Dressing well in a university town...

It isn't that hard to make an impression here as a young man, it seems. I can be wearing jeans and a sport coat and still get looks from people. I suppose it's because it's not expected in a college town. Most everyone here walks around in baggy Gators t-shirts and cargo shorts... even in some less casual dining establishments. [Afterthought: That sounded a bit pretentious, didn't it?] Now, I've yet to see ZZ Top's theory of the "Sharp Dressed Man" in action, but I think it's worth it anyways. I seem to get more respect when talking with customer service representatives and just people in general. In my experience, it's not hard or expensive to be a sharp dressed man. Here are five ways to improve your style overnight...
  1. Find a sport coat and wear it often. Thrift stores are your friend here, like everything else. Neutral colours will go with everything. Most importantly, make sure it fits.*
  2. Get a well fitting shirt and tuck it in. It lends a lot of maturity to your look and you won't look like a frumpy father. Really.
  3. Trousers other than jeans exist. You'll thank yourself later when a funeral comes up or another family function suddenly rears its head. Grey wool or khaki cotton are tried but true. Flat fronts and plain hems will look "younger" than pleats and cuffs, but it's ultimately your style choice. Don't be afraid to wear them out on the town!
  4. You need shoes other than sneakers. Sooner or later, you'll have an interview for a job that requires them. Start with plain black leather oxfords. You should be able to find a decent pair at discount shoe stores.
  5. Keep yourself well groomed. If nothing else, this will give others a good impression. In all likelihood, you're mature enough to ditch the faux-hawk and keep your beard shaved and/or neatly trimmed if you're reading this blog post. Nothing complicated needed.
For more -- and possibly better! -- advice, look to forums like The Fedora Lounge and Club Cad. They'll definitely start you off on the right foot. As always, comments and questions are welcome. *The sleeves shouldn't go down beyond your wrist much and the shoulders should be snug, but not too tight or loose. An easy way to check for this is to walk sideways against a wall slowly -- ideally, you should feel both your shoulder and the sleeve head of the coat go against it at the same time.


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