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Image Transformations

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi, hope you don't a mind few questions.

For anyone who has consciously changed his image, how did it go? For instance, did you start out wanting to change your whole wardrobe and how long did it take to replace items (or decide to buy specific replacement items that maybe you couldn't afford for a while)? Did others' reactions to initial changes influence later changes? Also, was a change in physical fitness involved?

Edit: Sorry for the title that makes it seem like an ad.
post #2 of 16
It's called high school.
post #3 of 16
But most were during my jr. high and HS days, so not much information would be too valuable.

I am young (22) but my style hasn't changed much over the last 3 years or so, and is somewhat mature (particularly for when I was in college) but still colorful, allowing me to transition easily into the workforce.

Now my "transformation" is in upgrading the quality and fit of clothing.
post #4 of 16
I think that many of us have been through concious "image phases" in our lives... that's why we are on this board.

Speaking for myself, I gradually changed through the phases: Skater/Punk, Stoner/Hippie, Pseudo-Preppie, to professional. These phases also correlated with my friends and jobs. I know, this is all pretty much common sense.

But to answer your question directly, from the conscious decision to final metamorphoses of each phase took months to years. Most were fairly simple for myself, as each phase was not very drastic from the other.

I would gradually replace a few items as others wore out, or if money was available, several (5-10) items in a short period. I never threw out my whole closet and started over, and was in a constant state of weeding out clothes that I no longer wore. Having lower standards in the beginning was easier for the rapid/mass accumulation of wardrobes, as thrift store shopping was cheap.

My last change in social image was the most expensive, as I was forced to dress professionally in a mannner consistent with my chosen profession. This required a mass purchase of dress shirts (6), slacks (5), and ties (10). Again, I am constantly adding to my current wardrobe, and weeding out old clothes to make space for the new (especially after frequenting this forum). I do think however, that this will be the last "major" phase in my image- although allowing for constant refinement.

As we have both mentioned, the social circles that you associate with are a major force in directing one's image metamorphoses. For example, many of the members on here will post up an image of themselves or an article of clothing, willing to subject themselves to criticism/applaud. When these images are reinforced/rejected, it is natural to change towards the image that gives us the most positive reinforcement. Although many people say that they dress for themselves, "I believe", as in The Matrix, that we all have our Ideal/Projected Image or whatever they called it in the movie. Is this Ideal Image concieved before we enter our chosen environment, or after?; That is the question...

Sorry for the dissertation.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks. That was quite informative.

By the way, with researchers, the term is "ideal self-image."

One paper deems the broader issue you mention as "Clothing in relation to self as process-response to judgments of others."

It also shows that image transformations during high school deserve their own category.

post #6 of 16
Originally Posted by mensimageconsultant.com

Wow... good paper. Long, but good. Thank you.

I never answered your question about change in physical fitness... yes, I think that a majority of people feel like they need to be a little more in shape/be less fat/more musclular/weigh less/weigh more in order to achieve their "ideal self-image".

I doubt that many men/women have an ideal self-image that is of a slovenly whale and feel like they need to exercise less. However, there are probably a FEW out there who think that they are too in shape and need to soften up a bit.

Me personally- Yes, I need to work out more.
post #7 of 16
I didn't start dressing "better" until I was around 20. I dressed horribly in HS. I made the change because i was dressing even worse than the average college kid at the time and I wanted to be at the same level as them so that I could get laid! That change happened pretty quickly cause those types of clothes are cheap. But overall I went from GAP, to Boss, to Armani over the period of a couple of years.

As I made enough cash, Armani really appealed to me cause I used to wear baggy clothes in HS and the cut of their pant has quite a wide leg and made for an easy transition (i have skinny legs so psychologically a slim-fit pant was something i stayed far away from). It also provided the perfect transition from casual to the more dressy look I favor today.

There were also several psychological barriers to overcome along the way. The first "expensive" pair of shoes I purchased were $200US for a pair of Kenneth Coles (in my GAP days). That was the roof for me and breaking it with my first pair of Ferragamos took some work, but when I finally tried-on a pair and they fit me perfectly, I couldn't believe how much more comfortable they were and I was hooked. After that, the price-barriers were easier to cross because i could justify them with a noticeable increase in quality that affected my comfort (my KCs gave me blisters when i first bought them-never had that problem with ferragamo).

