Critique My Wardrobe

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mtbaker22, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. Mtbaker22

    Mtbaker22 Member

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    Hello All,

    First time poster, and I'm going to make it a doozie.

    First of all, I'm a 36 year old working his way up in the high tech world. I work with a bunch of guys that wear shorts, sandals with socks, etc to work on a daily basis. I've always dressed better than my peers and have been interested in fashion, but have been held back for various reasons. One of those is that I'm 6'6" and 230 pounds. Substantially framed, relatively fit, but naturally pear shaped. Nothing has ever fit me well and I didn't have the funds nor the desire to take the difficult route to building a REAL wardrobe.

    That was until I went on a business trip to Shanghai a few years back. I purchased two custom suits and several dress shirts. They are rarely worn, but did give me a taste for clothing that actually fit.

    Additionally at about the same time, my sister got hooked up with some of her friends who were some of the first reps in a business that I'm sure most have heard of, J. Hilburn. She dabbled in it, hooked me up with some shirts and that set the hook. She became more serious about the business as it has grown and I've gotten progressively more serious about my wardrobe. Which brings us to today.

    I'm moving up in the world and nice jeans and the occasional khaki/chino aren't going to cut it anymore. In the last few months I've been determined to give myself a complete clothing makeover. So, I'd like to ask you guys for some advice as to how to continue to round out what I've got.

    I don't really want to talk about fit in this thread, just content of the wardrobe, if that's ok...

    Also, I was a pitcher in college, hence the tilt to the right...

    Here goes...

    Suit1: Mid Grey Pinstripe, true bespoke by Tailor Dave in Shanghai (needs to be tailored a bit as I've dropped about 15 since it was created)..

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    Suit 2: Bespoke, Navy pinstripe, 3 button from random tailor in Shanghai.

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    Suit 3: MTM, J Hilburn, Blue End on End, 2 button, flat front
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    Jacket 1: J Hilburn MTM, 2 button
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    Jacket 2: Brooks Brothers, Loro Piana weather system houndstooth.

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    Jacket 3: Brooks Brothers
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    Black OTR trousers from Nordstroms
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    Tan, linen OTR trousers from Nordstrom
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    Tan wool from J Hilburn, charcoal pinstripe from Boss, Light Grey from J Hilburn
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    Incotex bronze worsted wool
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    Random custom dress shirts from random tailor in Shanghai. White, pink, blue with white contrast, white button down, blue button down.
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    J Hilburn MTM shirts
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    Random shirts from 7 diamonds, Perry Ellis, English Laundry
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    Now for everyone's favorite, the shoes.

    My Allen Edmonds collection

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    Black Johnston and Murphy bike shoes and various rockport suedes

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    Cashmere half zips from J Hilburn

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    I also have several plain white OTR shirts that are Nordstrom brand. Also have another sportcoat from J Hilburn at the tailor.

    That's it, blast away ;-)
     
  2. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Senior member

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    Id have to see the other suits on you, but for the first one the fit isnt great, i understand the weight loss etc but a "true bespoke" tailor would have taken into account the dropped shoulder, there is a bit too much break in the pants and the pinch in the waist seems a bit high, although the last two is really personal taste. As for rounding out your wardrobe, you seem to have alot of patterns and as far as i can tell only a solid light grey? Maybe your next one should be a solid navy or dark charcoal. You can also add maybe a DB blazer to the mix. Also if you find yourself attending many more formal events you can get a tuxedo, single breasted, 1 button, peak lapel being the standard around here.
     
  3. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Which part of the "tech" world?? That's a lot of business formal and not enough business casual.

    Not nearly enough shirts.

    And for all those suits, you own a lot of suede shoes that don't work with suits.
     
  4. Mtbaker22

    Mtbaker22 Member

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    First, thanks for the inputs...

    Jeff, agree with you on the suit fit points. I definitely need to get some stuff cleaned up on the suit(s), but looking at the picture, I think it looks a little sloppier than it does in real life. My dropped shoulder is way more exaggerated in the picture. I think I may have had my shoulders in a weird position.

    Thanks for the inputs on the solids. I agree that I could use some more solid pieces to round things out.

    I work for the largest semiconductor company in the world. Highest of the high tech. And some additional context. I'm in a position where I engage in strategic partnerships with companies that we want to align with. So, yes, generally a lot more formal stuff than normal tech heads, but we wear sportcoats and suits when we set up meetings with other companies.

