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Building My Wardrobe From Scratch Post Weight-Loss

thebeanieking

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Hi all, occasional lurker and first time poster here. To preface this post, I’ve been interested in classic menswear for years now and have a few nice pieces, but have never fully committed to a well thought-out wardrobe. I’ve always put it off because I figured I’d do it right when I lost some weight. Well, it seems that time has come as I’ve finally had time to focus on my health and am approaching my goal weight, which I should reach in a couple months.

After much research, the general consensus in online menswear circles including this forum and other resources like Permanent Style is that people should build their wardrobes slowly and not go on a buying spree. This of course poses a challenge to me as after significant changes in my weight, most of my everyday clothes barely fit (I’ve had to tighten my belt by three holes!). My thought process at the present moment is that I’ll build a basic wardrobe of items I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of, along with some more fancy pieces which I enjoy.

For context, I’m a university student in the UK and typically wear smart-casual outfits with shoes like loafers and boots; nothing too formal. I’m fortunate enough that budget isn’t a prohibitive concern for me and I’m prepared to spend a good amount on clothes that’ll last and that I enjoy, and I’ll attach the list of clothes I’ve decided on so far (with further additions to come), along with some brands and makers I’m most interested in. This thread will serve partly as a personal diary of clothes I buy over the coming months, but I mainly want some advice and input from the community on which way my wardrobe should go!

Tops
- OCBDs in white, blue, blue stripe
- Linen shirts in white and ivory
- Dress shirts in white poplin, some sort of striped poplin, oxford, and denim for variety
- Plain tees in various colours
- Knitted polos in various colours

Knitwear
- Navy and Grey cashmere crewnecks
- Navy and Grey cotton crewnecks
- Black and Navy rollnecks
- Navy or Grey shawl cardigan
- Navy and Grey Polo Sweaters

Bottoms
- Khaki, olive, ivory and navy chinos
- Grey flannel dress trousers
- Brown and Natural linen trousers
- Raw indigo jeans

Outerwear
- Tan trench coat
- Waterproof field jacket
- Saint Laurent Teddy jacket
- Navy Harrington

Suits
- Navy hopsack suit
- Black tuxedo for formal events


Brands I’m considering
- Tom Ford
- The Armoury
- Permanent Style
- Rubato
- Drake’s
- Anglo-Italian
- Asket
- Sunspel
- Loro Piana
- Private White VC
- William Crabtree
- Incotex
- Anderson & Sheppard (knitwear)
- Luca Avitabile (for my shirts)

Thanks for reading and I hope for some input!
 
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Zerase

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I would not go for a hopsack suit - just the jacket is enough. Get a navy or charcoal suit in a worsted wool for formal events and a brown tweed jacket to have something nice for autumn and winter. I also think you should get yourself a wool overcoat for winter (if you don't already have that).
 

thebeanieking

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I would not go for a hopsack suit - just the jacket is enough. Get a navy or charcoal suit in a worsted wool for formal events and a brown tweed jacket to have something nice for autumn and winter. I also think you should get yourself a wool overcoat for winter (if you don't already have that).
Thanks for the reply! Yeah I was considering just getting the navy hopsack as a jacket. Brown tweed is a good suggestion too and I’ll definitely keep it in mind for the colder months. You‘re absolutely right about the overcoat too, do you think I’d be better served by a navy or brown one?
 

Zerase

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Thanks for the reply! Yeah I was considering just getting the navy hopsack as a jacket. Brown tweed is a good suggestion too and I’ll definitely keep it in mind for the colder months. You‘re absolutely right about the overcoat too, do you think I’d be better served by a navy or brown one?
I have a light brown and a navy and cannot chose one over the other haha. But I think navy is more versatile.
 

Phongmoua

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Exciting times. As someone who's recently graduated and is building their wardrobe as well, I'd be happy to share some of the mistakes I've made along the way.

Something I wish I had paid more attention to before buying was silhouette and design (especially when buying from different brands. Different brands have different visions and aesthetics and greatly affect the fit and cut of the garment. Small differences such as the height of the rise or the leg opening can really affect the outfit. As Simon mentioned in one of his blogs, some men (me) are to worried about where the cloth of their shirt is sourced and they neglect the collar shape completely.

Thankfully their are brands like Drake's, Anglo-Italian and Saman Amel that take help take out the guess work and offer complete looks for their designs. However, when buying from different brands that are more focused on specific items such as trousers and knitwear, it can be challenging.

For examples, I was buying trimmer Italian trousers from Rota early on and pairing it with chunky knitwear from Inis Meain. Both of which are great brands with quality make, but when worn together made me look like an upside down bowling pin. Instead I should have either gone for a more fitting sweater or a fuller trousers (more English or American with a straight leg).

