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Help the Style Impaired - Wardrobe Rebuild

heisenberg

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Hey everybody, my name's Brandon, and after lurking on here for a few days it has become quite clear that I lack style. I'm looking to correct this.

I've just lost about 50 lbs, so most of my clothes don't fit right anymore. Great excuse for a wardrobe update, correct? Well, before I go and make the same mistakes twice in my clothing choices, I'd like to get some recommendations.

About me - 5'11", somewhere between 180 and 185 lbs (my weight hasn't stabilized quite yet, so I may still be losing more).

Pic of me:

Attachment 16599

Please ignore the pinkish hair... I went to a GWAR concert on New Year's Eve, and it hasn't come out quite yet. My hair should look more like this:

Attachment 16600

That's pretty much my everyday/non-workday look. Jeans, T-shirt. Unremarkable, I know. So, let's start from the bottom of my wardrobe and work my way up.

Shoes

In college, I wore Docs almost exclusively. Once I graduated and got my first real job, I decided to try and upgrade to something that has a sole that won't dissolve in a year. So, I went into Nordstroms when they were having a sale and tried on some nicer looking shoes. I ended up picking the most comfortable ones that I found for under $100 - Eccos. More specifically, the brown Eccos in the picture.

Attachment 16601

Yes, I wore Eccos at 22 years old. I picked up the pair of black Eccos about six months later, and have been splitting wear between the two almost exclusively for the past two years. To work, to the mall, to the grocery store, to the bars, everywhere. A few other pics:

Attachment 16602
Attachment 16603
Attachment 16604
Attachment 16605

Me wearing the black Eccos:
Attachment 16606

From lurking, I've come to discover that Eccos are generally viewed as ugly as hell. A few days ago, I found myself up at Nordstrom's Rack, and was looking around. I was considering upgrading to some boots already, and I stumbled into these Frye Regis Fieldboots for $70.

Attachment 16607
Attachment 16608
Attachment 16609

When I looked at them in the store, i thought they looked pretty good. Now I'm having second thoughts. Unfortunately the Rack is about 85 miles away - if I decide to return them, I've got to make a day out of it.

Beyond that, I've got some "task" shoes (running shoes, $30 surplus combat boots for mosh pits, sandals) that I'm not too concerned about.

Size notes - I wear a 12 in the Eccos, but I think I wear my shoes a bit big. The 11 in the Frye boots seemed to be a similar fit to the 12 in the eccos

Jeans - What I Wear When I'm Not Getting Paid

My weight loss hit my pants the hardest. I was wearing a 36/32 relaxed bootcut (i.e. fat guy jeans) in the brands that I wore: Levi, Lucky, Polo. Once I could completely remove my jeans even while wearing my belt on the tightest loop, I knew that i needed to get another pair. So, I ended up with these:

Attachment 16610

Luckys, 32/32 relaxed bootcut. When worn, they fit like this:

Attachment 16611

(Yes, I'm in love with my belt buckle)

I pick them up for $55 from the Lucky store - 50% off sale pretty much clinched it. That's the most that I've ever paid for jeans. Bought em about a month and a half ago, and I'm trying to not baby them.

The reason I (have to?) wear the relaxed jeans are my thighs. My true waist measure is 34", and my thighs are 23" in circumference. So, I need a thigh hole of at least 11.5" (preferably a bit larger, since big legs + tight jeans = yuck). I buy the bootcut because I think it looked the best on me 50 lbs ago - not sure if that holds now, but it's a habit.

This is the only pair of jeans that I own that even remotely fit me.

Non-Jeans. i.e. What I Wear When I'm Getting Paid

I just picked up a pair of 33/32 regular fit straight leg broken-in chinos from J Crew.

Attachment 16612

I haven't worn them yet, aside from trying them on. When I do, I'll post some pics of how they fit.

I don't own any slacks/etc that come close to fitting me now, and I only wear them to more formal occasions. So, no need to post them.

Shirts

Tees

Three words - graphics, graphics, graphics. Combined with the one I'm wearing in the first picture, my current rotation is as follows:

Attachment 16613

Worn on casual days at work and most of the time otherwise.

Luckily I caught this forum before I decided to buy any Affliction/Tapout shirts, right?

Polos

Various assortment here - a good percentage are from Target.

Attachment 16614
Attachment 16615

Worn to work almost exclusively.

Button-Downs

Possibly my least ghastly collection:

Attachment 16616
Attachment 16617

About a third are from Men's Wearhouse (Joseph and Feiss, Pronto Uomo), plus a sprinkling of Banana Republic, J Crew, Ralph Lauren, and things cheap from various stores like Kohls and Macys.

