Mistakes you made when updating your wardrobe - Page 4
I always use a quote (can't remember the source) that Bill cited when discussing how his pants were hemmed: "I want the bottom of my pants to shiver at the top of my shoe." Somehow my tailor always knows exactly what I mean when I say this. No real break, clean lines, and just a hair of extra length that hits the top of the shoe.
I have to try this because I always end up with too much break.
Also, don't get sucked into deals. It's pretty rare to find a great deal on a staple suit. Suck it up and buy what you really want, not was is so-so but on sale. Wearing something you love for years is a lot more satisfying than wearing something you don't like a few seasons.
...btw, thread sounds like an SFAnonymous members gathering....carry on gents!
OP here and I wanted to revive this thread and post an update.
I joined SF in late 2011 and after a year of being "interested" in men's fashion, I was looking around my closet yesterday and realized that I totally need to rehaul the whole thing. My closet it full of dress shirts from N.Rack that don't fit me (these were early purchases when I was 50 pounds heavier), a poor shoe rotation, no blazer, etc. So where did I screw up.
1. Trying to save money by not buying "SF-approved" brands. I was so giddy about improving my wardrobe that I tried to make changes really quick and often just bought crap just for the sake of it. I should have stuck to SF-approved brands + high end brands like Hermes, MMM, etc. Plus, I should have been careful when checking out "newer" brands, I've been burned a few times there.
2. Don't make purchases while losing weight. This should be obvious.
I figure I've only "thrown away" $1,500 during that first cycle of getting into fashion, but now I am going to take my time, research stuff, and create a separate bank account which is just for fashion purchases. I'm thinking I'll only make one or two purchases a month and just slowly improve my wardrobe until it's actually good, even if that takes two or three years (which is probably will). Thankfully, the one area where I'm actually fine is chinos (thanks Epaulet!) and I do have some decent dress shirts via Charles Tyrwhitt and BB.
My first purchase w/ this new strategy is going to be a nice pair of Carmina dress shoes next month after I slowly save. No more impulse buys.
Round 2, here we go.
I'm only just getting into more formal attire, but have bought high-end clothing for several years in the more casual department.
Something I learned with regard to heavy discounts is this:
Browse the websites as the items are released throughout the season, noting what you like when it is not discounted. Buy any items you want immediately, irrespective of price - and place the rest on a 'wishlist' in excel.
Come the sale season, look through that list and buy what is on there.
Only once you have bought what you really initially wanted, should you consider blowing $100 on a 60% off RLPL, which you overlooked on first glance at the beginning of the season and are now considering because it's "cheap."
I would add two more thoughts:
1. Be prepared to pay more. I know a girl who works in J Crew and was always badgering me to buy stuff from her store and she would give me a discount. I never saw anything in there I liked, then one day saw a nice repp striped tie. With her discount I think it came to about $45 and I was shocked, as I had never paid more than about $20 for a silk tie and thought anything more was a sheer rip off. Slowly I realised the difference in quality between a cheap (even if it's silk) tie and say a Hober. I have enough ties now but don't blink if I have to pay David the neck end of $100 for one of his. Similarly I was a bargain hunter on ebay and with the help of my tailor 's skills I still stand by some of my purchases, but I recently tried on an OTR sports jacket from a more exclusive higher end brand that will cost about $700, which aint cheap by any standards, but the moment I slipped it on I could tell the fit, fabric and quality were streets ahead of most of my cheaper 'bargain' buys. There are bargains to be had out there, on band s and ebay, but the real bargains are few and far between and unless you are like Orge the King of Thrifters, upping your wardrobe is commensurate with upping your wardrobe budget!
2. Styleforum photos can be a good insight into helping judge what works and what doesn't work for you, but don't get too sucked into the cult. There are some people who post pictures frequently (even daily) and seem to get universal praise, when to me they look like a car crash more often than not. Just because some people get daily praise from the same ten or twenty sycophantic strangers on the internet doesn't mean that they won't get laughed off the street in real life. Decide what YOu think looks good, regardless of the praise/flaming it may receive on here, then ask yourself WHY you think it looks good, then ask yourself if you have a similar size, shape, age, context etc. as the person in the pic to help you decide if it's a look you want to emulate. You've got to be discerning. There are a few people here who look great in almost all of their pics, but I struggle to think of a single item of theirs that I would want to own and wear. There may be many rules, real or imagined, to guide you in your quest but there are very few, if any, items that can be considered to look universally 'good' on everyone.
