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post #16 of 26
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To elaborate, I do not buy something because it is popular, I buy it if I think it looks good on me, and matches my style. I think the absolutely most important factor of looking good is to have a personal style.
BrianSD brings up an interesting question: how personal does personal style have to be? For casual wear, I wear mostly pleated chinos/khakis, long-sleeve sport shirts in solids or subtle stripes or checks, polo shirts in the summer. For business -- single-breasted, two-button suits or sportcoats, pleated and cuffed pants, shirts with straight or button-down collars, conservative ties (is the opposite of that a liberal tie? I digress...). The nicest adjective that has ever been used to describe my wardrobe is probably "classic." It goes downhill from there: "boring," "stodgy," "drab," "too old for your age," "not enough color," etc. etc. Yet I have been dressing this way long enough and consistently enough that almost all my friends and colleagues associate me with that style (or lack thereof). That is what they expect to see me in. My significant other even calls chinos and a solid-color sport shirt the "Tony outfit." Could that be considered my personal style even though there is nothing particularly distinctive about it? Regards, Tony
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
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(Brian SD @ 08 Oct. 2004, 10:28) To elaborate, I do not buy something because it is popular, I buy it if I think it looks good on me, and matches my style. I think the absolutely most important factor of looking good is to have a personal style.
BrianSD brings up an interesting question: how personal does personal style have to be?  For casual wear, I wear mostly pleated chinos/khakis, long-sleeve sport shirts in solids or subtle stripes or checks, polo shirts in the summer.  For business -- single-breasted, two-button suits or sportcoats, pleated and cuffed pants, shirts with straight or button-down collars, conservative ties (is the opposite of that a liberal tie?  I digress...). The nicest adjective that has ever been used to describe my wardrobe is probably "classic."  It goes downhill from there: "boring," "stodgy," "drab," "too old for your age," "not enough color," etc. etc.  Yet I have been dressing this way long enough and consistently enough that almost all my friends and colleagues associate me with that style (or lack thereof).  That is what they expect to see me in.  My significant other even calls chinos and a solid-color sport shirt the "Tony outfit."  Could that be considered my personal style even though there is nothing particularly distinctive about it? Regards, Tony
Well, I guess Flusser might say that if your choice of proportion and color bring out your own best features to advantage, then yes, it is your personal style, even though the elements are common to many wardrobes. Good question, though, Tony. How do you be distinctive (not to a conspicuous level) within generally accepted "male" parameters? This leads in a sense to my original question of how conscientious are men in defining their own unique look.
post #18 of 26
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The only thing that's really consistent is not paying full retail, almost ever.
In the last 2 years, I've bought 5 things at retail: two pairs of jean, because I really needed new jeans and the models I wanted were unlikely to go on sale anytime soon (a pair of Paper Denim GTOs and a pair of Von Dutch's (good call and bad call, respecetively), a velour track jacket because I lost sanity for about 3 minutes, a Paul Smith belt in S.F., because I was in S.F. for a week, and belts hardly ever go on deep discount at Neiman Marcus anyway, and a Baltazar belt, because the color and style combination I wanted essentially need to be custom ordered. Nothing else. That accounts for 5% of my total spending on clothing or thereabouts. The regret level in my spending is about 10-20%. I actually use about 80% of my wardrobe. The remaining 20% I keep because I know that somewhere down the line, for about half those items, I have "eureka" moments, and realize why liked the item to begin with.
post #19 of 26
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The remaining 20% I keep because I know that somewhere down the line, for about half those items, I have "eureka" moments, and realize why liked the item to begin with.
NOW we're gettin' to the heart of the matter. Very funny, LAGuy.
post #20 of 26
[quote]"Good question, though, Tony. How do you be distinctive (not to a conspicuous level) within generally accepted "male" parameters?" what I do is: 1. keep what I wear at a definatly high quality, good fabrics, cuts, etc. 2. I have a very well defined "personnal style" - all of my suits follow 2 specific (and  a little old fashioned) cuts, all of my shoes are similar, all of my ties follow a similar pattern (all thick woven silk, in midnight blue, with either a simple stripe, crest or dot), all of my shirts are colored with white color and cuffs (or for business casual ocean blue). Aside from the system making my life easier in terms of mix and match, it is a very recognizable personnal style and it sets me apart while being very classic. Quill - happy to be here. I spend most of my internet time in airport and train station lounges blessing the gods of Wi-Fi.
