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Buying menswear on AliExpress? You're kidding, right?

stuffedsuperdud

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I'm getting a pretty good idea of what you are looking for, style-wise. The problem is that a lot of this stuff is fashion from a very narrow slice of the 20th century, and probably won't be easy to find in stores. This gets outside my area of expertise pretty quick, but do you have Topman in NZ? That might be the most mainstream maker that makes anything in this vibe. Otherwise, maybe an online store that specializes in Mod styles or (and this miiiight be a stretch but it also might be genius) a steampunk costume store. Some of this stuff gets pretty wild but the more dialed back stuff might be good for use as regular clothes.

A word of warning though that people throw around here, which might apply to you too even if you don't want to dress like us, if your wardrobe is small, then unusual garments like what you are looking at will stand out more and people will remember it. For some reason, it's offputting for some people to see a person repeat a garment, especially if it's very frequently. The general recommendation for a growing wardrobe is instead is to start with something that no one will remember, like solid blues and grays, and then build from there. Doesn't have to be tailoring either, though I guess that factors pretty heavily into Teddy Boy style. All that said, if that blue suit you have is what you like, then it's not actually that crazy at all. I have a suit in a similar color and pattern and wear it all the time with no one even really noticing it on me at all. Like, I'll ask people around me to close their eyes and tell me what I am wearing, and they'll say something like "Uh...a blazer or something? With jeans?"

Again not to put on my Tony Robbins hat (cringe...) but since you touched on some of your current motivations:

I'm currently 18 years old, going on 19, living at my parent's house, and on the dole.
I have an income of about 150 dollars a week, more or less, and most of that will go to buying my own groceries and car fuel. Needless to say, I'm at quite the financial disadvantage amongst the most better-dressed people I see in discussions of style online.
...
In short, I'm unequivocally fugged six ways from sunday.

So with all that in mind, it stands to reason that I obviously come from a very different place, financially and culturally, with a different philosophy on style than most people invested in classic men's style, such as vintage collectors, sprezzatura fans, and ivy-league WASP wannabes. If the username wasn't a tip-off, I'm a big fan of the style of punk-rockers like johnny rotten and other countercultural groups from the 60s to 80s, such as Teddy Boys, Mods, and so on, in stark contrast to the majority of people who draw inspiration from italian industrialists, 1930s esquire illustrations, and other bougie shit like that. But if there's one thing that I bet most of you can agree with me ON, it's that GQ and all of their skinny-fit cover models are lame normie horseshit.
....
soz i'm from 4chans /fa/ board so i'm just getting acclimated
i was mostly joking and being edgy for the sake of it, sorry if you were offended by that
...
Whenever things get difficult (which they always are) I tend to procrastinate dealing with shit by just ruminating and rehearsing an image of myself as a cooler, more successful person, mostly in terms of fashion. I think that's what they maladaptive daydreaming.
It's pretty clear that you're struggling with various misfortunes and disadvantages right now and that sucks, but I think a lot of us can tell you from experience that lashing out at people (including GQ stylists, strangers at Cannes in bad "black tie," and *in bitchy Trump voice* Chaaiii-na), buying new toys (a StyleForum favorite!), and having a little fantasy about a different life might temporarily numb your your pain but ultimately only prolongs and grows it. A more effective strategy would perhaps be to identify factors that backed you into your current corner and devise a strategy based on controlling all the factors that you can control in order to work your way out of it. I would probably also refocus the time you're spending on 4chan and similar things as that crowd, including the fashion-inclined guys there, is just a bunch of colossal assholes dragging each other down, and the site itself, like many products and services that cater to dissatisfied edgelords, has a business model built around validating and extending your pain and anger. You don't need that. You're also only 18, the perfect time to stop hanging out with emotionally stunted online personas and grow into your own person in the real world.
 
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Spaghettimatt

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Could you please elaborate on what you mean by basics? If it's generic "navy blazer + blue ocbd + khaki chinos" advice that I've heard a million times, I think I'm good.
As for inspiration, I mean, it would probably be more concise to link my pinterest moodboard, but I guess I'll pick out some specifics.

