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Need to learn how to dress!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So over the past seven years I have worked 3rd shift in a biotech manufacturing plant. I dragged my tired butt into work in jeans or even sweatpants, changed into scrubs, and went to work. There was no style, just survival.

Well, after all that hard work, I finally got a 1st shift position. Same work, so a majority of my day is spent in scrubs, but I have a lot more meetings and brushes with People That Matter. I stopped wearing the orange Chuck Taylors I special ordered and threw on my old Irish Setter boat shoes. All I have in the way of pants is jeans and a couple pair of Carhartt work pants. I do have some collared polo shirts and have been tucking them into jeans the past couple weeks, but I need a more robust wardrobe.

In addition, I have been taking much better care of myself. Last September I weighed nearly 230 lbs, and had to choose between buying size 38 pants or getting off my ass and losing some weight. I started running and eating better, and have a set of weights in the mail so I can get back to my weight lifting glory. I'm down to 195 and still dropping, with a target weight of 170.

So, that being said, I don't want to spend a crazy amount of money on clothes I'll need to donate in six months. I searched around a bit here but didn't find a "Dummies Guide to Dressing". The People That Matter wear the basic business casual dress, but I don't even know where to start--other than realizing that Walmart and Target is probably not the place to start. I'm 35, but have the sensibilities of a 65 year old. I like the old "Rat Pack" style of dress, but I'm not sure if I can pull that off!

I would appreciate any advice I can get!
post #2 of 13
Newbie Fashion Tips for Grown-Up Men

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lif...wn-up-men.html
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgt465 View Post
Newbie Fashion Tips for Grown-Up Men

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lif...wn-up-men.html

Overall a good resource but I'd have to disagree with several points, namely, "2. Shirts with button-down collars are not dress shirts." and "5. Shoes should be the same tone or darker than your pants."
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmanouk View Post
Overall a good resource but I'd have to disagree with several points, namely, "2. Shirts with button-down collars are not dress shirts." and "5. Shoes should be the same tone or darker than your pants."

How about "you only need three pairs of shoes: black oxford, black loafer, and something brown."
post #5 of 13
First of all, Congratulations - on the promotion and the weight loss.

You have found a forum here with a wealth of knowledge. Just spend some time reading posts and determining what you like. There are many threads that will be of assistance to you.

Good luck!
post #6 of 13
my recommendation: don't trust GQ. They are too dégagé for a beginner. Frankly, it's not that hard, stick to common sense. If it's business casual you want, try chinos, button down shirts, loafers, sport coats, stuff like that. Be sure they fit well. Basic rules would be: -match socks to trousers, never white socks -don't use excessive patterns -don't wear short sleeved shirts with ties. Generally speaking, don't wear short sleeve shirts, roll up the sleeves on long sleeved shirts if you want to.
post #7 of 13
The post above is the most useful. The "Newbie Fashion Tips..." article has too many flawed pronouncements, including the implications that a cotton suit is okay for typical business and that blends (with, say, silk) aren't appropriate. It sounds like our friend in biotech needs details such as which particular shoes, what style of pants, where to buy, etc. There isn't enough information available (location, details about what the "business casual" on the job is, and so on) to advise on that.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmanouk View Post
Overall a good resource but I'd have to disagree with several points, namely, "2. Shirts with button-down collars are not dress shirts." and "5. Shoes should be the same tone or darker than your pants."

I disagree with you, especially since the OP has the sensibilities of a 65 year old.
post #9 of 13
I need to learn how to dress myself. That's why I joined this forum. I'm getting a lot of great advice from all the pros. I'm also planning on attending fashion school to learn about careers in fashion merchandising
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensimageconsultant View Post
It sounds like our friend in biotech needs details such as which particular shoes, what style of pants, where to buy, etc.
The kind of pants make my head spin--chinos, khakis, cargoes. Shoes, forget about it, don't even know where to start. Shirts, again, don't know where to start. I know the very basics about matching colors, but yeah, I have no clue how to get it all to fit. I have a couple nice sets of clothes for weddings/funerals/etc., but they are too much for the office.
Quote:
There isn't enough information available (location, details about what the "business casual" on the job is, and so on) to advise on that.
As far as location, it's in Maryland. I really don't know what business casual is in my place. There is no set dress code, and folks come in with all sorts of different ideas of business casual, from jeans and t-shirts to button-downs and dress pants. The bigwigs generally wear slacks and button downs, and that's what I'm going for. One of the issues is that we used to be a small company, and were bought out by a much larger company. We also moved to a much larger building. As a result we are becoming a lot more corporate, and slowly but surely so is the dress code. I'd like to be ahead of the game if I can. eta: I've been looking around for ideas, and see a couple things I can pull off, and a whole bunch of things I don't want to. I don't want to look like I'm wearing a diaper (pleats that bulge out near the top), I don't want shoes that click (not sure what does that but it's annoying). I do want to find things that fit me naturally. I see a lot of guys wearing things they have no business wearing--you aren't hiding your belly with stripes pal, I don't care which way they go!
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadAboutPlaid View Post
You have found a forum here with a wealth of knowledge. Just spend some time reading posts and determining what you like. There are many threads that will be of assistance to you.

This is probably the best advice of all. While some of the threads might be intimidating to someone "starting out," you'll learn plenty even if you just lurk. As long as you concentrate on assembling some versatile staples first, you'll be well on your way to building a wardrobe that reflects your own style.

I stumbled onto SF mere months ago, and feel I've absorbed a ton. You're in the right neighbourhood. Spend some time in the WAYWRN thread for inspiration.

Doc.
post #12 of 13
hmm, try this thread - http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=240544 particularly check out my pics in post #11. That's a decent starting point for basic colors and styles. Focus on good materials, basic colors, and most importantly flattering fit. plus what I forgot to include is the more casual american stuff like slim pressed chinos (khakie, stone, medium brown, dark brown) with oxford cloth button downs (2-3 white, 2-3 blue, and a few bengals - check out brooks brothers)
post #13 of 13
Quote:
The bigwigs generally wear slacks and button downs, and that's what I'm going for.
Then go for that. Your choice of wool pants or chinos (traditionally cotton and same thing as khakis). Don't wear t-shirts or cargo pants to work. All-cotton, solid white, solid blue, and patterned dress shirts (stripes and checks). Sized (e.g., 16, 34) As you lose weight, buy the shirts at places such as TJ Maxx and Jos. A. Bank. (They can be slimmed down by a tailor lately, if it's worth it.) Jos. A. Bank carries some decent dress shoes, too. Only black, dark brown, and burgundy on the job. No square toes, bicycle toes, or shoes that look like sneakers. Lands' End and L.L. Bean are acceptable sources for pants. You'll probably want to ask more questions.
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