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Fixing up a new wardrobe!

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Pretty new to the board, did some browsing before but not much of a poster. Some interesting threads going on and it somewhat inspired me to ask a quick question here.
I am redoing my wardrobe (lost weight so clothes don't fit) and need to make some basic picks that can be mixed and matched through the fall and winter. Living where I do, the fall is not too long anyways.

Anyways, looking for some suggestions for a basic wardrobe. I got the jeans and the khaki's. I need a couple of hoodies, 3-4 sweaters, some shirts and maybe some sweatshirts. Also need a pair of casual shoes that should survive some snow. Not looking for boots though.

I will add I am a college student so I need some stuff that I can wear to class, must be comfortable. Also need some that can be worn out to bars and clubs. Not looking for the A&F striped shirt but don't want to be the only one with a blazer either. Something in between would be perfect.

When I was heavier, I never really did the v-neck sweater, thought it didn't look good but I like it now. I have a nice navy v-neck with a pink button-up, rolled up that look good with jeans (I think). Never wore a pink before this but it seems to work here. I would like a few more sweaters, v or crew. A few shirts too. Basically looking for suggestions on patterns and styles. I am not very good at putting together outfits so those suggestions would be appreciated as well. I would think the sweaters would work best in solids so they go easily with everything else.

As for the hoodies, saw some postings on the AA wholesale in the B&S forum so am tempted to get a couple. Pretty cheap and decent quality. Thoughts?

One of the restrictions is obviously price. As a student, I am on a low budget. While I have plenty of clothing that are $150+, I buy them over time. For the purpose of building a closet, I can't go all out. So lets try to keep each item no more than $60, lower is better. Some exceptions can exist. I will also check out TJ, Fillene's, eBay, etc for deals.

As for the shoes, as I mentioned, something pretty casual. I have a couple pair that work ok for class, I need something I can occasionally wear to class and would be excellent if it can also go well with jeans to the bars.

I am not looking for a winter coat/jacket just yet but will need to do so soon. Open to suggestions. This is Chicago weather so keep that in mind.

I also noticed some general questions like this got a "˜what kind of image are you trying to project?' I don't really have much of an image but I would like to keep it simple and clean. Stand out compared to every frat boy on campus but not enough for someone to wonder if I am not well. I dress relatively conservatively but a little here and there to add some edge would be cool. Maybe an accessory you have in mind that would go well.

Feel free to ask any questions, my apologies if I made any mistakes above, just ask me to correct it.
I am sure I left some of my questions too vague but will answer them as we go along and get more specific answers.
Also, my winter closet is small enough currently for me to take pictures of what I have and put it up so it might be easier for some of you to come up with the rest of the closet. They all need to mix and match after all. Let me know if anyone feels I should do that. Or...a picture of me if that is relevant.

