Fashion Sans Suits

Hey, folks. Today’s Daily Prompt is all about confidence. Specifically, the outfits that make you feel the most confident. It’d be easy to say three-piece suits, but I actually dislike wearing them. They feel restrictive and bland at best; I’ve never understood their appeal. Is it because they’re form-fitting? They supposedly make you look like a million bucks – it’s amazing how much positive attention wearing a clean suit jacket can get you – but they just seem…boring. And uncomfortable; why can’t someone make a suit that feels good to wear? I can get away with going full-on Johnny Cash Man In Black-style with my suits, but that requires little effort and attention to detail. Even if I do go with other colors, I don’t want to look like every other suit-and-tie ensemble walking down the street. Shouldn’t we strive for more unique looks? Men’s formal fashion hasn’t changed much in the last century, which is something I wish more designers would further develop. Guys are capable of matching and contrasting colors and fabrics, you know.

Anyways.

I feel most confident wearing business casual. I’ve got a nice, comfortable pair of black loafers, which are polished enough for meetings and sturdy enough for long walks. Black, calf-high dress socks to match. The slacks are usually either black or dark brown, just long enough to keep everything covered if I cross my legs while sitting, but not so long I accidentally walk on the cuffs and shred them to pieces. If I’m traveling, they’ll be cargos. A belt with at least three or four notches of leeway, with simple silver buckle. A t-shirt for the first layer, preferably black, white, dark brown, or dark green. I usually have a forest green dress shirt over it; it complements my olive skin tone and brings out my eyes and hair color. I also have a burgundy cotton shirt that’s more flashy and better in the heat. Both are left untucked, with the first and last buttons left open. Whichever shirt I’m wearing, I’ll always have the sleeves rolled up. It’s a carryover from my early banking days; I worked with money hands-on, and didn’t want to get ink or sweat stains. Rolling them up keeps my body cooler while accentuating my arms and shoulders. If I have to wear a tie, I go with silk in a single shade;  loathe the loud, tacky designs sold in most stores. If it’s cold out, I don a black trench coat with a removable inner layer. If the weather warms up, I can just unzip the inner part and use the coat as a stylish windbreaker. Put on my glasses and let down my hair, and I’m ready to get my style on.

…Yeah, it’s not exactly a three-piece suit, but I like it. As much as we like to deny it, people do judge each other based on personal appearance. It’s funny getting reactions when I’m out and about. I get called “Miss” often. Stares and compliments from women are common, with a few rare catcalls. I get mistaken a librarian or professor, while others think I’m a businessman with a hippie streak. I occasionally get asked if I moonlight in a rock band, and what instruments I play. Others – including my coworkers! – think I look like a vampire or goth. I could probably pull that look off, come to think of it…But at least no one has said I look bad. They can believe whatever they want, but I make it look good.

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