceive you, and I strongly advise you to not judge others on the way they are dressed. This site is for fun, and some of it for business, but just because a man is wearing a bespoke suit and tie does not make him any more of a man. The same applies to you. Cultivate your strengths: mental, physical, and moral. Those are far more important than your ability to dress well. Secondly, you write that you do not want to look like an idiot. Know that no matter what you do, some people will consider you an idiot. Republicans consider Democrats idiots, and vice-versa. Blue-collar workers ridicule those who wear suits, and v.v. Dressing well will lead others to think you an idiot, it will simply be a different group of people. Pay attention to who you admire and imitate.
 

Bunkermush

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Young man, I find two main faults with your post. I may be wrong, and nit-picking, but consider these things. You say you want to be presentable to adults, but you are 17 years old. I highly suggest you begin considering yourself an adult immediately. You may have a lot to learn about life, and older men may look down on you as a kid, but looking at yourself as a kid is a great way to excuse your mistakes and put off responsibilities. Remember that your clothes will have very little to do with the way that older men perceive you, and I strongly advise you to not judge others on the way they are dressed. This site is for fun, and some of it for business, but just because a man is wearing a bespoke suit and tie does not make him any more of a man. The same applies to you. Cultivate your strengths: mental, physical, and moral. Those are far more important than your ability to dress well. Secondly, you write that you do not want to look like an idiot. Know that no matter what you do, some people will consider you an idiot. Republicans consider Democrats idiots, and vice-versa. Blue-collar workers ridicule those who wear suits, and v.v. Dressing well will lead others to think you an idiot, it will simply be a different group of people. Pay attention to who you admire and imitate.

Your comment is interesting. It focuses on the social aspect rather than my own physical appearance. But, is it just okay for me to still look like a teenager? I am aware that I am not an adult yet, but I have a tendency to try so hard to be one. This is more of a discussion about where I really am at a point in my life, and it frustrates me because I really don't know what I even want.
The problem with what you said in your first point is that it sounds immature to escape your responsibilities and excuse your own mistakes. Wouldn't I be a man if I truly faced them and resolved to fix them?
 

Jacobs

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Your comment is interesting. It focuses on the social aspect rather than my own physical appearance. But, is it just okay for me to still look like a teenager? I am aware that I am not an adult yet, but I have a tendency to try so hard to be one. This is more of a discussion about where I really am at a point in my life, and it frustrates me because I really don't know what I even want.
The problem with what you said in your first point is that it sounds immature to escape your responsibilities and excuse your own mistakes. Wouldn't I be a man if I truly faced them and resolved to fix them?

You misunderstood my entire post. In x amount of months, you will legally be an adult. Will you be any different as a person on your 18th birthday? No. Start reckoning yourself an adult now. "I'm still a kid" or "I'm still a teenager" is a way some young men excuse their juvenile actions. It's good that you try to act like an adult. But don't act, be one. You gotta believe! Also, yes, facing your responsibilities and correcting your mistakes is part of being a man. That's what I was trying to say.

Anyways, this isn't the correct forum for this. Back to the clothes!
 

Duff_Man

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Get a versatile sportcoat, a decent pair of dark jeans (you can wear the suede monkstraps with jeans) and some plain v-neck t shirts. At your age, wearing a suit and collared shirt, even a sportcoat and collared shirt outside of events that have specific dress codes would be seen to be an affectation and paradoxically make you look insecure.
 

M.Photog

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As a photographer I have photographed thousands of young men your age for senior portraits and proms. I see many of them struggle with finding things that fit properly. You may be about done growing in height but your neck and shoulders are not done yet. I would concentrate on a few nice things and spend time learning what you like.
 

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