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What I've learned from Styleforum (or, a guide to not wasting money / avoid buyers remorse)

post #1 of 84
Thread Starter 
Have been meaning to start a thread like this for a while now, I'm sure there are many to offer great time and money saving advice to others.

As for me, here are some key learning points I've gotten from my time and observations here:

• first and foremost, Fit and cut of a suit are truly king-- not labels, not hand stitching from this region or that, and certainly not the store a suit comes from.

• given the above realization, it's worth mentioning the big names like kiton, Isaia, Zenga, Oxxford, etc. aren't that wonderful when made for the American market/ American stores. Kitons made for USA often don't even have the Napoli shoulder they advertise...they have a slightly soft shoulder that looks like every other suit shoulder from any department store. They just end up creating a boxy non-fitting garment of handstitchery or an ill fitting bolt of fancy cloth. If you want a polished fit look, better to get a suit from suitsupply, an Italian brand from yoox, or an extremely Italian minded store / brand. If a suit doesn't make you look slimmer and taller, in well cut fitted clothes like the guy in the Tods ads, what the hell is the point!?!

• you may think you are beyond buying suits one or two sizes too large; chances are good you are wrong. Also, your pants are probably too wide, too long, and need some narrowing -- otherwise u will look like a boxy (or heavier set than u actually are) rectangular little man with short stubby legs. Trust me, I'm between 5'9 and 5'10, this point cannot be overstated

• ties that are all silk or have a smooth finish are dead, stop buying them. Stop buying ties at outlet stores, they don't look good on you. Truly great ties have wool and or linen in them, soft texture not smooth and NOT satiny. Great ties come from places like Vanda, NMWA, Viola, Sam Hober, and skilled Italian tailor shops-- not department stores.

• buying online is hard. It's far better to try on in person, and at least try on one or two sizes down from what you THINK you are. You'll feel better and more confident in the $$ you spent, and likely you'll see just how different brands are and how they fit. Sadly, there are a lot of brands that just won't look good on your body. That said, if online is your only viable option there must be an excellent return policy in place-- not just for exchange, but REFUND. It should look and feel excellent right off the rack with very little alterations at all, or it is wrong for you.

- dress shirts (I'm not talking about button down collar shirts) are hard, but seem to take alterations pretty easily. Usually no issue ordering online for most folks. However, an item u can easily waste many $$ on because u see a deal, see some piece of shit shirt at a thrift store or outlet, on sale, etc. IF YOUR DRESS SHIRT COLLAR DOESNT LOOK LIKE THIS/ ONE OF THESE u are wasting your fucking money!!! this is what a dress shirt is supposed to look like, not the ones you are probably wearing. Pretty easy to iron, NO big gap at top where sides meet, collar is wider, taller and more elegant-- NOT a little skimpy point-collared, short neck-banded jobbie like u might currently be wearing. U can do better than that, because u read the styleforum. why waste your money on a shirt that isn't a perfect dress shirt!?!?!

http://www.styleforum.net/t/386911/nwot-finamore-light-blue-spread-collar-dress-shirt-15-5#post_7074771
http://shop.kamakurashirts.com/goods_en_usd_922.html
http://www.nomanwalksalone.com/index.php/clothing/shirts/t-mason-blue-stripe-oxford-shirt-spread-collar.html
http://shop.kamakurashirts.com/goods_en_usd_1525.html
post #2 of 84
Quote:
• first and foremost, Fit and cut of a suit are truly king.

Most people should go RTW, and have a good alterations tailor on speed dial. If you have something very specific in mind, go MTM.

Bespoke is a expensive and interesting hobby that, like all hobbies, is going to take a big initial investment before you get any return.
post #3 of 84
Thread Starter 
Nice! I forgot to add this one, which has proven the best advice for BEST jacket length. nothing new, one of two possible length guidelines advocated by flusser since the 1980s, but still so often ignored/ overlooked:

• BEST ideal jacket length, bottom of the jacket reaches the creases of your thumb knuckle (arms and hands relaxed at your side). This seems to consistently show best consistent fit/ appearance, and eliminates the visual shortening of the legs. There are other methods out there, but IT's ALL ABOUT THE HANDS!!
post #4 of 84

Great post.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Foxx View Post


• ties that are all silk or have a smooth finish are dead, stop buying them. Stop buying ties at outlet stores, they don't look good on you. Truly great ties have wool and or linen in them, soft texture not smooth and NOT satiny. Great ties come from places like Vanda, NMWA, Viola, Sam Hober, and skilled Italian tailor shops-- not department stores.

