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Hairdresser wardrobe conundrum  

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
If I walked up to a spring wedding on the beach wearing a black suit with a black tie some people might think I was an idiot, but if I walk into a hairdressing seminar or a trade show wearing a grey suit with tan shoes showing some bare ankle then people might think I'm lost at the wrong convention. It's just a stupid 50 year old rule that if you're a hairdresser, you wear black. I know one answer is to be confident and break some rules, wear a pink shirt to the big hair show, but I'm not cool enough to do that.

Most black clothes I find are either super fancy for black tie type stuff, super cheap (H&M, Zara, etc), or they have a novelty pseudo punk rock vibe (varvatos or Diesel type stuff. Basically Hot Topic gear with a higher price tag). I want to look like a hairdresser, but also be well dressed. When I try to research guides on suiting I keep hearing "don't wear a black suit unless it's for a funeral," when I ask a well-suited friend for tips they look like they just ate a bug when I say "teach me about black," and when I go to get a MTM shirt I have to shuffle through 300 bright and colorful fabrics before I find black. It's just a little bit hard to find that sweet spot where I'm bending the "avoid black" rule while not looking like a potential new front man for My Chemical Romance, a kid at his first dance, or like a guy who has to leave soon to make it to some gala...

Does anyone here have any tips or inspiration for looking "nice" in black? Typically I'll wear chinos (I like the unbranded brand) with some kind of boots (Allen Edmonds long branch, or freshly polished Iron Rangers) or cap toe shoes (also Allen Edmonds) and a buttoned shirt (all of it black) and if I need a jacket it's a Schott cafe type or their leather trimmed pea coat. But that's been my "uniform" for years and I would love to expand on it, maybe add a tie and/or a more elegant jacket.

I guess what I'd like to figure out (aside from reliable sources for well made "non-punk" black clothing) is how to get creative with patterns and textures. I could throw in stripes or dots or something (wait, can I?). Or learn how/when a jacket (like a... Sport... Coat?) can be worn and to what degree it has to match the pants (can I wear a somewhat fancy jacket with a more durable and casual material for the pants?)

Would any of you mind wrapping your head around my situation and helping me to find some confidence in some black on black decisions? Okay, I'll budge a little on my expectations- I guess I could also wear some dark grey pieces in there. Thank you! Please be nice to me if I'm being needy and clueless smile.gif
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
Sorry, I posted this while half asleep after a very long day, I feel like I'm wasting anyone's time to read it. I feel like I suck at styleforum because I have very little experience exploring my own style expectations, perhaps something I should really reflect on before bothering you guys. I grew up with a thrift store approach then went through a diesel phase in my early 20's before learning that I gravitate toward more traditional things last longer and age more gracefully (I guess like the rest of the world who fell in love with raw denim and Red Wing heritage). Seeking "well made" above all has lead to the closet of a cartoon character (I buy my black t shirts in bulk and own about 80 of them, and I buy 4 pairs at a time of the same black pants) and my few jackets are either motorcycle or military because they just last forever. I've begun to look into building a more deliberate and splendorous wardrobe in the past but I only recently have enough money (and I guess "status" in my industry- I say that rolling my eyes because it's just Instagram popularity and not something that prepared me for much of the etiquette that many known hairdressers seem to follow) that I should put real effort into my wardrobe. I'm hitting Nordstrom after work today and starting there by simply asking the opinion of whoever is working. I don't know where the average Nordstrom employee sits on a salesman to expert scale, but I promise not to buy the whole department in one visit. I know that in hair some of the most remarkable work comes from people who were unaware of the "rules" so maybe I can get really lucky and have a win by accident as I research this stuff.
post #3 of 6
I mean do you have to wear a black shirt? Can you do white and black pants? Grey pattern shirt? I'd rather the pants be black than the shirt
post #4 of 6
I don't know anything about cutting hair, but I do know about stylists, and the uniform often includes black. If that is the uniform color of your profession, maybe try a few black and white variations:

Black sportsjacket, white tee, black jeans, and either some minimalist sneakers or boots.

Black suit, white shirt or tee, black derbies.

Black tee and black jeans and boots or sneakers.

There are many other variations.
I've included no sweaters because I assume that those would be a mess for a hair person, but there are tons of outfits with black sweaters.
post #5 of 6
Rereading your first post, buy a fitted black sportsjacket and go from there.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Wow! Thank you.
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