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

chickene

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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.
I got into this a lot more when this thread first started, but I'll reiterate:

What people take issue with is his nonchalance towards wasting money on landfill that comes from sweatshops. It's not a stylistic preference as much as an issue of character. He can dress however he likes.

Still, even on a stylistic level, it feels contradictory. I happen to think post-punk looks pretty cool on people who embody the corresponding "punk" ideals – but abusing the low labor standards of a foreign nation through corporate networks is not a punk ideal. My suggestion is that he buys a sewing machine and makes his own low-quality kook clothes. I'd find that very admirable.
 

DougDevious

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I got into this a lot more when this thread first started, but I'll reiterate:

What people take issue with is his nonchalance towards wasting money on landfill that comes from sweatshops. It's not a stylistic preference as much as an issue of character. He can dress however he likes.

Still, even on a stylistic level, it feels contradictory. I happen to think post-punk looks pretty cool on people who embody the corresponding "punk" ideals – but abusing the low labor standards of a foreign nation through corporate networks is not a punk ideal. My suggestion is that he buys a sewing machine and makes his own low-quality kook clothes. I'd find that very admirable.
I mean, I could attempt to care, and that wouldn't be a bad thing, but to be honest I don't think "caring" and "voting with my wallet" is gonna help the situation very much. The "fast fashion" issue is so much bigger than me or what I could hope to accomplish, especially if that comes down to whether I buy something or not.
All I can hope is that someday I will be in a position to catalyze some actual, genuine change.
If by "punk ideals" you mean thrifting, that's definitely something I do frequently, but to tell you the truth it really hasn't worked thus far, since barely anything is my size. All I've really managed to get out of that are a boatload of $1 ties and some small accessories here and there, as well as some shirts I can only hope I'll grow into. I have never bought anything from H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, or any fast-fashion brand.
I have definitely tried to start sewing and making my own suit, but I haven't gotten very far with that so far, but that of course doesn't mean I'm gonna stop. Just yesterday I did some hand-tailoring on a pair of ladies high-waist pleated wool pants which pass decently enough as mens trousers, especially after I took in the seat, inner leg, cuffed it, and pressed it.

If you don't wanna buy any of this stuff on the list, that's fair enough.
Most SFers have the right kinda body and the right kinda money to buy better, safer options, including thrifting. I readily accept that I am an outlier in this situation, which sorta helps because it means I really don't meaningfully contribute to any trend that might be making the issue worse. I'm currently patiently waiting to receive a custom-made suit (that corduroy one I talked about) alongside those green suede spectators, plus a couple of sleeve garters to make the best use out my sparse collection of ill-fitting shirts.
That purchase in combination with some roll necks I recently thrifted and what I already have in my wardrobe should tide me over for a good year or so before I really feel any need to buy something new. I don't buy random shit whenever I feel like it, I put a lot of thought into what I buy, when I buy it, and what I buy to go with it.

Still, it's very hard to fuck up buying something like a pair of cufflinks or collar bar, or even suspenders.
I have a pair of $15 suspenders I bought on AliExpress which are every bit as sturdy and carefully constructed as suspenders ought to be, and I've gotten a lot of use out of them in the past year and a half or so. My only advice would be to avoid anything with especially thin chains, those snap very easily, as I learned the hard way.
 

rjc149

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Most SFers have the right kinda body and the right kinda money to buy better, safer options, including thrifting. I readily accept that I am an outlier in this situation
You're not an outlier as much as you're simply a teenager. Most SFers are grown-ass men with careers, mortgages, and even with teenagers of their own. That's not meant to be patronizing, but it's a key component of your perspective and approach to menswear. It means you have no means yet. It means you're still experimenting with various identities and forming your own from the amalgam, which is what we all do, and need to do.

There's no reasonable expectation these days that an 18 year old kid has his own house, gainful salaried employment, and is able to afford high-quality tailored menswear. Perhaps your precocious interest in menswear makes you somewhat of an outlier -- but as is fairly universally known, 18 year olds wearing expensive tailored clothing everywhere is seen as pretentious and self-alienating. The way you dress should be age-appropriate, and naturally your sense of style will evolve and mature as you age.

And I'm not telling you that you should not be interested in menswear or want to wear nice clothing. I'm simply of the opinion that if you want to wear tailored clothing, buy good quality stuff that will look good and give you good service. Don't wear junk from AliExpress simply because you can afford it. 18 year olds don't wear tailored clothing because they're not supposed to be able to afford it yet.
 