Although it doesn't seem like a big issue, when you're on a budget and trying to build a wardrobe (at least in my case) getting as much out of it as possible would have been nice.

Lastly, it's just clothing. I've spent way too much time stressing out and worrying about every little detail that I often end up reading random articles about the yarn count of a pair of socks. Buy things that you will wear and enjoy.
 
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Since we seem to have similar tastes I'll weigh in on this one.

I also started buying clothes after I got into exercise and slimmed down a little (maybe only 10lbs or so - not quite as dramtic as your weight loss). I'm 5' 10" and around 138lbs - so a pretty slim frame. Your body type definitely will influence what brands/styles look good on you. Personally I don't really care for the relaxed / oversize fit that seems to predominate. The baggiest fit I like is a 32 in the Real McCoys chino... I like a more 60's Ivy - vintage vibe.

Long sleeve shirts

I really like G. Inglese - bought a ton from NMWA over the years. I especially like the collar roll and the larger buttons which gives a more vintage look.

Drakes is great for OCBD and Madras shirts. I like the smaller collars on these for wearing under knitwear.

Knitwear
I like Luca Faloni for cashmere crewnecks. Trunk and Harley for shetland crewneck.
I like the Armoury, Luca Faloni and G Inglese for Polos

Trousers
Rota for all my tailored pants
Orslow and vintage Levi for denim
The Real McCoys for army style chinos

Outerwear
Baracuta Harringtons
Barbour Bedale
Private White Raincoat
Vintage US Navy Peacoat
Valstar Valstarino

Suits
I have few vintage suits but have been buying Sport Coats from the Armoury.
If I was buying a new suit I'd check out a Model 3A
 

thebeanieking

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Thanks for the comments guys, have read them and appreciate the advice and kind words!

Just to update he thread, I’ve just placed an order for some Drakes OCBDs with their bundle discount, and I’ve gone with a PWVC PS wax jacket instead of the Barbour. I’ve also gotten a PWVC moleskin blouson jacket in brown, and am going to pull the trigger on some chinos from The Armoury, as well as some trousers from Cavour’s sale. These will need some alteration of course, which I’ll figure out when I have time to get them done properly in June. I also plan to try out Collaro’s MTM trousers and maybe a jacket when I’m back in Singapore in August and am able to visit their physical location for measurements.

I will update this thread and post some fit pics in time. Thanks again for all the advice!
 

thebeanieking

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Since we seem to have similar tastes I'll weigh in on this one.

I also started buying clothes after I got into exercise and slimmed down a little (maybe only 10lbs or so - not quite as dramtic as your weight loss). I'm 5' 10" and around 138lbs - so a pretty slim frame. Your body type definitely will influence what brands/styles look good on you. Personally I don't really care for the relaxed / oversize fit that seems to predominate. The baggiest fit I like is a 32 in the Real McCoys chino... I like a more 60's Ivy - vintage vibe.

Long sleeve shirts

I really like G. Inglese - bought a ton from NMWA over the years. I especially like the collar roll and the larger buttons which gives a more vintage look.

Drakes is great for OCBD and Madras shirts. I like the smaller collars on these for wearing under knitwear.

Knitwear
I like Luca Faloni for cashmere crewnecks. Trunk and Harley for shetland crewneck.
I like the Armoury, Luca Faloni and G Inglese for Polos

Trousers
Rota for all my tailored pants
Orslow and vintage Levi for denim
The Real McCoys for army style chinos

Outerwear
Baracuta Harringtons
Barbour Bedale
Private White Raincoat
Vintage US Navy Peacoat
Valstar Valstarino

Suits
I have few vintage suits but have been buying Sport Coats from the Armoury.
If I was buying a new suit I'd check out a Model 3A
I’m thinking of trying Rota for trousers and will report back on that. How do the armoury’s polos suit you? I considered those but am leaning towards the ones from Permanent Style because of the more structured collars.
 
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I’m thinking of trying Rota for trousers and will report back on that. How do the armoury’s polos suit you? I considered those but am leaning towards the ones from Permanent Style because of the more structured collars.
I don't know if I've found a perfect polo for me yet. Maybe I should try PS?

The Armoury does have a structured collar and works great under tailoring (which is why I got one). However it is too long to wear untucked and looks a little baggy around the waist if not worn with a jacket IMO

The GIs all have very soft collars that don't work under tailoring. They are also a little tight but when I'm at my peak fitness (summer -fall) they are fine as a casual top. I think the sleeves would be too long if I sized up to 39. They are short enough to wear untucked w/ jeans and chinos.

