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Advice for a Young Guy

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I'm 18 and try my best to always dress with confidence and keep things simple.  I read GQ pretty regularly (not that that means I'm an expert or anything) and own a few style manuals.  Keeping up on trends is pretty easy with the internet, but I can't always follow them since I have extremely limited funds.  I guess what I'm asking is, could anyone point me in the direction of places where I can get great menswear inexpensively?  Also, are there any good pieces of literature I can read to broaden my knowledge of style and the like?  Any feedback/advice is greatly appreciated.  

post #2 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aegean View Post

I read GQ pretty regularly

 

Yup. There's your problem.

 

post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aegean View Post

I'm 18 and try my best to always dress with confidence and keep things simple.  I read GQ pretty regularly (not that that means I'm an expert or anything) and own a few style manuals.  Keeping up on trends is pretty easy with the internet, but I can't always follow them since I have extremely limited funds.  I guess what I'm asking is, could anyone point me in the direction of places where I can get great menswear inexpensively?  Also, are there any good pieces of literature I can read to broaden my knowledge of style and the like?  Any feedback/advice is greatly appreciated.  


All of your questions can be answered by spending some here: http://www.tweedinthecity.com/
post #4 of 29
Start with Flussner's Dressing the Man, Roetzel's The Gentleman's Guide to Grooming and Style, Crompton's Le Snob's Guide to Tailoring or Manton's A Machiavellian Guide to Men's Style.

I'd recommend the first two because they're more pictorial, and more ideal for somebody at your stage.

I've no idea what inexpensive means for you, but check out classic stuff like Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren Rugby (with a modern twist), Ralph Lauren, LL Bean, J Crew (maybe), Gant, J Press. The first four are reasonably priced during sales.

One word of advice -- less is more. So make wise choices and invest in a few good staples instead of buying a whole lot of cheap trendy stuff.

And since I'm in a particularly generous mood -- people on here will tell you a blue shirt (and not a white one) is most versatile. My second tip is debatable -- but get a good pair of dark brown shoes. Why? So you can wear them to interviews, and also on weekends.
Edited by bboysdontcryy - 2/11/13 at 10:35am
post #5 of 29
Oh last thing -- don't let clothing distract you from your studies. Lol
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caustic Man View Post

 

Yup. There's your problem.

 

What do you suggest then?

post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bboysdontcryy View Post

Oh last thing -- don't let clothing distract you from your studies. Lol

The best advice, there is plenty of time to fret about clothes later in your life.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bboysdontcryy View Post

Start with Flussner's Dressing the Man, Roetzel's The Gentleman's Guide to Grooming and Style, Crompton's Le Snob's Guide to Tailoring or Manton's A Machiavellian Guide to Men's Style.

I'd recommend the first two because they're more pictorial, and more ideal for somebody at your stage.

I've no idea what inexpensive means for you, but check out classic stuff like Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren Rugby (with a modern twist), Ralph Lauren, LL Bean, J Crew (maybe), Gant, J Press. The first four are reasonably priced during sales.

One word of advice -- less is more. So make wise choices and invest in a few good staples instead of buying a whole lot of cheap trendy stuff.

And since I'm in a particularly generous mood -- people on here will tell you a blue shirt (and not a white one) is most versatile. My second tip is debatable -- but get a good pair of dark brown shoes. Why? So you can wear them to interviews, and also on weekends.

I agree with pretty much all of this. I prefer black shoes and for evening wear, however.
post #9 of 29
I worked from the premise that he has a limited budget. Ideally you should have, at least, two pairs -- brown and black. But if not, dark brown would strike me as more versatile if you want just one shoe since it's 'formal' enough to be worn to a job interview, and casual enough to be paired with chinos.
post #10 of 29
OP,

1) I wouldn't get your fashion advice from GQ. The most important thing, especially if you want to save money, is to not worry about specific brands or what is "in" for a particular season. Figure out what looks good on you with the help of some of the books recommended by bboysdontcryy. Don't follow trends. If you have limited funds, just find things that look good on you and wear them. If you look amazing in pink shirts, for instance, nobody will give a crap if they are "in."

2) Once you figure out what looks good to you, build a wardrobe around it. Mafoofan is rather famous around here for his "One" concepts, i.e. having multiple copies of the same shoe, trousers, shirt (though I believe variety in suits and jackets). I think you have to be pretty confident and know yourself well before you even think about doing this, so I don't recommend it for someone who is just starting to learn. I think what a lot of people can learn from this idea is that you want to make sure your wardrobe is coordinated. If you really love a particular jacket but it only goes with one pair of pants or some of your trousers can't be paired with any jacket you own, they're less useful. Stick to pieces that are more versatile for the time being and don't be afraid to buy more of something you like, especially trousers. This is less of a "what to read" or "where to buy" and more a guiding principle to consider with your acquisitions.

3) Avoid navy odd trousers. Grey odd trousers are far more versatile. Tan, cream and brown can also work for more casual needs.