post #2 of 34
A good avenue would be to save your money for the fall/winter sales around Xmas
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Jodum, true, but I need something to wear till Xmas! -fn
post #4 of 34
How do you feel about converse all stars? Good solid basic cheap shoe. Can go with most everything really. Purcells are another option or PF flyers in the same vein but maybe not seen everywhere. If you want something a bit less sneakery then maybe look at Clarks Wallabees. If you want a nice clean basic look stick to solid colors that all match that you can layer together. Say you get 6 tees in different colors. Now pick up 6 cardigans/hoodies/v-neck sweaters and try to make sure that every shirt can go with everything else. You've got 36 days of matching up with no repeats. Mix that with a pair of jeans, a pair of khais and a pair of cords and you're up to 108 days. 3 months and never wearing the same thing twice. You'll always look similar to what you wore before but you'll never look the same. If the fit of the clothes is good they you'll always look good.
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
familyman, thats actually what I was thinking. Basic colors and mixing them up. I will do some research later and post some colors and maybe patterns. Color coordination is not my strong suit so maybe this board can guide me from there. I don't think I can pull off cardigans though. I'll look into the shoes. All stars have a hi-top, right? I prefer a low top. I like the low top Purcell's and just looked into the PF flyers. I like a couple of them actually! -fn
post #6 of 34
High or low is avialabe in all three. Slightly different looks for them all. When I say cardigans I'm meaning more along the lines of a zip sweaters. Something like this. Maybe still not for you but see if you can find one to try on, you might like it. Something different than just a sweatshirt. Also don't forget thermals for layering, cheap and effective. As for color matching, if you outer layers are all neutral colors, navy, brown, grey and such, then most color tees will work. With those three you can mix red, black, white, charcoal, medium blue and yellow among others. Throw in a pink if you can wear it, very versitile color. Green will go with everything but navy. The list goes on and on.
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
I actually like that sweater! I'll look around to see if there is a cheaper alternative or I might just end up getting it. Too bad my brother quit J Crew three weeks ago! I'm going to pick up some AA stuff, thermals and tee's to wear under the layers. As for the shoes, would leather be versatile for the winter? I like how one of the PF's look but maybe it shouldnt be the first purchase. Lastly, speaking of layering, thanks for the color suggestions. I do tend to stick with the neutrals on top but I often end up with black or white underneath. Looking for some change. Also looking to pick up a couple of button-up shirts. I have a light pink/salmon which I wear with a navy v-neck sweater. Looking for a couple more similar combos. What other interesting colors would the navy work with? White is too...formal. Maybe a red but seems a little gaudy. Thoughts? Thanks for the advice. -fn
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter What do you mean by a medium blue? The teal seems a little too dark. Currently, I am planning on a Black, Cranberry, Light Pink, Red & Lemon. Might pick up one more. What outside colors would blue work with? Also, what inside colors with brown sweater work with? Thanks!
post #9 of 34
By medium blue I mean a medium blue. Not necessarily an american apparel color, just a blue that's somewhere between baby blue (which I also like) and a navy blue. If you can find a heathered blue it works particularily nice. A medium or light blue will go with navy or brown or grey or red or.... most everything but green to my eye. Or purple though some people make that work. Blue is easy. A brown sweater (depending on the brown of course) will work with almost everythig. I wouln't pair it with charcoal or black or maybe yellow depending on the brown/yellow combination. As far as button ups go if you don't like white and want to stay safe then again, go with blue, both light and a darker (french blue is a common darker color) With button ups I always try to make sure that I can wear them with a jacket as well so that keeps me away from the reds and yellows which are colors that I'm not comfortable putting on under a jacket. I'm pretty conservative though and you might not be. Another quick suggestion. I wouldn't get all of your tees (or hoodies or thermals) from one place. Sure, american apparel might fit you well but gap might fit ok too and alternative apparrel and so on. The very slight variety in fit and weight/texture of the tees will help keep you from feeling like you're putting on a uniform every morning. Some days a tighter shirt fees great, some days I feel like a tool in one. You need a variety of clothes to fit a variety of moods. It's also good to sample different brands to get a feel for what's out there, what is quality and what really fits you, if you stick to one brand in one size you don't get that experience.
post #10 of 34
Just because your brother doesn't work there, doesn't mean you can't still enjoy the discounts. He made friends, right?
post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 
Point taken, I was just grabbing the AA stuff since it would be quicker and they are just going to be used as under-shirts. As for button-ups, I have three shades of blue and a couple of whites. Another blue with pink stripes (J Crew). I don't mind being a little more adventourous. As I mentioned previously, I plan on experimenting with a pink shirt/navy sweater combo once the weather allows. I'll make a couple of trips to the shops and see what colors are coming in. Some colors more appropriate for going out at nights than for classes. Also, how about v-neck sweaters with the undershirts? Just a tee shirt underneath? I thought it might look a little silly but Saucemaster seems to pull it off really well on this board. ( ) Ang – that’s true, I’ll give him a call and see what he can manage! -fn
post #12 of 34
My Friend,

First off, congratulations and thank you for taking an interest in your personal appearance and style. It will be nice to have another chic homme out there! The weight loss is a remarkable accomplishment and I think you have earned the right to treat yourself to some new clothes. I have a few thoughts for you, having had a bit of a style epiphany a year ago myself, so hopefully I will be of assistance.

