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Starting from scratch; advice and help appreciated! - Page 2

post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Ryan View Post

I don't know if I'd say most, but there is certainly some truth to this... 

Yes mr. and even call me troll and insult me etc those rainbower guys... mtv and Pitti has ruined true elegance.

Those dressers have never got their first job yet, wonder what will say when they do not pass any job interview...

Forgot to say, for kids work, what about a check shirt and a jeans?
post #17 of 32
'Search' is your best friend.

And that story is far too long too read.
post #18 of 32
Thread Starter 

Hello again,

 

I've been kind of busy since I posted this. I'm sorry if it seems like I'm asking for help because I don't want to find the answer on my own. On the contrary, I've learned a quite a bit over the last couple weeks. I'll edit my initial post and reply to your comments after work if I'm not tired. I'm going to start in a few hours so I wont get much sleep and wont finish until late in the evening. Ugh

post #19 of 32
@CrimmyS,

No need to apologise - although the general sentiment in this thread is that your questions have been answered many, many times. The search function isn't the best by any stretch, but you can glean some useful information. I've saved you some time by enclosing a couple of threads which I would recommend that you peruse.

First, let's start with some basic principals:
How should I start my business wardrobe

An excellent primer that should be read, re-read and whose points should be left to percolate in your mind over a period of time, in which you should be busy doing the following:
1. Lurk moar
2. Read moar
3. Develop a zen like patience

The latter is incredibly important and overlooked. It will save you frustration and potentially a lot of money. Myself? Would have saved me approximately 410 euros in shoes (black whole-cuts and a lovely pair of brown quarter brogue oxfords a size too big).

There was a recent thread with some excellent beginner suggestions to planning one's wardrobe. Essentially, can be boiled down to:
1. Living environment (climate)
2. Working environment

I live in the UK [London]. Hence, it rains. A lot. From experience (3 pairs of leather shoes re-soled), I would suggest that one has at least 2 pairs of shoes (one dress and one casual) with Dainite soles. You are in China, and depending on which province you are in, you'll probably may not need Dainite, but most probably need a lot of cotton / linen garments. I would avoid fresco and seersucker for now, and stick to the basics.

In terms of your work environment, you've mentioned that you're an English teacher and want to wear Sports Coats (SC) and trousers. This means in terms of shoes, it's probably best to avoid oxfords (better with suits) and stick to smart derbies (balmorals).

Another suggestion to the beginner's wardrobe is stick to foundational pieces i.e. those that can easily be mixed and matched with other pieces. Hence, why the numerous suggestions that one's first SC should be navy. Other options are a (dark) green and/or oatmeal / dark brown. Avoid patterns for the time being e.g. POW (c.f. foundational pieces) and stick to solids and/or textures. Far, far easier to mix and match with a limited wardrobe.

In terms of shirts, stick to (light) blue solids and lighter colours and patterns that are easy to match e.g. gingham. Solid foundational pieces that will work with a SC, with / without a tie and dark / medium grey trousers and tan chinos. Why dark / medium grey trousers and tan chinos? Foundational pieces that will work with your SC, tie and shirt combination far, far better than other colours.

In terms of shoes, look towards Allen Edmonds, Loake 1880s or Meermin for good entry-level shoes (good construction, calf leather, goodyear welted). I would suggest dark brown because it is easier to wear with SC and odd trousers than going with a tan. Burgundy or oxblood works. You'll probably have a number of decent choices in the darker brown than burgundy.

Belts. Black and dark brown. In fact, since you're wearing SC with / without tie and odd trousers, then you'll probably won't be wearing black shoes. In that case, scratch black belt and have dark brown belt that matches your shoes.

Now that is out of the way, we have the problems with which to contend:
1. Which province in China
2. Chinese post

I lived in SW China for 6 months and bought my clothes before I arrived in China; given that foreign clothing would be very expensive in China and hard to find. Also, Chinese post is unreliable and I personally would not risk sending anything remotely valuable via Chinese post and/or expecting to receive anything. I sent a couple of small presents to my ex and her son in SW China for Easter a couple of years back. Address - both in English and Chinese - were exact. Neither arrived. £20 worth of gifts disappeared twice. Nothing too expensive but annoying. From speaking with my Chinese friends / teachers, the post is hit and miss - more the latter in direct correlation to the expense of the item. @MikeDT will have more experience in handling this issue, but given your location then you may have no alternative than online ordering - in which case, solving the Chinese post problem is your No.1 priority. That or expensive trips to Hong Kong.

