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Different approaches to developing your wardrobe and buying clothes - Page 2

post #16 of 37
Quote:
 If it don't fit I don't keep it is my motto nowadays. I realized as much as I love a certain look or how nice it looks on display, if it doesn't fit me well OTR I am not keeping it. And depending on where I purchased from it may even mean axing a certain designer. I think once you find a brand that fits you well it slows down the whole process of having to buy the next thing, at least for me. I think part of the experimenting phase is nailing down fit, which for some like myself can take a heck of a lot longer than others. SVB does MTM/MTO it seems so I imagine it is easier to nail down fit that route and perhaps allows you to take a step back and see what is the next thing to update. Plus, that time of pause really is an effect of well fitting clothes that you can wear time and time again because you get much more enjoyment than what is cool but not the best fit

 

I also have these sentiments. On top of fit, I've slowly realized over years of experimentation and buying that certain aesthetics and brands just don't really work for me. I've fallen into the trap of buying something that looks cool in a lookbook or on the model way too many times. Nowadays, my senses have matured to the point where I can actually pass on pieces that look really cool but don't fit into my aesthetic. There are always pieces that are intrinsically valuable or aesthetically pleasing, but just don't work for me. Pretty jealous of people who can pull off a variety of looks but in the end style is a conversation between your internal and external self and a certain balance must be maintained.

 

Quote:
 

And in theory, I would like to go ultra-minimal, but it's really tough. I could have a closet full of white shirts but at some point I'm going to see a blue one that I really like. And that's at an extreme end that I'm not close to. That said, I have, over the last couple years, pared down to the point where most of my shirts are white dress shirts, blue oxfords, or navy polos. There are other things that are firmly established as "here for good," like I don't think there is ever going to be a better winter sweater than my SNS Herning charcoal grey Stark. So I can check that off my list, and any time I see an awesome thick knit, I can remind myself that I already have the best thing for that need and I don't need another

 

And to echo SVB again I really do believe that the "best of something" is the best way to go about organizing your wardrobe and becoming more content. I don't believe there is a good enough reason to own a second-rate item in any clothing category, for example, work boots or minimalist sneakers or heavy knits. If you really love a piece then you will always reach for it and there is no reason to own a "beater."

 

For myself I actually own multiples of a lot of stuff that I really love to add a little bit of variety in colours and whatnot. I have two Ijevans and the UNIQLO Lemaire mockneck in every colourway for example. But I do think that trimming down and being able to pass on our consumer tendencies is the way to go for the environment and just for personal happiness/satisfaction. I really like it when every piece in my wardrobe is carefully chosen and well loved and I don't put something on and have doubts about it. Obviously there can never really be a "finished" wardrobe (or a "finished" anything in fact) but I do like to strive for it.

post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mythage View Post
 

 I've fallen into the trap of buying something that looks cool in a lookbook or on the model way too many times. 

 

But I do think that trimming down and being able to pass on our consumer tendencies is the way to go for the environment and just for personal happiness/satisfaction. I really like it when every piece in my wardrobe is carefully chosen and well loved and I don't put something on and have doubts about it. Obviously there can never really be a "finished" wardrobe (or a "finished" anything in fact) but I do like to strive for it.

 

This.  Advertising absolutely works and is absolutely insidious.  I've also bought things based on lookbooks or models and I'm invariably disappointed when I don't look the way I thought I would wearing them.  Lookbooks are a form of advertising that's very subliminal, in my opinion.  No sales pitch, no hard hustle, just a picture and boom - temptation.

 

I agree with SVB's "best of something" philosophy, too.  Having developed a sizeable wardrobe now, I look back and about 25% of it was a misfire.  Either I sized incorrectly or it just didn't stack up to the picture in my mind's eye.  I wonder how much money I could have saved if I'd paired down to a minimalist wardrobe composed of a couple of quality items for every category, instead of trying to build complete "looks."