View attachment 1770608 View attachment 1770609
the punk approach to separates on the left, and full suits on the right,
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View attachment 1770610 View attachment 1770611
Slim black suits, crazy hair, and guyliner. A formidable and slick look. Clarke (left) has a more "esquire man" thing going on, though.
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View attachment 1770612 View attachment 1770613
Wes isn't quite as edgy or rule-breaking, but he's got a sort of charming homeliness to how he dresses.
The burgundy corduroy suit + pink shirt is something I hope to emulate someday.
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View attachment 1770614 View attachment 1770621
Entirely different characters, but the same principle of a carefree, minimalist look, with casual shirting, two-piece suit, and loose tie. Note the 4 button closure on Doctor Who's suit. It's very mod, and it's not something you can get OTR. A 3 button suit is a safer middle ground, but I wanna try a 4 button at some point. Maybe with the corduroy suit?
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View attachment 1770629 View attachment 1770630 View attachment 1770632 View attachment 1770631 View attachment 1770633
Probably the strangest one in this entire list. This guy is a minor character in HBO's Gotham, which as you would expect has a lot of wild and colorful costume designs but this one in particular stuck out to me.
The fact that he almost exclusively wears these stingy little batwing bowties with art-deco patterns and embelishments really inspired me to buy a bulk lot of them myself, as there's something sort of charmingly kitschy and uncool (ala pee-wee herman) about them in a way that strangely appeals to me, in a meta-ironic sort of way.
It's also sort of an ivy-ish esquire man look (if I'm using that term correctly) with how he mixes patterns and wears odd vests. You can see the inspiration for the green gingham-check suit I linked in OP here.


As I've said, and I'm sure you get the picture by now, I'm not really aiming to be the "best dressed guy in the room" or anything like that, and I'm pretty sure of what I like. I mean, you're right, I'm not in a positon to start buying suits right now, but I already know what I want, and like I said I'm sort of intruiged with AliExpress as an avenue to get it, once it becomes reasonable for me to do so. Still, since I don't want to be arrogant, I'm open to whatever advice you have.
Sorry. I wasn't trying to suggest that you should adopt the "basic bastard" wardrobe of chinos, ocbds, desert boots and blazers. I think what I meant is that, in light of the fact that your wardrobe is pretty barren as it is (except for sweatpants and pajamas), you should focus on building up the more casual side of your wardrobe before jumping straight into tailoring. I think, at your age and current income level, you will get a lot more use out of doing that anyways. Tailoring is expensive, hard to fit correctly, and time consuming to get right and you are guaranteed to waste a lot of money trying to find what works for you—I know I did! It took me like 15 years of trying to hit my stride on tailored clothing.

The photos that you've posted are all very good, and indicate to me that you have good taste, which is most of the battle. If you favor the punk rock/mod aesthetic, I'd push you toward developing your casual/streetwear wardrobe in that direction, which I think will look good on your skinny frame. Like consider picking up a pair of black skinny jeans or drainpipe trousers, and leather chelseas, side zips, or military boots to get you out of sweatpants and canvas sneakers. Those can be had second-hand or you can get cheap versions at like a Zara or H&M or something (it's fine to cheap out on this stuff when you're just starting to experiment and find what works for you). You can pair those with t-shirts or the button-down + vest/cardigan combo you posted in that first picture above.

I understand the desire to get into mod and Ivy suits, but I think you're going to find it very difficult to do so successfully right now given your age, income restrictions, and location (much easier to buy and sell this stuff on Ebay if you're in the U.S.). I also think it's going to be tough to find mod-era suits second-hand in NZ. But when you do get around to it, there's a company called Thick as Thieves that used to be very active here that makes very mod-inspired MTM suits for a relatively affordable price (~$500). Check them out: https://thickasthievesla.com/

I also agree with everything that @stuffedsuperdud has said about getting your life in order before spending all of your resources on clothing... but recognizing that you need some clothes, the above is where I'd start building.
 