Ok, here are some threads to get you thinking:
Manton's list to how to be well-dressed
JRD's excellent thread on SCs
The Sports Coat
RTW Shoe Hierarchy
Satisfied with Solids
Tie Basics 101
Would You Wife It?

What the hell!?.. ignore the last thread (seriously, a fantastic thread - but not quite relevant to the subject at hand).

Unfortunately, Vox's excellent conceptual piece on 'cognitive dissonance' has disappeared (scales of coherence and formality in choosing one's wardrobe). If anyone can email it, it would be greatly appreciated.

That should be enough to get you thinking (especially all the images).

One other point: don't fret that most pictures are MTM / bespoke. You can get perfectly decent RTW clothing and fits providing that you take time to understand your correct measurements and visit a reliable alterations tailor.

Hope that helps!
post #20 of 32
Seersucker isn't what most people would call a "blazer," and for anything other than a shirt it likely would be an oddity in China (a country that generally looks down on individualism).

Someone commented on "excess matching," Keep that in mind re color-coordinating belts, shoes, etc.

Tailoring denim usually isn't worth the cost.
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensimageconsultant View Post

Seersucker isn't what most people would call a "blazer," and for anything other than a shirt it likely would be an oddity in China (a country that generally looks down on individualism).

Depending on where you are and what you do, think you can be a peacock, because you're going to be looking particularly individual anyway, by the fact you're not Han Chinese....you're a laowai. That's what I've found. They may even know what seersucker is, might have seen it in American movies, and Brooks Brothers do operate in China. However Chinese businessmen are usually dressed very conservatively, white shirt, black or very dark pants, black leather shoes, and sometimes a dark blue or brown smart looking zip-up wind-breaker type jacket, it's almost like a uniform. Blazers and ties not usually worn actually.
Edited by MikeDT - 3/26/14 at 2:19am
post #22 of 32
Thread Starter 

Again, thanks for all the help so far! I've edited my original post with something easier to read and comment on (hopefully). 

 

Vermund: It's not that I don't take care of my things, just cheap things really do fall apart easily. It's also not my intention to have a loud belt buckle of any sort; and thanks for the comments. The reason I want to try tailoring here is because it should be cheap and hopefully will teach me how clothes should fit.

 

masernaut: I'm familiar with taobao but I would prefer to try some tailoring. I have problems with almost every shirt and jacket I've tried on. Currently only t-shirts and this linen camp shirt fit my back well, without compromising other areas. Though if I can't get a good price on shirts I will look around on taobao.

 

MikeDT: While I understand you are trying to be funny, I would appreciate it if you didn't call me a laowai. It seems like you can understand how casual it is to work as an ESL teacher. I can get away with shorts and sandals but my goal is to wear something that will look a nicer and that can easily transition to a dinner with friends, walking around, whatever. I leave near Xi'an so summer is going to be hot, maybe near the 40's, and dry. Unfortunately we have power outages at times and as I'm sure you are familiar with, they really suck.

 

Yeah, taobao can be iffy. I tried getting my favorite pair of converse recently and they definitely were not genuine. Either that or converse moved production to another country and really cut costs...

 

I'm familiar with how people dress here and how I will be treated. I actually hate the way a lot of people with jackets/dress shirts/trousers look here, but to this day I can't really figure out why...maybe it's because the clothes look like they don't fit? but yeah I know they generally wear the same dark colors, black shoes, no tie. Oddly enough, just this month I've started to see more people dressed in light colored sport coats, dress shirt, ties and pants. I had to admit they looked pretty good. I think I even saw a couple people with a pocket square, though that could be just me filling in the blank after looking at so many suits with pocket squares recently.

 

SartodiNapoli: What you mentioned was what I had in mind, more or less, in terms of color. How about a yellow in a pastel color for a dress shirt? Fabric matching is what I don't understand; if there are any rules I need to know. But I'm assuming that having different summer fabrics on different parts of my outfit would be good rather than bad. Thank you for the collar note! What do you consider to matchy? I was primarily talking about making sure my shoes, leather, and watch match because they will all be leather.

 

Also why do you not like suspenders? I wouldn't be wearing them to show off; I don't really like wearing a belt. 

 

Putonghua: Thanks for the very detailed post. I can understand the basics but get caught up in the choices. May I ask, why would I want to avoid seersucker and fresco? Too situational? I really am worried about comfort during the summer months which is why I'm a little fixated on them, even though I constantly see people recommending a solid dark navy worsted wool blazer instead.