Luca Faloni is good but the sleeves are a little too short - I might try a size up. Their collars are also more structured than GI but not as stiff as the Armoury.
 

epsilon22

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I’m thinking of trying Rota for trousers and will report back on that. How do the armoury’s polos suit you? I considered those but am leaning towards the ones from Permanent Style because of the more structured collars.
I'm assuming you're talking about the pique polos made by Ascot Chang? Those have pretty structured collars, just like dress shirts, just unfused and of course made of the pique fabric which feels different from smooth dress shirt fabrics. I find them perfect for wearing tucked and with a jacket (as the above post mentioned, the length is too long to wear untucked). I've worn them with bomber/harrington jackets, sport coats, and a peacoat during the colder seasons. I've seen others wear sweaters with it, but I never tried that yet.

If you want something to wear untucked, I recommend the Permanent Style knit polos (Dartmoor/Finest) or Colhay's tennis polos, they have ribbing at the waist hem, so they will hug the top of your trousers, and their collars stand a bit higher than most knit polos from other brands (PS' collars are a touch higher than Colhay's, but I like both). I ended up sticking with Colhay's instead of PS because the PS polos have this weird ripples at the upper back just below the collar. They seem to be designed to fit people with more rounded upper back than myself. If they both fit me, I might lean towards the PS polo for the collar shape.
 
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Also, the only caveat about G Inglese is that their sizing is not consistent. I have some 38s and 39s - and quite a few had to be altered a little by my tailor - while others fit perfectly. I *think* they may be a little more consistent now - at least if you're buying via NMWA.
Re: Drake's I don't especially like the breast pocket when wearing under tailoring, but it's perfect for more casual outfits. Also Drake's sizing is very consistent.
 

thebeanieking

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I'm assuming you're talking about the pique polos made by Ascot Chang? Those have pretty structured collars, just like dress shirts, just unfused and of course made of the pique fabric which feels different from smooth dress shirt fabrics. I find them perfect for wearing tucked and with a jacket (as the above post mentioned, the length is too long to wear untucked). I've worn them with bomber/harrington jackets, sport coats, and a peacoat during the colder seasons. I've seen others wear sweaters with it, but I never tried that yet.

If you want something to wear untucked, I recommend the Permanent Style knit polos (Dartmoor/Finest) or Colhay's tennis polos, they have ribbing at the waist hem, so they will hug the top of your trousers, and their collars stand a bit higher than most knit polos from other brands (PS' collars are a touch higher than Colhay's, but I like both). I ended up sticking with Colhay's instead of PS because the PS polos have this weird ripples at the upper back just below the collar. They seem to be designed to fit people with more rounded upper back than myself. If they both fit me, I might lean towards the PS polo for the collar shape.
Thanks for the advice! Maybe what I meant is that I prefer the look of PS’ taller collar. I haven’t tried any of these on myself of course, so I’ll probably get a couple and see what suits my body best. Will probably be wearing polos under more casual outerwear or sweaters.
 

thebeanieking

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Also, the only caveat about G Inglese is that their sizing is not consistent. I have some 38s and 39s - and quite a few had to be altered a little by my tailor - while others fit perfectly. I *think* they may be a little more consistent now - at least if you're buying via NMWA.
Re: Drake's I don't especially like the breast pocket when wearing under tailoring, but it's perfect for more casual outfits. Also Drake's sizing is very consistent.
Will definitely look into G.I. As for Drake’s, I don’t see myself wearing the OCBDs under tailoring too often, but I am a little concerned with how narrow the shoulders seem to be. My shirts should arrive in a few days so we’ll see then I guess!
 

epsilon22

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Thanks for the advice! Maybe what I meant is that I prefer the look of PS’ taller collar. I haven’t tried any of these on myself of course, so I’ll probably get a couple and see what suits my body best. Will probably be wearing polos under more casual outerwear or sweaters.
Which PS polos are you talking about btw, the Armoury (Ascot Chang) pique polos would be comparable to PS' Friday polos which I have never tried yet. The Armoury's button-down collar polos are my favorite in this category so far.

For knit polos like the PS' Dartmoor and Finest polos, they are good for more casual looks or when worn without a jacket, but the collars won't be as structured as the Friday/Armoury polos. In this knit polo category I think PS' Dartmoor/Finest polos have the best looking collars (the fit just doesn't work for my body), and Colhay's would be my next pick, though theirs are in cashmere/silk so a bit softer and warmer than PS' knit polos.

I highly recommend getting at least one polo from each of the two categories above since they look and feel different.
 

acconrad

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what a time to be alive when university students have the budget for drake's and private white vc
 

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