Basics of Style

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Techno-Elf, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. Techno-Elf

    Techno-Elf Well-Known Member

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    Alright I need some advice. This year I will be entering my last year of High School, and then after that I plan to move down to Flordia and go to college. Through out my High School life my style was pretty normal I guess, I mean considering we live in a rural area, but now my I want to start dressing better and more stylish for when I go off to college and get in the real world so too speak. Anyways I had another topic where people have suggested the basics and such, but now I have some more questions.

    ~ What would be the basics for the dress part of a fall wardrobe?
    ~ What would be the basics for the casual part of a fall wardrobe?
    ~ What would be the basics for the dress part of a winter wardrobe?
    ~ What would be the basics for the casual part of a winter wardrobe?
    ~ What would be the basics for the dress part of a spring wardrobe?
    ~ What would be the basics for the casual part of a spring wardrobe?
    ~ What would be the basics for the dress part of a summer wardrobe?
    ~ What would be the basics for the casual part of a summer wardrobe?

    By casual I mean everyday sort of thing.
    By dress I mean like interviewing, clubbing, dating, weddings, funerals, ect.

    I need to know the basics of what most people have so I can tell what I should want. I think most of my clothes should be stylish casual for every day sort of thing sonce I wont really need to dree up everyday but I want to look really nice everyday. But I also think I need to have some real nice clothes for clubbing, dating, interviewing, and the rare wedding or funeral. Thanks
     


  2. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    You don't ask for much, do you? [​IMG]

    Given your criteria and keeping things as minimal and versatile I reckon you could get by with:

    Dress clothes - Variety of white and pale blue shirts, some totally plain, some with an interesting pattern in the weave. Navy chalkstripe suit, solid charcoal grey suit, light coloured linen suit. Since you'll be in Florida, pick medium/light weight suit fabrics rather than anything heavy. Black captoes and red/brown (semi-)brogues for shoes will do you fine. A few white linen pocket square and a few conservative solid/pindot ties and you're set.

    Casual - khakis/chinos, button-down oxford shirts, plenty of polos, tan loafers. Linen (or seersucker) jacket and a light sportcoat.

    You say you'll be in Florida so won't really have seasons like other parts of the world, so I'm not sure it's worth splitting your wardrobe by season too much in terms of content (maybe some Floridians should chime in here about how much seasonal variation in climate there is).

    All you need is hurricane/non-hurricane wardrobes, right? [​IMG]

    Seriously if there isn't much climatic variation, use colours to differentiate the seasons rather than weight of cloth and season-specific garments. Pastels for spring, whites/creams in summer, earthy colours in autumn/fall and darker colours in winter. By that I don't mean wear a uniform of just these colours but theme towards them.

    Once you get comfortable in your own style, you'll find it's sometimes quite nice to add a dash of a spring pastel to a winter outfit as a hopeful element or an autumnal earth tone to a summer outfit as a reminder of the passage of time, if you'll forgive the purple prose! [​IMG]

    The clubbing outfit I leave to someone else, since I'm not a big nightclub sort of guy, preferring bars/cocktail lounge sort of places!
     


  3. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Holdfast, I don't know if students in Florida dress better than those in Southern California (I can't conceive how they could dress much worse), but if a young man here followed your wardrobe prescriptions, I'd be willing to wager a tidy sum that he would be the best dressed undergraduate at California State University, Long Beach, where my stepson is enrolled.
     


  4. Techno-Elf

    Techno-Elf Well-Known Member

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    Then does anyone else have any suggestions. I mean I will be in College in Florida, but straight after college Ill be moving to San Francisco CA. Anyways any comments on what the basics should be and how amny it would be wise to get to start off would be great. Thanks
     


  5. kitonbrioni

    kitonbrioni Senior member

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    Holdfast's suggestions are solid gold. If you want to develop a style of your own then this is a good time to start.
     


  6. Techno-Elf

    Techno-Elf Well-Known Member

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    Whats a Linen (or seersucker) jacket? Also should I have long sleeve shirts, the main thing I need help on is the numbers, like how many of certain things... Thanks

    PS Also why 3 suits? Im 18... Thanks
     


  7. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    Holdfast, I don't know if students in Florida dress better than those in Southern California (I can't conceive how they could dress much worse), but if a young man here followed your wardrobe prescriptions, I'd be willing to wager a tidy sum that he would be the best dressed undergraduate at California State University, Long Beach, where my stepson is enrolled.

    [​IMG]

    You're right, of course... but, well, best-dressed IS what he should be aiming for! [​IMG]

    He already has the day-to-day "normal" (his words) college stuff anyway by the sounds of things, so no harm giving him a peek at what the good stuff looks like! As kitonbrioni says, now's the time to start thinking about his personal style, while he has the freedom to really experiment (thanks for the kind words, by the way, kb - "solid gold"? Well maybe 18 carat...)

    Whats a Linen (or seersucker) jacket? Also should I have long sleeve shirts, the main thing I need help on is the numbers, like how many of certain things... Thanks

    PS Also why 3 suits? Im 18... Thanks


    You mentioned interviews, weddings, etc. - the light coloured linen suit covers hot summer weddings, garden parties, formal summer events. The two darker suits cover indoor/winter weddings and interview situations and the occasional more pricey date. You could strip out one of the dark suits if you don't mind the loss of variety. Keep the solid one instead (the stripes are too memorable and people will know you only have one suit).

