Seventeen year old starting from scratch.
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A school uniform is a school uniform. Have that fitting nicely. But as for casual clothes I would be considering more along the lines of dark jeans, polos, untucked casual shirts, etc. No sport coats or tucked in shirts. Chinos perhaps, but no wool pants.
Hey buddy welcome to SF...first of all I think your sleeve measurement is likely to be off, or you are measuring it in a way I am not familiar with. For your proportions it seems several inches too long (coming from an off the rack shirt measurement). Also, I cannot speak for you, but personally, wearing sport coats casually in my circle of friends is completely unheard of. I'm a 20 year old university student.
I've measure my sleeve length again and came up with 33''. I don't think I would be wearing sports coats casually either.
Also I hadn't thought of polos .
It is still probably wrong. 33 inches is pituitary giant territory. I am 6 foot 1 inch and my standard suit sleeve length is 24.75 inches.
The standard way I have always seen is measure is from the shoulder seam to the cuff.
Today was my ''first'' excursion into town to look at clothes. I tried on some straight cut jeans and found a huge difference between them and the boot cut jeans I was wearing. I've seen a few recommendations that say dark blue. Do they mean like this: http://www.gigisburrowbeds.com/files/2151075/product/C_%20DenimDarkBlue.jpg ? The pairs I've seen were darker, almost black. It's only really in natural light you really begin to see the blue on them. Would a pair like that (darker) be good, because they're the only ones I saw. Or would I be better off to hold out on a bluer pair?
I didn't get to try on suits (I have no experience whatsoever in this area though. I don't know if this is what you do with suits.) but I looked at shirts in the store. The brands they had were Thomas Nash, Jeff Banks and Red Herring. I only stayed around a department store because I wanted to take my time and... it was RAINING!
When I do find a suit, or at least a trousers and shirt, I will have to get them tailored. correct? What kind of process is this? And if I ever need anything else tailored again do I return to the same tailor?
I didn't get to look at boots of any kind or any outerwear. I'm disappointed by this because I know this stuff is priority. I know that I need some sort of sturdy footwear. Both a casual pair and a dressier pair. Casual I should be okay with, but I have no idea where to go when it comes to dress boot. I will keep looking for more info in this area. I am sure there are guides around the internet.
Rather than the specifics, I'll suggest two pieces of advice that I wish I had been given long ago.
1. Don't think of buying a jacket, or a tie, or a pair of shoes, or a shirt, or anything, without thinking of how it will fit in an ensemble with clothes you already own, or plan to buy soon. I've bought way too many ties and shirts that just didn't go with anything. Think in terms of combinations, and if you're just starting, try to think of multiple combinations. For instance, when you shop for shoes, think of how they will go with several different pairs of pants that you already own, or are currently shopping for. If you follow this suggestions, you'll minimize the number of very nice clothes that sit in your closet and never get worn.
2. This one may be hard for a seventeen-year-old man to take, and you many definitely disagree, but a good percentage of what you buy should be "classic style" rather than current fashion. What all your friends are wearing may have to be replaced in a few years because it may look very dated. So consider classic looks. I wouldn't expect most seventeen-year-olds to stick strictly to classic looks, and you and your friends might be trying to avoid a "dad" look or even a "grandad" look. But looking and dressing like a sharp-dressed adult can have its benefits, in impressing employers, and women, for instance, and you should definitely consider devoting at least some of your wardrobe to timeless gentlemen's style. It's never to early to learn to be a full-fledged grownup, as long as you remember to enjoy being a teenager as much as possible.
And a bonus third recommendation (for you and anyone else of any age).
3. Your friend, both male and female, can be great sources of advice about what looks good. So can online forums. But regardless of what anyone says, you have to be confident that you like the look. If all your friends and everyone on StyleForum says an outfit looks great, and you don't really like it, then don't wear it. Don't buy it. Conversely, if everyone says it looks bad, but you really like it and think it looks great, then wear it unapologetically and with confidence. You may make some mistakes you'll regret later, but more likely, you'll just chuckle about it later and be wiser.
You can, and will, dress to look good to your friends, your parents, members of the opposite sex (and/or same sex, if you prefer), their parents, your employers, your customers, your teachers, your colleagues, random people on the street. But always dress to look good to yourself, and be proud and confident in whatever you wear.
Edited by Cause Moe - 8/17/12 at 11:58am
When you find a tailor that 1) you like, and 2) does a good job, use that tailor permanently. You may have to shop around a bit, but I'd suggest that you steer clear of dry cleaners that do tailoring on the side. When you buy clothes from a men's clothing store, ask them to recommend a tailor; that would be a good way to find prospects. Sometimes its good to have the store's preferred tailor do the work, especially when it's included in the purchase price (which is often the case), but once you find a good tailor, don't hesitate to bring it to him and pay his fee rather than take the store freebie. A good tailor is a good invesment. Think of a long term relationship. As you already know, a good fit is very important.
I bring almost everything to my tailor, even if it may not need any alterations. He gives me good advice and a second opinion, and if I decide that it's OK as is, the advice is free.
Nahh, he should wear what he wants. I say this as somebody only slightly older, but screw it. There's a chance he & I may both regret wearing what we're wearing now, but if he wants to dress a certain way, then he should do that.
That being said, OP, do check out other looks, and don't get too married to any one way of dressing unless you're totally sure about it.