Good Natured Advice Thread (improving a business wardrobe)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Claghorn, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Coxsackie

    Coxsackie Senior member

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    I consider myself to have improved a little in the year or so I've been posting here. However, I'm concerned that my most popular fits have essentially ridden on the back of a single astute purchase - like that SuitSupply chalkstripe suit, or the burgundy windowpane Canali before it. All I had to do was walk into a shop and buy the thing. (Oh yeah, and maybe have a tailor give it a nip and tuck here or there.)

    My project for the next year will be to get thumbs for putting together great fits from staid, unsensational elements. I've managed this a couple of times but mostly my taste seems too outré for the forum, which has me thinking that maybe I'm not getting away with it in real life either. (Although my recent six-pattern royal flush did actually get a lot of love on the street - so who knows...)

    Looking back on my gallery, here are a trio of past fits which I feel show promise.

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    Mind you, I had to trawl through an awful lot of meh to find these. One interesting thing is that they all feature a plain light blue shirt and a Henry Carter tie. Maybe that's the secret...
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014


  2. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The first and third are wonderful. Also, I own the tie in the first and the square in the third.. The second is a bit too bland beige schemed. The HC ties are a coincidence (though hes a great fellow); I suspect the sedate shirts are not.

    I feel like you'd get a lot of use out of a herringbone jacket that resolved to blue.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014


  3. luv2breformed

    luv2breformed Senior member

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    There are so many elements to think about when getting dressed that I find it a relief to own go to basics that pretty much always look good. When I am experimenting in one area, it's nice to be able to fall back to standard stuff in another area.

    That said, it may seem like I am advocating the following:

    Quote: vox I am to one extent. I've heard clag echo this advice many times. That said, I don't think it ALWAYS works and many times in WAYWRN I see somebody that tries this with something and it fails miserably.

    Contrast the above advice with the following:

    Quote: vox This is where I think some of the challenge in dressing "loud" or breaking "rules/principles" lies. Some items are just enough within the classic spectrum that they will succeed by pairing them with "standard" items to dial everything else back. I think many loud jackets can do well with this approach. However, I think some items are so far outside the realm of "classic" that they CANNOT look good with classic items. They will always just look off. At this point I think judiciously pairing them with other loud/non-classic items may be able to provide a coherent "dandy" look. The fun in trying to dress "loud" is learning when to try one and when to try the other.

    Just some food for thought.
     


  4. Monkeyface

    Monkeyface Senior member

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    I don't think that's the case. It can seem like SF is very narrow minded at times, but it is usually one of the most accepting online communities. A wide variety of styles is appreciated, from Pingson to AAC, from Claghorn to T1, and I could go one like that for a long time. The only way to improve is to keep trying new things, and post fits that you're not exactly sure about. Often times people will point out what is right and wrong about that fit. This combined advice will point you in the right direction over time, as long as you really think about why someone gave that advice.

    Try to analyse every outfit in this way:

    Number 1 looks great. The colour palette works well, as most elements are on the brown scale, and you have three patterns of varying scale: the large check, the medium hanky flowers and the small dots on your tie. Your tie is the darkest element, while your sport coat and shirt are the lighter elements. The PS is right in between those elements, not as dark as your tie, and not as light as your SC, so it bridges the gap nicely. The hanky also picks up the brown in the tie, and the grey in the check, while the white flowers are as light as the light blue shirt. All the elements of your outfit are on the country side of the scale, both colour and texture wise. Overall, this is a very coherent combination.

    Try to do the same for outfit 2 and 3. It's might seem a bit formulaic at first, but it won't be long before you start doing this naturally.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014


  5. Coxsackie

    Coxsackie Senior member

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    Thanks guize, lots of food for thought within the above responses.

    MF, when I wrote "Maybe that's the secret...", I was probably being a bit facetious. What I really meant was, I can build off early successes by sticking to that formula for a while, and improving on it. That's not to say I would do this religiously. Just a nice homework exercise every now and then: "Today I will build a fit around a light blue twill shirt and a neat-pattern tie." Cycle through my wardrobe and try to put coherent fits together using different combos. Post the results to this thread, or to WAYWRN.

    Other times I can just do my usual thang, but maybe not post them every time.
     


  6. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Cox, do you have some examples of outfits that you feel successfully capture the feeling of what you want to dress like? For example, mine:

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    When I picked those, I avoided thinking about why I picked those (intellectualizing the process may push it away from "what I want to look like" into "how I want to be perceived"). Looking at them after I made the selection, certain patterns emerge, some useful, some obvious. We all know I like blue jackets and windowpane, and I think that my selection demonstrates this. However, it becomes clear I like green knits a lot, something I never really thought about (I have three, an olive from Conrad Wu which I'll wear today, a green wool knit from Rooster, pre-SF, and a dotted knit from Henry Carter). I think I need a solid green knit though. It also becomes clear that I need a pair of true brown pants. A lot of my selections possess them, and yet I own none.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014


  7. Coxsackie

    Coxsackie Senior member

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    BTW this thread is really useful.

