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Casual styles

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Dear members, I am pretty satisfied with my business wardrobe now, and I would like to build up my casual wardrobe, because I am tired of wearing business clothes on weekends. .... and who else would I turn to, other than esteemed members of StyleForum? From my perspective, casual clothes can be broadly grouped into three categories: a) The american preppy casual style, best exemplified by Polo Ralph Lauren b) The european understated casual style, exemplified by Ferragamo, Faconnable, Zegna c) The ETRO shirt + jeans look Of these, I consider style (a) and style (b) to be most viable. They also fit my philosophy that clothing should be understated and tasteful, with an emphasis on quality fabrics, fit and subtle details. It should look very well put together. The idea is to convey a sense of refinement while appearing casual and leisurely at the same time. I don't want to look like Old Navy dressed me. Do you have a preference for any particular style? I have lots of pique polos and khaki shorts right now, and the twist that Ralph Lauren and JCrew puts on the preppy style (lots of bright colors, ribbon belts, etc) is attractive. However, I wonder if I will get tired of it, and if this twist looks too much like a costume? I am looking at the european understated casual style (something like the picture below). But clothes in this style seem to cost more, as there does not appear to be a J.Crew equivalent. Just want to see what others think.
post #2 of 23
The whole J. Crew/Polo casual thing just makes people look alike, to me. "Oh, a white Middle American" springs to mind. Not that my meaningless snap judgments should have any effect on your own tastes. The style just falls flat for me and seems too...easy, for lack of a better term. You might field some interesting suggestions in the "streetwear" forum.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
The [preppy] style just falls flat for me and seems too...easy, for lack of a better term.
Makes sense to me. Compare:
post #4 of 23
There is something about J. Crew's color palette that really rubs me the wrong way. I can't put my finger on it. I own a couple of their items, a blue shirt and a black wool V-neck. Neither fits their typical color palette -- the blue shirt looks...like a blue shirt, it's good to bring out when I don't feel like drawing attention to myself. The black sweater is nice, though I've not worn it in a year or so. You might do well to look into the likes of Turnbull and Asser. eBay it if you're looking to hit a particular price point -- pricier than J. Crew, but it seems a more enduring look to me.
post #5 of 23
TO the following:
Quote:
I am looking at the european understated casual style (something like the picture below). But clothes in this style seem to cost more, as there does not appear to be a J.Crew equivalent.
You answered your own questionL:
Quote:
Of these, I consider style (a) and style (b) to be most viable. They also fit my philosophy that clothing should be understated and tasteful, with an emphasis on quality fabrics, fit and subtle details. It should look very well put together. The idea is to convey a sense of refinement while appearing casual and leisurely at the same time. I don't want to look like Old Navy dressed me.
Personally, not my look at all, but if you want this look, and not a cheap (and usually obvious) imitation, the differences are subtle, and will cost you money, money, money, or perhaps time, time, time. The styles you are are going for are not distinctive, so the emphasis is on materials, and to a lesser but still important extent, cuts. An Avon Celli or Luciano Barbera knit will easily set you back a few hundred. That jacket looks like it is cotton with silk - get something from Brioni, and you are looking at a grand or more. Casual slacks from Incotex, in the $300 range. A decent shirt will set you back about $150. Shoes, about $300, assuming you are not a shoe snob, in which case you are looking at at least twice that. Of course, you can achieve the same look at discount if you are willing to invest time. I strongly suggest looking at www.virtualclotheshorse.com and TheWorldsfinest online store to save yourself between 60 and 80% retail. The guy's haircut is of the $80 variety too, btw. I could easily get you this look. It doesn't take a particularly good eye to get this look (generic continental casual), and tailor it to you. But it will take either time, money, or both.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Personally, not my look at all, but if you want this look, and not a cheap (and usually obvious) imitation, the differences are subtle, and will cost you money, money, money, or perhaps time, time, time.  
Are there even cheap imitations? I cannot think of any, quite frankly, with the possible exception of Lacoste; they have sport shirts for $85, but the alligator precisely ruins the concept of "I am so privilleged and secure and I don't want some stupid aligator on my shirt". I would gladly pay $80 for a haircut like that. My last haircut at The Art of Shaving at Madison Ave East 40s, for which I paid $40 + $10 tip, was dissapointing.
post #7 of 23
Depending on your build, location, and your eye/touch for fabrics, you might have a lot of success in thrift stores. This is a very common look (not "common" in the backhanded sense, mind you -- a lot of people do/have sport/sported this look) and people give away some pretty amazing stuff pretty frequently.
post #8 of 23
Cheap imitations? One word per country: Spain: Zara U.K.: Reiss U.S.A.: Perry Ellis (well, that was 2 words) France: ernest.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Cheap imitations? One word per country: Spain: Zara U.K.: Reiss U.S.A.: Perry Ellis (well, that was 2 words) France: ernest.
OUCH.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Spain: Zara U.K.: Reiss U.S.A.: Perry Ellis (well, that was 2 words) France: ernest.
If these are your suggestions, than you are indeed right that these are very obvious imitations. Zara and Perry Ellis are nothing like what I would want to wear.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Any more thoughts on casual looks?????????? I am checking this thread 1,000 times per hour.
post #12 of 23
You might dig on some Varvatos...
post #13 of 23
orbitingio has a pretty good suggestion. Try John Varvatos. Classic Americana with European sensibilities, or Continental with American sensibilities, however you want to describe it. The prices are reasonable (for designer level clothing.) His corduroys pants are really pretty decent, as is some (*some*) of his knitwear, shirts, and outerwear. Mix it up with a bit of Faconnable (for color) and some Armani or Vestimenta sportsjackets (since the picture you showed had a fair bit of drape), and some Paraboot shoes, and you are probably good to go. Get a decent Turist raincoat while you're at it.
post #14 of 23
BTW, this is as much styling (from scratch) as I do without getting paid.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great ideas so far .... I look forward to the weekend so I could check out the stores. Meanwhile, additional suggestions on places to look or casual styles to emulate are welcomed.
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