post #21 of 26
Hello, quill. Nice topic, and thanks for the article and that site -- good writing is a treasure. What do I consider when buying clothing? First, it has to suit (no pun intended) my personal aesthetic and be the type of item that is appropriate to at least some of the social situations I operate in. My style tends to be be casual classic, moderated with nods to the military and sporting genres, as well as the occasional flair of my dramatic side. Therefore line is very important to me, and I prefer 'hard' lines to soft ones predominately, though I have a mix. A 'don't mess with me' slihouette is perfect in the right setting, but in others an approchable line is so much better. Of course, that makes very little sense to anyone, LOL. Next is price, since college costs what it costs. 75% - 90% off retail is where my expenditures in clothing reside. Price also includes the durability of the garment since I won't by junk, even if it's cheap. As for 'easy-care,' if I want something, I don't mind if it's hard to care for -- that's part and parcel, and if it does what it's supposed to I'll give what is required. That's really it. I don't care at all for trends, and so I almost always stand out for that at college, which is really the only place trends have affect in my life.  Once I once wore my favorite suit, a navy SB three-piece, with a pocket square, to class. . That was so not trendy. (Gets attention, though, wow. My friends say I'm a rebel). That sort of thing could easily gain me the moniker of a dandy, or of affecting 'uppityness,' but I mix it up so much I avoid that. For example, though sportjackets are common in Fall for me you might also see me in my ratty old olive Army field jacket (esp after an allnighter. )  You might also see me in a cowboy hat, Panama, fedora, or rarely, in a baseball cap. Some days I wear my Red Wing workboots, others I wear nice monkstraps. If you're at a college in the Northeast and you see a student carrying an aluminum Zero-Halliburton briefcase, that'll probably be me. That leaves the question of why I don't watch trends, and if I am consciously avoiding them. I don't think that I'm avoiding them on purpose; I think that I just don't like them for the most part. I did do the 'all black' look for awhile and still do on occasion (hey, I like black, and I am rather a severe guy). I suppose this means I don't care about 'fitting in' -- all I can say is that I care about fitting in only to the extent that I am showing respect to my peers, hence, I don't wear a suit constantly to class, nor would I go too far outside of accepted attire in the workplace. This also makes reference to my comment above about 'social situations' -- I won't go to the county fair in a suit, nor would I to a 'trade' (rather than consumer) auto-parts store either. In those situations I'd be disrespectful in a suit. (If you're reading this JoeG, I bet there's some disagreement there, yes?) I do put color on priority if and when I can. I enjoy deep aubergine, royal blue, and my lipstick red turtlenecks and shirt. I really want a suit in a peculiar shade of steel blue. Well, I suppose that was something of a topic. I've some more to think about now... Regards, Huntsman
post #22 of 26
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This also makes reference to my comment above about 'social situations' -- I won't go to the county fair in a suit, nor would I to a 'trade' (rather than consumer) auto-parts store either. In those situations I'd be disrespectful in a suit. (If you're reading this JoeG, I bet there's some disagreement there, yes?)
I was understanding all of your points until you mentioned JoeG. What post is this in reference to? It sounds interesting, and I'd like to read it. Here are some interesting quotes about the differences: Khabi Mizra, editor of Menswear, said that men only 'know one or two brands and do not enjoy leisure shopping.You see girls shopping on a saturday and they will look at all the clohtes in every shop. Men just go to one or two places, get what they want, and leave.' But, Stategic Retail found that American men aged 18-34 shop nearly as much as women in the same demographic. Yet, in another shopping study conducted by New Zealand Market Researchers Mattingly and Partners, they found that men 'spend too much, buy ridiculous and unnecessary items, buy the wrong items, skip the most important ones, and take too long.'