 

I've also taken a hit in that I have a CM wardrobe for work.  A lot of my suits are actually a size too small now after I've put on some muscle from lifting - most of my suits are 40 reg but I realistically need a 42 at this point.  I'd get eviscerated if I ever posted a fit in the WAYWT thread over there.  Finding quality suits at a good price point is extremely difficult, though - I basically stalk sales or outlets and hope I get lucky.  Which all goes back to again wishing I had a few things that fit perfectly versus a lot of things that fit marginally well.

post #18 of 37
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post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mythage View Post
 
And to echo SVB again I really do believe that the "best of something" is the best way to go about organizing your wardrobe and becoming more content. 

 

Alright, let's expand on this then. This seems to have gained some traction, and I hadn't really fleshed this idea out, but getting the best of something, and therefore being able to cross it off one's list, is a big step in terms of obtaining and maintaining a minimalist wardrobe, if that's what one is going for.

 

Again this is going to be different for everyone, but for me personally, there are at least a few examples I can give that fall into this category:

 

as mentioned, the charcoal grey Stark:

 

the perfect heavy knit in the most versatile color. I actually have two heavy knits; this one and a fair isle, but this is the one I would grab if my house were on fire. Also, I've had it for years now and there are no signs of degradation and no indication that it will become a dated fashion item.

 

I would also submit these:

 

on the CM side, the navy grenadine tie:

I have this one from Exquisite Trimmings that I got last year. I have another from Chipp that's wider and a lighter navy tone, and another one from several years ago that is much slimmer that was a vintage purchase off ebay where it was mislabeled as a knit tie and I didn't even know what I was getting. But since I sometimes have to wear suits for work, but not always, I have to have at least one tie (some people in SW&D don't need any), and this also could, in theory, be the only one I needed.

 

white sneakers:

as close as we might get to something that everyone in SW&D needs, but I can still think of plenty of people here who might never wear these or something similar. for me though, having these means I can pretty much cross sneakers off my list. I also have GATs but I could have one or the other and be fine.

 

denim:

This is not the best product shot but these are the N&F jeans in stretch selvedge that I got a couple years ago. Between these and my old faded APCs, I have not given any thought to denim purchases since.

 

And in terms of an overall minimalist approach, with the denim and white sneakers, one could rotate a few shirts and add the Stark when temperatures demand and be ok for 80-90% of non-formal activities.

post #20 of 37

Excellent thread: it's very interesting to see different approaches.

 

My approach is just to divide clothes into three categories: 1) Monday through Thursday work clothes, which are your typical soporific/conservative MC clothes (being a lawyer and all), 2) Friday clothes, which can be deviate somewhat from the "classics," but not by too much, and 3) Saturday and Sunday clothes, meaning I wear whatever the hell I want.

 

I know you are supposed to try to integrate your clothes into a coherent whole, but being in such a conservative profession, I want to depart almost completely from what I wear when I'm working. You would not be able to tell based on my work clothes that I love to wear "fashion"/"directional" stuff like Dries/Rick Owens/Yohji on the weekends. For that reason, I also do not wear anything with a collar when I'm not working.

 

My personal approach maybe (is?) schizophrenic, but it feels liberating to completely separate my work from my life, at least in this small way.

post #21 of 37

also, side note, somewhat on-topic, sometimes I look back through my tumblr where I've cataloged all my fits from around 2012 forward and can't believe all the random shit I've had. In the last couple years or so, I've pared down quite a bit.

post #22 of 37

@LA Guy this "DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO DEVELOPING YOUR WARDROBE AND BUYING CLOTHES" is the most uninspired thread title anyone could have come up with; petition to change it to "Minimalist to Maximalist: the Complete Wardrobe Approach Debate Showdown Extravaganza"

post #23 of 37
I'll throw in a few points here I guess.


While philosophically I agree with the idea of finding the 'best version of something', I also hate to 'make a mistake' but committing to an item which I'm not sure is going to work for me, or I'm not sure if I've found exactly quite the right version of, especially when I have limited resources, whether they be money, space, etc. So one of my techniques has been to use fast fashion, ie Gap/H&M etc to buy a simple basic version of something that's an experiment for me, and if I find I'm constantly using and enjoying the item, then after 2-3 seasons, I'll upgrade and replace the original version. If it's something I never end up wearing or I feel like it's not authentically me, then there's only a small loss there. For example, I tend to do a minimalist military / americana workwear lite look, and figured hey an MA-1should work well with this, but I've never owned one. It's a bulky cut and a certain look, so I got one from H&M for $40-60 and have worn it now for 2-3 seasons and really like it, so I'm on the lookout for something nicer like say that Lad Musician version.

