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2011 Clothing Insights / 2012 Clothing Plans - Page 6

post #76 of 91
My insight for 2011 is really more of a conundrum that struck me when I was in American Tailors (http://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/fashion/directory/shop/american-tailors) a few days after Christmas talking with one of the older Italian guys who run the store. This fellow is a Sicilian in his 50s, about 5' 10" in reasonable shape with white/grey hair. He was wearing an white Astor shirt, a pair of beautiful, light, slim flat-fronted navy wool pants without belt-loops, and a pair of Crockett and Jones brown loafers. He wasn't wearing any jewellry or a belt. He also wears these really nice brown, Michael Caine style glasses. He looked fantastic. Everything was completely restrained and perfectly cut with nothing superfluous or out of place. It was as Beau Brummel would dress for the modern age.

Most people who aren't into men's clothing of a particular type would walk past this lovely fellow Anthony on the street without regarding him as being super-stylish or really notice what he was wearing. His was a connoisseur's style perfectly executed, an ensemble whose elements had been stripped back to the barest of essentials. I can't really think of anyone I have seen look so stylish for a long time. These sorts of beautifully dressed older fellows aren't uncommon in Italy, but they really are in Australia.

When I peruse the photos on this website, I often feel that the style is a bit forced and overdone. An outfit will involve monk-straps, plus a pocket square, plus a scarf, a dozen different contrasting textures/layers/clothes...........plus a monocle.........It's not that it doesn't look good, frequently it looks really fantastic, but it seems more fashion than style. It advertises that the person who wears it has put their outfit together with a tremendous amount of care and premeditation, redolet lucernum, so to speak.

My insight for 2011 is that provided the cut and quality of what remains is impeccable and of the highest order, then style is much more a matter of stripping away than adding. An outfit should not look stylish, simply plain, to the uninitiated. Once that has been achieved, then a single perfectly chosen accessory can simply add a master-stroke that elevates a structurely sound outfit to a nirvana-like quality. However, to achieve this requires a level of care and, unfortuantely, expense, in selecting the constituent parts that is hard to master. In particular, I think it involves actually handling clothes and materials before you buy them.

My aim for the following year is to tackle clothing as a series of zen koans in which I try and achieve a perfectly balanced combination whose watch-word is absolute restraint and simplicity. This is actually my coming aim for the year more generally - to strip back and simplify my life as a precondition for greater elegance - what I eat, how I exercise, how I spend my time, who I spend it with.

My conundrum is that many of the styles I favour are incompatible with this stripped-back style. I really love three piece suits with a lapelled waistcoat. Equally, I love double breasted suits and enjoy a MTM relationship with Polo Ralph Lauren 40 L - I think my doppleganer is their house model. I love tweed. I hope to spend the rest of year working out how to resolve this tension. I'm not sure that its possible and this may be the beginning of a gradual revolution across my entire wardrobe.

My other resolution for 2012 is more a product of circumstance. My girl-friend and I are about to go to Paris for three months to study French, with a month or two tacked on either end in Japan/Spain and afterwards driving around Fnrace for a month then Corsica/Sardinia/Sicily/Rome/Croatia/Portugal. My resolution is to travel like it was 1954 - a suit, a tie, proper shoes when it is cold - a pair of tailored shorts, a shirt and loafers when it is hot - not in affected way, but simply to raise a huge middle-finger to the t-shirt and tracksuit crowd who make up 95% of people you see in airports. This is something I have been moving towards for a few years now.

More general insights/resolutions/hopes are:

Beautiful cashmere sweaters can look much better and less contrived than a blazer/sportscoat.

The contemporary obsession with short-jackets is well overdue for extirpation - a bonfire of the vanities should be held when sanity returns and the classic curl-the-fingers length make a bloody, vengeful return. As do slim ties/lapels.

Wearing proper Derek Rose slippers, dressing gown, pyjama bottoms around the house (especially when no-one else is around) is a grander statement of aesthetic commitment than anything worn in public.

White and light blue are the only permissible shirt colours.

Jeans need to return to a marginal form of workwear.

