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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll start off by saying that I'm in NC, so I need to dress appropriately.

Right now I'm planning on wearing the uniform (at least as far as i consider it), blue blazer, with khakis and an appropriate shirt.

My problem is currently I have a wide selection of black shoes, boat shoes ectra, but I'm trying to get something a little more dressy/professional.

What would you recommend? I wear khakis to work as well, and have just worn some rw boots i have, or a pair of brown buckle shoes i have.
 

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Yeah if they are brown monks I'd go that route. Either that or a pair of loafers or something like that. My company just had their Christmas party last week and the dress was casual, unfortunately around here that means jeans, t-shirt and a ball cap :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Only thing I don't like about the monk straps is they are brass buckle, and I don't have a matching belt...I guess thats more fiscally responsible than buying a new pair of shoes.
 

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Are penny loafers good for a 26 year old...Always thought you had to be 35+ for them.
my thinking is probably wildly outdated, but to my mind it would be more the other way around (though they're not wrong on older people too). Penny loafers have a somehwat "boyish" association with prep-school and college students; and they're not part of traditional office wear.
 

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I'll start off by saying that I'm in NC, so I need to dress appropriately.

Right now I'm planning on wearing the uniform (at least as far as i consider it), blue blazer, with khakis and an appropriate shirt.

My problem is currently I have a wide selection of black shoes, boat shoes ectra, but I'm trying to get something a little more dressy/professional.

What would you recommend? I wear khakis to work as well, and have just worn some rw boots i have, or a pair of brown buckle shoes i have.
Casual?

Surely the blazer is too much and the shoes don't matter. What will your fellows be likely to do?
 

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I suspect your original idea is about right.

As for shoes: if you don't want non-lacing shoes, don't get non-lacing shoes. They're going to be yours, so don't get something you don't want.

That said: it's easy to strike the right balance between "not-too-dressy" and "not-too-casual" with loafers, just because the loafer-ness takes care of the first hurdle. A little more tricky, I suppose, with lace-up shoes. My suggestion would be not to worry too much about the "not-too-dressy" part, and get some dress shoes - in brown, rather than black - that appeal to you. Since you've already looked at an Allen Edmonds offering (albeit a "non-lacing" one), you might look at their website, which offers a reasonable selection fo styles and looks. Here's a useful page, in my book:

=

If you see something you like, there's a good chance you can find it (or something similar from another maker) locally.

If you want, you can correct for the fact that my tastes might run a bit more to the traditional side than yours ... or not, as I suspect the same is true for a people around 50s at a law-firm Christmas party in North Carolina.

FWIW: I'm not a big fan of the loafer you linked to: square toe, etc.
 

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I'll start off by saying that I'm in NC, so I need to dress appropriately.
Unless you know exactly which ACC team they like, don't wear anything that remotely resembles team colors of any of the ACC schools unless you don't mind talking about basketball or football the entire night.

If you have the time to stop by a store or two for inspiration, try these two in your area. Varsity Men's Wear at North Hills has a lot of really nice trad pieces, and their shoe selection is small but well-chosen. Your original idea is solid, and the shoes you have should be nice, but if you're unsure, go there for a conservative look to fit in around older professionals.

As a younger person, though, I think i'd check out Ticknor's at Crabtree. It's nothing runway-esque, and sometimes they'll try to sell you some really ugly things, but if you can see through the sales pitch, you'll get some really nice pieces that are a little less expected, but yet won't get you laughed at in Raleigh.
 

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I really don't know what to offer you because I am a bit confused by your original and subsequent posts.

On the one hand, you say that because your are in NC you need to dress appropriately. I'm of the opinion that you dress appropriately anywhere you live, not just in NC, and out of respect for yourself and others.

Second, you say that you will be attending an informal dinner party, but want to dress up by wearing a jacket and tie. On other posts you indicate further that you are attending an office party at a law firm, and are looking for clothes that are business casual and for work, and yet you wear khakis and boots to work.

I can tell you from having attended numerous Christmas parties at law firms where I've worked throughout the years, that nobody cares what you wear unless you show up in your underwear. Lawyers are no different than other professionals and casual is casual, business casual is what it is, formal is formal, etc.

Don't try to wear something you are not used to wearing, and instead wear something that you are comfortable in. If you want to dress up from your daily khakis, I would wear a pair of nice flannel slacks, let's say medium to dark grey, a white BD shirt, and a burgundy sweater. You can also wear any of the black shoes you have.

It seems to me that you will be much more comfortable in this type of outfit than if you wear the other stuff, and it will be conducive to enjoying yourself more and to striking up conversations with other guests much more easily because you are going to be feeling good in your clothes.

Having said this, make sure that the dress code is indeed informal. If it's not, then I would suggest getting back in the jacket and tie bandwagon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have some what i think very nice stuff, but frequently I'm working on equipment at work, or out of the office, so rubber soles are almost necessary hence the rw (they are the j crew model that seems to be popular), however, when I know I'm going to have a day without such tasks, I attempt to dress up a bit more.

My current brown/burgundy dress shoes are more on the Italian flimsy side (the monk straps), and i would prefer a dress shoe that could take more of a beating. I was also thinking that that they may be a bit too stylish/dressy.

Honestly it really probably won't matter a great deal, I find that being able to actually communicate with people is more important than dress, however, I want to give a decent impression and not appear to stick out in any way.



I really don't know 100% what the party is going to be, its at a fairly nice place. I'm not really planning on a Tie, and a blazer is easy to ditch if necessary.
 

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FWIW, I didn't find the original post and his later ones to be inconsistent, and his original idea seems about right, based on my understanding of what he's asking.

A few thoughts:
On the one hand, you say that because your are in NC you need to dress appropriately. I'm of the opinion that you dress appropriately anywhere you live, not just in NC, and out of respect for yourself and others.
What's "appropriate" is not an objective, unchanging standard, but a (somewhat arbitrary) social construct, which varies from place to place and among different subgroups. What's appropriate to wear to a party in a floor-through on Park Avenue and what's appropriate to wear to a party in a dive bar in Key West (or, for that matter, at a tribal elder's place in Afghanistan) aren't the same thing. In the case of North Carolina vs. (say) Southern California, the difference might be more subtle, but it exists.

What ... a law firm can't have a casual dinner party? I'm pretty sure they do. Fairly often, in fact.

I can't tell from his posts whether the OP works at the law firm or not. He might, I suppose, but there's no reason to assume that. Among the more obvioius possibilities: he could be the date of someone who works there, or he could be a client or friend of a partner.

In my experience, lawyers (and everyone else) have an idea of what's appropriate for a particular event. If you show up at a casual dinner party that I'm the host of in flip flops and shorts - while I might not say anything - you're going to look wrong.

A blazer without a tie is an easy, versatile "casual" look. Not something you'd wear while swimming, perhaps (or at that dive bar in Key West), but the situations in which it looks out of place are relatively few, and a casual dinner party with lawyers in their 50s is almost certainly not one of them. To cover more bases: put a tie in your jacket pocket so you can slink off to the bathroom and put it on if you're the only one not wearing one.

To get back to the shoes (which was his question, after all):

I'm thinking a smart move might be brown dress shoe - like, say (since using Allen Edmonds for reference is easy) the Fifth Avenue. Though (based on some discussions here about the advisability of wearing dress shoes with khakis) not everyone would agree, I think such a shoe looks fine as part of a casual/khaki getup, and also has the advantage of being wearable in more dressy situations. Brown, not black, though.
 
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