 

I have definitely taken in your comment on darker brown shoes over tan. It was my gf who was trying to get me to buy some lighter colored shoes. I also appreciate those links, that tie one will come in handy when I decide to look at ties. 

post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimmyS View Post


MikeDT: While I understand you are trying to be funny, I would appreciate it if you didn't call me a laowai.

OK I won't do it on SF....promise. smile.gif ...however I bet almost everyone else around you calls you "laowai". You're not Han are you, or Xi'an has some exception? wink.gif

FYI "laowai" is not necessarily derogatory, most of the time it's just an informal way of saying "foreigner"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laowai

OT: BTW this is a go to site for me...has a lot of useful expat stuff.
http://www.lostlaowai.com/
post #24 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mike! I'm aware that it's not a rude word on its own. I've come to hate the word through association because the people who use it are often rude to begin with. You are right, I'm not Han Chinese; I'm American of mixed blood and don't resemble anything Asian on most days... though people often suggest I look like a Xinjiang Ren. I often try and get my friends, students and colleagues to call me American when talking about me.

I guess that's another problem I have with the word. The term laowai brings to mind a certain kind of expat that I am not. You probably won't agree with me but in my case when people start discussing or gossiping (negatively) about expats in this town, they often use laowai. When talking business or of friends they use the person's nationality or waiguoren.

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out when the power is back. May I ask, have you tried tailored clothes in mainland China? If so what was your experience?
Edited by CrimmyS - 3/26/14 at 11:52pm
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimmyS View Post
 

Again, thanks for all the help so far! I've edited my original post with something easier to read and comment on (hopefully). 

 

Vermund: It's not that I don't take care of my things, just cheap things really do fall apart easily. It's also not my intention to have a loud belt buckle of any sort; and thanks for the comments. The reason I want to try tailoring here is because it should be cheap and hopefully will teach me how clothes should fit.

 

masernaut: I'm familiar with taobao but I would prefer to try some tailoring. I have problems with almost every shirt and jacket I've tried on. Currently only t-shirts and this linen camp shirt fit my back well, without compromising other areas. Though if I can't get a good price on shirts I will look around on taobao.

 

MikeDT: While I understand you are trying to be funny, I would appreciate it if you didn't call me a laowai. It seems like you can understand how casual it is to work as an ESL teacher. I can get away with shorts and sandals but my goal is to wear something that will look a nicer and that can easily transition to a dinner with friends, walking around, whatever. I leave near Xi'an so summer is going to be hot, maybe near the 40's, and dry. Unfortunately we have power outages at times and as I'm sure you are familiar with, they really suck.

 

Yeah, taobao can be iffy. I tried getting my favorite pair of converse recently and they definitely were not genuine. Either that or converse moved production to another country and really cut costs...

 

I'm familiar with how people dress here and how I will be treated. I actually hate the way a lot of people with jackets/dress shirts/trousers look here, but to this day I can't really figure out why...maybe it's because the clothes look like they don't fit? but yeah I know they generally wear the same dark colors, black shoes, no tie. Oddly enough, just this month I've started to see more people dressed in light colored sport coats, dress shirt, ties and pants. I had to admit they looked pretty good. I think I even saw a couple people with a pocket square, though that could be just me filling in the blank after looking at so many suits with pocket squares recently.

 

SartodiNapoli: What you mentioned was what I had in mind, more or less, in terms of color. How about a yellow in a pastel color for a dress shirt? Fabric matching is what I don't understand; if there are any rules I need to know. But I'm assuming that having different summer fabrics on different parts of my outfit would be good rather than bad. Thank you for the collar note! What do you consider to matchy? I was primarily talking about making sure my shoes, leather, and watch match because they will all be leather.

 

Also why do you not like suspenders? I wouldn't be wearing them to show off; I don't really like wearing a belt. 

 

Putonghua: Thanks for the very detailed post. I can understand the basics but get caught up in the choices. May I ask, why would I want to avoid seersucker and fresco? Too situational? I really am worried about comfort during the summer months which is why I'm a little fixated on them, even though I constantly see people recommending a solid dark navy worsted wool blazer instead.

 

I have definitely taken in your comment on darker brown shoes over tan. It was my gf who was trying to get me to buy some lighter colored shoes. I also appreciate those links, that tie one will come in handy when I decide to look at ties. 

 

 

 

 

Hi friend,

 

Suspenders gives you a look not for children, like smoking in pipe with bowtie looking, kinda mad scientist you know.  