Another point related to finding your grove versus experimenting, one technique that I've done is when I find an item I love and it feels like a certain look of what I'm going for, whenever I'm out looking at new stuff, I use that one piece as an anchor and ask 'will this go with that item?'. So let's say I have a Patrick Ervell Cadet sweater. I totally love the thing, and I only own one, but whenever I wear it I feel great and I think it really encapsulates the look of what I'd like to go for. So whenever I buy anything now, in my mind I'm thinking about if it would go with that aesthetic where that one item is the anchor piece. Now I don't only have 'one look' a la zoolander, but I have 2-3 very concentrated concepts. I also use this idea to cull the collection so if it helps me identify items that aren't really committed to any one style I'm going for which might be why I haven't used it much, so then I'll drop it to clean up the lines between the looks and make them more pure in a sense.

One final random thought here... When I was younger, I definitely tried out and experimented with a lot more stuff (clothing-wise he he), and while I like to adapt to the seasons or play with colors and textures, I do find something comforting in the familiarity of fit. So call me boring, but now when I find something that feels right, I tend to buy it in a stack of colors and fabrics. So I have 5-6 pairs of jeans, all the same cut, but different colors, washes, fabrics, etc. I found a t-shirt I love, I bought it in 5-6 colors an doubles of the basics. Etc. So even when I'm changing colors and fabric weights for the seasons, everything moves and feels the same.


Oh, one more thought. I mentioned the technique above about an anchor piece, both as a way to either make sure that new items coming in adhere to a certain concept, then the first point about if I skip that then using cheap low risk experiment pieces, and then the third point about taking the basic look and feel and 'experimenting' within it by getting the same feeling but with a bunch of colors and textures so it's more adaptable without having to add whole new items... The point I want to add here is another technique I've used to remove items. I generally organize everything as a color range, from black grey white, then colors from darker to lighter, etc, and also by textures from lighter to heavier, but sometimes I find resorting the data can find outliers. So if you group all one color together and step back, you may see you have way too much of X, or that you love your Y colored shirt but only have one so maybe get another one etc. I do the same thing with texture so see if I have too many spring/summer or fall/winter items.

Another technique I've used, which may seem a bit strange, is a forced rotation. So basically I have a pile of t-shirts, sweaters, button up shirts, etc and every day I have to wear something in the top 2-3 of the pile, then it's worn and goes to the bottom. This forces me to assess each item with roughly a 2-3 week period depending on the rotation of that item. If I find I keep not wanting to wear something and skip it for the others and it's sat at the front for too long, then it makes me aware there's something wrong with it and I stop for a second to look at why. In most cases it's something to do with the fit being off, or I don't know what to pare it with, etc. So the point here is that instead of shoving things to the back and letting them sit there, I make sure to actively keep looking at the items and assessing them. Sometimes I've reworn something and said ah now I remember why I got this, I totally missed out on wearing it this whole time, and other times I've said yeah I don't know what I was thinking, eh suck it up and sell or donate.


Anway, just some blabbing. Maybe I'm OCD but fuck it, we're on a clothing forum, you're probably the same way too non?
post #24 of 37
A lot of interesting stuff in this thread. It's funny that most posters here seem to end up in the same place, which is trying to pare down their wardrobe (vs. increasing size). It makes sense given most of us are not fabulously wealthy, so there's the money, space constraints etc.

I've pretty much followed the same path. I really like the idea of a "mobile" wardrobe that I can easily take with me whenever I move (since I move a fair amount), so by definition, that forces me to keep it small and versatile (I usually think in layers. I've lived in extremely cold climates like Chicago, but I've only ever owned one pretty light down jacket. So, I wouldn't need a dramatic overhaul if I moved to somewhere warm like LA). The versatility is nice as it allows me to wear different looks but also limits the types of pieces I can buy, which I'm OK with. Of course, sometimes, I just say fuck it and will buy a piece even if it doesn't fit any of the above if I like it enough. Ultimately, it comes down to how much you like something right?

