Advice on improving my style

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Jeff Costello, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Jeff Costello

    Jeff Costello Well-Known Member

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    Let me answer to one response at a time:




    Quote: Thank you. I don't go to a gym, but I've started since three months ago lifting weights two or three strenuous sessions a week, and I still go on the occasional hike or walk as well. I'm not sure about gaining twenty more pounds, but I could look good with more muscle. I'm trying to maintain a versatile wardrobe, so thanks. I'm actually going to buy new suit separates slacks for my suit, to complete the tailored fit. I made the mistake of getting the traditional full cut, so I'll see how the new one goes.




    Quote: I live about an hour away from Los Angeles, so there are certainly a lot of malls and stores around. My total budget isn't defined, but I'm still reluctant to spend more than about 150 for shoes, as an example, or about that price on a sports jacket. I'm at a point in my life where I must make the most of what I have, and I'm unemployed, which does not help the matter. There's some good advice you've posted, but after giving it thought, I never really cared about how overdressed I may have been perceived for the last two years. If anything, I'm just trying to remain consistent with my style, but putting more thought into the fit and quality of my clothes than before. I started with the objective of trying to dress nicer, since four years ago starting in community college, and it's now leading me to the point where I'm trying to refine the foundation I've set out to follow. I guess I could get away with adopting a more casual approach to style and still look good, but I feel obligated to maintain certain dress standards for myself. I'll certainly consider a new pair of jeans (probably Levi 501s in rigid) and good casual shirts.




    Quote: I get you, they're too wide and they just can't hold a crease (Land's End chinos have been a hit or miss for me, the grey ones I'm wearing above with the navy sweater are better fitting). I wouldn't burn 'em though, they'll just get relegated to being worn for yard work or hikes, sort of like my baggy olive Cabela's are right now. I need a replacement khaki that is in between the fit of this and the very skinny pants popular right now. I want something that isn't skin tight, but isn't so loose like the ones pictured. I'm not sure about low rise, but I can do with an inch below my navel.




    Quote: Most of my shirts are some kind of button-down collar variety. I should save up for a good point collar (no buttons) white shirt though.




    Quote: I think you're right about that. From pictures I've seen of European and Asian businessmen, button-downs don't seem to be as common as in the U.S.


    OK, and now I'll close tonight with another picture of the McGregor Anti-Freeze and jeans (Levi's 505s, I've had them for over two years, and they were originally unwashed/rigid):

    [​IMG]


    It's nowhere near as stylish as a red version of the jacket is (like James Dean), but this is one of my most prized parts of the wardrobe, despite just being a frumpy looking brown nylon jacket. It's 40r, fits, and it's comfortable, so I think it's a keeper. As for the jeans, they were in better shape before, but they're starting to get a hole on the right knee. I'll get a replacement eventually, and use this for the great outdoors.

    The more I'm reading this thread, the more I feel compelled to react as soon as I can to step it up a notch. I would rather be perceived as enjoying and "owning the look" of the type of clothes I usually wear (and I do prefer to dress with business/smart casual sensibilities), and not to be seen as getting ready for a job interview. Most guys going to a job interview I've known of recently wore black suits, so I think my choice of light charcoal does something to distance myself from that stereotype. Black suits don't do it for me anyway, though. Thanks for the suggestions.
     


  2. tacobender

    tacobender Senior member

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    So my next round of advice/questions goes like this?

    You want to spend 150 per item? How many items are you looking at total and what do you hope to accomplish at the end of your wardrobe improvement. What do you feel you need the most of? Do you need shirts, shoes, pants?

    I am going to be a tad harsh and hope you can appreciate this advice and I also don't want to alienate my views from others....

    Your 22, At the end of the day not a lot of 22 year olds are dressing like you, community college, state school, private university, they are shopping at malls, be it abercrombie, hollister, american eagle, etc...not saying you should be shopping there, not saying you shouldn't be shopping there...most of the brands you are mentioning are wearing fall under a rather lower quality / low style stand point, ex old navy, dockers, lands end (going to catch hell for that I'm sure) If your an hour from LA you have access to plenty of choices in clothing but on your personal comfort level, I am detecting a more of a rugged outdoorsy person than a city dweller. Some of your pics seem to indicate your in a mountain,wear a stetson hat, you have pants from cabelas etc...

    I have a bias and that is that I sell designer clothing. So I don't own anything from the more outdoorsy places. Going forward I won't suggest anything too far out there and out of your realm either.

    You want a nice pair of jeans? I'd suggest APC's for 175. I think thats a fair price for a good pair of jeans, plain pocket and depending on your body structure, either slim in the new cure fit, or a more slim straight leg in the new standard. At 180 you have nudie slim jims which again, reasonable price, great fit, stylish etc....

    Want to save some money and find those prices too high? Surely you can get a reasonable fitting pair of khakis at a gap or gap outlet? I guess their denim could be okay too. (I can't stand levi's so I just dont suggest them anymore, but since they make 59483 fits, I am sure one must fit you?

    Want a nicer selection of shirts, Jcrew has reasonable prices and selection when they go on sale I think they are a fair deal.

