I'm a 19 year old guy in college and I care about how I look, not obsessively but I like to look good. One thing has been troubling me, given my age and the atmosphere of college could I wear a short sleeve button down shirt with a skinny or narrow necktie? The shirt is black and the tie I have now is a bright blue that I have been told brings out my eyes, now some sites I read says that look is fine while others say you should kill yourself before leaving the house like that. Thank you in advance for your help
Personally, I prefer classy-looking men. The way you're dressing now fits that description, and it seems fine to me. But you're looking for advice, and that's what I'll give you.
Try mixing in different ties and shirts. A red tie looks smashing with a black shirt, and a black tie looks good with nearly any colour. Try vests, too. One black pinstripe vest will go very far in a wardrobe like yours, as it is very basic, and it looks great. If you're feeling really casual, try button-up shirts with an "edgier" style; you can find ones with skulls or zippers or anything at all, and plenty of stores carry them. They're perfectly acceptable in a college setting (insofar as your peers are concerned). Pair them with dark wash jeans (with no rips, please and thank you) that fit you well. A nice dark wash jean is much more sophisticated than other jean colours. Just make sure that they aren't baggy.
In the end, what you wear is your decision, and it isn't really anyone else's business. Don't let other people make you feel badly because you dress the way you do. If they criticize you, then just shrug it off as politely as you can; at least you'd have the manners they clearly lack. Just be yourself, and wear what you want to wear.
Be yourself and have fun with your style. The best looks come when the person isn't stuck in one particular style or brand of clothing, but just is very eclectic. I shop at various places to get my stuff, and a lot of people in my college who I think have good style seem to shop in different places too. Dress shirts are good, the tie I have no idea, I would honestly have to see it to know if it was good or not. But it sounds okay to me. Don't be afraid to get some nice t-shirts as well. Also get some good pairs of jeans, those will be your staples for the year.
Maybe get some hats, watches and other accessories that you can add to your outfits to make them different. Scarves are also a cool way to change an outfit.
Don't be afraid to dress down too. You can easily still look nice in a button up shirt left open with a neutral colour t-shirt, and some shorts. :)
From your description, it sounds like your style is pretty quirky. If you like to stand out for being quirky and different, then go for it. The way you dress, and how people react to it, also depends on what subject your taking at college. For example, people in the arts tend to be more fashion conscious and different at the college I attend. So, say you're taking art or fashion design or something, you'll probably fit in better dressing that way. You should check out the way people generally dress in your classes and decide that way if you want to stand out or not. If everyone is dressed super casual and laid back, you may want to tone it down. If you want attention, go with the skinny tie and shirt :)
I've did it once, but with a wide tie (I hate skinny ties). I put on the exact same clothes on as the day before (short sleeve shirt, stylish jeans) but with a black tie on. Suddenly I got a lot more friendly hello's on the street, and got more looks from girls.