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If you had to start over tomorrow...

post #1 of 266
Thread Starter 
A. Harris had a thread back in the spring in the S&D forum that asked:

Quote:
Originally Posted by A Harris View Post
If you had to start over tomorrow, building a casual wardrobe completely from scratch, what would your foundation purchases be? Be as specific as possible - brands, models, fabrics etc., and preferably stuff that is currently available at retail. Link pics if you can.

So, inspired by that thread, I ask the same question of the individuals in this forum.

In my case, a combination of age, resources, and lifelong clotheshorsery has produced many a failure. If I started over again, this is what I would change (again, these address my weaknesses; yours might be very different):

1. Exchange quality for quantity at an earlier age. Ten bespoke suits. Not thirty RTW and MTM. Ten bespoke pairs of shoes. Not sixty RTW. And so on. A dude who is actually doing this, whether you like his style or not, is mafoofan.

I see no reason to change my bespoke tailor. So, my future improvements would be to settle on a shirtmaker who will make me happy (I'm thinking Lauwers, Matuozzo, or...Kabbaz) and one or two shoemakers (I'm thinking Cleverley and Fosters).

Let the pelting with rocks and stones begin...

2. Try to look away from bargains and sales. Yes, bargains are great. But they are not as great as you think. A discerning eye and brand education can help, but so can restraint and the knowledge that paying full price for exactly what you want can save you from discounts that will leave you wanting. So much of the buying behavior discussed in these forums revolves around bargain hunting. I feel, though, this doesn't necessarily lead to good results.

So, what would you do differently if you were starting over?


- B
post #2 of 266
Take my time.
post #3 of 266
Not wasting so much money on expansive tailored items at an early age! Stuffs that I bought even 3 years ago don't even fit that well anymore. :-(
post #4 of 266
I would get all my spring/summer suits with belted trousers. I do that now, but I still have several older servicable tropicals that have brace trousers, and I can't stand braces in the heat.

I would cut no corners on shoes.
post #5 of 266
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I would get all my spring/summer suits with belted trousers. I do that now, but I still have several older servicable tropicals that have brace trousers, and I can't stand braces in the heat.

Side tabs don't work for you? I just can't see putting belt loops on bespoke trousers.

If I needed extra winching, I would go to a Daks waist before belt loops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I would cut no corners on shoes.

That's become my belief as well.


- B
post #6 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
Side tabs don't work for you? I just can't see putting belt loops on bespoke trousers.- B

A) They don't work for me. Belts work much less well than suspenders, but much better than side tabs.

B) I have come to dislike the way they look on me. I like having some leather -- whether brace tabs or a belt -- in the mid-section to pic up the shoe color.
post #7 of 266
I'd have gotten on StyleForum a lot earlier for my indoctrination.
post #8 of 266
Well, in some ways I am currently “starting over”. After losing a significant amount of weight, I had to do a complete wardrobe overhaul.
Even starting fresh, I am still making mistakes, I bought one suit that if I went back in time I wouldn’t buy again. But overall I would buy more pieces off the rack or MTM. I have done a few bespoke items and the uncertainty of the process just does sit well with me. I am easy enough to it, so off the rack works well for me with just a tweak or two and MTM of established makers works well for me.

I would also buy in a one to one ratio between “smart” purchases and “passion“ purchases. IE solid navy suit – is smart to buy, get lots of wear etc. a brown plaid suit – gets me excited and I could buy just items like this, but not all that versatile.
Shirts - I would settle on one MTM maker and pick 12 shirts – again, half that are simple staples items and half that are a bit more “exciting” (this is what I have done)

Ties – I would still purchase them on a whim

Socks – no wild socks for me, I would stick with a decent socks with standard patterns
Belts – buy about 6 to match up with shoes

Shoes – I would still have a few lesser shoes like Allen Edmonds, but would focus in on a small collection of high end shoes.

Overall less items, but spend about the same money.
post #9 of 266
I would have avoided 'substitutions' from the beginning. Buying a cheaper knockoff in an attempt to fill the same void has never been satisfying. And, I've often ended up buying the real thing in the end anyway.
post #10 of 266
It's a good question. In broad outlines, I agree with Bill. I would buy less, but buy better, and try to avoid the false economy of the "deal." That said, I've made poor decisions paying full freight too.

