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How did you evolve in your style enlightenment?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Of course learning how to dress well didn't come instantly. We figure things out little by little until we know enough. For me it's:

1. Wearing tops that fit. I worked out and got a bit buff, and learned to wear flattering tops. I got stuck here for a while before moving on to the next one.

2. Basic color coordination. Meaning avoiding bad color combos.

3. Wearing pants that are not baggy.

4. Footwear. Recognizing what's horrible-looking.

5. Considering my body structure. Realizing that shorts are not too flattering for me.

6. Intermediate color coordination. Avoiding not-bad-but-not-so-nice-either color combos like navy-black and brown-black. Avoiding the office drone look. Discovering how versatile gray trousers are. Just bought some dark gray jeans, can't wait to try new outfits.

So that's been my journey so far and it's been fun. It spans around 10 years. By the way, I developed 1-3 before I discovered SF. I don't really consider myself Styleforumized as I learned a lot from just surfing around the net. I have a friend who's just started to try proper-fitting tops, I'm still trying hard to convince him to move on to pants that are not baggy.

So how did you evolve?
post #2 of 21
Originally Posted by julius12 View Post

So how did you evolve?

Just like everyone else, I imagine. First this ...


Followed quickly by this ...

post #3 of 21
TB, deets on the boots, which UGG's last ... crackup[1].gif
post #4 of 21
Originally Posted by Thanks SF (a new me) View Post

TB, deets on the boots, which UGG's last ... crackup[1].gif

Don't recall. So many lifetimes ago...
post #5 of 21
I've gotta say i've run the same course as you however i've yet to move onto flattering tops because of my gut. Currently focused on buying form flattering clothes with precise fit.
post #6 of 21
Well I would say that I am still evolving somewhat in the world of mens fashion. I have always had a eye naturaly for the colors of clothing and what works well together also the fitting of things. I am still learning about diffrent fabrics designs and brands of clothing but do take great pride in my aperance and how I present myself and go to great lenghts to achieve this.
post #7 of 21
Threw my skateboard in the trash.

Started wearing dressy pants, khaki colored and casual button downs / polos

Brought back the denim and mixed it up

Got rid of sneakers got loafers

Started getting slimmer fitting everything

Said goodbye to every brand that my parents often said I should buy.

Started wearing Ralph Lauren exclusively.

Became comfortable with it, 5+ years

Found out about RL Rugby 2+ years now

Much more comfortable with it, much slimmer etc..

Started wearing blazers/sport coats in more settings other than just at fancy parties.

Also, Now I'm skateboarding again.

Next: Start wearing ties more often, incorporate more preppy colors - just got some 'go-to-hell' green and red chinos. Hopefully i get a job and can really start splurging on nice stuff.
post #8 of 21
This is still a work in progress, but over the past 9 months:

- discovering the joy of wearing clothes that fit
- gradually replacing my crappy polyester ties with silk and wool ties
- replaced both pairs of cheap, ugly dress shoes with Allen Edmonds
- phasing out cargos as casual wear, as well as reintroducing collars into my casual wardrobe
- experimented with pocket squares

Upcoming style related projects:
- playing with sports coats
- expanding the dress shoe rotation with a third pair of AEs
- my first pair of non-beige chinos
post #9 of 21
For now, I've read a lot and a lot and a lot about men's fashion... But I don't nearly have the time, energy, money or means to have a proper wardrobe. Though a definite improvement was finding a place to buy pocket squares in my small city.
post #10 of 21
For me it started with the purchase of my first GQ magazine in 1978 or so. I was a sophomore in high school and decided that I didn't want to wear jordache jeans and mock neck sweaters anymore. I thrifted a Pierre Cardin sc and paired it with some decent looking slacks from up in harlem somewhere. My first nice pair of shoes were some pointy Pierre Cardin burgundy wingtips that I bought on 34th street.

Sometime that year I stumbled upon a NY times Mens Wear magazine and was forever hooked on the idea that dressing well mattered. I was helped along by the fact that my mom had a great fashion sense and taught me pretty early on the difference between a quality garment and a piece of crap.

Thanks mom!
post #11 of 21
simple rules..since childhood, clean, pressed and always tucked-in dress/polo shirts, clean/shined shoes....footwear quality, a different story...
my first job out of college, while on the way to a client meeting, the project partner took me straight to a local shoe store and bluntly "Invest on good footwear. You don't want to be seen walking and wearing those shoes. Don't worry, you can pay me back"
and thus my first pairs of AEs (McAllister and Park Avs) ...been resoled 3-4x..... True story...
post #12 of 21

1. Initial Realiziation

      A. Browse around reddit.

      B. Find fashion infographic.

      C. Realize that dressing well takes little effort.


2. Research

      A. Look into /fa/, since I'm comfy with 4chan

      B. Spend every waking hour on /fa/ for a week, realize that it's not a good place, move here.

      C. Take in ideas on how to restart my wardrobe.


3. First Steps

      A. Acquire a jacket and coat

      B. V-Necks and Darker jeans

      C. Keep everything fitted

      D. Wingtips

      E. Chinos


I already had some nice clothes, but a lot of it was too large for me. I lost weight, so I kinda needed to restart.