Blazers/Suit Tops

Only ever wear them to formal occasions. I do have a tan casual-ish blazer than no longer fits me. I can post pics if you like, let me know.

Sunglasses

The first pair of sunglasses I spent more then $10 on was a pair of Oakleys I bought right after I graduated high school. I still have them, and they are the only sunglasses that I wear. I don't know if they're flatting to my face's shape, or if they work with the rest of my wardrobe.

Attachment 16618
Attachment 16619




I know that this is a bunch of information, but it all boils down to this: I'm probably lucky that I can dress myself in the mornings. I know that my wardrobe needs a lot of work, but I don't even know where to start.

What should be the first thing to go? What's the most egregious offender? Should I toss the Eccos post haste? Are my Luckys so abysmal that I should be beaten for buying them? Are my polos pathetic? Are my tees terrible? Are my oxfords offensive? Are my sunglasses sh..... errr... sub-par? What do I need to do to drag myself from my current style vacuum?

OK, enough with the dramatics. I guess what I'd love to gather from this topic is as follows:

1) What order to go about replacing my wardrobe.
2) Suggestions for replacement pieces. My budget is flexible, but I can't see myself spending $300 on jeans. Barring a sufficiently excellent piece, I'd put a budget of ~$200 per pair of shoes/boots, ~$150 on jeans and sunglasses, $25 on tees, $40 on polos, and $60 on oxfords. Those are just initial estimates - if I should go higher, feel free to tell me (or, better yet, post a piece that is going to make me want to spend more).
3) General style/color recommendations to keep in mind when looking around. E.g. "Continue to avoid pink.", "Toss your black pieces - they make you look pale."

Thanks in advance for your help. If you need some more details regarding anything (e.g. you want to see how a specific piece looks on me), let me know and I'll be more than happy to assist.

-Brandon




















 

milosz

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Those Fryes aren't bad. If you want something classic in black to wear, the good old Doc Martens 1460 will run you either $100 or $150 (regular made in China model, Vintage Collection made in England respectively) and last forever.

Jeans-wise, I'd look for something less-relaxed. If you want to try dry/rigid denim, the new Levi 501 STF cut (identifiable by the '501' tag on the inside rear of the waistband - it's pretty much all I see at Macy's/Penney's now) is flattering for pretty much all body types and inexpensive ($35).

Solid-color t-shirts from J. Crew/American Apparel/etc. are your friend.
 

why

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Way to go. This is the way to get started. Let me first get the snark out.

[Snark]

Buy APCs sized down 2
AA t-shirt
Chucks

[/Snark]

Just be observant. Realize why certain things look good and why some don't. Reading SF will help get you started, but eventually you'll understand why some things look good and some don't.

If you wear jeans often invest in those first. Right now you can get good deals on a lot of stuff.

Buy what you need and will get the most use and make sure it fits. It'll probably be a lot tighter than you're used to.

Also realize that certain people will be able to wear things that look good but others will wear the same thing and it'll look terrible. Shop around your local mall and just try shit on.

You probably got the Fryes because they're mentioned on SF...don't fall into that mentality.

And please don't spend $100 on Doc Martens.
 

bbaquiran

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Congratulations on the weight loss.
Check out the WAYWT for outfit ideas. Focus on getting things that fit you well. Have your clothes tailored if necessary.
Get some shoe trees for your dress shoes and boots. Ditch the Oakleys.
 

captainmo

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The jeans still look kind of baggy. Did you try any straight or relaxed straight?

The shoes should be fine for work. At my office nobody dresses well...but it's an engineering firm so most people dress poorly.

I don't like any of the polos. It seems like there's a lot of anti polo shirt sentiment around here.... I have a few polos that I like, but prefer solid colors. I don't really like the button downs either, but if they're for your job, might as well keep them around. However, since you lost so much weight, they probably don't fit well. Check out Alfani at macy's - they have some good fitted button downs for decent prices.

The style of sunglasses are alright for beach wear, but I've always thought oakleys are over priced. For something more stylish....maybe some aviators?

The tshirts - I don't wear graphic Ts, but some people can pull off that look.

To start rebuilding your wardrobe, start off with basics, and remember how important fit is...keep an eye out for things labeled custom/tailored/slim/athletic fit.
 

Big Pun

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Wow that was quite a lengthy first post. I suggest:

Not doing the faux front tuck with the t-shirt, very lame.


Investing in a nice pair of dry denim, in a straight leg style.

Skulls are very played out, so trash the graphic tees and belt, unless you're in love with them.

