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Long time lurker, short time registered user, first time poster. This question is directed to the college-age crowd. Do you find it hard to dress trad when you're in an environment of people who dress nearly the opposite. I am a junior in college go to a private school in Chicago where in the campus demographic is fairly liberal. Aside for a small handful of people, trad (or even just dressing presentable) is nonexistent. Granted this is not isolated to my campus by any mean I realize, but it is very prevalent. (Though whenever people have class at our downtown campus, they dress much better.)

Not to say I stick out like a sore thumb, but I find myself overdressed even when wearing a polo and chinos to class. I also find myself dressing a lot more sloppily (is that a word?) than usual.

So my question is do you find yourself slacking off or not dressing as you usually do on campus?
 

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I've found the trick to finding the happy medium between putting others at ease and remaining true to my look is in finding Trad equivalents... the elusive Trad streetwear, maybe. :)

For instance, instead of jeans, Chucks, and a hoodie, I'd try some navy 5-pocket cords, a raglan shetland crewneck, and a pair of blucher mocs.
 

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Katon, that outfit sounds great for college trad. I wear my A.P.C.s quite a bit but I think there is a world of difference between dark dry selvage denim in a clean straight cut and light A&F boot cut jeans with holes in them. At Memphis, I would say I even stick out most of the time in my A.P.C.s or cords, blucher mocs, and button-down tattersalls or OCBDs. I can't tell you how many times I have been asked why I was so dressed up. Throw khakis into the mix and you'd think I was wearing a tux to class by the way people react. The warmer months bring questions about why I am wearing button down long sleeve shirts and why my shorts (khaki in various colors) are so short (7 in. inseam). T-shirts and basketball or cargo shorts that come several inches below the knees seem to be the standard college attire around here. I often find myself wondering what it would be like to go to a school where the students actually gave a damn about how they look.
 

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I did 'I stick out like a sore thumb' at uni and even college (remember in Europe college is different to the US college). At one point, someone asked if I worked at a clothes shop and got good discounts.

My normal look was jeans (sometimes trousers), sweater and shirt/knitted top/shirt with shoes. In spring-summer, polo's; in autumn-winter blazer. I was the posh boy to everyone at uni.

If you want to dress trad, then dress trad - people will see that you are dressing how you like and not pretending to be something you are not.

From my experience being dressed the way I was, it helped with the girls :icon_smile_big:. Especially when they figured out that it my normal dress-style rather then trying to be 'cool'.
 

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I have to admit, probably to the detriment of many here, that I pretty much dress in jeans and a t-shirt (with maybe a western shirt here or there) to my classes. The main reason is acting class -- I want to be as comfortable as possible when we do our exercises.
 

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Katon, that outfit sounds great for college trad. I wear my A.P.C.s quite a bit but I think there is a world of difference between dark dry selvage denim in a clean straight cut and light A&F boot cut jeans with holes in them. At Memphis, I would say I even stick out most of the time in my A.P.C.s or cords, blucher mocs, and button-down tattersalls or OCBDs. I can't tell you how many times I have been asked why I was so dressed up. Throw khakis into the mix and you'd think I was wearing a tux to class by the way people react. The warmer months bring questions about why I am wearing button down long sleeve shirts and why my shorts (khaki in various colors) are so short (7 in. inseam). T-shirts and basketball or cargo shorts that come several inches below the knees seem to be the standard college attire around here. I often find myself wondering what it would be like to go to a school where the students actually gave a damn about how they look.
I wholeheartedly agree with you. Though the only college I know of with an emphasis on appearance is Hampden Sydney and I'm not sure I could go spend another 4 years without ladies in my class (I went to single sex prep school).
 

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...Not to say I stick out like a sore thumb, but I find myself overdressed even when wearing a polo and chinos to class. I also find myself dressing a lot more sloppily (is that a word?) than usual.

