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Mistakes you made when updating your wardrobe

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 

Many of us have gone through a process where we came to start caring about clothes, shoes, and how we present ourselves. Usually, this process is filled with mistakes, poor clothing purchases, etc. I wanted to start a thread where people could talk about mistakes they made when updating their wardrobe or when they got interested in fashion. If anything, I wanted to create this thread for users to look back and see what we did wrong, and also to help new members of this forum.

 

 

So....

 

1. What are some mistakes you made when you were updating your look/wardrobe, or as you were getting into men's fashion?


Edited by amathew - 8/23/12 at 11:10pm
post #2 of 85
Biggest mistake I, and I'm sure many others here, made when first upgrading my wardrobe was buying too much too soon. I discovered SF and realized my clothes sucked, so I went on a shopping spree in the first 2 or 3 months buying all kinds of new trousers and shoes and ties and shirts and so on. That was just about 2 years ago, and guess what....I don't think I even own anything from that initial shopping spree phase anymore. Maybe I still have one or two ties and a few shirts, but all the shoes and trousers and everything else have either been resold (usually at a loss) or donated.

Based on my experiences, the best advice I can give to newcomers is to SLOW DOWN, don't buy something just because it's a good deal, and don't make any impulse purchases. First, concentrate on getting the basics (this Manton thread is a good place to start) before you go crazy buying everything in sight. Take some time, try a lot of different brands, find out what really works for your body type, and slowly cultivate your own personal style.

I wish I had taken the time to do all that when I first started really caring about my clothes and putting some serious thought into my wardrobe. I am just now getting to a point where I'm really comfortable in what I own, so be patient and let the transformation happen naturally.
post #3 of 85

Posting pictures of my outfits on styleforum.

post #4 of 85
Thread Starter 

I only started updating my wardrobe about 6 to 8 months ago after finished grad school and entering the real world. Needless to say, I have made numerous mistakes and most of them have been rather COSTLY. Live and learn I guess.

 

1. Trying to buy a new wardrobe in one sitting instead of learning about mens fashion and waiting for deals. When I initially got interested in clothes and shoes, it was a real high and I want to make some immediate changes to look and feel better. Unfortunately, this meant that I went out and purchased a slew of crap without thinking about brands, quality, proper fit, etc. I also ended up with a ton of garbage and had to sell or throw out because I just went out of a shopping binge without thinking about it.

 

2. Another mistake I made was not realizing that quality is greater than quantity. During my initial shopping spree, I went out and grabbed a bunch of shit from Banana Republic, GAP, etc, and I simply didn't care about construction, materials, etc. It took me a while to realize that it really is better to have 2 or 3 really quality sweaters than 10 average mall brand sweaters. 

 

3. All shoes are not made equal. Oh boy, I really didn't pay attention to shoes during my first attempt at updating my wardrobe. I had a few shoes and thought that was good enough, and even when I purchased shoes it was just cheap crap. But shoes really do make an outfit, and I'm slowly learning about stitching, leather, etc and how all that matters. Unfortunately, I have about 8 or so dress shoes and only 3 or so are really quality, so I'm still working on this part.

post #5 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beatlegeuse View Post

Biggest mistake I, and I'm sure many others here, made when first upgrading my wardrobe was buying too much too soon. I discovered SF and realized my clothes sucked, so I went on a shopping spree in the first 2 or 3 months buying all kinds of new trousers and shoes and ties and shirts and so on. That was just about 2 years ago, and guess what....I don't think I even own anything from that initial shopping spree phase anymore. Maybe I still have one or two ties and a few shirts, but all the shoes and trousers and everything else have either been resold (usually at a loss) or donated.
Based on my experiences, the best advice I can give to newcomers is to SLOW DOWN, don't buy something just because it's a good deal, and don't make any impulse purchases. First, concentrate on getting the basics (this Manton thread is a good place to start) before you go crazy buying everything in sight. Take some time, try a lot of different brands, find out what really works for your body type, and slowly cultivate your own personal style.
I wish I had taken the time to do all that when I first started really caring about my clothes and putting some serious thought into my wardrobe. I am just now getting to a point where I'm really comfortable in what I own, so be patient and let the transformation happen naturally.

 Yep rushing into buying clothes without thinking. Everything I buy is a dilemma. I always think about what I'm buying, does it fit my style, colours, what's the fit like, what's the cut like, does it complement my wardrobe, is it a heavy cloth for winter, what kind of imagine am I going for etc.

post #6 of 85
Leaving specific purchases aside; at one point, my wardrobe was very imbalanced - I had more odd-jackets than odd-trousers. I did get more trousers, but still feel that I need/want more trousers.