DougDevious

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You're not an outlier as much as you're simply a teenager. Most SFers are grown-ass men with careers, mortgages, and even with teenagers of their own. That's not meant to be patronizing, but it's a key component of your perspective and approach to menswear. It means you have no means yet. It means you're still experimenting with various identities and forming your own from the amalgam, which is what we all do, and need to do.

There's no reasonable expectation these days that an 18 year old kid has his own house, gainful salaried employment, and is able to afford high-quality tailored menswear. Perhaps your precocious interest in menswear makes you somewhat of an outlier -- but as is fairly universally known, 18 year olds wearing expensive tailored clothing everywhere is seen as pretentious and self-alienating. The way you dress should be age-appropriate, and naturally, your sense of style will evolve and mature as you age.
Just as well, my sense of style doesn't scream "expensive" or "sophisticated", at least at this current point in time. My style isn't going to be THAT tryhard, as in "always wearing a 3 piece suit and bow tie", I can incorporate casual pieces like graphic tees, roll-neck sweaters, sneakers, and jeans into my outfits, even if a suit jacket/sport coat will always complete the look.
Sure, I have enough knowledge on the style that I could dress like one of those sprezzatura dandies if I had the money, but I don't, and I honestly don't see myself among anyone that would truly appreciate it, given I'm just a broke, nerd-ass young adult who's friends are probably going to be broke, nerd-ass young adults as well, which is why I'm fine settling for a grungier, cornier and even a little bit "neckbeardish" look, like Sick Boy if Trainspotting was about a bunch of outcast anime nerds/gamers instead of heroin addicts.

5d42cd805813408f4cc1f7410faf2cc2.jpg bob maplethorpe.PNG 7145e2c93a24c6f52a992e794c30248e.jpg
Not my exact style, but more of the general "POV" and mood of my style. From right to left: Sick Boy in a sport coat and orange tee, Bob Maplethorne (Bottle Rocket) sloppily imitating pulp fiction, and a niche anime youtuber/rap artist in a delightfully characteristic ensemble.

It is a real shame that tailoring and suits as a style of dress favored by youth subcultures is basically dead, the closest you can expect to get is some high-waisted dress pants with vans and a crew-neck sweater, so I understand the sentiment that my style of dress might be alienating and out-of-place.

All the same though, I really don't identify with most people I meet that are supposed to be in my generation, mostly as a consequence of not really "getting out" for most of my adolescence, thanks to homeschooling.
I'm already about as alienated as I can be, in terms of the way I talk, my interests, my exposure to social media, my sense of humor, my political attitudes, my life experience, pretty much everything, I interact with people my age in the city who I'm supposed to relate to and it's like I come from an entirely different fucking world. It's only recently that I was able to meet up with a couple of fellow weird-asses I met on the internet IRL, one was a K-Pop discord admin, the other was ran an edgy instagram meme page, and neither would have been the type to be weirded out or made insecure by what I was wearing since they were about as disconnected from the wider "Gen Z" social culture as I was.
Like I said, "Sick Boy if Trainspotting was about a bunch of outcast anime nerds/gamers instead of heroin addicts."

And I'm not telling you that you should not be interested in menswear or want to wear nice clothing. I'm simply of the opinion that if you want to wear tailored clothing, buy good quality stuff that will look good and give you good service. Don't wear junk from AliExpress simply because you can afford it. 18 year olds don't wear tailored clothing because they're not supposed to be able to afford it yet.
It's a little late now, I already bought some stuff so we'll see if ends up being trash or not.
Also, the entire point of this is that I CAN'T find quality tailoring in my size at thrift stores or anywhere else, and as for shoes I otherwise have a choice between shoes that will consume half my bank account, and second-hand shoes that I can't rely on to be in my size, and even if they are, they're already broken in and a little loose anyways.
I can't even find a pair of fucking jeans in my size. I remember one time I went thrifting, and I went through FIVE pairs of men's jeans before finally looking in the ladies section and finding a pair of bootcuts that looked alright, but even those fit a bit dodgy on me.
 
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double00

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what size again ? measurements etc i can at least make some knits
 

double00

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great, pm your addy i'll send stuff . plus tell me what you want in a knit brother . peace .
 

Jmr928

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32 Inch Chest, 27 Waist, 5"8, 110 pounds
Have you thought about checking the Yahoo Japan auctions? Finding thrift level deals doesn’t have to be something in person given it doesn’t sound like there’s a lot near you.