    I'm not going to suggest to an unemployed college student YOU NEED 375 dollar ralph lauren black label dress shirts, 450 dollar incotex pants, with a pair of 685 dollar crockett chelsea boot. You can update your look on a budget, one month at a time.

    Someone pointed out that you look like you are in your mid 30's. I'd take that as a sign to update/modernize your wardrobe and how you are dressing. Does not imply you need to modify any behavior or personality traits, but maybe switch your look up a bit.
     


  3. CuffLinks28

    CuffLinks28 Active Member

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    I'm also a hat person and I love the hats you have. Especially the first one!!
     


  4. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    The light brown khakis do look very bad. It's not only the fit. The light color draws emphasis to the relatively thick legs, as do the tucked-in shirt and lack of a jacket. Also, building upper-body muscle would lessen the problem.

    The general style isn't age-appropriate, agreed.
     


  5. pgmetcalf

    pgmetcalf Well-Known Member

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    Well it depends on what you mean by improving your style. My initial impression is that you're a safe dresser and probably look like Joe Bloggs i.e. most people. By that I mean your dress sense is not very avant garde and probably wouldn't get you noticed. That's not meant to offend, some people don't like to be adventurous and that's ok but it doesn't tend to be stylish. If you're on a budget I would go through your wardrobe and sort stuff by colour and then by style e.g. casual and sartorial. Check out the colour wheel for ideas http://www.realmenrealstyle.com/color-wheel-menswear/

    Fortunately the Internet is a large place with much good advice. If you're in college why not adopt the ivy league look since you're part way there IMO. I would also consider having your hair cover your forehead more and maybe a Beatles mop top or something? Hope it works out for you.
     


  6. Needsmoreshoes

    Needsmoreshoes Senior member

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    I'd say change your current khaki chinos for a pair with a much lower rise, take them to a tailor and taper the hell outta them - some previous posts suggest that you dress like an old man but the real differentiating factor in looking young or old is the cut of the item itself; so get some chinos that sit on your hips (not hanging from your nipples) and are tapered through the leg, it's more youthful and infinitely more flattering.

    This is just a personal style quibble but are you known around campus as... "That guy that wears hats"?
     


  7. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    I really don't have anything to add except to say you might very well have set a new StyFo record for sheer variety of clothes taken to the public restroom in one visit.

    This knocks edmorel down to #2.
     


  8. Jeff Costello

    Jeff Costello Well-Known Member

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    Here's what's going on. Well, starting with the suit, I am getting the tailored fit slacks instead of just wearing the baggy traditional fit. I'll see how it fits at a 33 waist and 33 inseam. Second, I'm not going to be getting rid of my leather jackets, I'll still wear them (the better fitting Wested more than the Sporty's Pilot Shop one). Third, I'm currently looking around for chinos that are slimmer than the pairs I've got, but not as tight (and pockets bulging out) as the Land's End tailored fits. I think I'll stop purchasing pants from them after the slacks for the suit, as they're hard to get right, so I'm looking for another source. If possible, I want to avoid a logo or patch on the back of the pants. Fourth, I'm considering new jeans as well, as I only own one pair of Levi's 505 (in my efforts to pull off the vintage casual look, as seen on Fedora Lounge, I haven't found it worth my while to own more than one), I'm looking at just ordering Levi's 501s as unwashed/rigid.


    Quote:
    [FONT=verdana, tahoma, arial, sans-serif]I should have been more clear about that, I don't want to spend that much per purchase, but what I meant to say was that I wouldn't mind saving up for the prize, so to speak, quality over quantity. That's something I should work on, I've been focusing more on quantity for the past two-three years since I've lost weight. What I do hope to accomplish ultimately, is to achieve a modern, yet vintage-influenced (mainly a mod, sophisticated 1960s vibe) wardrobe. I'll cite most of Sean Connery's James Bond films (excluding the last two), and just about any Jean-Pierre Melville, Jean Paul Belmondo, and Alain Delon film of the '60s (Breathless, Le Doulos, Le Samourai, Les Aventuriers, and The Sicilian Clan all have great style I think translates well in modern times without looking particularly dated). As for the last question, I need mainly shoes and pants at this point. I'm thinking of starting off with some good casual shoes like Clark's Desert Boots or those Land's End Fulton chelsea boots.[/FONT]


    [FONT=verdana, tahoma, arial, sans-serif]Quote:[/FONT] [FONT=verdana, tahoma, arial, sans-serif]No, not really. I don't wear a hat enough anymore to have people remembering me that way. In community college, I used to wear my hats a lot more often. I would wear them with my usual casual clothes, and I have received many compliments and even questions from other guys asking me where they could buy them. So, this to me proves that fedora type hats work for me, but I can't get past the notion that I should be dressing even more formally to wear one of these correctly (a suit, maybe just nicer slacks, dress shirts, and shoes). I haven't ever worn the Stetson Open Road hat in college or my current university either, I feel like it's too country despite seeing a couple of guys wearing similar looking styles, but I enjoy wearing it locally on a walk or hiking in hills.[/FONT]