 

Could you please give more details about the ties because I'm not very knowledgeable. Why are all silk ties not so great? Is something like a plain burgundy twill tie still acceptable? What is your point of view of patterns?

post #5 of 84
Thread Starter 
Sure! As an example, search 'canali tie' on ebay. Compare these silk satiny "made in Italy" brand name ties (bad) with those on No Man Walks Alone website, the textured- type or wool ties at http://www.violamilano.com, or those worn here with suits and sportcoats (very good/ much more stylish), as examples.

http://bntailor.tumblr.com
http://agnelli-esque.tumblr.com

much better to spend tie $$ from clothing budget on textured wool or linen blends instead of too many silk/ satiny ties that very likely you'll want to be rid of months down the road
post #6 of 84

Thank you for the additional information.

 

Is there still a use that one can make of silk ties? Do you consider them acceptable only for suits? Can you wear wool ties year round? Why do you consider silk ties not as good as linen blends for example?

post #7 of 84
Foxx,

you have some good points. I disagree with others, but most of your posts are spot on.

I've always wondered that, with your particular penchant for the Neapolitan style/cut, why you have not gone custom/bespoke with one of the large establishments. You seem to always go RTW with the high end Italian outfits (Kiton..etc).....it just makes me wonder.


About the biggest realization I've come to is that PERSONAL STYLE cannot be rushed. It's easy to imitate at first but one must develop one's style, eventually. This is a slow process and often time and especially $$$$$ intensive process.
post #8 of 84
Thread Starter 
To me, yes for certain there are plenty of examples of silk or even an occasional satin finish tie done well on the forum and otherwise, in my opinion-- but as far as spending money wisely and not getting tired of something in a few months/ limited use of a silk smooth finish tie (that doesn't look as good as one with depth and texture) I've found It makes more sense to spend on a wool/cashmere/linen blends.

There are more examples at my current favorite tie maker's website-- not hard to imagine four or six combos you could wear with one of these ties, no?

http://serraiocco.tumblr.com
post #9 of 84
Nice post. I like these points:
Quote:
If a suit doesn't make you look slimmer and taller, in well cut fitted clothes like the guy in the Tods ads, what the hell is the point!?!
Quote:
you may think you are beyond buying suits one or two sizes too large; chances are good you are wrong. Also, your pants are probably too wide, too long, and need some narrowing -- otherwise u will look like a boxy (or heavier set than u actually are) rectangular little man with short stubby legs.

People sometimes expend too much effort trying to resist these general ideas, often with all types of abstract theory and historical references, and end up spending lots of time on SF and $$$ to look only as good, or worse, than a random guy who walks into Brooks Brothers, Barneys, etc. and lets the salesman pick out his suits.
post #10 of 84
I see at least as many people wearing suits too small/tight here as those who wear suits too large for them.
post #11 of 84
Avoid the high fashion look and wear classic styled clothing. The Thom Browne (aka Pee Wee Herman) styled clothing isn't something to spend serious money on. crazy.gif
post #12 of 84
If can hold off paying full retail for high end rtw footwear. You will come across most of the good stuff in new condition for $300-$500.


Once you buy and wear high end shoes, You won't want to go back to wearing cheaper made shoes.
post #13 of 84
puzzled.gif
post #14 of 84
So I can definitely raise my hand and vouch for this. I was so used to wearing big suits that I was buying them much too large and now that I lost weight I cannot even wear them. Tailor cant even touch them. So if anyone wants about 15 MTM Hickey Freeman suits/SC's size 44R PM ME!
post #15 of 84

100% silk ties are most assuredly not dead-- silk knits, grenadines, and soporific neats are nearly universally adored here. Madders, repps, pindots, and wedding ties can all be quite tasteful as well. In the aggregate there are probably more 100% silk ties around here than any other material. Matte (or low-sheen) finish and texture (along with non-awful color/pattern choices) are the keys to making it work. For a city suit, silk is far and away the safest (and ususally the best) choice.

 

Wool and linen ties can be great, but don't have as broad a range of usefulness as silk, because they're more rustic/casual and more seasonal. These can both be advantages, too.

 

If you're talking about shiny silk satin ties of the Donald Trump style then, yes, kill them with fire.

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