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Transitioning from casual to dress

voyaging

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I am currently in high school and, like the rest of the school, tend to dress very casually.

I wanted to begin to dress more formally, but didn't think it would be appropriate to just start wearing a suit everyday, while even the administration doesn't.

Where's the middle ground?
 

qaa541

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I started wearing collared button down shirts and dress pants in high school. If you stick with solid colors or simple patterns, that can dress up your image a bit. That was the first notch in becoming more formal while still not looking too far out of place. You can always leave your shirt untucked if you feel that makes you look too stuffy for your school. Just try to make sure whatever shirt you wear is fitted properly to you.

You can also wear a modern cut sport cat or blazer with jeans to dress your image up. Make sure to have it tailored to fit so that it doesn't balloon on you. I would choose a solid color like navy or dark grey.

I wouldn't wear a full suit, especially in high school unless you are going to a debate.
 

MyOtherLife

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I thought this thread was about something else.
 

Jay

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I think a polo or Oxford shirt, fitted chinos, and some casual shoes would be a good middle ground. You don't want to stand out too much, but you will still look more dressed up.
 

ArtOrSartor

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I would keep it mostly casual. You'll have 40 hour work weeks the rest of your life to dress up for, be a teenager. It wasn't so long ago that I was in high school and I remember there were some kids who tended toward a button-down, semi-formal style of dress. The formality of a student's dress and their social abilities and acceptance tended to have an inverse correlation.

That being said, you can still look really good in casual clothes. Just make sure your clothes fit and your colors don't clash, as younger people seem to not be as apt at getting those parts right. I like Urban Outfitters and Brooklyn Industries. They're a little pricier for someone who can't work full time, but I think it's worth it. I'm partial to Levi's, Alternative Apparel and Salt Valley. Throw a blazer over it for that smart casual look. V-neck t-shirts, collared shirts with a couple buttons undone. Rock a smart, subtly patterned tie - plaid, perhaps - every now and again. Have a good, neutral cardigan in your closet.
 

Thomas

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Before you jump in, I'd suggest that you examine your motives for doing so. Is this just about self-expression, or to appear more mature? Are you expecting your friends to follow suit, or do you plan on being the odd-man-out? And, how do you expect the dating scene to change?

In any case, I'd tread gently before dropping serious cash on this. You may expect everyone to respect your style, and get badly disappointed. This is, after all, high school.
 

ajmanouk

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Originally Posted by ArtOrSartor
I would keep it mostly casual. You'll have 40 hour work weeks the rest of your life to dress up for, be a teenager. It wasn't so long ago that I was in high school and I remember there were some kids who tended toward a button-down, semi-formal style of dress. The formality of a student's dress and their social abilities and acceptance tended to have an inverse correlation.

That being said, you can still look really good in casual clothes. Just make sure your clothes fit and your colors don't clash, as younger people seem to not be as apt at getting those parts right. I like Urban Outfitters and Brooklyn Industries. They're a little pricier for someone who can't work full time, but I think it's worth it. I'm partial to Levi's, Alternative Apparel and Salt Valley. Throw a blazer over it for that smart casual look. V-neck t-shirts, collared shirts with a couple buttons undone. Rock a smart, subtly patterned tie - plaid, perhaps - every now and again. Have a good, neutral cardigan in your closet.


+1 on this.

A good starting point for transition would be something along the lines of a collard casual shirt (not dress shirt) with a few buttons undone. Rock some dark jeans and you'll look great. Personally I think it would be really awkward if someone in my high school started wearing dress pants to school every day, or even tucked in their shirt.
 

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