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DougDevious

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I'm getting a pretty good idea of what you are looking for, style-wise. The problem is that a lot of this stuff is fashion from a very narrow slice of the 20th century, and probably won't be easy to find in stores. This gets outside my area of expertise pretty quick, but do you have Topman in NZ? That might be the most mainstream maker that makes anything in this vibe. Otherwise, maybe an online store that specializes in Mod styles or (and this miiiight be a stretch but it also might be genius) a steampunk costume store. Some of this stuff gets pretty wild but the more dialed back stuff might be good for use as regular clothes.

A word of warning though that people throw around here, which might apply to you too even if you don't want to dress like us, if your wardrobe is small, then unusual garments like what you are looking at will stand out more and people will remember it. For some reason, it's offputting for some people to see a person repeat a garment, especially if it's very frequently. The general recommendation for a growing wardrobe is instead is to start with something that no one will remember, like solid blues and grays, and then build from there. Doesn't have to be tailoring either, though I guess that factors pretty heavily into Teddy Boy style. All that said, if that blue suit you have is what you like, then it's not actually that crazy at all. I have a suit in a similar color and pattern and wear it all the time with no one even really noticing it on me at all. Like, I'll ask people around me to close their eyes and tell me what I am wearing, and they'll say something like "Uh...a blazer or something? With jeans?"
Sorry. I wasn't trying to suggest that you should adopt the "basic bastard" wardrobe of chinos, ocbds, desert boots and blazers. I think what I meant is that, in light of the fact that your wardrobe is pretty barren as it is (except for sweatpants and pajamas), you should focus on building up the more casual side of your wardrobe before jumping straight into tailoring. I think, at your age and current income level, you will get a lot more use out of doing that anyways. Tailoring is expensive, hard to fit correctly, and time consuming to get right and you are guaranteed to waste a lot of money trying to find what works for you—I know I did! It took me like 15 years of trying to hit my stride on tailored clothing.

The photos that you've posted are all very good, and indicate to me that you have good taste, which is most of the battle. If you favor the punk rock/mod aesthetic, I'd push you toward developing your casual/streetwear wardrobe in that direction, which I think will look good on your skinny frame. Like consider picking up a pair of black skinny jeans or drainpipe trousers, and leather chelseas, side zips, or military boots to get you out of sweatpants and canvas sneakers. Those can be had second-hand or you can get cheap versions at like a Zara or H&M or something (it's fine to cheap out on this stuff when you're just starting to experiment and find what works for you). You can pair those with t-shirts or the button-down + vest/cardigan combo you posted in that first picture above.
I also agree with everything that @stuffedsuperdud has said about getting your life in order before spending all of your resources on clothing... but recognizing that you need some clothes, the above is where I'd start building.
Pretty decent advice. I think, if I were to go for tailoring right now, a look similar to the doctor who/sickboy pics I posted might be a good route (except with those clip-on 1950s batwings I bought instead of a necktie since I need to justify such a pants-on-head silly purchase, and I'm a "bowtie guy"), seeing as wearing a 3 peice over a 3 peice would come off as a bit cocky at my age. I could probably even go for those "Suitsupply 32UK" suits on ebay that St1X was talking about on page 1, Since I looked and there are a couple of good options. There's 1 black pinstripe 3 piece suit, 1 navy 2 pieces, a light blue summer weight 2 piece, and a blue windowpane jacket which appeal to me. Still, they're pretty pricey, but choosers can't be beggars I guess.

As for casual clothes, and to get this back on the topic of the thread, I'm looking at getting some jeans and boots (like you said) off AliExpress. I think I'll actually try and go for some womens jeans, as I already know those tend to fit me, and they, in this current climate, often have the bonus perk of being high-waisted, which is my preference for pants. I have a pretty nice casual look in mind, which basically consists of black skinny jeans and side-zips, with this very loose-fitting green-black striped sweatshirt I found in a box of rusty car parts. tucked or untucked, you can imagine it looks pretty good as a "casual punk" look.
These are the side-zips I'm thinking of getting.
As for more "formal" shoes that I would hypothetically wear with tailoring, I like these, mostly because they have an unobtrusive zip and a funny clown-toe silhoette
I like the green suede vamp on this. It's evocative of brothel creepers, but different enough to avoid being too LARPy.
Any more ideas for casual stuff? any casual shirts or jackets?