It's good to hear you've gotten the basic jeans and khakis, but make sure you have the right stuff. First off, do you have enough? I would say maybe four-five pairs of jeans and a pair or two of khakis should do the trick, and those numbers can be adjusted depending on your personal preferences; I wear jeans a lot so only have a few pairs of khakis, which I don't like as much. More importantly, though, what styles do you have? There is so much out right now, especially for denim, that it's good to have a variety, both for style and practical purposes...think about different colors, fits, and washes. In terms of shirts, you really can't go wrong and it's honestly a question of personal preference and what you need, to my mind. For you, I would suggest some cool graphic tee shirts, 5-20 polos for the fall, and of course sport shirts. In terms of outerwear, there are a lot of sweaters you could try. The mall stores--Express, Banana, J. Crew, Gap, even Old Navy--have stylish sweaters that are also affordable. If you want to get a hoodie/sweatshirt, go ahead. Just know that as far as "high fashion" goes, there's not much, i.e. there are no J. Crew hoodies like the Abercrombie ones. Since you are young, there's nothing against it, but there aren't exactly styles as much as there are for sweaters.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not fall into the trap that so many young--and old--people do of thinking that whatever is comfortable is fine. Sweatpants, socks and sandals, etc. are not in style whether you're on campus or not. For your typical daily activities, there's nothing wrong with a collared shirt, jeans, whatever, as I detailed above. For going out, it's stepped up a notch. I would suggest at least one good business casual outfit (That's a nice shirt, dress pants, and dress sandals or nice shoes.) and also a blazer/sports jacket, etc. This is a time to be really creative. I can't put my finger on anything without knowing what you look like and so forth, as well as the occasion, but don't be afraid to be extravagant. Another thing you say that really bothers me is you don't want to be too dressy. I am in high school. I have no fear of being in style at school (hence the username), and neither should you! Dress to express, not impress. You are genuinely interested in style. You are fashionable. Don't dress like a dud.

I know that fashion right now can seem very expensive, but please don't let it discourage you. There are a lot of great places to get a bargain, and I have dealt with the same cost-related issues you have with great success. In addition to the places you mentioned, I would also suggest checking out a mall. Gap, Banana Republic, Express, and the crew are relatively inexpensive for most of their clothes, and I have a very stylish wardrobe from the mall stores. Macy's also has a good collection this fall.

Shoes, ah, shoes. In addition to sneakers and whatever you might need for exercise and other purposes (slippers, cheap flip-flops for those gross college showers), I would suggest a pair of sandals (Birkenstocks, rubber flip-flops, and TEVA velcro ones are not good to start with.), cool sneakers (think retro style, maybe Puma?), brown dress shoes, and perhaps casual loafers.

Finally, I notice that most of your wardrobe right now is focused on casual wear, which is very appropriate right now. However, I'm sure you have occasions at least once a year to dress up, so please do not forget the importance of looking nice at those times. A suit may be necessary and you'll be glad to have one when you start looking for jobs after college. Ties, dress pants, and dress shirts are definitely needed, though, and can be dressed down (i.e. wearing dress shirts with jeans, and of course the ever-popular business casual dress code).

Good luck! Please feel free to ask away if you need anything else.
post #13 of 34
I did not read your whole post. It is too long. I did not read any of the responses, either, because my company is throwing a BBQ and paying us to be drunk at 3:00 on Friday. Nonetheless, I shall respond because it is hot outside.

Who the hell suggested 5-20 polos? If I had 20 polos in my closet, I'd say something HILARIOUS, like "Why the hell are there so many polos in my closet? HILARIOUS." You need 1 polo, max.

You do not need sweatshirts, or hoodies, or sweaters, especially when you're in college. You need one of each, maybe 2 pairs of jeans. You do not need any khakis.

If you didn't wear pink before, why start now?

Mall stores are no good. Much better stuff can be had for slightly cheaper if you put your mind to it.

In Chicago in college, it is better to layer than to buy one heavy winter jacket. Many attractive girls will want your jacket on the walk home. You will then be freezing if you didn't layer. Do you want to be freezing?

Holy crap, I just saw that the same guy who recommended 20 polos also recommended 5 pairs of jeans. If I had that many clothes, I'd say something HILARIOUS to myself, like "Self, why the hell do you have so many clothes? HILARIOUS." P.S., I think Fok actually does have that many clothes.

You are in Chicago? Then let us krunk.