    Linen is just a type of material, as is seersucker. Wiki/google for more details or wait for someone else to come along to give info for their nature/construction; I simply don't have the textile knowledge to provide much 100% accurate info.

    Basically though, both are lighter, summery fabrics suitable for when you want to chuck on a jacket to complete a look but it's too hot for a regular sportcoat. Linen is lightweight, looks elegant but wrinkles with prolonged wear. Seersucker is more casual and has a natural wrinkle. Seersucker is the blue/white striped material Southern lawyers are stereotypical pictured as wearing! [​IMG]

    Numbers of shirts? Depends on how often you want to be washing and how often you'll wear then rather than the T-shirt/jeans uniform beloved of many a student. I'd guess a reasonable number would be about 3 long-sleeve button-downs and about 5 polos. Just a guess.
     


  8. Techno-Elf

    Techno-Elf Well-Known Member

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  9. Jolly Green

    Jolly Green Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered using the Search function. Very useful. Start with "Basics." I'd be willing to bet you can find 90%+ of what you are asking has been discussed MANY times around here.

    Also start looking at GQ, Men's Health, Esquire, Details, etc and people watch. Pay attention to what the big names in style wore or are wearing (McQueen, Grant, 007, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, The list goes on, [run a Search] etc). Some of it is good and a lot of it is...not so good. [run another Search] Look at what people are wearing and come up with your own style. Ask yourself "In 20 years, am I going to look back at my wardrobe and say WTF was I thinking?" Build a wardrobe appropriately.

    If you can't figure out how to dress yourself, by yourself, during day to day (casual) life, then there is not much StyleForum (or any other resource, for that matter) can do for you. Special events (weddings, interviews, Opera, etc) may have a more defined set of rules. I assure you, browsing this forum and AAAC will give you more information than you can possibly afford.

    Welcome aboard.

    Cheers,
    D
     


  10. CoryB

    CoryB Senior member

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    I assure you, browsing this forum and AAAC will give you more information than you can possibly afford.

    So very true. If I had the bank account ... oh my, would I have fun. [​IMG]

    I'm also 17 so am in a similar situation. The jacket from AX is very casual. I have a similar jacket for wear with jeans, but the type of jackets that Holdfast is recommending is much more formal. Something like these two http://www.haspel.com/explore.cfm/home/100percentlinen. The jacket you've shown won't be accepted for interviewing or at funerals or weddings, but probably would be fine for clubbing and dating.

    What you'll need to determine is the level of formality and dressy-ness you'd like is. Your level of dress will be dependent on the situation, but which of these three scenarios appeals most to you?
    A) Dress pants or khakis and long-sleeved dress shirts with suits for more formal occasions
    B) Khakis and polos for most occasions with a sportcoat for more formal occasions
    C) Jeans and t-shirts and a uncontructed jacket (like the one at AX) to "dress it up"

    I assume your definition of the "normal" clothing you have fits predominately into the latter category (mine does as well). For me though, I like a more formal look and therefore am updating my wardrobe with dressier staples like slacks, shirts and jackets. I'm not sure about university attire in Florida, but I'm assuming situation C is most probably with B being reserved for formal occasions.

    I think the best solution would be to have a varied closet. If you want to lose the jeans look, buy khakis, dress shirts, and polos plus a few dress pants and a suit or two. If you like keep the very casual jeans look, just buy a few of the items from group B and just get a single suit for formal occasions.

    As to you question of "Also why 3 suits? Im 18... Thanks", it isn't really required unless you'll wear a suit frequently. It will produce variation, but one suit will do if you are only going to wear it once a week or less. I do like the idea of a linen/seersucker (also look at cotton) suit because it is fun and more casual look.

    You must take all advice here with a grain of salt; SFers are a formal bunch who love suits and are probably unlike the average college student. But there is absolutely no reason not to be the best dressed college student.
     


  11. Techno-Elf

    Techno-Elf Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the help guys. Anyway Im very interested in deconstructed jackets to wear with jeans and things and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestion or pics of brands on that theyve seen online? Thanks
     


  12. Techno-Elf

    Techno-Elf Well-Known Member

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    Anyway Im very interested in deconstructed jackets to wear with jeans and things and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestion or pics of brands on that theyve seen online? IVe looked but cant find many but Im probably not looking in the right sites. Im trying to get a couple that I can wear all the time year around. Thanks
     


  13. trogdor

    trogdor Senior member

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    I'd say that if you want one thing to "up" your style a notch, it'd be to start wearing pocket squares. With or without ties, with jeans, khakis or dress pants; it gives you a little bit of sparkle. Plus, when you're in university, you won't have to worry too much about whether or not the occasion is appropriate for one (e.g., you won't piss off your boss).
     


  14. Techno-Elf

    Techno-Elf Well-Known Member

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    What are pockets squares? Never heard of it before.
     


  15. CoryB

    CoryB Senior member

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    What are pockets squares? Never heard of it before.

    Pocket squares are squares of cloth (most often either cotton or silk) that are put in the breast pocket of jackets. As that description probably does little for visualisation, here a google image search
     


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