Again not to put on my Tony Robbins hat (cringe...) but since you touched on some of your current motivations:

It's pretty clear that you're struggling with various misfortunes and disadvantages right now and that sucks, but I think a lot of us can tell you from experience that lashing out at people (including GQ stylists, strangers at Cannes in bad "black tie," and *in bitchy Trump voice* Chaaiii-na), buying new toys (a StyleForum favorite!), and having a little fantasy about a different life might temporarily numb your your pain but ultimately only prolongs and grows it. A more effective strategy would perhaps be to identify factors that backed you into your current corner and devise a strategy based on controlling all the factors that you can control in order to work your way out of it. I would probably also refocus the time you're spending on 4chan and similar things as that crowd, including the fashion-inclined guys there, is just a bunch of colossal assholes dragging each other down, and the site itself, like many products and services that cater to dissatisfied edgelords, has a business model built around validating and extending your pain and anger. You don't need that. You're also only 18, the perfect time to stop hanging out with emotionally stunted online personas and grow into your own person in the real world.
I'm not "in pain", and I wouldn't call it lashing out, I'm just a natural contrarian who likes to be a bit emphatic. I'm already quite aware of where I am in my current life situation, and I'm already in the process of figuring out how to improve things. To be honest, I know full well that 4chan's /fa/ board is a bunch of assholes, and I'm under no illusion that if I just try to be "edgy" enough that they'll like me. So I've already stopped. Why do ya think I came here?
But I'm also under no illusion that you'll like me either, given how critical you seem to be towards what your impression of "4chan culture" is. It's generally not one big monoculture, and I don't use any of the boards you're probably thinking of, like /pol/ or /r9k/. I only really come for the video game general threads and occasional discussion of cartoons I like to watch, and participate in the autistic shitshow. In fact, my current plan for my "online persona" is not even to show my face, just to make those funny "thread simulator" videos for a while. I've already made one. Figure it would attract the kind of audience who is down for that brand of edgy 4chan cringe humor, without being a bunch of complete /pol/lack chuds.
I might also make "incelcore" music videos like the ones by the channel "up to the wolves", since it'd only make sense for me to be riding that wave of underground counterculture music if I'm gonna give any grounding to the aesthetic I'm going for, even if I'm not making it myself. That's just a side hustle though. I'm probably gonna shoot for some kinda minimum wage + flatting situation when I'm ready to move out. Currently just sitting on my savings and learning how to cook. Kinda helps to have no expensive habits outside of fashion.
Also,
>orange man bad
>china good

1638566505450.jpg
(just joshin m8 don't h8)


I understand the desire to get into mod and Ivy suits, but I think you're going to find it very difficult to do so successfully right now given your age, income restrictions, and location (much easier to buy and sell this stuff on Ebay if you're in the U.S.). I also think it's going to be tough to find mod-era suits second-hand in NZ. But when you do get around to it, there's a company called Thick as Thieves that used to be very active here that makes very mod-inspired MTM suits for a relatively affordable price (~$500). Check them out: https://thickasthievesla.com/
thanks for the referral, I'll check them out.
funny you mention buying and selling stuff on ebay, and how it's easier in the U.S, because I've been trying to do exactly that.
 

DougDevious

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I'm going to try and get this thread back up and running by showing off some stuff I've found on AliExpress that I'm hoping to buy.

I say suit fabrics because whatever style of suit the pictures depict probably won't be what I get, because I'll be going custom anyway and will get it in a different style. So just imagine these as 3 button suits.