You should probably buy some plain tees.

Those shoes don't look that bad to me (maybe the black pair is a little scuffed), but I'm not a shoe expert.

I think you should just lurk for a while, seeing what you like. And congrats on the weight loss.
 

captainmo

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Originally Posted by milosz
Those Fryes aren't bad. If you want something classic in black to wear, the good old Doc Martens 1460 will run you either $100 or $150 (regular made in China model, Vintage Collection made in England respectively) and last forever.

Jeans-wise, I'd look for something less-relaxed. If you want to try dry/rigid denim, the new Levi 501 STF cut (identifiable by the '501' tag on the inside rear of the waistband - it's pretty much all I see at Macy's/Penney's now) is flattering for pretty much all body types and inexpensive ($35).

Solid-color t-shirts from J. Crew/American Apparel/etc. are your friend.


501s are probably too tight. Maybe try 505 - straight cut, but slightly looser than 501.

Target is also good for cheap basics. I picked up some long sleeve Ts that are just like one I bought at J Crew, but for 1/3 of the price (good thing I got the JCrew one on sale).
 

why

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501s arent too tight
 

Racove

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Congrats on the weight loss. Truly amazing.

First things to replace: graphic tees, skull belt & oakleys. No skulls, no wings, no dragons, etc! You could replace all of these cheaply at target like for $100 total. get solid blank tees, a plain belt & some aviators. you'd look 100% better immediately. then just lurk & learn.
 

WillMagic

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I came from a very similar place as you - 2 years ago I was 6'2, 190 and totally of shape (no muscularity, huge potbelly) and now I'm 6'2, 170, dropping from about a 38 to a 32-33.

The first place to start is, obviously, with jeans. When I was just getting into SF, the thought of dropping more than $150 on a pair of jeans seemed ridiculous. Now, though, I wish I had, because as I learned more I became progressively unhappier with the midrange denim I had purchased. I've settled with a pair of APC Rescues in 31 that I'm happy with, but if I could do it all over again, I'd plunge straight-away into a piece of high-end denim, because you'll end up wearing it every day, and it will probably save you money long-term.

Given your thigh situation, my recommendation would be Okinawas. I'd splurge on jeans, and if necessary, skimp in other places in your wardrobe.

T-shirts - AA. Cheap and simple. Your t-shirts right now look way, way too baggy. My guess is that you'll probably be best with an AA large, but don't be afraid to go smaller (and of course use the sizing chart.)

Polos - I'm extremely fond of the AA Pique Short Sleeve Collared Shirt. I haven't seen this specific piece get a lot of play on SF, but I find it to be very versatile, with a great, great fit.

I don't feel qualified to touch shoes/button-downs/anything else. I'm personally partial to Onitsuka Tigers and Sambas, but that's far from a universal opinion on here.
 

Listi

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Really hate the sunglasses. They are way too high on your face for my taste, I can see that your eyes are at the very bottom of the lenses, that isn't the best look ever. Oakleys, in general, look very ugly. Check out Ray-Ban Aviators maybe? You just have to find what works for your face.

Boots look kinda funky. It's hard to explain in words... The area where the laces are is like cut away on the sides? I dunno, I don't like that. The way the laces are is weird in general, and they just don't look like the best boots ever.

You need a better pair of jeans too... I used to wear Lucky too but then I realized their cuts were just kind of bizarre and bad. 501 is PROBABLY a good place to start, the only raw denim I have experience with is all really slim and probably not for you, other people can help if you're willing to go that route. The other thing is in the picture with the black shoes, your socks are showing... You're wearing a bootcut jean and socks are showing? Get a jean with a slimmer opening and maybe a 33" or 34" length... I dunno if you're into stacking or not, but too short jeans basically look the worst ever. Especially when you're wearing white socks with black shoes. And those black shoes have a weird toe.

You have lots of polos in pretty boring colours with lots of stripes. The red polo has white stitching on the side and a massive logo on the chest, bad.

I don't hate on every t-shirt with something on it like some people do, I have some shirts with logos or things on them... But I avoid shirts with huge ass prints like the plague. Unless you feel like skull prints describe your personality in some unique way, I'd lose them. Those are the type of shirts that were popular with kids in my middle school who were into dirt bikes and stuff... in one word: terrible.

I dunno, most of your stuff seems pretty bad. But you can improve... I'm kind of just getting into this clothing thing as well, just started near the end of last summer. Before that, I dressed pretty terribly. I have a VERY long way to go, but with the help of this forum you can improve fairly quickly. Get more plain stuff, like everyone else has said.