I had spent a year in school dressed in a shirt and tie, so I spent that time getting color coordination down.

post #13 of 21
That's a good question, because this forum has played a large part in the education process. As an entrepreneur, you have a need for good clothing at times, but often can't afford it during the building process. My strategy was to have a go-to suit for the investors and whatnot, but otherwise not pay any attention to it - jeans/tshirt/sweaters/whatever-on-feet - typical software developer uniform. Relatively recently I noticed, and others noticed, that my words carried more impact with customers and investors when I was dressed business-ready. I made a conscious decision to dress better, this started with a trip or two to Joseph A. Bank, where I thought I was getting a good deal and good clothes. As it turns out, the sales staff sold me suits that were too large by a size. I didn't realize this for some time of course - but even doing that and beginning to wear nicer clothes started the 'bug'. Shortly after that, I massively rearranged my closet, gave racks of clothing away to Goodwill. That was phase 1 - realizing the need, spending a $1500 or so on mediocrity and finding a new hobby that I could really sink my teeth into.

Phase II - reaching out for style information. I started with GQ. lol. Almost turned into a fashion victim with that choice, but occasional browsing brought me to places like where I started to get more enlightened. That browsing also brought me here, where after a time I started to recognize that there were some real pros giving great advice and showing off stylish outfits. Clothes in brand names I'd rarely heard of. At that point, the hill seemed really steep, primarily because of my location (hard to get to stores that carry these sort of things), a new language in the numbers involved with sizes and the recognition that people here were dealing in centimeters and debating collar styles and terms like 'waist suppression' (wtf??)

Phase III - acceptance and experimentation. In this phase I had to get used to the idea that you get what you pay for. Shoes? OK... *gulp* I dropped some cash on a pair of cordovan AEs and black captoe Bruno Maglis. The whole time I was kind of shaking my head at the prices, and of course I was paying straight up retail. In this phase I found my way to ebay and cautiously began dabbling in used auctions. I made some mistakes along the way, but none *too* expensive. It was here that I learned what 'fit' meant and discovered that my initial Joseph A Bank trips were based on bad sizing information.

Phase IV - learned how to skate! OK - after figuring out how to buy clothes online, being plugged into communities like this and having a brand new vocabulary in patterns, fabrics, brands and fitting concepts I began sinking a more serious level of funds into my wardrobe. This all had to do with the confidence that an education in the subject matter brings. I had learned the difference between fashion and style. I had also learned that opinions in style vary widely and there are only a few 'true rules'. I became deeply familiar with why those black sport coats were a bad idea. I payed more attention to things like belts and socks. I began to notice the little details of what people were wearing on TV and out in public. I did another round of closet cleaning, a lifetimes worth of bad shoes disappeared along with the complete destruction of the vestiges of my 'software developers uniform'. There was little choice, no room left in the closets for the mistakes of days past.

Today, I feel like I've got a respectable wardrobe and the confidence to wear it proudly. The vast majority of my education that brought me to this point occurred right here at styleforum. I have yet to have an article of clothing actually made for me. I'm sure I will in the future, but my bank account just can't take the activity that would surely follow an experiment in bespoke tailoring - another round of closet cleaning! Yet... biggrin.gif
post #14 of 21
Wearing a suit > wearing tailored clothing (and learning what to look for in a high quality garment, which is how I found this site).

Biggest change for me was probably in the shoe dept. Somehow I simply did not know great mens footwear existed. When I found out, mind was blown.
post #15 of 21
Originally Posted by NORE View Post

Wearing a suit > wearing tailored clothing (and learning what to look for in a high quality garment, which is how I found this site).

Biggest change for me was probably in the shoe dept. Somehow I simply did not know great mens footwear existed. When I found out, mind was blown.

Nore - you just summed it for me as well.

I came here after many years of dressing well for work (Suits, Sportcoats, Ties, Slacks, etc. etc. for the past 30 years). Upon arriving here at Styleforum I was pleased to find that I did at least still have the basics of men's tailored clothing right. But was surprised to find a whole new world of footwear that I neither knew about nor have seen on the many people I meet with. Vass in particular has me transfixed at the moment!

I did also needed an update on what is current in terms of ties, styling, etc. etc. as I had become more than a bit complacent in the past 10 years.

As to whether or not this equals 'enlightenment' I couldn't say - but I've certainly found this forum to be a great place to hang out and improve my look!
Edited by Gdot - 8/8/11 at 12:13pm
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