Ha5937eb822ef4fa39b965c4679b5222bs.jpg
I've always really wanted to get a burgundy suit, mostly because it's a comfy, versatile color, and it's good enough of a base that I can get away with wearing green and purple without looking like the joker. I also love corduroy. Imagine this suit with a lavender ocbd!

windo.PNG
If I HAVE to get a navy suit, I'm still gonna be a dandy contrarian about it. Windowpane FTW!

unknown (1).png
Already posted this, but as you can tell, It also goes well with a lavender ocbd. The choice of pattern is very much inspired by that Gotham character I posted.

S06dac4bded714b959a5a645d8149a977n.jpg
This is a picture I was sent by a seller when I asked if they had any green striped seersucker fabric. They said it was 80% cotton, 20% polyester, which isn't perfect, but it's pretty good. See, this is the trick, you gotta communicate, you can get surprisingly far by politely messaging the seller.

Hb9f322e007334983839433acb5c12997w.jpg
Yes, this is denim. This Is mostly a joke, but If my "internet persona" takes off I might just get a denim suit as a meta-ironic stunt.
Hb9fad2325e4144919feaea82eac9260dt.jpg
H463d16b205bf4b758b410462b2fefec2S.jpg
I'm quite fond of these two-tone spectators with a houndstooth pattern. It's delectably dandy, but not too loud or brash. I think I'll buy the black ones, since a grey+black spectator is pretty nice, and not as high-contrast and 'gangsterish' as a black and white spectator. Here's my main inspo for buying this kinda shoe.
There's also this wine red variation, which has a navy+red houndstooth:
burgundy.PNG
In trend with my love of two-tone spectators, here's a shoe with a delightfully-"brothel creeper"-reminiscent suede vamp.
H63114a2e773c464893d2a8f4bc650a2dn.jpg
Obviously, I'll be buying the black ones on top.
Ha67999d52afb453e9e7d2cafecb2158aW.jpg
(why do all these models go sockless??)

pinky.PNG
These are cute. I can easily imagine them making for good "summer shoes" when paired with a suit in that green seersucker fabric I attached earlier.

H55e13d1f0205426bab68ccc6d253fb31Z.jpg
I like how chunky and vulgar these loafers are. Full of character IMO.

H5257e785f49245169203e534516cc346S.png
Perfect business shoe for an artso-fartso beatnik who, like a jester, prefers his shoes to be able to "pick winkles". Get me the number of whoever is designing the joker in the next batman movie, because I've found their shoe. (would buy)
HTB1Ew0uKr1YBuNjSszeq6yblFXaT.jpg
same deal, but no laces, with a cuban heel, and in suede.
(you know, because of the way I dress, and because I naturally have very overgrown, curly hair, all too many times I have been compared to Bob Dylan, and at this point, I've decided to just accept it)
wtf.PNG
who in the world buys these????

HTB1.hsZGh9YBuNjy0Ffq6xIsVXap.jpg
they come in European sizes lol
I don't wanna buy these obviously.


...or do i? haha just kidding

...unless??

There's something strangely appealing about the surreal excess of buttons on this jacket. Of course, If I bought it, I would ditch the contrast buttonholes, get it in a wide chalkstripe fabric, and have it made with a lower gorge and wider, fishmouth lapels.
H9a2ede6f76624ee78f7e1d25bd656386s.png
The model wearing it looks like a clueless douche though.
douche.png
There are a lot of strange 'experimental' shoe styles on AliExpress that you can't find anywhere else. Like these shoes with an open "woven leather" if for some reason you want to wear black oxfords sockless in hot, hot weather. Couldn't be me.
H9440326154884c83971cd170ac207d2dI.png

I asked this one suit seller if I could have a look at what kind of tweed fabrics they had available, and they linked me to this list which was surprisingly extensive. Can't say I'm interested in having a suit made in any of these fabrics, but the rose-red flecked tweed is pretty nice.
There's plenty more I could talk about, but if you have the time, I encourage you to check out AliExpress yourself and see if you can find some nice staples or other things that might actually be appealing.
Here's some suit stores that seem (relatively) reputable:
Sarawan
VITOO Suit Store
Scarf & Shirt Store
Also, I didn't mention it, but there are A LOT of custom shirt options on AliExpress, including deals where you can get 3 shirts for around $120 dollars or something like that. Personally, I think I'll stick with Natty Shirts for now.
 

