1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

Need help starting out...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Berko1se, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. Garasaki

    Garasaki Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    251
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    I am sure this question is posted all the time. I'm sure it's tiresome and that's why the "old timers" have probably stopped looking at these threads.

    But as a newcomer, both to this site and to building a stylish wardrobe, there is no doubt that

    "Where do I start?"

    is an incredibly important question and it sits at the front of a "newb"s (for lack of a better term) mind for quite some time.

    Whats the first thing I should buy? Where should I buy it? How do I know if it fits right?

    This is really the reason that thrift shopping is such a great exercise for the new person. You get to investigate different pieces, materials, and fits, with very little financial risk.
     
  2. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,970
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    



    start by not uttering these phrases anymore. the clothes will come
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  3. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,535
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    "Slippery"? No. Unable to produce a list (that would help)? Yes, because he is almost a complete unknown.

    Thrifting might be a way to learn, might be. But most men dislike shopping and want good results fast.
     
  4. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,222
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    To the OP:

    I don't know what your required work wardrobe is, but I would guess it is at least business casual. Basic dress shirts in blue are your friend here, with the occasional white shirt and pink / lavender if you are so inclined. The best trouser colors in general are medium grey and tan IMO (possibly cream for summer). Wool is dressier and you will probably not go wrong with wool trousers, but in a more casual office you can probably get away with chinos. One pair of black and one pair of brown / burgundy shoes are a good start. The black shoes should be a more formal style while the brown shoes can be loafers or derbies. For social occasions if you want to be more casual, I'd also pick up a few nice polos (Polo Ralph Lauren, custom fit if you are slim, Brooks Brothers is good for this too) and sweaters. If you wear jeans, a few nice pairs of jeans (the Streetwear and Denim forum will help you here) to go with your casual outfits. This will take time. No matter what your job is, I recommend getting at least one suit (solid grey or solid navy) for interviews, weddings and formal occasions when you might need it. Once you get a bit more established, you may hit up a charity event or two on weekends and some of these are business formal. You should also own at least one odd jacket, with a navy blazer or other navy odd jacket the most versatile choice for a first jacket. Make sure they fit you well and you will look good.

    The bar scene really varies by location. If you are going out in River North, you definitely won't be overdressed in a sport coat on the weekend. Same applies to parts of the Gold Coast and the Viagra Triangle. If you're going out in Lincoln Park, Division Street, Old Town or thereabouts, it tends to be a bit more casual and also tends to have a younger crowd.

    Lastly, if you're worried about getting onto places, there are three things you can do that have nothing to do with clothes (at least directly).

    1. Go to bars earlier at the point where they have a solid crowd but no line yet.
    2. Befriend attractive women and go out with them.
    3. Get to know the owners / managers at places you like.

    Of anywhere I've lived, I think 3 may be most important in Chicago. Welcome to SF and Chicago and have fun. You'll get better information if you post more specifics.
     
  5. red81

    red81 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    330
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    also,
    when you're by suit supply if you make it down there, check out a store called haberdash and sir&madame.

    they sell "higher end" (compared to say jcrew) clothing, but it'll give you ideas for nicer "street wear" that you can wear out to bars.

    also, since you're out of college, no more clothes with logos on them, regardless of what look you end up going for.
     
  6. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,501
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    The Arena - Centerfield
    

    We always prefer photos, budget, specific information of lifestyle, location and application whenever anyone requests assistance.
    The OP is an almost complete unknown, that is true, but he did give enough general information, albeit barely, to warrant suggestive responses. If he chooses to expound on his needs, the responses will become more specific.


    Not might be. It is in fact, one of many good ways to learn and the mistakes cost less to learn from.


    Most men don't come here but more are coming each day. They do want to learn basics while others wish to learn advanced skills. Others yet come to learn the history of mens clothing while many come just for entertainment.
    Within the context of the OP, 'Good results fast' is what we gave and you did not.
    We are using the Socratic method of questioning and answering, questioning and answering.
    Until the OP provides a more detailed request, I have gone as far as I will, and at this point I will rest my case.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  7. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,222
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    

    I generally agree but I think Ralph Lauren polos are perfectly fine.
     
  8. sanchito

    sanchito Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    57
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    I think it really has to do with the "old timers" feeling a little self important...what they don't understand is if one is new to this then one doesn't even know how or what to be specific about!!!...we come here for guidance....to be told, "you aren't specific enough" creates, I'm sure, a feeling of self importance but is not very cool nor helpful.
     
  9. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,877
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Advice:

    0) Don't spend too much money. Don't spend too much money. Don't. It's not worth it when you're starting out. Spend it on alcohol and women and vacations.