Some other things I've noticed that greatly influence my purchasing decisions: whether something is comfortable or not (I can no longer do raw denim like I used to. If something isn't comfortable, I just won't wear it anymore), if something sheds a lot, if something doesn't fit me well (i.e. sleeves too short), etc. There's probably some more if I think harder. If a piece violates any of the above, no matter how much I like it, those flaws will keep nagging at me until I eventually stop wearing it altogether, and the item becomes a waste of money.
post #25 of 37

^ Same here. I don't wear raw denim because I just can't stand breaking them in. I also don't like scarves, sweaters, and wool pants that are crazy itchy or shoes that are uncomfortable etc.

post #26 of 37

Adding to "the best (insert item)" discussion. Everlane's founder says it's part of our mentality to think that way, and he takes advantage of that:

 

"To Michael Preysman, it begins with the male psyche. He’s the founder of Everlane, an online retailer that sells designer-quality basics like oxfords and T-shirts to men by sourcing its own factories,. "‘Is this my new shirt?’ men ask," according to Preysman. "‘Do I want to buy all my button-downs from here?’" Men often look to find the best shirt or pair of pants for their dollar, and then buy a bunch of them, he says. "It’s a hunting mentality," says Preysman. "Once you find that good spot, you say ‘Fuck it, I’m going to get everything from here.’" Thus, Everlane created what it calls The Perfect Tee and has spun up an appealing story to help sell it.

 

Source: http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/14/4836794/how-to-sell-clothes-to-bros-online-everlane-frank-oak-outlier-

Edit: Can't link cuz  j a c k t h r e a d s  is in the url after outlier

post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cumulative View Post
 

Adding to "the best (insert item)" discussion. Everlane's founder says it's part of our mentality to think that way, and he takes advantage of that:

 

"To Michael Preysman, it begins with the male psyche. He’s the founder of Everlane, an online retailer that sells designer-quality basics like oxfords and T-shirts to men by sourcing its own factories,. "‘Is this my new shirt?’ men ask," according to Preysman. "‘Do I want to buy all my button-downs from here?’" Men often look to find the best shirt or pair of pants for their dollar, and then buy a bunch of them, he says. "It’s a hunting mentality," says Preysman. "Once you find that good spot, you say ‘Fuck it, I’m going to get everything from here.’" Thus, Everlane created what it calls The Perfect Tee and has spun up an appealing story to help sell it.

 

Source: http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/14/4836794/how-to-sell-clothes-to-bros-online-everlane-frank-oak-outlier-

Edit: Can't link cuz  j a c k t h r e a d s  is in the url after outlier

 

I agree with the Everlane guy's sentiment.  Once you find your spot, that's it.  Why go anywhere else if it has everything you like and need?  Unfortunately, you often have to hunt for the spot, which leads to a lot of misfires and wasted cash.

post #28 of 37
Thread Starter 
Does there come a point where you stop searching for the "best" of an item? Anything you don't mind cheeping out on? For me, often a white shirt really is just a white shirt.
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Huh? View Post

Does there come a point where you stop searching for the "best" of an item? Anything you don't mind cheeping out on? For me, often a white shirt really is just a white shirt.

I've never really gone with "best" of anything, but unless I want a specific collar style I'll stick with Uniqlo for oxfords - the dearer one's I've tried aren't significantly better. Their T's and cotton roll-necks are decent enough for me too - I might find slightly better, but I'd rather put the cash towards something else where I'll really notice the difference.
post #30 of 37
Hi guys,

Interesting subject. I guess I'm a bit in the middle. I buy a lot of standard stuff, which doesn't have to be anything else than a good fit and decent quality. I like Uniqlo quite a lot buying tees, merino knits, chinos, socks, underwear in various colors.
I have my shirts made by Proper Cloth.
To add to the standard stuff I pick what is the best of the best for me. Examples are:

Arcteryx Veilance Galvanic coat
APC jeans
SNS Fisherman
Common Projects sneakers
Mackintosh Mac

I use the same approach for working wardrobe. Here I priorities shoes.
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