    [FONT=verdana, tahoma, arial, sans-serif]Quote:[/FONT] [FONT=verdana, tahoma, arial, sans-serif]I don't actually live in the country, although there are hills in the area that people can hike around. I appreciate the western/country look, but apart from the Stetson hat, that's not really my style. I'm saying this as somebody who, since 8 or 9 (although I got out of it at 11), has taken up a western look, even wearing a relative's old cowboy hat all the time. I think it's safe to say I'm a hat person overall, but even then I don't wear one every day. As for the Cabelas' pants, I received them as a gift from someone (worse, I even directed them to it myself, as I thought it wouldn't be so baggy), but I ended up keeping it mostly for hikes or yard work. Now, the picture you've seen of it in this thread is not representative of the frequency I wear it on campus. They're even a bit baggier than the Land's End khakis.[/FONT]


    [FONT=verdana, tahoma, arial, sans-serif]Quote:[/FONT] [FONT=verdana, tahoma, arial, sans-serif]Maybe you're right. I think the classic side-part (Up until several months ago, I used to do a full pompadour too) looks good, but I might not have the right hairline to get away with one that well for my age. I've thought about it, and when I comb my hair up and back like that (with pomade, I don't do hairspray or gels), I just look like I'm receding a bit, maybe like 2 on the Norwood scale. Lately I've taken to combing my hair down more, but with an off-center (closer to the side than middle) parting so that my higher temples are less noticeable. I haven't had my hair like a Beatles mop top in over three years, and it used to always just be the result of letting my buzz cut grow out for months, but it's not bad look. More casual looking than my current style, sure, but the forehead is covered. Since I haven't had a haircut in two months, it's basically mop top length too. I don't feel like going back to a very short buzz cut though, that's also something that hasn't happened in two [/FONT]years.


    [FONT=verdana, tahoma, arial, sans-serif]Quote:[/FONT] [FONT=verdana, tahoma, arial, sans-serif]Lol they weren't all taken the same day. That bathroom I seem to frequent is a single room with the toilet, sink, and mirror. It's just embarrassing for me to take pictures like that with somebody watching.[/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana, tahoma, arial, sans-serif]Quote:[/FONT] [FONT=verdana, tahoma, arial, sans-serif]After reading the comments here, I'm starting to understand what is meant by that. I think it'll work better by the time I hit my late 20s. Ever since I got into college though, I felt compelled to step up my wardrobe, although granted, I took some wrong turns. It's possible to be well-dressed and not look like I'm dressed for a job interview.[/FONT]


    [FONT=verdana, tahoma, arial, sans-serif]OK that's it right now. When I get the chance within the next few weeks, I'll post a picture of my suit with the new pants. I think the opinion was that the jacket looked OK, which for me as a first suit is fine, but next time I'll try to top it in fit and quality, maybe Indochino or something. Just to make it clear where I want the direction of my style to go, I'm hoping that in the next few years I'll have acquired another couple of suits, as well as more shoes, ties, shirts, pants, and all that jazz. Even an overcoat would be good. I won't always be dressing like that, as I'm planning to buy more casual wear too, but I've always admired the old school aesthetic of men wearing suits in the city.[/FONT]
     


  9. jamesny

    jamesny Senior member

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    I am amazed that at 22, you have all these clothes..when I was your age I think I had 1 suit and mostly jeans and polos.
     


  10. Juliane

    Juliane Member

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    i like the first picture... smart business look ;-)
     


  11. sullivan025

    sullivan025 Senior member

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    The fit is the most important requirement in improving yourself, second only is syle. So you can have a 3-piece suit in a luxury fabric and get all the attention because it's ill-fitting.
     


  12. mandjo

    mandjo Well-Known Member

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    I like the one where he's wearing a suit as well but the khaki is hideous though.
     


  13. Jeff Costello

    Jeff Costello Well-Known Member

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    Here's something, a tweed Hart Schaffner & Marx overcoat. It's likely vintage (as in 1960s), and in good condition except for some wrinkles. For 15 dollars, I couldn't pass it up, even though it doesn't have the tailored tapered look most members here seem to be interested in. I like it enough that I've decided to keep it, but maybe later I could have it altered. Any thoughts on how I should dress to be wearing this? I've just decided to put the coat on in the clothes I'm wearing for the day. I understand that it's meant to be worn over a suit or sports jacket too.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Here's my dress hat with it:

    [​IMG]




    I originally thought that the coat would be darker (more like a darker grey/green than it is), and in reality this picture is closest to capturing the color:


    [​IMG]



    I'm also making up my mind about having a midnight blue grenadine tie made by Sam Hober, and ordering black chelsea boots (the Fulton from Land's End is fine for my budget). I'm still deciding on new chinos (currently wearing Land's End tailored fit, but with pleats, I think they look better than the baggy flat fronts that I showed earlier), maybe Jcrew in regular fit?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2012


  14. Snedley

    Snedley Senior member

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    It looks fine. Leave it exactly as is and don't start with alterations, not neccessary. Besides, at 22 you'll get bigger and broader bones in a year or two and if you alter it now it will be too tight later.
     


  15. Snedley

    Snedley Senior member

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    Like most kids you can't judge age. He looks 22.
     


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