    1) Look for decent quality without going too expensive. J.Crew has a lot of good stuff in the casual domain that should be appropriate for where you're at in the journey.

    2) For work, go to Brooks Brothers *sales,* and if that's still too expensive, go to Jos A Bank buy 1 get 11 free promotions.

    3) Buy staples, and dont think that fancier or more colorful or french cuffs or broguing or weird colors etc are better. You'll save money and be way happier if you buy very useful and versatile stuff.

    If you do these things, you'll be OK to start, and you can figure more things out as you go.
     
  10. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,222
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    

    It really has nothing to do with feeling self-important. The reality is, "where do I start?" is a very different question for someone who works in a casual workplace than it is for someone who wears a suit everyday. Different stores work better for people with different builds. You can post more generic information that can be helpful, as myself and others have, but people get better advice if they give more detail and take out some of the guesswork for someone trying to think about what advice to offer. I get that some newcomers do not know what they should be specific about, which is why a lot of posts asking for more detail mention specific questions. Sometimes it's helpful to take a step back and really think about what you want or are trying to do.
     
  11. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,501
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    The Arena - Centerfield
    

    Alright, I'll ask you a question. How much tan, khaki, grey or navy pants can you wear before tiring of the tedium? After these essential colours, what would be the colour for pants that you would wear for fun and live another day?
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  12. Garasaki

    Garasaki Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    251
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Point taken, and I don't think anything resembling red would be my next choice, which is neither here nor there, but I have to question the presence of those pants for a guy who just graduated college and is asking "how do I start assembling a stylish wardrobe"?

    I'm at the same-ish wardrobe place as the OP. Although I didn't just graduate college. I can say I've never worn a pair of gray (grey?) pants in my life. Yet. It is high on my "to buy" list. I've barely even worn navy. Tan, Khaki, and jeans have been my daily fare - which I'm trying to expand. Point being, if I represent the average person, the answer to your question:

    How much tan, khaki, grey or navy pants can you wear before tiring of the tedium?

    is: a whole hellova lot.
     
  13. AmericanGent

    AmericanGent Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    667
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Location:
    Florida, unfortunately
  14. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,535
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Self-importance is involved, by image consultants and others.

    It would be nice if a "Please provide specifics such as..." block of text popped up when a person tries to start a thread with a few keywords such as "help" and newbie." In lieu of that, could members at least avoid recommending buying used clothing, ordering important items without trying on first, 2-for-ones, and non-standard furnishings (e.g., pocket squares) to typical beginners? On other clothing forums, the advice to new people is better; and without interesting threads by new people and integration of some new members, it's boring.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  15. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,222
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    

    As far as I can tell, your advice in this thread has been (1) a request for more information which is wise, (2) pointing out that OP needs cold weather gear in Chicago and (3) that lists are not useful / pocket squares and vests are flashy (which I personally think is dubious advice at best). I don't think you should complain about the quality of advice given in this particularly thread when you haven't given much of any yourself.

    Look, it would be great if every new poster provided the details useful for more experienced members to give helpful replies. They don't, generally did not in the past, and never will do so regularly. Sometimes you get helpful follow-up data, sometimes you don't. My instinct (and I think the instinct of many other posters) is to try to be helpful to the extent we can and work with what we have. I think that's far more useful than ignoring the OP until you get every detail you want.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  16. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,535
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
  17. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,535
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
  18. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,535
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    It was those items being "flashy" on young people. Anyway, the point is that blind advice as described in #34 is unhelpful and either drives new people away or encourages them to waste their money. It does not encourage actual dialogue in which more details about the situation might be shared. That kind of information often is provided on other sites, indicating that the problem probably is how regulars react to newbies.

    Also, re thrift ships from an earlier post, good place to explore colors, fabrics, etc., but learning objectively good taste and fit isn't happening there and thrift shop clothing usually shouldn't be for important uses (such as the office).
     
  19. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,222
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    If you're going to keep pushing this claim, the least you can do is document it. What is an example of a website or thread where the advice you think should be given was given on another website? It's hard to even discuss this unless you give an example of a helpful post.

    As for white linen pocket squares being flashy on young people, I've worn them since I was 18 and never had an issue. I think a jacket without one looks worse 99% of the time and someone might have an issue with a young person wearing one 1% of the time at most. I see no sense in looking worse 99% of the time to avoid a situation where 1% of people will be offended or think me flashy. Hell, the percentage of people who will think me sloppy for not having one is probably at least as high.
     
  20. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,535
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    (double-posting especially bad today :censored:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by