Typically to find good stuff it it takes patience, a little money and some knowledge. If you lack patience, you’ll need more money. If you lack knowledge, you’ll soon be parted from your money anyways.

Ironically - With your measurements you could likely draw inspiration from heroin chic, punk or teddy style. Your measurements also don’t seem crazy to me if you look for certain markets. As an example only since I think it’s probably a little over the price point you’re looking at but Drop93 has quite a bit in EU42 sizes.
 

rjc149

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Also, the entire point of this is that I CAN'T find quality tailoring in my size at thrift stores or anywhere else, and as for shoes I otherwise have a choice between shoes that will consume half my bank account, and second-hand shoes that I can't rely on to be in my size, and even if they are, they're already broken in and a little loose anyways.
Quality menswear is usually purchased new, and fitted to the purchaser. This costs money. My point is that if you don't have the money to buy quality menswear that fits you, aside from hunting through thrift stores and rolling the dice on Ebay, owning good tailored clothing is something that will simply need to wait until you have the means. At 18, you're looking at another decade or more before purchasing a wardrobe of quality menswear is age-appropriate and within your means. Buying junk from sweatshops that looks like quality tailoring isn't a good (or ethical) placeholder.

I recently bought from stuff from Spier and Mackay because everyone here keeps mentioning it, I found it to be pretty good quality and fairly priced. Have you looked into them? A lot of their stuff goes on sale for bargain prices. As for shoes, have you looked into some of the direct-to-consumer brands like Becket and Simonon, Thursday Boot Co, Meermin, etc? Good quality for the price seems to to be the consensus.

There's just something tacky and lazy about making AliExpress your one-stop shop for dressing yourself on the cheap. It's kind of low class.
 

DougDevious

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Quality menswear is usually purchased new, and fitted to the purchaser. This costs money. My point is that if you don't have the money to buy quality menswear that fits you, aside from hunting through thrift stores and rolling the dice on Ebay, owning good tailored clothing is something that will simply need to wait until you have the means. At 18, you're looking at another decade or more before purchasing a wardrobe of quality menswear is age-appropriate and within your means. Buying junk from sweatshops that looks like quality tailoring isn't a good (or ethical) placeholder.

I recently bought from stuff from Spier and Mackay because everyone here keeps mentioning it, I found it to be pretty good quality and fairly priced. Have you looked into them? A lot of their stuff goes on sale for bargain prices. As for shoes, have you looked into some of the direct-to-consumer brands like Becket and Simonon, Thursday Boot Co, Meermin, etc? Good quality for the price seems to to be the consensus.

There's just something tacky and lazy about making AliExpress your one-stop shop for dressing yourself on the cheap. It's kind of low class.
My dude, I AM low class. I'm a tacky mofo. I'm able to internally rationalize the ethics of buying stuff where I do, but I am otherwise completely fine with people thinking I'm a sleazebag for it, just adds to the aesthetic. It was never in my playbook to be the most expensively, finely dressed person in the room. I don't think I'll ever trade in $6 combed cotton socks with funky patterns for a 50 dollar pair of OTC shadow-stripe silk socks.
As for "wait an entire decade of your life before buying tailored clothing":
Piss off.
I don't care what's "age-appropriate", and I'm sure as shit not gonna spend the next ten years in ladies jeans and bargain-bin tuxedo jackets umming and ahhing about what I wanna wear when I've "made it".
I know what I like, I know what I want, and I'm not gonna keep walking in circles second-guessing myself instead of just getting it.
 

DougDevious

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Have you thought about checking the Yahoo Japan auctions? Finding thrift level deals doesn’t have to be something in person given it doesn’t sound like there’s a lot near you.

Typically to find good stuff it it takes patience, a little money and some knowledge. If you lack patience, you’ll need more money. If you lack knowledge, you’ll soon be parted from your money anyways.

Ironically - With your measurements you could likely draw inspiration from heroin chic, punk or teddy style. Your measurements also don’t seem crazy to me if you look for certain markets. As an example only since I think it’s probably a little over the price point you’re looking at but Drop93 has quite a bit in EU42 sizes.
can you elaborate on the yahoo japan auction thing? how does one look for their size on that site?
 

DavidWatts69

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Dude I relate so much to you, please keep sharing the odd stuff you find and carry on in your own idea of style

I wish we had a suit subculture right now as well. The mod/hard mod era was brilliant in that sense
 

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