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Style Change Advice Please

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Hi there,


I'm fast approaching my 30th birthday and I've decided I really want to smarten up my style. I've been in a bit of a rut clothing-wise for years. I pretty much live in t-shirts, jeans, hoodies and trainers. I have to admit I'm completely clueless when it comes to fashion - how to match up colours, what items go well together, accessories etc etc


I work in a creative/technical role in media so its a very casual environment that involves a fair bit of outdoor working so I dont have the opportunity to dress up for work. Recently I've started changing my clothes when I get home into something smarter.


I was wondering if anyone would be able to give me advice on good looks to go for or an idea of how to put together what I've already bought - if I'm on the right track - or more options of staples to go for.


I bought a couple of grey chambray workshirt-style shirts a while back and a pair of black trousers. I've recently bought a pair of burgundy slim corts and dark brown chinos. I got a tweed jacket off eBay that I really like. I wore it with a white shirt and slim black tie to a wedding recently and a friend complimented me on it and said I should wear shirt and tie more often so I'd like to go with that, but be able to keep it casual as well as dress it up for special occassions.


I've got a navy pinstripe suit and dark blue, black and white shirts. I'm extremely lacking on the footwear front as all I really own are trainers and a pair of cheap fake leather smart-ish black shoes.


I'm quite short - 5'6 and fairly slim with shoulder length blonde hair.


I saw a couple of looks I liked. http://www.asos.com/ASOS/ASOS-…d=2563950&WT.ac=rec_viewed ,http://www.kinowear.com/blog/kinowea...ck-rebel-class and http://www.thedrum.com/uploads…89707/main_images/caffreys.jpg


Thanks in advance,

Simon

post #2 of 30

There are many just-getting-started threads in existence. Search around. There is also a quick question thread: http://www.styleforum.net/t/79716/ask-a-question-get-an-answer-post-all-quick-questions-here. Check out the WAYWT thread for inspiration: http://www.styleforum.net/t/164384/the-waywt-discussion-thread. Also, check out the Best of WAYWT to find out what people have thought really stood out: http://www.styleforum.net/t/243095/official-best-of-waywt-favorite-fitsThat said, I'll still offer some advice.

 

I was in the same boat as you. I'm 22, and up until the middle of last year, I didn't really care what I wore. Maybe I can be of help as I have finally begun developing a sense of dressing myself. My sense of style still has a way to go, hehe.

 

First off, do you have a mall around you? I don't care what anyone says, Banana Republic and J. Crew are great starter stores. Go there and be honest with the associates. Tell them you don't know the ins and outs of fashion and building outfits, and want some advice. They will try to sell you on stuff, but you might be able to put together some good smart casual outfits, or at least get some inspiration for things to buy. Also, these stores are great for getting basic articles that will work for both business ultra-casual (which is what it sounds like you wear at work), as well as off-the-job smart casual. A lot of the casual/sport shirts (e.g., oxfords, soft-wash shirts) and such that you can get from there will work with jeans or chinos.

 

Look at a lot of pictures for inspiration and try on a lot of combinations to see what works for you. Be assertive. If you prefer to try things on yourself without the interaction with a sales associate, take a load of clothes into a fitting room and try matching different things.

 

A great shirt color for blonde haired people is blue. Baby blue, sky blue, and mid-light blue work especially well. Combine these with markedly darker indigo jeans and brown belt and shoes for an easy match.

 

If you have money to spend, check out the casual shoes section of Allen Edmonds. They make comfortable, high-quality, fashionable shoes, and are definitely Style Forum approved. If you want some cheaper brands to test combinations, Clarks, Cole Haan, ECCO, John Varvatos, Kenneth Cole, and the like are fine, even if they aren't Style Forum approved. They might not last as long, but what matters is if they look good and you like them, and they will teach you how to combine clothing. Go with browns, as these can be easily worn with both chinos and jeans. As for black, save that for suits and very formal clothing.

