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List of Bare Necessities - Page 3

post #31 of 153


FWIW, I am.
post #32 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbrown View Post

I like the idea of this thread. I think a lot of the dissent over things like a navy blazer comes from confusion over what you're trying to accomplish:
It sounds like what you're really trying to get it is something like "What should I tell my friend to buy if he suddenly decides he wants to 'dress better' and doesn't have much of a budget or sense of color/texture/pattern?" So your goal would not be to get him WAYWN props, but to give him a flexible wardrobe with a minimal number of items but maximal possible combinations, all while minimizing the risk of incoherent or disastrous combinations (i.e. assume he is going to randomly pick trousers, shirt and shoes every day, and will randomly choose to include or exclude a jacket and/or tie, also chosen at random). So he could almost literally put his outfit together blindfolded and be guaranteed to never look terrible. Does that sound about right?


Minus the budget constraint (and the sudden desire to "dress better") that sounds like my dad. This thread would actually be perfect for him (except that he's approaching retirement, works in the ever so fashionable field of astrophysics, and lacks a desire to dress better...though he did just move from LE shirts to BB). I still might copy and paste the original post for my mom to make another attempt at civilizing him.

post #33 of 153

"Bare Necessities" is dependent on one's lifestyle, so of course there is going to be debate. I've had to wear a suit perhaps three times in my life. I work in software at an office with casual dress (can wear shorts and tshirt if I want). I live out in the suburbs, attend perhaps one wedding every five years, etc. I personally have no need for a blazer and it would be a waste of money. But I'm sure my lifestyle is much different thant the OP.

post #34 of 153
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post

--Khaki cotton or grey wool pants = I recommend the grey pants, since they'd go better w/ black captoes than tan.
--Two white shirts -- I'd recommend one white spread collar and one solid blue oxford or checkered button down.
--Two ties -- I'd probably go with a solid navy or black black knit and one of another color, either burgundy, dk brown, or light blue in glen check, pin dot, or knit.
(A light blue knit tie goes great w/ a white shirt, navy sport coat, grey pants, and black shoes imo.)
This is what any guy would need to be well-dressed for weddings, funerals, dances, or interviews.
If he has to wear such stuff more often than these events, in the next year I'd get the khakis, a brown belt, brown loafers, a couple more ties, a couple more shirts (solid blue or white, and a blue checkered or striped, probably a university stripe ocbd), and another sport coat or suit, depending on what he would need most. If a suit, then whichever he didn't buy above. If a sport coat, then grey or brown herringbone tweed, brown or green corduroy or cotton twill. A sweater (lambswool v-neck or merino polo), a scarf, and a tan raincoat would be good too, assuming he lives in a place that gets cold.

This is all good. Shirt substitution is perfectly fine. Solid blue more unfuckupabble than the checkered, but most checkered or simple stripes are fine. Just no multi-colored stripe technicolor dreamshirts. No bright greens or whathaveyous. Basically nothing in this very limited wardrobe should stray from blue, tan, grey, and brown. Some yellow or red in the tie if you must, but that is all.

I also favor the grey pants over the chinos, but some guys think of wool as a huge burden on their souls and feel more comfortable in cotton.

For the ties, personally I don't like navy tie on navy jacket that much. But there are plenty of knits that would work perfectly well. Just not every guy is a "knit guy". I love them, but they're not for everyone. Pin dot tie to go with the suit instead of the ones I suggested is perfectly fine.

Back to the jacket - I still think navy blazer is the best recommendation in this situation. But there are plenty of other jackets, including brown tweeds or black and white herringbone tweeds, where if it were your only jacket, you could still be prepared for any event. Especially with a navy suit from which to rob the jacket when it's summer and you don't want to wear tweed.
post #35 of 153
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atoms View Post

"Bare Necessities" is dependent on one's lifestyle, so of course there is going to be debate. I've had to wear a suit perhaps three times in my life. I work in software at an office with casual dress (can wear shorts and tshirt if I want). I live out in the suburbs, attend perhaps one wedding every five years, etc. I personally have no need for a blazer and it would be a waste of money. But I'm sure my lifestyle is much different thant the OP.

But the idea is, you will need to wear a suit at some point - almost all men do - and you might not get much notice. Maybe a job opportunity that comes up quickly, you start dating someone and she wants to take you to a wedding, etc.. There are also situations that you don't think of as blazer situations now, but where it might be really nice, such as the ones I mentioned earlier. How often you use these bare necessities depend on your lifestyle, of course. But with high probability every guy will need something like these items at some point in their lives, or if not "need" then be in a situation where they are a great improvement over what would otherwise be worn.
post #36 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by atoms View Post

"Bare Necessities" is dependent on one's lifestyle, so of course there is going to be debate. I've had to wear a suit perhaps three times in my life. I work in software at an office with casual dress (can wear shorts and tshirt if I want). I live out in the suburbs, attend perhaps one wedding every five years, etc. I personally have no need for a blazer and it would be a waste of money. But I'm sure my lifestyle is much different thant the OP.