    Fair comment about the lack of biz casual. I neglected to put up the standard stuff like chinos/khakis, polos, etc as I figured they weren't relevant to the parts of the wardrobe that I want to round out. Plenty of days, I'll wear these items or combo nice jeans with my MTM shirts.

    Regarding the amount of shirts, I totally agree and am in process of acquiring more. As for the suede shoes, you are right, they don't go at all with the suits, but I do wear them occasionally to dress down the "odd" trouser. The also go great with the chinos/khakis and jeans...
     
  5. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    @Mtbaker22

    You say you're in the strategic partnerships office for a chip maker. Could you tell us what kind of look(s) you want to wear during the week?

    Also, is it appropriate for you to be wearing worsted wool suits when your colleagues are in flip flops and shorts? There's obviously a big difference between a guy in a suit and a guy in shorts/flip flops. Maybe you need to dress more in the middle of the two. To quote the late, great Voxsartoria:

    With this in mind, please see this thread and pick 2 or 3 "looks" that you want to go for. That would help us steer you in the right direction.

    http://www.styleforum.net/t/369569/...s-do-you-wear-most-often-during-the-week/0_50
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  6. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    Did an inventory of the stuff you have posted, sans shoes and shirts.

    I made a few remarks below. You can also check out this thread for more info. http://www.styleforum.net/t/309783/...ollowing-things-you-are-not-well-dressed/0_50


    Suits
    Need a solid navy and a solid gray suit (These should have been your first suit purchases - stripe suits are not as versatile - even if you're not wearing them every day, you should have them on standby)
    Grey pinstripe wool
    Navy pinstripe wool
    Blue end on end wool


    Sportcoats
    Need a navy blazer
    Grey micro windowpane wool
    Tan houndstooth wool
    Blue houndstooth wool


    Pants
    Black wool (donate these to charity; black pants are never appropriate in conservative business dress, nor is a black sportcoat/suit)
    Need some mid-grey flannel pants
    Need some nice quality cotton khakis
    Tan wool
    Charcoal pinstripe wool
    Light grey wool
    Brown wool
    Tan linen


    Sweaters
    Half zips are okay, but are very casual. V-Necks are better, and can be worn over collared shirts - get them in charcoal, navy to start
    Grey half zip
    Orange half zip
    Mustard half zip
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  7. Mtbaker22

    Mtbaker22 Member

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    That's an interesting quote and interesting article. Thanks for that.

    As for the city look, I think I'm good. I have the right gear for those occasions. And you're right. The city look is not appropriate for me on a daily basis.

    After reading through the categorization in the reference thread, I think there are two that I fit into and a third, unlisted category that is more casual along the jeans, polo, chino, route BUT is not what I'm interested in developing...

    Country/Casual Odd Jackets and Slacks/Shirt (no jacket) would be the two that I need help with.
     
  8. kulata

    kulata Senior member

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  9. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    That's helpful knowing that you want to go the Country/Casual Odd Jackets and Slacks/Shirt (no jacket) routes.

    Looking at your build, you should go with soft shouldered jackets. You have square shoulders that don't need a lot of padding. If you're buying off the rack, the jackets should be the standard "drop 6," as you seem to have an athletic build.

    Also, look at straight fit, flat front pants, as opposed to tapered ones.

    I'm assuming you want to upgrade over J. Hilburn. Just a few makers off the top of my head that make jackets/pants with that fit criteria:

    -Borrelli
    -Raffaelle Caruso
    -Corneliani
    -Polo Ralph Lauren "Blue Label" (made by Corneliani)
    -More recent Canali and Canali Kei Collection jacket models
    -J. Press
    -Miscellaneous jackets and pants carried by O'Connell's Clothing
    -Howard Yount "USA cut" pants - some of the best "bang for your buck" pants anywhere


    The few glaring gaps I see in your wardrobe are:

    -Navy blazer (a must have, even if it's not considered a country jacket --- an orphaned navy suit jacket or a blue houndstooth sportcoat is no substitute for a textured, hopsack blazer)
    -Tweed jacket of some kind
    -Grey flannel pants
    -More pants in casual fabrics like flannel, linen, cotton, cordouroy (shades of grey, brown, tan, green).

    Don't buy any more black or navy dress pants. They are generally considered to be bad colors for dress pants. The same goes for any pants with stripes. Stripes are for suits. It just looks awkward to have a solid jacket and striped pants.