 

You're slim, so that can be used to your advantage. Buy slim fit whenever possible. The most common fashion mistake people make is ill-fitting clothing. Get a couple of pairs of good slim fit jeans and chinos in various colors, and see what works with what. You can start with Levi's if you don't have much money to invest and want decent quality and fit. I'd suggest 514s. If you have money to spare, look into APC, 3sixteen, Naked and Famous, and Nudie. I would personally recommend AG Jeans as well. Get slim fit shirts, plenty of which are available from Banana Republic and J. Crew, and you will immediately see how well slim fitting shirts work with slim fitting pants.

 

I know it's almost summer, but check out sweaters as well. Jeans + an oxford shirt + a v-neck sweater or cardigan are an instant win, so long as you pick the right colors. Figuring out those combinations will help you figure out color combinations you can use for other seasons.

 

Google for people asking what colors go with what. Yahoo! Answers, About.com, and other sites have quick answers on "what color pants go with a [color] shirt?", "what color shoes should i wear with [color] pants?", and similar questions. It might not always be spot on, but it will help you get started. Spend a couple of hours trying on every article of clothing in your wardrobe, and look at yourself in the mirror. It should stand out. Sometimes outfits look bad, and sometimes outfits look okay. You will eventually stumble onto something that looks good, and you will instinctively know it. If you like the colors but not the fabric or texture of one of the articles, you can buy that article in the same color with a more appropriate texture.

 

Finally, post pictures in WAYWT and the quick question thread, asking for advice. You might take some heat in the former if it's really bad, but you will pick up good advice.

 

Also, be confident. If you like it, great. Walk with your head high and let the world know you embrace your fit. It doesn't matter how well you are dressed; what matters is the man in the clothing.

post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by antipattern View Post

 Go there and be honest with the associates. Tell them you don't know the ins and outs of fashion and building outfits, and want some advice. 

 

As someone who works in retail, I would advise against this. 

post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by antipattern View Post

If you have money to spend, check out the casual shoes section of Allen Edmonds. They make comfortable, high-quality, fashionable shoes, and are definitely Style Forum approved. If you want some cheaper brands to test combinations, Clarks, Cole Haan, ECCO, John Varvatos, Kenneth Cole, and the like are fine, even if they aren't Style Forum approved. 

JV is cheap? 

I would honestly just say lurk around, read a hundred pages of WAYWT and figure out what you like. There's dozens of unique styles so you'll probably find one that you like and you can build off it from there. Give it some time and don't rush into any crazy purchases. 

post #5 of 30
kop rick live on forums
post #6 of 30
as counter intuitive as it may sound, start from the bottom up. get 1-2 really good pairs of leather shoes - brown is more casual than black, then get really well fitting chinos for work (I like darker colored ones as they are less common but lighter ones may work better for spring./summer). After that then work on button up shirts/sweaters/jackets. Most people when starting to shop for themselves do ok on shirts and pants but then horrible shoes (new or old) ruins the look. You can find plentiful, inexpensive, well fitting items from places such as The Gap or H&M, but shoes are the real challenge and until you acquire 1-2 good pairs, your style won't improve much.
post #7 of 30
Cut your hair.
Take the Rick Owens challenge (that is, if you look good, then looking good is easy, ie: be fit)
Until you know what you want, avoid colour.
Get a decent pair of jeans.
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Distorbiant View Post

 

As someone who works in retail, I would advise against this. 

 

Could you explain? This obviously isn't always a good idea, but depending on the associate it could be helpful.

post #9 of 30

I think that as you are just beginning to get into "fashion" you should probably go for classic and timeless pieces that one can rarely go wrong with, Zara & H&M have affordable staple pieces that with time you can build on.

post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by antipattern View Post

There are many just-getting-started threads in existence. Search around. There is also a quick question thread: http://www.styleforum.net/t/79716/ask-a-question-get-an-answer-post-all-quick-questions-here. Check out the WAYWT thread for inspiration: http://www.styleforum.net/t/164384/the-waywt-discussion-thread. Also, check out the Best of WAYWT to find out what people have thought really stood out: http://www.styleforum.net/t/243095/official-best-of-waywt-favorite-fitsThat said, I'll still offer some advice.

