I wore a tie to work on Tuesday, and just about everyone either asked me about it or commented about it. I got the usual "got a job interview?" joke at least twice and plenty of general inquiries if there was something going on. I got several compliments, too, so that was nice. But the truth was there was no particular reason that I wore it...I just felt like it. And actually, I wasn't really all that dressed up...I was wearing jeans.
A shirt and tie with jeans was pretty much my "signature style" for me in the latter part of high school and into college. It wasn't that I wore a tie all the time, but I wore them quite a bit more frequently than people who didn't have to generally do. It was often enough that when I was in the sign language club at Ball State I was even given a sign name of a signed 'B' along the center of the chest, indicating a tie. nightskydreamer may be able to relate to that reference on some level.
I liked ties, so I wore them. And I've always liked jeans...so why not together? But ties seem to have this aura of formality around them even if the rest of my attire is casual. In fact, nearly all my ties are "fun" featuring cartoon character designs or other silliness. I would think that would tend to imply less formalness, but when I wear a tie everyone seems to assume that I'm dressed up for some specific purpose.
Once I started working, I generally made an effort to always at least wear a shirt with a collar. That could mean a button-down dress shirt or it could be just a polo. About the only time I'd wear a t-shirt is if it was under a sweater. But over time the ties appeared less frequently.
Once I started playing DDR, I found myself wearing t-shirts more often, but they would still be neatly tucked in just like any other shirt I'd wear. It wasn't until just last year that my wardrobe took a much more casual turn. I have at_spinners_end to credit/blame for starting this trend. I don't remember now exactly what prompted it, but I challenged her to pick out an outfit for me to wear.
I ended up meeting up with her and this fine group of people at Castleton mall where we all went around and picked out various things for me to buy. They ranged from practical to trendy and outlandish.
The intent was for me to wear the outfit to Westside, but it was postponed for over a month due to the temporary closure that occured at that time. I finally had the opportunity to debut the outfit in March. I got dubbed emHo that night for some reason even though the outfit was more punk or "Hot Topic hell" than anything.
In response, this was followed up by a shopping trip with atomx and ilikea to put together an outfit that would be more emo.
Neither of these really fits my personality or lifestyle. But they got me to try some new things, and I found elements of each that I enjoyed. Over the next almost two years up to the present I've revamped the majority percentage of my wardrobe with some of the types of items from those two "experiments," some of my own tastes, and some new tastes I've developed from other things I've tried in the meantime. The result has been a much more casual style with lower cut, usually looser pants, shoes other than sneakers or dress shoes, and a lot of different types of shirts that are rarely ever tucked in. ;)
These changes probably have a substantial part in the many incidents of me getting guessed at much younger than my actual age. I think it's also made me more relaxed, carefree, and younger feeling. I would consider these all to be good things. If some simple clothes can have that kind of effect, I'm happy to be what I wear.