I do think the clothing industry (fashion and tailoring) and customers, underestimate the role of trousers.
post #7 of 85
too impulsive
post #8 of 85

As someone who is currently going through this process (having so far only bought a suit from Rick's Kansas City, a pair of AE black captoes, and a couple of staple ties), I'm curious to know if anyone has had success building their wardrobe from scratch (or near scratch) through consignment stores.  There's one near me that has styleforum-approved brands.  Prices for quality sport coats (such as Canali), for example, are around $250 to 500.  Condition is on average very good.

 

Based on my budget, my alternative is buying lower quality stuff at Macy's or buying on-line.

post #9 of 85
+1 to all the people saying buying too much stuff too soon.

aw - on the question of buying from consignment stores, I think the main problem is that you can easily end up with a lot of kind of specialty items. In my experience it's harder to find staples at these places. If you're really patient and know how to identify quality stuff, then you can build a successful wardrobe from consignment stores. But if you're not careful, you'll end up with a bunch of stuff that doesn't fit well, a lot of aggressively striped shirts, suit jackets without the accompanying pants, and a few ties in obnoxious patterns.

If you're really starting from scratch and have nothing to wear, my advice would be - if you don't have access to the stores themselves in your area - buy some stuff from online stores that have free shipping both ways and see if you can find a store whose stuff fits you well. Prioritize fit over construction quality. A fused jacket that fits you well is better than a half-canvassed jacket that doesn't. Once you find a jacket that fits you well, you can get some basics - a navy and a brown sportcoat, a navy suit if you require suits, and then bide your time combing through the consignment and thrift stores, or eBay if you want to roll the dice on something fitting you there.
post #10 of 85
Shirts were the biggest thing for me. Way too many sport shirts, and heavy fabrics like flannel. If I had to do it over again, just about all of them would be oxfords, or similar more casual dress shirts. Plain white, plain blue, university stripes, and a check or two. I don't really need heavy shirts often, since I'm pretty much always going to be wearing a sweater or jacket in cool weather anyway.
post #11 of 85

I still buy a lot of low quality items because I'm still losing weight and well, I need to dress... lol8[1].gif but I have just started to slowly spend more money on items that won't change sizes, such as ties, pocket squares, socks, shoes...

 

I used to buy lots of low quality items of such things too, and that was indeed a big, big mistake. Probably the biggest mistake a clothes enthusiast can make. Be patient...

post #12 of 85
I just started this journey at the end of May and took off down the "too much" road that you guys mention, but I think I've arrested myself before making too big of an investment. My first step was to go out and buy a Baroni suit and then a linen "suit" from Macy's for the summer. I now realize that the linen one has much too narrow lapels and the jacket isn't something I'm likely to wear, but it was on deep sale. Plus I was able to get my money back on the Baroni once I learned how to determine suit construction for myself and discovered it was a half-canvas and not full. (I still consider it a decent deal for a new suit, but not what I was looking for.)

I think the biggest boon for me has been thrifting. I bought too many shirts while learning what to look for, but at $2.50 to $5 apiece, so what? I can buy 10 wrong thrifted shirts and spend less than one wrong new one. Plus I just found a replacement suit of much higher quality at Goodwill, and after tailoring, it will still be less than half the cost of the new one I returned.

I think it's hard to wait, even if that's the smart thing to do. Actually owning and experiencing the items helped me learn why one is better than another. By thrifting, I exposed myself to a wide variety of quality in materials and construction, even just by browsing. And by buying several items, I was able upgrade for cheap "right now". If (when?) I discover something isn't really what I wanted, I can redonate it knowing that my original purchase was minimal and helped out a charity—or if it's the right name, I can sell it on eBay with minimal loss (or even profit).
post #13 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RDiaz View Post

I still buy a lot of low quality items because I'm still losing weight and well, I need to dress... lol8[1].gif but I have just started to slowly spend more money on items that won't change sizes, such as ties, pocket squares, socks, shoes...

 

I used to buy lots of low quality items of such things too, and that was indeed a big, big mistake. Probably the biggest mistake a clothes enthusiast can make. Be patient...

 

Congrats on the weight loss.

 

That was one of the main reason why I even started getting into mens fashion. I went from 200 to 160 pounds and needed to buy new clothes. Oddly, I still want to drop another 10 pounds and hope that everything I currently is fine.

post #14 of 85
I wrote my post before I saw yours, aw. I agree with unbelragazzo: it can be tricky, as there is a lot to learn. The suit I picked up was a solid navy, and it was the first I found anywhere close to my size since I've started thrifting. You'd think a staple like that would be more common, but that hasn't been my experience. I'd read through the thrifting thread, as you can learn a lot from what others pick up and their experiences.

The tradeoff you make for the cheaper prices is the lack of choice. It can be a real time investment. But hey, since I don't have a time pressure to fill my wardrobe and on a fixed income, for me the $20 price tag for a suit or pair of shoes is worth the extra effort.
post #15 of 85
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

The best thing I have learned so far is fit, fit, fit.
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