 

I was in the same boat as you. I'm 22, and up until the middle of last year, I didn't really care what I wore. Maybe I can be of help as I have finally begun developing a sense of dressing myself. My sense of style still has a way to go, hehe.

 

First off, do you have a mall around you? I don't care what anyone says, Banana Republic and J. Crew are great starter stores. Go there and be honest with the associates. Tell them you don't know the ins and outs of fashion and building outfits, and want some advice. They will try to sell you on stuff, but you might be able to put together some good smart casual outfits, or at least get some inspiration for things to buy. Also, these stores are great for getting basic articles that will work for both business ultra-casual (which is what it sounds like you wear at work), as well as off-the-job smart casual. A lot of the casual/sport shirts (e.g., oxfords, soft-wash shirts) and such that you can get from there will work with jeans or chinos.

 

Look at a lot of pictures for inspiration and try on a lot of combinations to see what works for you. Be assertive. If you prefer to try things on yourself without the interaction with a sales associate, take a load of clothes into a fitting room and try matching different things.

 

A great shirt color for blonde haired people is blue. Baby blue, sky blue, and mid-light blue work especially well. Combine these with markedly darker indigo jeans and brown belt and shoes for an easy match.

 

If you have money to spend, check out the casual shoes section of Allen Edmonds. They make comfortable, high-quality, fashionable shoes, and are definitely Style Forum approved. If you want some cheaper brands to test combinations, Clarks, Cole Haan, ECCO, John Varvatos, Kenneth Cole, and the like are fine, even if they aren't Style Forum approved. They might not last as long, but what matters is if they look good and you like them, and they will teach you how to combine clothing. Go with browns, as these can be easily worn with both chinos and jeans. As for black, save that for suits and very formal clothing.

 

You're slim, so that can be used to your advantage. Buy slim fit whenever possible. The most common fashion mistake people make is ill-fitting clothing. Get a couple of pairs of good slim fit jeans and chinos in various colors, and see what works with what. You can start with Levi's if you don't have much money to invest and want decent quality and fit. I'd suggest 514s. If you have money to spare, look into APC, 3sixteen, Naked and Famous, and Nudie. I would personally recommend AG Jeans as well. Get slim fit shirts, plenty of which are available from Banana Republic and J. Crew, and you will immediately see how well slim fitting shirts work with slim fitting pants.

 

I know it's almost summer, but check out sweaters as well. Jeans + an oxford shirt + a v-neck sweater or cardigan are an instant win, so long as you pick the right colors. Figuring out those combinations will help you figure out color combinations you can use for other seasons.

 

Google for people asking what colors go with what. Yahoo! Answers, About.com, and other sites have quick answers on "what color pants go with a [color] shirt?", "what color shoes should i wear with [color] pants?", and similar questions. It might not always be spot on, but it will help you get started. Spend a couple of hours trying on every article of clothing in your wardrobe, and look at yourself in the mirror. It should stand out. Sometimes outfits look bad, and sometimes outfits look okay. You will eventually stumble onto something that looks good, and you will instinctively know it. If you like the colors but not the fabric or texture of one of the articles, you can buy that article in the same color with a more appropriate texture.

 

Finally, post pictures in WAYWT and the quick question thread, asking for advice. You might take some heat in the former if it's really bad, but you will pick up good advice.

 

Also, be confident. If you like it, great. Walk with your head high and let the world know you embrace your fit. It doesn't matter how well you are dressed; what matters is the man in the clothing.

Thanks for this, all great advice. Unfortunately I'm in the UK and we don't have Banana Republic or J Crew over here, but I could order off the website. That negates your point about speaking to the sales staff though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniW View Post

as counter intuitive as it may sound, start from the bottom up. get 1-2 really good pairs of leather shoes - brown is more casual than black, then get really well fitting chinos for work (I like darker colored ones as they are less common but lighter ones may work better for spring./summer). After that then work on button up shirts/sweaters/jackets. Most people when starting to shop for themselves do ok on shirts and pants but then horrible shoes (new or old) ruins the look. You can find plentiful, inexpensive, well fitting items from places such as The Gap or H&M, but shoes are the real challenge and until you acquire 1-2 good pairs, your style won't improve much.