    I'll let others comment
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  10. Mtbaker22

    Mtbaker22 Member

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    Awesome input @jrd617 .... Exactly the type of feedback I was looking for.
     
  11. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Senior member

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    There are some huge price differences in the brands you mentioned lol, i think borrelli starts at like 5 grand now?, and j press is like 3 grand?. Also to add to your list maybe try Isaia (not sure how soft their shoulders are since making a push for the american market), Kiton, and Attolini. The Borrelli shoulder looks a bit weird to me, i know its like unpadded yada yada, but it has this weird squarish shape i cant really describe. Who knows that might just be my personal taste though
     
  12. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    I'm assuming he has the financial means to make a few quality purchases on sale from a brick and mortar to to kickstart his wardrobe.

    Certainly not suggesting he go out and buy EVERYTHING at full retail. I've made a handful of retail purchases, but mostly amassed an awesome wardrobe over the past few years using eBay and the B&S subforum here. (First quality, NWT stuff, not thrifted junk).
     
  13. cbbuff

    cbbuff Senior member

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    +1 on the Lack of Charcoal suit and Navy SC.

    Your shoes could use serious help, starting with a proper black balmoral to wear with suits. Your black oxfords don't cut it.

    What about ties? At your height, David Hober is in your future.
     
  14. borbor

    borbor Senior member

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  15. PCK1

    PCK1 Senior member

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    I think the most essential and versatile item of any "classic menswear" wardrobe is a navy sport coat. And this is the first thing that you should add to your wardrobe.

    It looks great with just about any pant ranging from a formal grey dress trouser with pleated front and cuff to a khaki chino to jeans. It allows you the versatility to be appropriately dressed for a variety of business situations to a dinner out with your girlfriend to a hard partying night at a nightclub.

    Other than its ability to pair well with just about any pant type, it also easily pairs with just about any shirt whether its a plain color or striped or checked or patterned, etc.

    And also looks good with most ties.

    The key to using this blazer and maximizing its potential is that IT MUST FIT WELL.

    A cheap navy sport coat that fits well will look great. An expensive navy sport coat that fits poorly will look like crap.

    Because of your height and breadth of shoulders I think a Made-To-Measure navy sport coat from a reputable maker with a good tailor would be a good option to explore. You should be able to find one that is reasonably priced.

    I can give you the example of mine which I just had made about 6 months ago. I did it through Turnbull & Asser. They are perhaps one of the most "classic" of all menswear brands having served politicians, kings, dictators, celebrities, prominent business-people and even the early James Bond's (think Sean Connery). Their cut is traditional, not trendy/slim fitting like many designers, and thus, their navy sport coat is appropriate for all occasions business or casual. Mine cost me about $1750, which is by most standards for regular people very expensive but I plan to get at least a decade of use out of it. And I use it a lot. Because its a navy sport coat and because it goes well with everything.

    From there, you should get some grey trousers. Different materials, weights, and shades for the different seasons. Such as a dark grey flannel trouser for the winter and a lighter grey for spring/summer.

    In the past it was always that a trouser should be pleated and with cuff. Times have changed and now plain front without cuff is very much in-vogue and seen widely in the business world. It's really a matter of preference at this point. Maybe do some one way and some the other. Or just try them both on and see which you prefer.

    If trousers are a difficulty to fit as well, they can also be done made-to-measure and can be found for very reasonable prices. Any good tailor can take an off-the-rack trouser and make it look pretty good on you as long as the fit isn't egregiously poor to begin with.

    You can get some khaki trousers as well as these are a classic look with a navy sport coat.

    Even some good jeans (or chinos or corduroys). I for one am a fan of the 7's brand for jeans. But entirely up to you. Just about dark colored jean will look good with a navy blazer. But keep it classy. No holes, rips, wild fading, etc. Get them tailored to make sure they fit appropriately.

    With a navy sport coat you have a variety of options with shirts. I won't go into that too much cause you should be able to figure out what can and can't go with one.

    Ties - same as above. Just keep it simple and classy.

    Shoes - depending on the situation just about any shoe can be worn with a navy sport coat.

    One thing to keep in mind - BLACK SHOULD NOT BE WORN WITH A NAVY SPORTCOAT. No black pants, shirts, or ties. Black shoes, belts, and socks are ok though.

    Also, I prefer my navy sport coats with the traditional gold buttons but even a more modern take is now appropriate. Some even think the gold button comes off as a little too "over-the-top" nowadays.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014

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