2. Styleforum photos can be a good insight into helping judge what works and what doesn't work for you, but don't get too sucked into the cult. There are some people who post pictures frequently (even daily) and seem to get universal praise, when to me they look like a car crash more often than not. .
1. Quality over Quanity.
2. When I first started wearing suits for work (last 12 months), I got advice from the guy who looks sharp at work. I went to Mens Wearhouse and got ripped off, then I saw some great deals at Macys and thought I should buy some suits there. Since then I've purchased a few quality good fitting suits and they are the ones I wear most. The cheaper suits hardly make it into the rotation and they just feel cheap when I wear them. Lost a ton of money.
3. Too much too fast was another great one previously said.
4. Taking time to read and learn what shoes, or what colors go best together, and when to wear what. It makes things so much easier when you know how it's supposed to be worn vs. having a "sense of style" and thinking your doing it right.
If I would read a little bit, and taken my time I would've saved ALOT of money.
Excellent thread and lots of good stuff to bear in mind while thinking of purchasing new clothes.
I've been stuck on clothing in the colour black for way too long. When I was in Shanghai and had some clothes MTM (suit + 2 jackets) I bought a black trenchcoat instead of navy which is a more versatile colour. I've also bought a PRL black cardigan at full retail (in Norway that's quite a lot of money...) when I really should have gone for another colour.
I'm very happy with a grey overcoat and two suits (navy and mid-grey) they made for me there. The quality might not be great but I paid about 200 USD for each suit so at that price point I think they were a good purchase. I've had the two suits since spring 2009 and they still look nice and fit well, so I'm quite content with that even though quality might be so-so.
Shoes; I bought two pairs of Lacoste trainers for like 200 dollars per pair of shoes. They looked terrible (I didn't think so at the time) and almost fell apart about 6-8 months after purchase. But since I discovered a norwegian forum that also has a menswear-section I've learned a lot and try to focus on quality shoes that are not from a fashion brand like Lacoste. (their polos are decent though)
I do regret a purchase of black corrected grain chelsea boots. The colour is not very versatile and corrected grain (at least this pair) is terrible quality and I hardly ever wear them. So my advice; steer away from corrected grain shoes and mixed formal level in shoes. Black is a more formal colour than brown and chelsea boots are afaik a more casual type of shoes. That was something I didn't know when I purchased them.
Shirts: As of 2013 I think I have a decent light blue shirt that I use for suits and two PRL OCBDs and one PRL gingham BD that are acceptable, but not excellent, in fit and quality. Even here the shirt sleeves are somewhat too short.
That's a total of four shirts but I own about 12 shirts. The rest (8) are purchased at H&M and various stores that sell shirts at a lower price. They are way too slim, the quality is poor and shirt sleeves are way too short. For the price of the 8 shirts I could have purchased 4 PRL shirts that fit me better and that are better quality. I will try out Luxire for shirts in the near future and I'm looking forward to checking out the quality of their shirts and eventually dialing in the perfect fit.
So the most important things I've learned is this; Purchase quality clothes instead of more and lesser quality ones and stay clear of shoes in corrected grain. In addition, don't go too slim!
(from a SF thread I've read there are variations in quality of corrected grain as well, but in the lower price point I think it's a valid "rule")
And also; what works for some members might not work for you. I think that's an excellent advice as I could never pull off wearing the stuff as f. example Spoo wears. I love it, but it's not really me...
I think I'm on the "right" path now and having recently started to use Styleforum extensively I feel that I'm on my way to a better wardrobe.
(Pardon the "wall of text", I got a bit carried away here)
if you are buying your suits at macys, you likely aren't getting quality.
This is a good one--I'm sure many of us did this same thing. I know I did.