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rjc149

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OP, I did not start dressing well (which includes tailored clothing) until I began to care about it and I could afford it, my late 20’s and early 30’s. At your age, you can cut yourself a little slack. I wore jeans, t shirts, and Yankees hats everywhere at your age.
 

DougDevious

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For anyone still following this thread, I've put together a wishlist on AliExpress full of stuff that, despite its rather humble place of commerce, might actually be worth the money to look at. I really hope you give it the benefit of the doubt, because I think there genuinely are a lot of proper craftsmen behind some of the stuff on there. I think it's because japan, and china to some extent, has an oddly popular westernwear scene, so a lot of the pricier stuff is probably from those types. Theres also a decent enough range of accessories on AliExpress, and if you're gonna buy anything from there, accessories and jewelry are probably a safe bet (as long as it doesn't involve flimsy chains). IMO There's far less margin for error, and as such spending any more on stuff like that is a case of diminishing returns in the face of conspicuous consumption.
On this list you will find:
  • triple patch pocket tweed sport coats
  • Burberry-style overcoats
  • 3 piece suits
  • a nice vintage bomber jacket with pleated pockets
  • high waist denim jeans with suspender buttons and cinch belts
  • suede brogues
  • silk and cotton neckties (proper 100% silk ones too)
  • a corduroy work vest
  • plenty of spectator shoes
  • custom dress shirts made from 100% cotton, in a range of patterns
  • plain ass OTR shirts that are also 100% cotton
  • custom suits in fabrics that aren't gaudy or tacky
  • A CUSTOM FULL NORFOLK JACKET
  • Custom Goodyear Welted Work Boots
  • High waist pleated corduroy pants
  • a loop-collar sports shirt
  • a waffle pattern henley
  • linen pocket squares
  • proper button suspenders, not clip-ons
  • A leather belt without a buckle
  • woven leather belt
  • Cedar Shoe Trees
  • Tie Tacks
  • Tie Bars
  • Collar Pins
  • Collar Bars
  • Collar Clips
  • Knit Ties
  • Cufflinks
  • Skinny Jacquard Ties with cool prints
  • Loafers
I've also found fob chains, but those are currently on my own wishlist and I can't copy them over, only move.

I hope you check it out, I think it's pretty neat, I did my best to find some neat stuff.
 
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chickene

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I really hope you give it the benefit of the doubt, because I think there genuinely are a lot of proper craftsmen behind some of the stuff on there
Is this just conjecture, or have you tried buying something?

Edit: also I can't see that wish list
 

rjc149

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I don't see the point of buying this stuff off AliExpress, other than because you specifically want to buy it off AliExpress, because you really like AliExpress for some reason.

All this stuff appears to be suspect at best -- polyester bomber jackets, gabardine trench coats (misspelled 'gabadian') for $115, little to no information about the garments, no customer reviews -- I'm willing to bet they're junk. This is very likely a colossal waste of money.

If you can't afford to buy a Rolex, the alternative isn't to buy a fake Rolex instead. The best alternatives are to increase your income and/or save for it, or, choose a different brand that is well-made and respected, and within your budget.

You have a lot of other options for affordable, value-oriented menswear than buying shit from Chinese sweatshops.
 

JFWR

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Guys, Doug Devious has made it pretty clear that he's an eccentric guy who likes a sort of Nu Wave/post-punk/punk rock kinda aesthetic.

He has even in this thread admitted that this is his intent: to be a bit of a kook.

That's the style choice he is making. He's asking basically how to pull it off, style advice on how to look good while being weird in the way he wants to be. That's not unreasonable. Moreover, there are definitely strains of style that suit that look, given it is represented historically in the 70s/80s and even in contemporary times.

He's made a life style choice. We don't need to "normalize" him. We can, however, suggest ways of looking good.
 

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