2500 years later the Riace bronezs are still the ideal to which all male exercise should aim. More boxing, running and good eating. The foundation for any good outfit is the physique. MTM and bespoke are less important than actually looking good when those clothes come off.
post #77 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clovis Sangrail View Post

My other resolution for 2012 is more a product of circumstance. My girl-friend and I are about to go to Paris for three months to study French, with a month or two tacked on either end in Japan/Spain and afterwards driving around Fnrace for a month then Corsica/Sardinia/Sicily/Rome/Croatia/Portugal. My resolution is to travel like it was 1954 - a suit, a tie, proper shoes when it is cold - a pair of tailored shorts, a shirt and loafers when it is hot - not in affected way, but simply to raise a huge middle-finger to the t-shirt and tracksuit crowd who make up 95% of people you see in airports. This is something I have been moving towards for a few years now.

Should you need a personal valet, feel free to PM, my rates are reasonable.
post #78 of 91
another plan for 2012 is to get some bespoke shirts. maybe ascot chang.
post #79 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clovis Sangrail View Post


My insight for 2011 is that provided the cut and quality of what remains is impeccable and of the highest order, then style is much more a matter of stripping away than adding. An outfit should not look stylish, simply plain, to the uninitiated. Once that has been achieved, then a single perfectly chosen accessory can simply add a master-stroke that elevates a structurely sound outfit to a nirvana-like quality. ....
.... This is actually my coming aim for the year more generally - to strip back and simplify my life as a precondition for greater elegance - what I eat, how I exercise, how I spend my time, who I spend it with.
I can identify with a lot of what you've posted. Good luck to you in your quest for 2012.
post #80 of 91
2012 plan (so far smile.gif):

- A pair of raw denim to wear to office
- Alden shell #8
- Barbour Bedale
- MTM Samuelsohn
post #81 of 91

2011: 

-Begun to realize how crappy my wardrobe was

-Started reading SF

 

2012:

-Swap out ill fitting clothing

-Buy a nice pair of dress shoes

-Upgrade my basics and build up a good set up staples to wear

-Learn about fit, quality, brands, etc.

 

post #82 of 91
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clovis Sangrail View Post

My insight for 2011 is really more of a conundrum that struck me when I was in American Tailors (http://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/fashion/directory/shop/american-tailors) a few days after Christmas talking with one of the older Italian guys who run the store. This fellow is a Sicilian in his 50s, about 5' 10" in reasonable shape with white/grey hair. He was wearing an white Astor shirt, a pair of beautiful, light, slim flat-fronted navy wool pants without belt-loops, and a pair of Crockett and Jones brown loafers. He wasn't wearing any jewellry or a belt. He also wears these really nice brown, Michael Caine style glasses. He looked fantastic. Everything was completely restrained and perfectly cut with nothing superfluous or out of place. It was as Beau Brummel would dress for the modern age.
Most people who aren't into men's clothing of a particular type would walk past this lovely fellow Anthony on the street without regarding him as being super-stylish or really notice what he was wearing. His was a connoisseur's style perfectly executed, an ensemble whose elements had been stripped back to the barest of essentials. I can't really think of anyone I have seen look so stylish for a long time. These sorts of beautifully dressed older fellows aren't uncommon in Italy, but they really are in Australia.
When I peruse the photos on this website, I often feel that the style is a bit forced and overdone. An outfit will involve monk-straps, plus a pocket square, plus a scarf, a dozen different contrasting textures/layers/clothes...........plus a monocle.........It's not that it doesn't look good, frequently it looks really fantastic, but it seems more fashion than style. It advertises that the person who wears it has put their outfit together with a tremendous amount of care and premeditation, redolet lucernum, so to speak.
My insight for 2011 is that provided the cut and quality of what remains is impeccable and of the highest order, then style is much more a matter of stripping away than adding. An outfit should not look stylish, simply plain, to the uninitiated. Once that has been achieved, then a single perfectly chosen accessory can simply add a master-stroke that elevates a structurely sound outfit to a nirvana-like quality. However, to achieve this requires a level of care and, unfortuantely, expense, in selecting the constituent parts that is hard to master. In particular, I think it involves actually handling clothes and materials before you buy them.
My aim for the following year is to tackle clothing as a series of zen koans in which I try and achieve a perfectly balanced combination whose watch-word is absolute restraint and simplicity. This is actually my coming aim for the year more generally - to strip back and simplify my life as a precondition for greater elegance - what I eat, how I exercise, how I spend my time, who I spend it with.
My conundrum is that many of the styles I favour are incompatible with this stripped-back style. I really love three piece suits with a lapelled waistcoat. Equally, I love double breasted suits and enjoy a MTM relationship with Polo Ralph Lauren 40 L - I think my doppleganer is their house model. I love tweed. I hope to spend the rest of year working out how to resolve this tension. I'm not sure that its possible and this may be the beginning of a gradual revolution across my entire wardrobe.
My other resolution for 2012 is more a product of circumstance. My girl-friend and I are about to go to Paris for three months to study French, with a month or two tacked on either end in Japan/Spain and afterwards driving around Fnrace for a month then Corsica/Sardinia/Sicily/Rome/Croatia/Portugal. My resolution is to travel like it was 1954 - a suit, a tie, proper shoes when it is cold - a pair of tailored shorts, a shirt and loafers when it is hot - not in affected way, but simply to raise a huge middle-finger to the t-shirt and tracksuit crowd who make up 95% of people you see in airports. This is something I have been moving towards for a few years now.
More general insights/resolutions/hopes are:
Beautiful cashmere sweaters can look much better and less contrived than a blazer/sportscoat.
The contemporary obsession with short-jackets is well overdue for extirpation - a bonfire of the vanities should be held when sanity returns and the classic curl-the-fingers length make a bloody, vengeful return. As do slim ties/lapels.
Wearing proper Derek Rose slippers, dressing gown, pyjama bottoms around the house (especially when no-one else is around) is a grander statement of aesthetic commitment than anything worn in public.
White and light blue are the only permissible shirt colours.
Jeans need to return to a marginal form of workwear.
2500 years later the Riace bronezs are still the ideal to which all male exercise should aim. More boxing, running and good eating. The foundation for any good outfit is the physique. MTM and bespoke are less important than actually looking good when those clothes come off.