Volunteering: it doesn't pay.
post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 
First and foremost, thanks for the feedback!
I am surprised to hear you are still in high school and still care enough about what you wear, impressive indeed!
Let me hit your points in order so it is easier to follow.
I have enough jeans and khaki's, I tend to prefer one over the other depending on my mood and where I am going. All I need to pick up is a lighter shade of blue in the next month or so.
I don't know where you are from but I think you underestimated the severity of my winter! I have some tee's, buying them over the last few months since the old ones don't fit. I have enough polo's but wearing them through the fall is unlikely. I will need to start layering, but I get your point. What are sport shirts? Same as casual shirts?
I will be picking up some sweaters from RL and will make a trip to the mall to check our BR, Express and J Crew. Maybe even Gap & Old Navy. For a hoodie, no, there is no high fashion but there are nice sweater hoodies that look good. However, for the sweaters, I plan on sticking with the solid neutrals as suggested above, it would be easier to match them when time comes.
It isn't that I don't want to be too dressy but rather I don't want to stand out when I walk into class. It is different when I go out at night but going to class should be different, it isn't a fashion statement. Not sweatpants but a sweater or a shirt with a jacket and some jeans. Some here may disagree but I believe in that. I am much more open to experimentation at night.
As for being expensive, I actually spend quite a bit of money on clothing, I just didn't think or plan them out ahead of time. I am trying to change that. The reason I brought up cost is because I now need a basic wardrobe in a short period of time, as opposed to buying expensive pieces over time which is more reasonable once I have the basics to begin with.
I have a pair of Birk's already! I have a cool Puma driving shoe but I do need to pick up a brown dress shoe and some cool sneakers for daily wear. I will look into the Puma, some of the brands suggested above are nice too, I'll make a decision sometime soon. Any suggestions on brown casual shoes? Just to wear out to bars and such so it should be able to take some wear & tear.
I have a three button black suit which I used for interviews a couple of times. I am pleased with it for the time being. For shirts in those scenarios, I have a couple of shades of blue and a striped black/white. I want to pick up a couple more, with slightly more interesting color. However, I remember going to an information night for Morgan Stanley in my early days of college where the recruiter reminded us that an interview is not the place to make a fashion statement. A plain blue shirt won't hurt or help you but a red one probably would. However, yes, I would like a little color. There is a very light plum-ish color I once saw at Express I might pick up. Any other suggestions for conservative colors with a black suit? The colors would probably work better with the business casual dress code as opposed to a full business professional. Also need to pick up some ties, probably make a trip to J Crew, maybe even eBay!

Finally, some of the things I am/was hoping to get from this thread:
\tColor coordination help. I know none of you know what I look like so its hard but I intend on picking up sweaters and some shirts and tee's to wear underneath and coordinating colors is not my strong suit. I got some good advice above, will try to stick to it.
\tPicking ties. Again, coordination stuff. I need to pick up a couple of ties, need to decide on the shirts first.
\tShoes. Want to pick up a nice sneaker and a nice brown dressy shoe. One for daily wear to class and events. Another for going out.

Lastly, for button downs, while there is a lot of selection, I am relatively short. 5' 9" or 5' 10". As a result, lots of the ready made ones are too long. The Express MX shirts are decent. I wish I could find a cheap tailor! Or learn it myself...though I can't imagine a sewing machine in my tiny apartment. I am a size Medium or Small, depending on the brand. The smalls are usually fine lengthwise but not always comfortable in the body. I am 155 lb if it helps. Any brands known for making shorter shirts ?

I have considered posting a pic of myself, if I can find one handy, so it helps with some of the advice. I am Indian (from India) so my skin tone is darker than some of you here. The color of my outfits should be adjusted accordingly. Let me know if you think that might come in handy.

Thanks for all the help!
post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 
ken, Thanks for your response too! I guess you typed it up while I was typing mine. I am glad your company is paying for you to get drunk, is it a booze cruise on the river? I actually have around 8 or 9 polos, they are quite versatile and work well in the summer. And maybe for a few more weeks. You went through college without any khakis? I need them for just about every remotely formal event! Sweaters are the easy way to layer everything though I won't be getting more than 4-5 of them. Maybe a hoodie too. The pink was inspired by a family member who pulled off the pink shirt/navy sweater really well. I liked it and wanted to try it, picked it up cheap on eBay. Where do you suggest beyond mall stores? I would like to visit a thrift store sometime but none around here. Atleast none interesting around here. I am near Chicago, not in Chicago. Are you in the city? Maybe we could get crunk next time I'm in town. -fn
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