So my question is do you find yourself slacking off or not dressing as you usually do on campus?
I'm not sure it is really possible to be too overdressed, wearing a polo and chinos but regardless, you will be much happier, if your actions are congruent with your beliefs. Much of my life, I have dressed a bit differently (much more conservatively) than those about me...and have endured occasional chiding as a result. Attending college back in the late 60's, I was wearing chinos and OCBD's while the , so called, "Flower Children" dressed in their floral embossed T's and grime encrusted, sometimes urine soaked, jeans. While the flower children were out expanding their minds with chemicals, I was in the library broadening my mind through books. After graduation, as the flower children set off on life journeys of self discovery, I donned a uniform and set off to "do the peoples business" and while there were moments when I found myself questioning that decision, those years have proven to be a defining period of my life and a period in which I harbor a bit of (justifiable?) pride. During off-duty periods and when home on leave, I could still be found wearing chinos and OCBD's (and penny loafers or Topsiders!)..."and the beat goes on!"

These days, twice retired, I am still to be found wearing my chinos, OCBD's penny loafers or wingtips and, when the wife and I go out to dinner, I don a coat and tie (most often a navy blazer or a Tweed, depending on the time of year). When we attended a 40th class reunion, not so long ago, the comment most frequently heard by us was, "gosh you haven't changed a bit!" Be true to yourself...live a congruent life...it's goood! ;)
 

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I advise you to use college to experiment and mix up trad with whatever fits your fancy. Those little touches will make you unique, rather than slavishly following trad clichés. If you want any luck with girls other than Henrietta Horseface, avoid the Tucker Carlson look since that comes with a certain air that says "twat!". That's more of an attitude than a look, though. If you look like you're making a huge effort or like you're taking yourself seriously then, no, you won't be Mr. Popular.
 

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First of all, I'm a freshman in college. I do relax my style and dress when I'm at school. For instance, I do not wear a tie, I wear jeans, although they are nice looking jeans, and I do not wear a sportcoat or blazer. Those three things are frankly the only two things I change. I still wear a collared shirt everyday, during winter I always have a sweater on, and I always wear dress shoes. I wear a coat throughout the day for going in and out from my car to the building. I would never relax my style so far as to wear a screen t and tattered jeans, because I've never dressed like that so it's just not me. I wear what I like, and no one can change that.
 

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The fact of the matter is if you want to wear nicer clothes than the people you associate w/ throughout the day, you are always gonna stick out as that guy who dresses nicely. That's not really a bad thing. To answer your question though, in college I was one of those people in jeans and a t-shirt all the time. That was how I wanted to dress. You should dress how you want to dress.
 

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I'm not sure it is really possible to be too overdressed, wearing a polo and chinos but regardless, you will be much happier, if your actions are congruent with your beliefs. Much of my life, I have dressed a bit differently (much more conservatively) than those about me...and have endured occasional chiding as a result. Attending college back in the late 60's, I was wearing chinos and OCBD's while the , so called, "Flower Children" dressed in their floral embossed T's and grime encrusted, sometimes urine soaked, jeans. While the flower children were out expanding their minds with chemicals, I was in the library broadening my mind through books. After graduation, as the flower children set off on life journeys of self discovery, I donned a uniform and set off to "do the peoples business" and while there were moments when I found myself questioning that decision, those years have proven to be a defining period of my life and a period in which I harbor a bit of (justifiable?) pride. During off-duty periods and when home on leave, I could still be found wearing chinos and OCBD's (and penny loafers or Topsiders!)..."and the beat goes on!"

These days, twice retired, I am still to be found wearing my chinos, OCBD's penny loafers or wingtips and, when the wife and I go out to dinner, I don a coat and tie (most often a navy blazer or a Tweed, depending on the time of year). When we attended a 40th class reunion, not so long ago, the comment most frequently heard by us was, "gosh you haven't changed a bit!" Be true to yourself...live a congruent life...it's goood! ;)
Eagle,
Very well stated! I totally agree. We have the advantage of experience
 

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On the first day of orientation when I was in law school, I came out of my bedroom wearing button-down shirt, chinos and plain-toe bluchers. My suite mate then came out of his bedroom wearing, if I recall correctly, a t-shirt, shorts and sandals. He took one look at me and said, "crap, are we required to get dressed up for this?" I was confused for a second, and then, realizing what he was talking about, responded, "I don't think so. This is just how I dress."
 