This is awesome. Agree 100%. You're a Melbournite? Do you ever post in the Australian Members thread?
post #83 of 91
2011:

-I finally realized how sloppy I looked wearing t-shirts and jeans.
-Started reading SF and began to learn the basics.
-Bought my first "nice" suit and finally got 2 sport coats.
-Learned that wearing square toed shoes was one of my worst sins and finally bought my first pair of Allen Edmonds (walnut strands).
-Finally moved on to ties made of something other than silk.
-Put in an order for a navy suit.


2012:

-Try to learn about jeans
-Get a light grey suit.
-Suede cap toes
-Build up my very small tie collection
post #84 of 91

As a college student I don't need to dress up. I don't need 6 pairs of slacks. I don't need 4 pairs of dress shoes. I like wearing better clothing, but I have no time period in which I need to replace or buy shit. This means that I can fill my closet slowly, with quality, well fit pieces. If shirts don't fit, send them back. I have one spare, and don't need more than that for now. 

 

Essentially, my clothing goal boils down to starting anew. Throw out all the shit, replace it slowly. With good stuff. And once I get 2-3 of each article, stop. I don't need more than 3 of anything right now, and if I stop buying at 2-3, I can wait, see how I like it, and continue from there rather than spending a lot on stuff I don't end up enjoying. 

 

2011- I learned why dressing well is important, and how badly I'd been executing. 

2012- throw out everything. Start anew. Get 2-3 of everything, stop and wear it. 

post #85 of 91

2011 lessons were mostly about fit:

- I really have a true 36 chest, not a 37 so I can't ever get away with buying 38, however cheap, and hoping it will look okay - it won't. 

- I really am Small, so I can never get away with buying R, etc. etc. 

- Oh, and don't try to be funny in SW&D. 

 

2012 plans:

- Don't buy (m)any more shoes, I have (almost) exhausted my wife's patience on this matter.

- Save for very particular pieces that I want that fit perfectly, don't just go for things that are 'near enough'. 

- Save for a bespoke suit or two.

 

post #86 of 91
My first full year in the pursuit of sartorial enlightenment. I still have a long way to go, though.

