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Getting started dressing decently.

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

To make a long story short, it finally dawned upon me that if I expect to be treated like an adult and respected like an adult now that most of my time is dedicated to the workforce, I cannot expect to dress like I did when I was 18.  No more t-shirts and jeans all the time.  The internet's been very helpful with these things, but it's still a bit overwhelming, and Atlanta's not exactly known for being the best looking city.  People looked much better when I was in NYC last weekend.

 

I suppose the question I'm asking is if you give an 'unstyled' person some dress advice, what would you tell them? 

 

Fortunately, my current job doesn't require a suit, or even a tie -- just by wearing a button down oxford and poorly fitting chinos, I'm doing better than my co-workers and supervisors -- so work attire's not necessarily the highest priority at the moment.  Casual's probably what I'd like help with to start off.  Polo's, maybe?  Ralph Lauren Custom Fits are great as far as the fit goes, but too long for my taste.  The back tail just looks dumb.

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 22
Look in the "What Are You Wearing Right Now"
Search the forum
rinse and repeat daily for 3 months

Quote:
Originally Posted by dopethrone View Post

Ralph Lauren Custom Fits are great as far as the fit goes, but too long for my taste.  The back tail just looks dumb.

 

facepalm.gif
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Heh, yeah, that's been a great resource.  I feel like I have a pretty decent eye now after reading various blogs for the past 2 months, but it's actually the going out there and buying part that is tricky to me.  Yeah, can buy one or two nice shirts, but at the end of the day, they won't look that good when I'm wearing them with my Levi 511's.  Unfortunately, at this time it's not really financially possible for me to re-do my entire wardrobe all at once.

 

 

I'm not really sure what you mean by your last comment.  Do people generally regard those shirts as bad quality?  I know that the back tail is supposed to be longer than the front, but the back tail for those seem to be TOO long and end up going below my butt.
 

 

post #4 of 22
If the shirt was tucked in you may alleviate the problem? wink.gif That's my guess as to Blaze's post.
post #5 of 22
well this is a very familiar topic to me, I went through the very same thing not so long ago and still am actually. I have started dressing much more smartly and putting more effort into what I wear and how I present myself. One thing I will tell you is to take things one step at a time or you will feel overwhelmed by this. I started out by getting nicer shirts and a few suits and nice slacks at first then focusing on shoes and ties and other accesories.
post #6 of 22
You have demonstrated great wisdom in your post - you are right - if you want to be treated like an adult you need to look like one.

As you are young and on a very limited budget................my advice is to focus on good fit. You will find that even inexpensive clothes will serve you pretty well if they fit right.

Focus on a few basics - a couple of pairs of good fitting jeans (It's ok if they are Levis - as long as they fit well), a couple of pairs of lighter colored cotton pants and a couple of pairs of darker colored wool pants. All solids - no patterns, length hemmed appropriately. Stay focused on the plain old boring basic colors, tan, navy blue, dark grey, etc. etc.

A few well fitting shirts - polos and oxford cloth button downs are good choices - you can also include some patterns here as you didn't include them in your trousers - right?

Leather shoes in medium brown and black with belts to match (these don't have to be super dressy - look for shoes/belts that will work with jeans, khakis and occasionally with the wool pants. You can add some cheap web belts from ebay and sneakers etc. etc. if you like.

Once you have these basics down report back here for additional instruction. DISMISSED! (I'm only kidding)

The trick is to never buy something that doesn't fit you well just because it is available or cheap..........keep on shopping. And to learn to walk before you run.

You might be surprised that you can get away with quite a few things from lower priced places like H&M, Gap, Banana Republic, etc. etc for many of these casual basics - just keep your eye out for all natural fabrics, and good quality sewing (seems should not pucker etc. etc)

Quality suits and sportcoats will take a minor investment and probably should wait until you have some of the other items under control. But.....while you are shopping try on suit jackets so that you can learn your size. This will come in handy later.
post #7 of 22
...can be overwhelming....If i have to offer my .02, start with shoes (ladies notice them smile.gif ) then SC/Jackets..These will serve as your anchors...
post #8 of 22
Gdot's advice is brilliatn. I wish I would have started there.

As said, good shoes are important too. Since you aren't headed into suits too soon, you might want to look at this thread for ideas, if you haven't already:
http://www.styleforum.net/forum/thread/253842/waywrn-mc-casual-style
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

Great!  This is exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for.  I appreciate your input very much.

 

Gdot, it mentions that your location is Atlanta.  Do you have any recommendations on places to shop, or even a tailor?  Many of the reviews for tailors on Yelp are mixed and I'd prefer to minimize my losses when I get to that point.  

post #10 of 22
Of all of the "I'm new and looking to improve my wardrobe" threads, I find your thread the most compelling--so much so that I am actually going to respond.

Gdot hit a lot of the nails on the head quite well, so I will use his as a base and just add my changes and insights.

Shirts - depending on your budget, I think MTM is by far your best bet. Moderntailor has a great deal for new customers to let you get your fit down to a T. When it comes to shirts, which basically are the horses of your wardrobe, it does not make sense not to go MTM for moderately entry level shirts. For roughly the same shirt as a new Banana Republic or J.Crew shirt, it makes no sense to me to not go MTM.

Shoes - This is the place to really spend the money and spend A LOT of time researching, getting yourself properly measured, and find a last that fits your foot. Shoes are an investment, and if properly taken care of, can last decades. Crockett and Jones are a forum favorite--they're gorgeous, but if you're like me, you can't justify spending nearly $600 on a pair of shoes. For $600, I would rather buy 2 or 3 pairs of Allen Edmonds on sale--the C&J is a better shoe....is it triple the price better? That's debatable I suppose.

Get yourself a mid brown shoe and black cap toe, as Gdot stated. You unfortunately just missed the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, so you will probably have to wait to pick up some Allen Edmonds, if you opt to go that route. These should be the five new shoes you buy:

  1. Black Captoe
  2. Brown plain toe
  3. Brown or merlot loafer
  4. Merlot wingtips
  5. Casual shoe - Chukka, wallaby, etc.

Gdot hit the rest on the head. Look for trim clothes and not slim. You want things to fit you well as accent your body (no homo). Most of all, be sure to chronicle your journey on here.
post #11 of 22
Use the search function.
post #12 of 22
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Edited by Louis XIV - 10/12/11 at 1:36pm
post #13 of 22
Since you live in Atlanta, why not drop by the Sid Mashburn shop to soak up the atmosphere and take a look at some pretty solid offerings.
post #14 of 22
Just to be precise - I did indeed suggest a black shoe - but not specifically a cap toe at this point.

Not that I don't highly recommend owning a black cap toe shoe - just that I thought the OP probably get more use out of a more casual black shoe for the moment.

And thank you all for supporting my advice.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dopethrone View Post

Great!  This is exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for.  I appreciate your input very much.

 

Gdot, it mentions that your location is Atlanta.  Do you have any recommendations on places to shop, or even a tailor?  Many of the reviews for tailors on Yelp are mixed and I'd prefer to minimize my losses when I get to that point.  


Sure, I'm glad to help. Let's talk specifically about what you are looking for, and I'll try to offer suggestions as to locations to look for items.

As for tailors - I use Mario Bosco on Peidmont Road. But he's not by any means the only choice.

Someone else on here mentioned Sid Mashburn's - it's a fine store and if you want to go looking there I certainly recommend it. But it's the kind of place for fairly serious spending and it seems to me that first we need to get you fitted up with some casual basics and a better understanding of what will suit you before you go spending serious money.
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