4) Read Styleforum, search for some specific things you're interested in on here, and read other blogs. I really like A Suitable Wardrobe. It may not be the most practical blog for someone with limited funds, but there are great insights in there.

5) Depending on what inexpensive means to you, you can shop online at SierraTradingPost (do your diligence on particular brands before buying), buy from a Brooks Brothers or Polo Ralph Lauren(especially on sale), etc. I personally like Charles Tyrwhitt for decent shirts that can be regularly had for $50 and under.
Edited by archibaldleach - 2/11/13 at 1:40pm
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bboysdontcryy View Post

I worked from the premise that he has a limited budget. Ideally you should have, at least, two pairs -- brown and black. But if not, dark brown would strike me as more versatile if you want just one shoe since it's 'formal' enough to be worn to a job interview, and casual enough to be paired with chinos.

Fair enough. I probably gravitate more towards having the most formal shoe you can (obviously excepting tuxedo shoes) in case you need it and then dropping down the formality scale as need be for subsequent purchases. Dark brown is definitely more versatile, I'll give you that.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aegean View Post

 I guess what I'm asking is, could anyone point me in the direction of places where I can get great menswear inexpensively?

 

If you have the time to hit thrift stores before noon every other day, you can put yourself in a position to be the sharpest looking guy on campus in less than a year. There's a lot more to thrifting than what's on the surface. With experience you will come to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

 

Thrifting is my appanage, and also a hobby of mine (that I exclude from interview conversations lol) 

 

(Buying Retail) The easiest way to procure quality at a discount is with patience and diligence. After you find what you like, research it to death. Along the way you will likely find the perfect retailer, and when they offer the best prices. For example, I will be waiting until after Father's day to purchase a pair of velvet slippers to complete my black-tie ensemble. God and BB willing!

 

I haven't spent much time on the sales section of the SF, but I am sure it has the potential to produce some of what you're looking for at reasonable prices. Talk to people. They are wealths of information, and most are dying to have someone listen to them mwink[1].gif

post #13 of 29
Sorry guys, but in terms of versatility, burgundy is even better than dark brown, the former also looks 'proper' to business suiting and 'semi-dress' for hippers chinos and jeans.
Overall at the age of 18, one should enjoy being care-free because those are the last days of 'joy'

Otherwise, bboysdontcryy's advice is certainly sound. If you lurk here more, I am sure OP will find most of the 'model' answer.

Primarily, I will start with the following, in the belief that accessory can be ignored when you can borrow from your dad (e.g. cufflinks, good ties, collar stiffer, white silk or cotton PS...etc)
1. Charcoal grey suit
2. Mid navy suit
3. 2 pair of chinos
4. 2 paris of dress trouser (e.g. corduroy, moleskin)
5. 2 paris of oxford shoes, black and burgundy
post #14 of 29
Read PutThisOn.com - excellent blog that will teach you.

Buy less, buy better - Buy a GOOD navy blazer that really fits you well at/near full price. You won't regret it because it looks great and goes with everything and will last forever.

Make friends with a tailor that knows not just how things are altered, but why they are altered and how the alterations affect fit, balance, appearance, etc.

Learn about tailoring. (I DIY my own trouser alterations and can do jacket alterations, too.)

Learn garment measurements that fit you well. Don't go too far from those measurements on your purchases.

Don't read GQ for fashion advice.

Go to stores and try things on.

Get one white dress shirt, one white OCBD; but get many blues in different fabrics (oxford, twill, end-on-end, etc)

Solids are easier to match than patterns - wearing all solids is OK. Wearing 1 pattern is OK. Wearing 4 patterns is no good.

Buy "boring" clothing - it's easier to put together in many different ways rather than wearing an "outfit"

Menswear colors = navy, burgandy, forest green, brown, khaki, gray.

Avoid patterned pants.

Never wear pinstripes as separates (ie jacket by itself or pants by themselves).

Do not buy a black suit unless it is a Tuxedo.

Find photos online that you like and fit your personality for inspiration.

And finally - you're 18 - don't dress like you're 81.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by add911_11 View Post

Sorry guys, but in terms of versatility, burgundy is even better than dark brown, the former also looks 'proper' to business suiting and 'semi-dress' for hippers chinos and jeans.
Overall at the age of 18, one should enjoy being care-free because those are the last days of 'joy'

Otherwise, bboysdontcryy's advice is certainly sound. If you lurk here more, I am sure OP will find most of the 'model' answer.

Primarily, I will start with the following, in the belief that accessory can be ignored when you can borrow from your dad (e.g. cufflinks, good ties, collar stiffer, white silk or cotton PS...etc)
1. Charcoal grey suit
2. Mid navy suit
3. 2 pair of chinos
4. 2 paris of dress trouser (e.g. corduroy, moleskin)
5. 2 paris of oxford shoes, black and burgundy

Corduroy as dress trouser? Don't get me wrong, I love corduroy and think it definitely has a place in an 18 year old's wardrobe, but I think a medium grey wool trouser is more appropriate as a dress trouser. I'd also consider a navy blazer before acquiring the second suit.
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