 

Please start and master simple things until you master them before starting with odd things as suspenders.

 

Yellow shirt, not classic but if you like it why not?

 

And remember to buy as less as possible but with high quality, so with the years you will save money with less but durable and confident making garments.

 

best from Italy.

 

I have heard that mad prices are on China for Italian goods as 1000 euros for a shirt, is that for real or only on shops for new riches with 10 Ferraris each etc,. you know...

post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimmyS View Post

Thanks Mike! I'm aware that it's not a rude word on its own. I've come to hate the word through association because the people who use it are often rude to begin with. You are right, I'm not Han Chinese; I'm American of mixed blood and don't resemble anything Asian on most days... though people often suggest I look like a Xinjiang Ren. I often try and get my friends, students and colleagues to call me American when talking about me.

I guess that's another problem I have with the word. The term laowai brings to mind a certain kind of expat that I am not. You probably won't agree with me but in my case when people start discussing or gossiping (negatively) about expats in this town, they often use laowai. When talking business or of friends they use the person's nationality or waiguoren.

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out when the power is back. May I ask, have you tried tailored clothes in mainland China? If so what was your experience?

I've never got anything from a mainland tailor, and the only one's I've really noticed were in Sanlitun, Beijing, in the clothing market, with names like Sally Tailor or Lisa Tailor. There's been some discussion here on SF about mainland tailors though, think the overall opinion was...avoid them....there's a lot of knock-off cloth...and anything genuine they charge one hell of a premium for it. We have local tailors here in Inner Mongolia, but they mainly do the traditional Mongolian attire.

The tailored clothes I wear on a regular basis came from HK, which is shirts, pants and one navy blazer.
post #27 of 32
Thread Starter 

Mike:

 

That's a little disheartening. Now I'm wondering if I should still give it a go or save up for a trip to another city (whether it be HK or Shanghai). What exactly constitutes a knock-off cloth and are there any tell-tale signs? The problem would be factoring in the cost of the trip itself. 

 

Though I would assume, even something that's not great quality would be better than what I'd get in most of the shops for the same price, right? 

 

Though it seems from one of the topics, people were also disappointed with a HK branch in Shanghai. I guess that might rule shanghai out if I want something that's quality.

 

SartodiNapoli:

Yes, I have the mindset of buying something that will last longer rather than something that I will throw away, at least as often as I possibly can.

 

Is your question asking if Italian things are priced really high here? If so, I can't speak for Italian things specifically, but most things imported from abroad are more expensive here I find. I guess there are some exceptions, but a good example are a pair of Allen Edmonds running for twice the price here than they would be in the U.S. 

 

post #28 of 32
There's a couple of threads about tailors in the mainland, but not too much though, and one ends on an unanswered "any good ones in beijing?"...to that and from what I've seen, I would assume the answer is a resounding NO!! ..biggrin.gif ..and the ones that are there, are for the gullible tourists and unwitting expats.
http://www.styleforum.net/t/140691/tailors-in-china-not-hk
http://www.styleforum.net/t/219746/bespoke-beijing-updated-with-photos
Sure most mainlanders just don't in for western bespoke or MTM, and the mega-rich new money types are likely to be seen in Savile Row.

Think most have gone to HK, or maybe the couple of HK ones in Shanghai, like WW Chan. I'm certainly not a cloth expert, so I may not know the tell-tale signs of a fake and what to look for. I know a tailor in HK who's OK for what I need, and I pass through there once a year anyway so it's not really out of my way.
Edited by MikeDT - 4/1/14 at 5:37am
post #29 of 32
Thread Starter 

I can see why! My experiences so far haven't been fun. I've been to 5 or so different areas and honestly they just kind of get impatient and want me to buy give them money and "trust" them. Only one place seemed actually kind of welcoming and relaxed; a tailors shop that's part of a hotel here. Though the prices were really high. I don't feel comfortable spending 6k rmb on a blazer from a place that I haven't really heard of, even though their shop looked really nice and they were part of a nice hotel.

post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimmyS View Post

I can see why! My experiences so far haven't been fun. I've been to 5 or so different areas and honestly they just kind of get impatient and want me to buy give them money and "trust" them. Only one place seemed actually kind of welcoming and relaxed; a tailors shop that's part of a hotel here. Though the prices were really high. I don't feel comfortable spending 6k rmb on a blazer from a place that I haven't really heard of, even though their shop looked really nice and they were part of a nice hotel.

Probably where much of your 6k yuan would be going, into making the shop look nice and as well as paying the rent.
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