Great advice, thanks - but I've already been buying some items and currently have no decent shoes to match with anything. I've currently got a pair of green nike high-tops, a pair of black hi-top plimsoles and a pair of boring square toed fake leather slip ons. I've not been able to wear my new cords because I have no idea what sort of footwear goes with it - but definately not anything I've got. Someone advised these: http://www.asos.com/ASOS/ASOS-Brogue-Chukka-Boots-in-Leather/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=2505618&SearchQuery=brogue&Rf-700=1001&Rf-300=2337&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=-1&sort=-1&clr=Tanleather&WT.ac=style_chat I quite like them but was wondering what other folk thought? I tried on one of my chambray shirts under a green crew-neck sweater(that I usually wear casually) with my chinos and tweed blazer and thought these shoes would really help smarten up the look? I could also wear them with my navy suit I guess. I was looking for something to wear with my black trousers as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCal View Post

Cut your hair.
Take the Rick Owens challenge (that is, if you look good, then looking good is easy, ie: be fit)
Until you know what you want, avoid colour.
Get a decent pair of jeans.

I don't think I want to cut my hair - and if I do I think I'd like to keep the length rather than go for a standard short cut. Did you have any styles in mind or could anyone else advise on good long-hair styles?

post #11 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by andii1212 View Post

I think that as you are just beginning to get into "fashion" you should probably go for classic and timeless pieces that one can rarely go wrong with, Zara & H&M have affordable staple pieces that with time you can build on.

Thanks! What sort of staple pieces should I be looking for?

post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonPeters View Post

Thanks! What sort of staple pieces should I be looking for?

It depends on what you want to look like. A "staple" to a goth ninja is not a staple to someone who wants to dress preppy. No offense, but there are at least a handful of these sorts of posts every day on this forum. They all say things very much like you do - I don't want to dress like a kid, slightly more "dressy," have shitty shoes - but this isn't that helpful.

Nearly every one neglects this one question: what do you want to look like? Hip professor? Artsy migrant?? I'd like to say you could figure this out before you buy anything, but you'll probably have to buy a bunch of stuff and 3/4 of it you won't wear in a year because you figured out by then what you really like. It's kind of a process. Lurk moar, starting buying items that interest you, rinse, repeat.
post #13 of 30
i vote he should go for goth ninja.
post #14 of 30

I, too, vote goth ninja. The more zippers the better. 

post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meso View Post


It depends on what you want to look like. A "staple" to a goth ninja is not a staple to someone who wants to dress preppy. No offense, but there are at least a handful of these sorts of posts every day on this forum. They all say things very much like you do - I don't want to dress like a kid, slightly more "dressy," have shitty shoes - but this isn't that helpful.

Nearly every one neglects this one question: what do you want to look like? Hip professor? Artsy migrant?? I'd like to say you could figure this out before you buy anything, but you'll probably have to buy a bunch of stuff and 3/4 of it you won't wear in a year because you figured out by then what you really like. It's kind of a process. Lurk moar, starting buying items that interest you, rinse, repeat.

I'm sorry my post has made you so annoyed, and I'm sorry if I made a mistake. I've been reading around the forum and I have been checking out a few websites but decided to ask a question here so I could maybe have a conversation with some people who have more experience and are more 'stylish' than I am to hopefully improve my clothing style. I thought a site called 'styleforum' might be the place to talk about these things.

 

To be fair in my original post I wrote down some of the items I have been buying and wearing recently and a little bit about my personal circumstances in the hope that maybe in a discourse I can find out more than reading the articles I've been reading. I'm getting what people are saying but I'd kinda like to know how I can apply them to myself. I also posted a few looks in the original post that I liked and that was the look I was going for - unfortunately I don't know what that particular look is called which is why I added links.

 

I don't mean to sound pissy or angsty but I thought this was the point of forums like these, to ask advice and have conversations with others? I didn't expect to be snarled at or judged - which is exactly what is putting me off making a change or talking about it with shop assistants, peers etc.

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