Re: How important is looking the part?
Some really great advise and knowledge so far. There are some knowledgable folks here.
Like most have posted, look doesn't count at all. What counts is just having fun and catching a few fish...no matter what you are wearing.
I sport some trendy duds like the silly Tilly hat, high tech fishing shirts, quick dry pants, etc. but not becuase I care how I look, I just don't want skin removed from over exposure to sun. I also like the comfort of Under Armour undies when it is 100F while smallie fishing.
Heck, I even got a buff because my neck is red enough already and don't need no sun burn to go with it. And yes I have sun gloves cause I am too lazy to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.
Like many have mentioned, it is all about functional gear. Some is overpriced and useless, but some will literally save your hide and make you a lot more comfy. At 46, comfy gets more important.
My 2 cents. Find what works for you and let everyone else have a close relationship with the devil, at his place.
Best of luck all.