Perhaps you could elaborate on what you consider necessary then? I didn't think the OP's list contained anything crazy that a decently well dressed man wouldn't already own. Maybe you dress down a bit at work as you said, but what about when you go out at night? This list is a fair starting point IMHO.
post #37 of 153
emptym - i like your points very much, particularly the gray trouser substitution.
post #38 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by HughJ View Post


Perhaps you could elaborate on what you consider necessary then? I didn't think the OP's list contained anything crazy that a decently well dressed man wouldn't already own. Maybe you dress down a bit at work as you said, but what about when you go out at night? This list is a fair starting point IMHO.

I think the list is a good starting point, just adjust a thing or two as needed. I wasn't purposefully debating or disagreeing with it. I was just trying to provide an example of why consensus is not realistic. To be honest, I probably take words like "necessity" too literal.

post #39 of 153
Part of the debate on the navy SC can be simplified if we agree on whether the suit is an essential. If you remove the suit from the list of essentials, then the navy SC wins, because it can be brought up almost to a suit level - e.g. if combined with the black cap toes, the grey pants, white shirt, and the wedding tie (or a solid).
In fact, most people IRL don't even get the suit-coat distinction and upon seeing the above would simply say - "nice suit".

Of course, the navy blaer can be dressed way down per SF standards, but for the type of bloke that is the object of this thread most such applications would still fall in the "dressed up" category. Sure, there are blazers (e.g. unstructured cotton) that are inherently casual, but that's already advanced level of differentiation that does not apply in a 'bare essentials' situation.
So, if you do have the suit, then I can see how it becomes debatable if you really also need a blazer as a more casual dress. But if the suit us not a part of the equation, then beyond any reasonable doubt the navy blaz is an 'essential'.
post #40 of 153
I think most would agree one suit is essential.
post #41 of 153
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauss17 View Post

I think most would agree one suit is essential.

Absolutely. Gotta have one suit. For those that are saying beyond that, no odd jacket is required (not that the suit jacket can be worn as an odd jacket, but instead that if a suit is not required, then no jacket need be considered), what are you wearing in the following situations?

1) "business casual" networking event
2) weekend theater or opera performance
3) going out to dinner at a nice restaurant with someone you want to impress, or at least look nice for
4) a classy holiday or dinner party
5) graduations
6) (i'm not well versed in this since I'm not religious, but for those who are...) formal religious events for which a tie might be overkill

I'm sure there are others I'm not thinking of right now...for some of these a suit might be ok. for others a tie might be too much. and when there is no tie, a blazer is much better than a suit. For others, there will be people there in shirt sleeves, but they are decidedly poorly dressed.
post #42 of 153
unbel, my bro, i do agree with your end result, that a person should be equipped with both a suit and a SC. as there will surely be occasions where the majority of people will need one, and the other would not really be quite right. you have even given some good examples.

but for goodness sake man, please stop mentioning, going to the "weekend theater or opera performance."

almost no one does that anymore, besides harvey birdman. i certainly havent. nor do i plan on it. people go to the movies, and they wear jeans. and i dont think in this day and age, one even needs to dress up to see a broadway play, let alone off broadway.

when you use that example, it makes people think you are not in touch, and it dilutes and lessens the impact of your over-all point, which i think is good.

no haet, i still love you. smile.gif
post #43 of 153
Thread Starter 
Nobody goes to the theater or opera on the weekend? I've been and the seats weren't empty...I'm not saying everyone will face each one of these situations...I'm saying, there are situations that exist, that you could find yourself in (hot girl wants to go to the theater with you on Saturday...you're going to say no? Or you're going to wear a button down with no jacket like a chump?). I'm trying to enumerate as many as possible, so that people will see there is a decent change they will face one of them. As for people thinking I'm not "in touch", I'm not a politician and I'm not running for office so...fight[1].gif
post #44 of 153
Thread Starter 
In fact I'm going to the opera this Sunday so...I'll let you know how well turned out the crowd is!
post #45 of 153
you are merely seeing holograms in the seats to make you feel like you are not,

A.) a huge loser

B.) over 73 years old

C.) a woman

as to being out of touch, that was just a joak betwix friends. wink.gif

also, i need to add a serious point so my post is not deleted. see what i did there.

its likely the same people over and over again. a very small segment of society.
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