The old saying about being comfortable in your clothes also applies. I wouldn't have felt right if I went straight from skater clothes to Borrelli, bespoke, and fancy shoes. I'm quite positive I would have been very self-conscious about my attire and I would have constantly been wondering what others thought of the way I was dressed.

In the past year, however, i've decided that I'm old enough that I feel confident wearing sports jackets all the time and I made a very conscious decision to alter my look. It has been very very expensive, but I'm ALMOST where I want to be. My two-weekly rotation has been completely replaced over the past year. Now that I'm extremely conscious of fit and quality, anything that isn't perfect doesn't qualify to be worn.

However, I still have lots of armani hanging in my closet that I won't be throwing out any time soon because it's great for casual wear.

I find I can't get what I want off the rack, so with the exception of Borrelli sports jackets, everything I buy is now MTM or bespoke. I've found that once you get started with the high-end stuff, it's impossible to stop. It's kinda like high-end audio in that the weakest link will kill the rest of the "system". I now have a mixture of borrelli and bespoke sports jackets, but no shirts to match, which is why I was in crisis a couple of weeks ago now that it's getting warmer and I can't wear knits! That problem is now solved and all is well in GQGeek-land.

And to answer your other question, what really got me started with this clothing thing was the initial reaction I got from girls after my first shopping trip to NYC. I kid you not, when I got back we threw a house-party and a girl I had had a crush on all term started commenting on how she loved how I looked in my new clothes and I got laid that same night!

Sorry. Feeling a bit verbose tonight!

Since then I've discovered these forums and can now say that female attention is no longer the primary driving-force of my desire to dress well, but a fanatical obsession with quality, proper fit, and unique offerings. I also love the idea that a lot of the stuff I wear is hand-made.

And no, I've never bothered to lift weights in an attempt to put on pounds, even thuogh I could use them. With the way I dress and handle myself, I have no problems pick-up the types of girls I want to be dating. At this point there's no way I'm gonna start lifting weights cause any big changes will render my investment in wardrobe a complete waste of money!
post #8 of 16
try to dress nicely while remaining pretty much inconspicuous. Shades of grey, that sorta thing. rather dull, actually. I'm 20 right now, don't have too much concerns about my image.
post #9 of 16
I consciously chose to dress differently after I lost a significant amount of weight.

I always liked a slightly flamboyant, yet formal, style but never really felt able to wear it while I was overweight. Instead I tended to wear lots of solids and simple business casual clothes. Wearing anything more just didn't match how I felt. I wasn't unhappy or anything when I was heavy, it just didn't feel right to induldge myself, clothing-wise.

When I lost the weight I found I was able to wear all the awesome clothes and styles I had denied myself before and more than that, really enjoy wearing them. It no longer felt like a waste of money.

I think subconsciously I held off buying them before because I always knew that "some day" I would lose the weight and then would need a new wardrobe and I didn't want to waste the money. Of course, the new wardrobe is now excellent motivation to keep the weight off!
post #10 of 16
I turn into a big red and blue truck with the Autobots symbol on the side....
post #11 of 16
Why does my inner cynic balk at answering this question?
post #12 of 16
Research! Find out whats done and why. Find what you like and get some second opinions, one of those opinions being from a woman.
post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by designprofessor
Research! Find out whats done and why. Find what you like and get some second opinions, one of those opinions being from a woman.

That is an interesting question...Should your image be shaped for men or women?

I think men. I can not imagine asking a women for advise on dressing.

post #14 of 16
When your superiors and coworkers compliment you on your style of dress, you're probably doing something right.

Women express their approval in ways other than by giving advice.
post #15 of 16
Originally Posted by mensimageconsultant.com
Hi, hope you don't a mind few questions. For anyone who has consciously changed his image, how did it go?
After my first year of college I cut my hair and put away the rock band t-shirts. It went well, and I started attracting the kinds of women I was interested in attracting.
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