post #23 of 26
Over the past couple of years, my personal style has definitely been changing. It's becoming more much more refined than it ever was in the past. I pay much more attention to proper fit and little details than I ever have before. Fabric is still the main deciding factor for me though. I love high quality fabrics because they look great and feel great. I'm finally starting to have an identifiable personal style. I'll admit that I was largely influenced by Sebastien in Cruel Intentions a couple of years ago. My wardrobe is starting to have a very tailored, upscale look to it. All of my new stuff fits perfectly or I don't buy it. To give you an example, I'm very conscious of the drape of my pants and the way the fabric moves when I walk. I buy wool pants almost exclusively for fall/winter. In the summer i love linen and cotton/linen blends. 100% cotton just doesn't do it for me as far as my pants are concerned. Or maybe i'm just having bad memories about dockers ;p There are so many more interesting fabrics. My pants are always flat front, and until just recently, it was quite rare that they be creased, mainly because I'm still a student and it's part of an arbitrary measurement of "too dressy" that I decided I wasn't gonna pass. I move the line every year though. I've been dressing well for a couple of years, and only now am i starting to feel comfortable about buying shirts with patterns. Up until a year ago, I stuck to stuff that was easy to match, although I did this unconsciously. I could post a much longer history of how i got to wear I am now sartorially, but i'll just keep it short and say that in the past, i a) didn't care enough b) didn't know how c) would have felt really self-conscious wearing certain things. So the predominant factors for me are fit and quality. If those two are there, then price isn't so much an issue. Recently I've been checking out alternatives to retail such as ebay. I haven't bought anything yet, but i must admit the prices are attractive and so i'll probably be buying some things relatively soon. On the note of colors. I'm predominantly a black/blue/charcoal/grey guy in the fall/winter season. In the summer I have a bit more color. This year i'm trying to introduce some more patterns into my fall wardrobe. I guess i shop to fill in the gaps as I perceive them (many people would say i have enough clothes). Oh and I don't do trendy and I don't care about the label, although I am partial to some designers because they consistently produce clothes that suit my style. I spend a lot of cash per item and I like it to last more than one season. This is beside the fact that most trends make me want to cry. I'm also pretty conservative, so i feel much more comfortable with the sebastien valmont look, than I would dressed like guys in the latest gucci fashion show. Lastly, easy-care isn't part of my vocabulary. 80% of my clothes has a dry clean only tag on it.
post #24 of 26
I am a man that stands at the other end of the spectrum from the "Docker World" meta-male.  I am concerned with not blending in with the XY masses, but that means that I also do not wish to stand alongside the emerging metrosexuals. It seems I am caught between these two worlds, one of conformity and another of unabashed peacockery. I follow my own interests in fashion, but that means I am very interested in fashion and looking good to begin with. I buy things that appeal to my interest of the moment whether it is a plum colored dress shirt; some multi-green, gray, and black striped pants; or a black and white houndstooth tie. For instance my interest is in texture this Fall which is why I've been adding things like a multi colored Harris Tweed jacket to my wardrobe. (This year I really like Dolce & Gabbana's collection especially the mix of classics like the tweed jackets and plaid pants mixed with the t-shirts with images of snow tigers or puppies.) Though from season to season and year to year my interests are always changing similar to I guess the whole Fashion industry. Maybe even bordering on a level some would call very Woman like? Though I don't care. My buying then reflects whatever style or "personal trend" I am into at the moment. What I find interesting in reading some of the posts is that though some men are interested in fashion they will only buy if on a "deep discount". I think this "deep discount" may just be a new catch phrase for an emerging paradigm in male consumerism. Following the tangent of the article it is considered that men usually buy clothes for there comfort and functionality, not because they are fashionable. And "normal" men definitely do not shop. I can see it that if I am right about this being a growing trend more and more men might embrace this "deep discount" line of thought. They will start shopping more and adding in more and more fashionable pieces to their clothing, but all in the name of getting the bargain. And that will be their escape from being perceived as caring too much about clothes. If they were called out on it by friends they would just dismissingly drop the remark that though this is a Prada silk shirt, they got it for only $10 more than their buddy's Gap shirt at an Outlet. And even if one's local peers might never have heard of Prada you can rest assure the local females have and will appreciate it for their various reasons. One could go the extra step and tell the friends that it originally cost $600. But that would be verging to close to an effeminate nature because a straight man, even if he is after the "deep discount", shouldn't really know nor care how much designer clothes cost. One still needs to preserve a massculine balance. Just some food for thought.
post #25 of 26
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Quill - happy to be here. I spend most of my internet time in airport and train station lounges blessing the gods of Wi-Fi.
Well, travel safe.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
You gentlemen are all...well... true gentlemen; Huntsman, Esquire, Timothy, GQgeek. Thanks very much for your in-depth answers. I didn't think this topic, being a little more "philosophical" in bent, would really go anywhere. But it's interesting to hear answers beyond what I thought would be straightforward "I buy what's in front of me" responses. GQgeek raises an interesting topic concerning patterns (don't know if it's already been discussed before). Flusser has a definite approach to how to pair two, three, and four similar or different patterns. Do any of you consciously avoid having to deal with pattern matching or layering? Again, stereotypes would tell us that women have an innate sense of color. Do your significant others take the lead in making you look sharp in checks, bones, plaids, foulards, and such? Or do you have tailor-relationships to rely on for that advice? Nothing wrong with solids, but London stripes and such do seem to be making an impact in the fashion world these days.
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Hello, quill. Nice topic, and thanks for the article and that site -- good writing is a treasure.
Hello and thanks, Huntsman. You're most welcome.
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