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I'm familiar with all of this. In a way, since virtually every kind of clothing beyond tank tops and flip-flops is "all dressed up", you might as well shoot the moon and do whatever you want. I've never regretted it.

I will say I've noticed (in midtown Manhattan) a definite upsurge in dressing. People are wearing nicer stuff.
 

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For instance, instead of jeans, Chucks, and a hoodie, I'd try some navy 5-pocket cords, a raglan shetland crewneck, and a pair of blucher mocs.
I would advise against these unless, of course, you are trying to fit into the college crowd.

However, if it feels unnatural and uncomfortable sporting the traditional look around those that don't, it may not be the look for you.

Good luck.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

I am in college also and find myself questioning my dress sometimes, as I want to look nice but not come off as trying to be better than everyone else. I've found that one good look is to wear an OCBD, jeans, and original sperrys (think 80's) Being at a somewhat southern school, this look is fairly common, but I wore it today and still got the 'why are you all dressed up' response from one classmate. But whatever. For some varition on the above: Roll the sleeves or wear a polo when it's hot and add a sweater when cold. Swap the jeans for khakis and the sperrys for new balance 992s or wallabees. These are the kinds of things I typically wear to class and I think it looks good without being over the top.



Michael
 

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So my question is do you find yourself slacking off or not dressing as you usually do on campus?
The longer I'm away from home (DC) the sloppier my daily outfits get. However, this really only refers to what I wear to class and on weekends- not what I put on for various events and activities. A bigger part of that is I am often told I'm too dressed up for whatever 'we' may be doing... and that a tshirt and jeans/chinos would make others more comfortable.

However, if a tshirt can be preppy- I think its possible- i.e. pocketed or small left breast logo from that restaurant down in Nagshead, NC with a simple design on the back... jeans, a surcingle, and boatshoes, I find that I never stray too far from a "more" acceptable college wardrobe... albeit not an ideal one.
 

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College Dress

Honestly speaking guys...he's the drill...

Many kids in college couldn't afford to dress like you do. When I was in college I had two pair of $60 on sale Abercrombie & Fitch Jeans, a bunch (8 or 9) Abercrombie & Fitch Tee Shirts, a few Man City shirts, 2 A&F sweaters, one pair of sneakers, and one pair of "shoes". I also had one cheap-o JCPenny's suit for when it was necessary. I didn't have mom and dad pay for my bills and tuition, so I worked to earn what i could. With that I bought what I felt was most practical at the time.

I admire the fact that you like to dress well at such a young age, and am glad you have the means to (maybe even a bit jealous), but don't look down your nose on "sloppy" dressers because as in my case, it was simply a matter of pragmatics...if thats a word.

I say dress how you want, and if people ask, tell them thats what you like, but by all means try not to make them feel bad for not sharing your satorial opinions or your personal wealth.
 

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Honestly speaking guys...he's the drill...

Many kids in college couldn't afford to dress like you do. When I was in college I had two pair of $60 on sale Abercrombie & Fitch Jeans, a bunch (8 or 9) Abercrombie & Fitch Tee Shirts, a few Man City shirts, 2 A&F sweaters, one pair of sneakers, and one pair of "shoes". I also had one cheap-o JCPenny's suit for when it was necessary. I didn't have mom and dad pay for my bills and tuition, so I worked to earn what i could. With that I bought what I felt was most practical at the time.

I admire the fact that you like to dress well at such a young age, and am glad you have the means to (maybe even a bit jealous), but don't look down your nose on "sloppy" dressers because as in my case, it was simply a matter of pragmatics...if thats a word.

I say dress how you want, and if people ask, tell them thats what you like, but by all means try not to make them feel bad for not sharing your satorial opinions or your personal wealth.
I don't know if I agree. I dressed much like I do now when I was in college and I had very little money. Back then I got most of my clothes from hand-me-downs from my brother and dad, and from browsing at Salvation Army. Combine that with the fact that a lot of young people in college who aren't dressing trad aren't necessarily dressing inexpensively. A pair of designer jeans alone probably cost more than what I wear on any given day now.
 
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