2011 Clothing Insights
- 3 SF-Approved pairs of shoes (2 x AE, 1 x Church's)
- Trying to hone the (near) perfect MTM shirt fit via MT .. 3 attempts so far, getting closer but I still feel I'll need another 1-2 shirts to get it right
- Removal of as many non-natural fibres from my wardrobe as possible
- Almost complete renewal in my tie rotation, along with a general increase in tie numbers. Purge of particularly vulgar ties and/or those of non-natural fibres.
- Kept a log of shirt/tie/suit combinations to make notes of my favourites
- My first 2 proper pocket squares!
- Developed an excellent relationship with a good tailor
- Discovered the joy of B&S in the acquisition of some proper suits for not a lot of money
- I also appear to have lost about 20lbs. (was 44L, now 42L).

2012 Clothing Plans
- Nail my perfect MT measurements. Actually, just get to learn my fit better in general.
- Grow my collection of staple shirts (may have to go RTW for these)
- Grow my collection of staple ties (grenadine, wool knit, repp stripe, plain etc)
- Grow my collection of pocket squares
- I need at least 2 sweaters and/or vests.
- Replace at least 2 suits I've lost too much weight for, probably with staples from B&S and in better brands than those I am replacing
- At least 1 new pair of SF-approved shoes. Am tossing up between a pair of dark brown shoes (probably AE Fifth Avenues) or a pair of black ones (i'm really liking the look of Church's Westbury).
post #87 of 91
Flannel suit in navy houndstooth
Flannel suit in gray (plain or white overcheck)
Donegal sportcoat
Camel overcoat
Cream silk dinner shirt
1,000 chambray dress shirts in cream, pink, lavender and light blue
post #88 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by whnay. View Post

Flannel suit in navy houndstooth
Flannel suit in gray (plain or white overcheck)
Donegal sportcoat
Camel overcoat
Cream silk dinner shirt
1,000 chambray dress shirts in cream, pink, lavender and light blue

Why not make it 1,001?
post #89 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

Why not make it 1,001?

More is definitely better. The chambray from Will at ASW is fantastic.

Plans for this year:
2-3 pairs of shoes
new briefcase/messenger bag
more custom shirts
try bespoke trousers
save for another watch
post #90 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

Since we seem to be converging on this thread now, I'll copy over from the other one:
2011 insights (far too many to mention, as I finished grad school in the spring, joined SF at the beginning of the summer, started work and dressing like an adult in the fall, but I will try to hit the highlights):
- If you can wear a tie and pocket square and look at ease with yourself and relaxed at the same time, you have entered the domain of elegance
- To be stylish, you must be comfortable.
- High quality footwear is a beautiful thing. Shining, polishing, and conditioning these items is an intense pleasure for those indoctrinated into the fetishism of shoes. With this care, the beloved shoes will look better and better over time.
- Texture is every bit as important as color and pattern in putting together a refined fit.
- I shouldn't wear black, especially during the daytime.
- The fit on most of my pants could be greatly improved.
- There are many jacket cuts. Some will never fit no matter what size you try or how much you spend on alterations.
- There are no items, rules, or stores that are stylish. Only individuals can be stylish.
2012 Plans:
- Somewhat inspired by an earlier SF thread, commission a velvet blazer for evenings out (currently thinking a deep blue, peak lapels)
- Nail a trouser fit and start rebuilding trouser collection from there
- Evening footwear (currently I mostly wear some zipup boots when black shoes are called for in the evening...I'm thinking of going to either G&G Kent or splurging for stingray wholecuts)
- Mid-grey flannel suit
- Continue reading books, blogs, and fora to learn more. Particularly about fabrics.
- Continue posting to my Tumblr, mostly as record-keeping for myself so I can go back and look at progress
- Sell old items that I've realized don't work for me
- Find more occasions to wear suits and ties
- (more minor projects: add one or two sweaters and/or sweatervests, continue growing sock collection, continue adding shirts with rougher weaves and tattersalls to complement my mostly fairly tweedy, textured SC collection)

How did everyone do? I still haven't quite nailed trouser fit, and will be likely be doing another round of closet cleaning soon, but I think I've made good progress on all of these, as well as gone off on many other tangents of course.
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