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Dressing well into a small town

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    Dressing well into a small town



    For the last year I have lived in a small town In Northeast Tennessee for work related reasons. Before taking the promotion that sent me to this area, I had only lived in large Metro areas and had never even lived in the suburbs before.


    I have found that it seems that I am perpetually overdressed. My standard uniform during the fall/winter is Chinos/dark jeans, dress shirt, and v-neck sweater. Even then, I look out of place all the time. Even the other late 20 somethings professionals from the area dressed up means not wearing a hoodie.


    I used to wear blazers all the time, but have pretty much dropped them from my casual wardrobe as I was always "that guy." A good example of how weird this area is, if I wear a corduroy blazer with jeans I will have multiple people will ask me "Why are you wearing a suit?"


    Anyone else here live in small town and have similar experiences? I do like dressing well, but don't want to come off as snobby or uppity. But anything outside of sweat pants and a Univ of TN hoodie is viewed as yuppie.


    #2


    Do girls think its weird, too? Or just the guys?

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      #3


      don't worry if they hate on you. wear the hell out of your blazers.

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        #4


        Agreed. Unless it's somehow preventing you from doing your job effectively or forming connections with people, I say wear whatever you want. On the plus side, the bar has ben set very very low for you. :-)


        A cord blazer and jeans sounds like something I'd wear to the movies. It sounds like they just don't know any different. *shrug*


        Just out of curiosity... What do they wear to weddings?

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          #5


          Alan - shirt and tie. Looking and feeling awkward, loosening up the tie by the time dinner is served at the reception. =)

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            #6


            I think Alan's question is the important one... Do the girls think it's odd too, and if so, odd in a bad way, or a good way? I grew up in a small town and I know what you're talking about, but there's always those with their eyes set on bigger things who, like me, can't wait to get out of that small town. Those people will be drawn to you and they'll be the most interesting people in that town.

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              #7


              Alan, its funny that you mentioned if the girls like it. But my girlfriend right now said the first thing she noticed about me was that I am smart dresser.


              Weddings? Dressing up for weddings means a Polo shirt and clean khakis. I went to a summer wedding and was one of 5 people wearing a blazer.


              My experience here has shown me that in rural areas of the country, not being from that other can make people standoffish and sometimes rude (even though once I have gotten to know them, most individuals here have really good people once I get to know them). For me, its like the opposite of my past friendships. Once I get to know people better, I start dressing nicer.

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                #8


                You might look at your time in this small town as an opportunity to work on developing your casual wardrobe. Looking good doesn't require a dress shirt, tie, sportcoat, and wingtips - you can also look good in more casual clothes based on fit, quality, and coordination. I like playing "dress-up" as much as the next Dappered guy but I also really like just being able to toss on a pair of boots or canvas sneakers, a great pair of jeans, and a fitted casual button-down. Add a cool watch and a classic pair of sunglasses and you're golden.


                I've lived in smaller towns and cities most of my life.

                Ben

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                  #9


                  BenR makes a good point. I really think dressing well casually is just as much about style as dressing "up" well. Even fitted casual pants with a fitted henly or cotton thermal. Casual plaid shirts with casual sweaters over them. Boots. Might make people less wary and still can look damn good.

                  "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano

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                    #10


                    @greg_s: Can you tell that to my co-workers? :-) They're now starting to pick on me when I DON'T wear a tie, but I keep telling them that my new years resolution was to "dress better", not to wear a suit and tie every day. :-P

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                      #11


                      If it makes you feel any better, I'm in the same boat. I live in a farm town. Not a bad thing, but I just look way out of place because my clothes fit, let alone a blazer or collared shirt.

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