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Advice needed for the truly clueless  

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm British, in my fifties, a widower


I've bought the same clothes all my life, just replacing things when they wear out


My female friends say that all my clothes are awful, and that I need to dress better


I don't know what's wrong with the clothes, don't really want to change too much, what can I do?


I've looked a little on line and everything I read says step one is get clothes that fit better - I don't know what fitting well looks like


Every forum or website has pictures saying 'good fit / bad fit' - I can't tell which is which


Any hints?

post #2 of 9
I don't know your circumstances, but it might be worth a trip to London to some good shirtmakers and to a good tailor off-Savile Row. England has a lot of storied shoemakers as well.

A few good pieces of knitwear, and you are probably good to go. One of our friends, S.E.H. Kelly: has some very good casual clothing. Actually, for casual clothes, I would say that the fit pictures on his website are quite good.

What is your budget? What would you prefer, a more tailored, or more casual, style? I am assuming that you don't want anything particularly extreme.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your swift reply


In reverse order...


No, definitely nothing 'extreme'


I have no idea what you mean by 'tailored' as opposed to 'casual' style - clueless, remember


My budget is as low as possible. Right now I probably spend ~£100 - £150 at most - p.a. on clothes


I don't wear knitwear - jumpers are too hot for me, I wear shirts for work and t-shirts for weekends


Shoes are a pickle, as I have very wide feet. Very Very Very wide feet - size 10EEEEEE, so can't buy shoes anywhere but one shop in North London


Shirts are bad as well, I have a 19" neck, 48" chest - shirts either hang off my shoulders or are too tight to do up


I already have a suit for weddings, interviews etc. so don't need a tailor - and Savile Row prices would be out of the question

post #4 of 9

It seems like you have a non-standard body type - i.e. RTW clothing is typically not cut with your body in mind.  I would engage a good alterations tailor if I were you.  That can make a world of difference.


That said, unfortunately, for 100-150 GBP, you are not going to get very far, even with budget options, but perhaps some of our UK members will have some suggestions.  If you would increase that budget by 100%, to the still very modest 300 GBP, you might do a lot better for options.  Just something to consider.

post #5 of 9
As far as shirts, look at Spier & McCay for decent budget MTM. Get BD collars for casualness.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

£300? Really?


I buy 3-5 white cotton shirts a year at £15-£20

One pair of cotton or cotton/linen trousers, sometimes two, for ~£20 each

Every few years a new bunch of pants and socks (always cotton for both)

I get free t-shirts all year round at conferences and conventions

And of course from time to time a new coat or pair of shoes, but that's outwith the £100


I really can't imagine spending hundreds of pounds on clothes

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

MTM = made to measure, yes?

What is BD? (I know it as battledress - e.g. army tunic & trousers, so guessing it's not that)


And Spier & Mackay are a Canadian company, I'm in the UK

post #8 of 9
BD is button down. I don't know how "dressy" you need to go but I'd say button casual shirts and maybe like chinos or khakis can be a good start. Maybe a nice casual linen sport coat would be a good addition as well.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Not very 'dressy' at all


For work I just wear white cotton long-sleeve shirts and navy trousers

My clients are pretty old fashioned - the not-wearing-a-suit-and-tie is enough to raise a few eyebrows


For weekends (going to the supermarket, sitting around the house reading etc.) I wear a t-shirt instead of a shirt


Chinos are too heavy to wear for that, and a shirt is far too formal


What's a sport coat? Just googled, answered my own question - nooo, far too formal for my weekends :)

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