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Want to Get into Men's Fashion

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So I just got my first big boy job, and it requires a suit every day. I gained a lot of weight in school, but bought some basic workhorse suits and accessories until I can lose weight. I recently started a diet and workout routine to get back in shape, and I don't plan on buying a bunch of new suits/clothes until I burn off the weight. However, I'm really starting to get into this stuff, and I want to start sort of making this a hobby. It's going to be a long, grueling wait until I can really go out and buy the suits I want.

So in the meantime, what should I be doing? Any advice for someone wanting to get into men's fashion? Blogs, websites, stores, etc.? I guess I can start with socks and ties, since those aren't going to be dependent on my weight. I think my biggest hurdle is going to be learning what looks good together. I think I'm like most men getting into this: clueless about how to match. Any suggestions on where to go from here?
post #2 of 5

How much weight are you looking to lose? How realistic do you think your goals are?


I personally haven't experienced big fluctuations in weight, so I cant comment on specific numbers. But I think the general reality is that within a certain range, you can buy the same size, and alterations--if any--will take care of the rest. Maybe that range is 15 pounds, or 20 pounds, but some such range exists so if your goal is within it, then you can pretty safely start buying the clothes you need.



Not exactly sure what you mean by "hobby", and "men's fashion". Do you mean hobby similar to stamp collecting? Because the clothes we wear are an important part of presentation, menswear as a "hobby" is all the in practice--very different from, say, buying Fabergé eggs.


I also notice alot of members have a reaction to the word "fashion." Perhaps it is evocative of the fashion industry, which as a rule is interested in turning a profit, and not so much in making clothes that are comfortable and presentational. Or maybe it brings to mind the metrosexual man (I will be PC here), who thinks loud and garish will "make a statement", and who believes that outlandishness turns heads and is therefore brave (or to use their word, "fierce").


So I'm not sure if that's what you had in mind for "men's fashion", or whether you were referring to the classic code of menswear, which really is an extension of the 19th cen. conception of the gentleman. This way of dressing emphasizes understated elegance, where clothes are both functional and aesthetic; items well cared for will last a lifetime, not just into the next season; clean lines and correct proportions take precedence over ornamental frills; and quality trumps quantity, especially in the people who admire his clothes. The overriding ethos is to convey dignity and gravitas, not tin-eared expressivity or self-centered individuality. So whereas the metrosexual seeks attention by piquing our senses, the gentleman commands our respect by appealing to our harmony and good taste. The metrosexual (and the whole industry built for, by, and of the same group of people) solicits others' affirmation to buttress their own self-worth; the gentleman is already secure in his own being, and naturally coordinates his attire to reflect his inner calm and his immediate surroundings. If something similar to this is what you originally had in mind, then I have a feeling you'll find many helpful things in the answers members post, as well as the articles they link.


It is very easy to over-think matching (I'm assuming you're mostly thinking of color matching, and also pattern matching?). Sure there's probably a science to color coordination, and to mixing lines, grids, and dots, but for a beginner just see if the overall outfit works for you. Get a full length mirror, and check out your ensemble under the lighting you intend to wear it in. If you like it, great; if you don't, fix what needs to be fixed. Luckily, most items in classic menswear go with most other items, so the chance of a jarring mismatch is very low if you stick to the traditional. Experimentation and feedback are key, and hey, the first person you're dressing to impress is you. good luck

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply.

I guess I'm more of a beginner than I even realized; I didn't even get the terminology right. But you put it better and more elegantly than I ever could have. Yes, I want to use my clothing as an extension of an elegant persona, which at this time is still getting off the ground. I don't envision it as a hobby per se, where objects are collected for the sake of collection, but instead eventually building that elegance overtime into a lifestyle. I don't see myself being a "dandy," at least at this point, but building a wardrobe I can be proud of is something I'm very interested in doing. I have the education. I just got the job. I hope to soon have the right body. Now I just need help putting together that outward appearance to compliment the lifestyle/persona I want. I know it'll take time and won't happen overnight, which is why I was looking for advice on beginning that transformation.

Unfortunately, I'm more than 20 pounds overweight. I plan on losing a total of 80 pounds, which I anticipate will take a year or so. It's going to be a slow process, so that's why I thought I'd see what I could do in the meantime to start refining my taste.
post #4 of 5

If it's going to take a year, then I'd say start right away. I'd recommend starting on the lower end, your fused -> half-canvassed suits, basic staple shirts, what have you.



- It sounds like you're gainfully employed, so unless you're buying Kitons and Tom Fords, nothing's gonna break the bank.

- Actually wearing the clothes, noting all the flaws in construction and fit, gives you an education many times what you'd get from reading all the books and blogs.

- Pretty much everyone has a few terrible items in their closet, usually bought in the beginning when they didn't know better. Having a couple lower quality items forces you to appreciate the higher quality details in the garments you will acquire later on, when (hopefully) both your refinement and bank account have grown. After all, Everest is mounted one step at a time.

- Pacing your purchases alongside expanding your knowledge base of menswear will give the best results.

- The adage to "buy for the body you have, not the body you wish to have" is still quite sound. While you may be a very dedicated, driven person, I think all of us can share a laugh when we think back to the resolutions we each made a year ago.


Yeah, so I'd say do as much homework as you can, then boldly go adding to your wardrobe whatever you need the most: suits, shirts, shoes, whatever. Research is still important 'cause there arre $400 suits that are a steal for the quality, and $400 suits that are grossly overpriced: all boil down to the details. Let us know of any specific questions you have, and I'm sure you'll find many helpful answers.

post #5 of 5
Watch and wait. Learn about the various fit issues and major on those price ranges that you are likely to choose. If you are going to spend £4,500 on each then your approach should be to determine the detailing of what you want, double breasted, braces, belt and so on, then go to Savile Row and call upon 3/4 houses to see the one with which you are most comfortable and then go ahead and make you first commission, If you are in the RTW arena then tarry and read, understand the threads on those for 12 months.

Good luck, there is a lot for you to learn.
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