    I now perceive a hierarchy among SF fit discussion threads: the Noodles thread for solid advice both to clueless noobs and mid-level sartorialists seeking to lift their game; WAYWRN as the proving ground, sorting playas from wannabes; and Whnay's Good Taste thread as the merciless, pro-level cutting contest for aspiring #menswear Art Tatums.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014


  8. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I wouldn't say hierarchy...they go for very different things. You have CBD, Peacock, and Good Taste (and had Manton see you classify it as #menswear he'd throw a fit), which all have very specific directions in mind. WAYWRN is obviously anything goes, and the proving ground analogy is a pretty solid one. But deliberately doesn't have any direction. People looking for advice provide their own direction, and folks try best to help fulfill it without saying "hmmm, try a different direction, your direction is silly"
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014


  9. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    this is pretty much how it happened for me, except it was not nii that broke one of for me, and i never got much positive feedback when i started (because i did not deserve it).
    this is the hardest part.
    fuck you.
    like clags, i would not call it a hierarchy. also, after a while, the good taste thread became, to me, the i would rather find something wrong with a fit even if its not really there, and the how can i assert more made up rules on people, thread, which is why i pretty much stopped posting fits there. sorry for mini rant.
     


  10. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Stitchero, I think we can both agree that we strive for very different feelings in our looks. Doesn't mean I dislike your looks. Tira is my favorite poster in terms of fits, and he's not up there. Neither are Pingson or Spoo or Foo or Anden (though I think Anden could be). That's some pretty exalted company.
     


  11. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    its mostly exalted, and i think you know i was bustin your balls. but still, i mean, not even one pic lol.
     


  12. Coxsackie

    Coxsackie Senior member

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    What is this "peacock thread" of which people speak?

    Anyway, I came across the EG Cappelli website and picked out a few ties I thought could find a place in my wardrobe. Yes, they are all small-scale neat patterns. The first is a madder, and way expensive. The others are all Outlet stock and very reasonably priced.

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    Mind you, I can't afford to be buying ties right now - just kopped three last week - but I can see these filling a hole in my collection at some point.

    Anyway I saved them to my "permanent shopping cart" or WTF it's called, so I can call in later when I have some liquidity. Probably better to buy a few at a time, as shipping to Australia is 35 euro whether it's one or six ties. Not saying I'd get these exact ones either. Just what took my fancy first up.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014


  13. Putonghua73

    Putonghua73 Senior member

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    I'm dipping into this thread more and more for a number of reasons; mostly because I'm seeking more ideas about my own personal style whilst still internalising a lot of concepts - making sure that I have the basics down and that I have, or am still working towards, a functional business / casual wardrobe. Versatility is a fundamental concept, and I'm another pair of grey trousers / chinos, and a pair of dark chocolate suede chukkas from finishing with the basics. My tie collection could do with a couple more Vanda staples to round off the basics, but you get the gist.

    I gave up on WAYWRN a long, long time ago because newbies are automatically drawn to the thread, likes moths to the flame, at precisely the wrong time in their education. They should immediately be directed to:

    • SF 101
    • Manton's You Are Not Well Dressed If ...
    • Whnay's Good Taste
    • Noodles Good Natured

    The 'In Praise of Navy' threads and spin-offs are also worthy threads to get an idea for how certain colours work in other combinations, both business and casual. In fact, Claghorn's collection of images around a desired 'look' is an excellent idea (although I'd question whether I prefer my fiancée to stumble across my collection of JAV, rather than assorted images of SF'ers wearing a mélange of outfits).

    It's been 2 years since I joined SF, and I am still very much on my sartorial journey. I'm at the stage where I've put a hold on my clothes spending because I want to focus on my wardrobe in terms of getting the best fit for my existing clothing with my body shape. Hence, trying a good quality alterations tailor to assist with working with the fit for my clothing:

    • Suits / Sportscoats: cleaning up the back, especially extra cloth between shoulder blades (hollow back); slimming / tapering legs, and re-examining my trouser break
    • Shirts: darts, slimming / tapering sleeves
    • Trousers: slimming / tapering legs, and letting seat out

    The most important quality is patience: not only to read widely (I'm 3/4 of the way through Flusser 'Dressing the Man' - his opening chapter on proportion should be mandatory reading in the SF 101), but more importantly to allow time to build up a sartorial vocabulary and mental framework to allow one to make better informed clothing decisions. Take time to evaluate and review clothing decisions, trying a lot of different clothes on in retail stores (paying full retail, if necessary) to assess suitability once actually worn. It doesn't matter how good a garment looks on Daniel Craig, if it doesn't work for you, do not buy it! Thus, whilst I admire and respect what Suit Supply are setting out to achieve, their suits do not work for my body shape. The only range which almost works is the London - it fails because although I have a 6" drop, the trousers when worn, feel like I'm scuba diving.

    My short-term project is to tailor all of my RTW wardrobe to assess which brands works better - provides a better fit for my body shape - and finish off the last few pieces from my basic wardrobe. Medium project is to start collecting a series of formal and casual looks to get a better idea of particular cuts, styles, colours, fabrics and combinations to which I'm drawn, and which of these would actually work on me. I'd then be in a position to draw up a series of coherent looks and spot any particular gaps in my wardrobe. In terms of casual, @NOBD absolutely nails it and has changed my perspective in terms of the versatility of suede shoes / chukkas.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014


  14. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I believe EG Cap gives free shipping on purchases of 5 or more ties.
     


  15. Cleav

    Cleav Senior member Dubiously Honored Moderator

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    True that and the quality is of the highest order too :nodding:
     


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