@Willmagic: I have that American Apparel polo (edit: actually, mine is the pocket one, it looks quite similar though), actually have it on right now. I love the body of it, the small is sized almost perfectly for me (after hot washed and shrunk) and at it's price I'd say is definitely worth it... But it's far from the greatest polo ever. The sleeves are weird, they sort of flare out, the button placket is really long, which is fine when you're wearing it alone, but makes it a little odd for layering I find.
 

heisenberg

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Jeans-wise, I'd look for something less-relaxed. If you want to try dry/rigid denim, the new Levi 501 STF cut (identifiable by the '501' tag on the inside rear of the waistband - it's pretty much all I see at Macy's/Penney's now) is flattering for pretty much all body types and inexpensive ($35).
Noob question - STF = ?

I stumbled across some Levis in Macys a couple days ago. Button fly killed it for me.

Just be observant. Realize why certain things look good and why some don't. Reading SF will help get you started
That's why I'm here - was hoping to jump-start the process with this post.

Buy what you need and will get the most use and make sure it fits. It'll probably be a lot tighter than you're used to.
Since my definition of "fit" is based off of the baggy feel, it's probably really off. How do I know where to draw the line between "fits well" and "too tight"? I don't want to look like I'm smuggling contraband as I'm walking down the street.

You probably got the Fryes because they're mentioned on SF
Guilty as charged.

And please don't spend $100 on Doc Martens.
No need to worry about that - I've pretty much scratched Docs from my list because of their soles inability to stay together.

The jeans still look kind of baggy. Did you try any straight or relaxed straight?
Not sure - I was having trouble finding jeans where both the waist and thighs fit. I may have missed the relaxed straights at the Lucky store.

The style of sunglasses are alright for beach wear, but I've always thought oakleys are over priced. For something more stylish....maybe some aviators?
I didn't think that I could pull off aviators before - I can give em a shot next time I'm out shopping.

Not doing the faux front tuck with the t-shirt
Noted - that's an easy fix.

Investing in a nice pair of dry denim, in a straight leg style.
Any suggestions? Are there any "starter" lines before the APCs? Should I skip APC and go all-out with a Japanese repro?

Is that a real oil painting above your bed
LOL - very observant. No, it's a print. I let the girlfriend decorate the computer room/"guest bedroom".

501s are probably too tight. Maybe try 505 - straight cut, but slightly looser than 501.
Next time I'm out, I'll give 'em both a shot. Hopefully the button fly was an isolated incident.

Congrats on the weight loss. Truly amazing.
Thanks. Couch to 5k + watching what I eat = win.

You could replace all of these cheaply at target like for $100 total [...] Get solid blank tees, a plain belt & some aviators. you'd look 100% better immediately.
I'll stop at Target over the next few days with a camera and without my wallet to make sure I don't somehow catastrophically fail.

Given your thigh situation, my recommendation would be Okinawas. I'd splurge on jeans, and if necessary, skimp in other places in your wardrobe.
Thanks - that's the type of advice that I'm looking for. I'm guessing that I should stabilize my weight before splurging on a piece so that I'm not stuck buying it again, correct? I'm planning on starting a lifting regimen (Starting Strength) in another ~3 weeks, after the New Year's resolutions all fail.

Check out Ray-Ban Aviators maybe? You just have to find what works for your face.
I think part of the reason I picked up the Oakleys is because they completely covered my eyes. I personally don't like it when there are some non-shaded spots in my field of vision. I guess I can get over that to get my look somewhere better.

The other thing is in the picture with the black shoes, your socks are showing... You're wearing a bootcut jean and socks are showing? Get a jean with a slimmer opening and maybe a 33" or 34" length
I was pulling them up a bit for the pic - stupid mistake. Usually, they stack. I'll post pics tomorrow.

You have lots of polos in pretty boring colours with lots of stripes.
Suggestions on colors? Ditch the stripes? Go with the AA stuff WillMagic posted above?

The red polo has white stitching on the side and a massive logo on the chest, bad.
Noted - I'll phase it out.

Unless you feel like skull prints describe your personality in some unique way, I'd lose them.
Noted - I'll kill em off.

I dunno, most of your stuff seems pretty bad. But you can improve.
Hence the topic :)

The sleeves are weird, they sort of flare out, the button placket is really long, which is fine when you're wearing it alone, but makes it a little odd for layering I find.
I haven't gotten into layering at all - too "advanced" for me, and I would always get too warm under multiple layers when I was fatter. I'll worry about the basics first, then try layering once I fix my biggest problems.
 

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