Of course, this kind of trade-off is easier to justify when one is well-enough outfitted to afford the luxury of time and patience. So it's a bit of a catch-22. If I really had to start over, I'd feel some of the same constraints of urgency that led to mistakes the first time.
post #11 of 266
Very interesting question... I suspect my answer will be like most others: Fewer items of better quality.

As much as possible good MTM (particularly shirts) instead of OTR. More suits instead of millions of pairs of not-quite trousers I hardly ever wear. More classic/conservative (relatively speaking) shoes.
post #12 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
So, what would you do differently if you were starting over?
- B

Great question, B., easy to answer in hindsight.

1 - Hone early a healthy habit of eating and exercising - so weight and physical form stay the same.

2 - Learn from women (like Carole Jackson) how to emotionally respond to colors in clothes.

3 - Quickly find my comfortable style, my "uniform" (e.g., Mr. Armani and his navy body hugging t-shirts, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes when being casual).

4 - Decide early whether tailored RTW clothes fit sufficiently well. If not, just get the basics and save for the best bespoke possible.

5 - Distinct between fact and marketing in the clothing world.

6 - Fight the urges to buy and have variety that come so easily from the predatory and snarky world that is fashion publishing.

- M
post #13 of 266
Presuming I had the exact same amount of money to spend, and started from scratch:


1) Barba ties in heavy silk and cashmeres. I'd stay clear of the low/mid end ties that get collected from sales.

2) I'd continue having bespoke pants/shirts made. The value / utility is superior to MTM or RTW, even from those with the fancy labels.

3) Sartorio Napoli or Bespoke for suits. The quality/cost ratio with SN has is superb (especially on discount). Bespoke trumps all if comparing quality/cost to RTW.

4) No Allen Edmonds shoes. Today my choice would be supply my shoe closet with the best Martegani's and Vass across a range of color's/styles. However, I haven't received my bespoke shoes yet - so that answer may totally change if the Cleverly's turn out well.

5) Less quantity of watches in exchange for a few spectacular pieces.

6) Same as #5 for briefcases

7) All OTC dress socks

8) Heavier emphasis on seasonal clothing and less on "all-season". Just because the temperature is relatively consistent here, doesn't mean I need to dress like it.

9) BlueRay instead of HDDVD, and would buy a higher capacity AV receiver unit.
post #14 of 266
The first item would definitely be a bespoke navy blazer.
post #15 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
A. Harris had a thread back in the spring in the S&D forum that asked:



So, inspired by that thread, I ask the same question of the individuals in this forum.

In my case, a combination of age, resources, and lifelong clotheshorsery has produced many a failure. If I started over again, this is what I would change (again, these address my weaknesses; yours might be very different):

1. Exchange quality for quantity at an earlier age. Ten bespoke suits. Not thirty RTW and MTM. Ten bespoke pairs of shoes. Not sixty RTW. And so on. A dude who is actually doing this, whether you like his style or not, is mafoofan.

I see no reason to change my bespoke tailor. So, my future improvements would be to settle on a shirtmaker who will make me happy (I'm thinking Lauwers, Matuozzo, or...Kabbaz) and one or two shoemakers (I'm thinking Cleverley and Fosters).

Let the pelting with rocks and stones begin...

2. Try to look away from bargains and sales. Yes, bargains are great. But they are not as great as you think. A discerning eye and brand education can help, but so can restraint and the knowledge that paying full price for exactly what you want can save you from discounts that will leave you wanting. So much of the buying behavior discussed in these forums revolves around bargain hunting. I feel, though, this doesn't necessarily lead to good results.

So, what would you do differently if you were starting over?


- B


I'm actually "doing" number 2 now. I think the progression for a lot of people when they first get on starts with learning about these brands, participating in sales of stuff that you may not need only because it is a good product at a good price and then getting to a point where you are only interested in what you "need" and price becomes less an issue.
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