1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

How to Buy a Gray Blazer

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Gray Blazer, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Gray Blazer

    Gray Blazer Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Hey, guys, I am completely new to fashion, and I need your advice. I recently bought a book written by a French fashion advisor called "Style for Modern Men" by a recommendation from a friend. He lists 11 basics that all beginners must have when it comes to fashion and articles of clothing you must own. A few of them that I am working on right now are:

    1) A Gray Blazer

    2) Gray Shoes

    3) A pair of raw denim jeans

    4) A winter coat

    As of right now I have been shopping like a madman for a gray blazer specifically. The writer of the book says that a gray blazer is very versatile and works with a ton of outfits, as it is a neautral color and adds a little bit of class to casual/a little bit of casual to class. The thing is he recommends going for quality when looking for a gray jacket, and I don't know what quality is. I also don't have a very big budget at all and am going to have to scrape around in the savings account to acquire these 4 essential articles of clothing--especially if they have to be expensive and of quality.

    The reason I have chosen to focus on a gray blazer first is because I think this simple garment will improve my confidence and outfits significantly, and the quickest of all of the other 11 essentials for a beginner's wardrobe. I have also chosen the blazer as a first priority because it is fall now and cooler, so I thought it would function as a light jacket for the time being, and I would go onto more wintery investments as the temperature drops.

    But as of right now, I have been to practically every store in the city I live in and have tried on pretty much every gray blazer on the market. Some of the brands that have stuck out for me are Paul Smith, Comme Ce Garcon (Japanese brand), 5351 Hommes (or something like that, Japanese brand), Burberry, and Armani.

    However, these jackets are reallly expensive--in the $400-$1,200 range--and I don't know if such a big investement would be worth it for how small my budget is and considering how many articles I need to purchase and FAST. For example, H&M has jackets for like $60 bucks, but I don't know if girls would find that cheap or if they would last long enough or worth the investment or what.

    Any advice would be appreciated for gray blazers. Thanks a lot.
     
  2. Jeff M

    Jeff M Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    There are a couple pieces of information that would help your cause. First, what city do you live in? There are members from all over, so if you live near someone, they may be able to help. Second, what is your budget? You mentioned prices ranges from $60-1200, but didn't specify what you are looking for in price.

    Don't stoop to H&M, you can find something much better (lightly used, obviously) at a thrift store. If you are on a tight budget like me, I recommend checking the thrift shops, you never know what you will find. There is a great thread here about what folks find while thrifting, check it out. If you read around the forum you will pick up what brands are good and which ones are not, and you might get lucky and find someone who is selling just what you need (again, refer to the thread on thrift finds). Good luck, and welcome to the forum. I recommend taking the time to read (use the search function, too) what is here, you will find a lot of answers to your questions.
     
  3. Liquidus

    Liquidus Senior member

    Messages:
    1,653
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco, California
  4. wintourh007

    wintourh007 Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    NSW
    I try to look for a nice soft feel of the blazer with the right structure but not stiff. If not H&M, there's alwaya Gap, or Topman
     
  5. Gray Blazer

    Gray Blazer Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Jeff M:

    Thanks for the response. I live in Tokyo, Japan.

    What's my budget? Good question, what IS my budget? I have a credit card that maxes at 200,000 yen ($2,000). I have about 150,000 ($1,500) in savings, and I currently have 40,000 yen ($400) in my bank account. Pay day is Halloween, and that's going to be 250,000 yen ($2,500). If you calculate all of that up I have 640,000 yen ($6,400) at my disposal.

    Now, obviously I need to eat, and I have expenses to pay, so I can't use all of that money. The point is I HAVE it, and depending on how important a gray blazer is I can spend accordingly. If I can get by well enough with a gray blazer from H&M, then I will get a gray blazer from H&M. If I seriously cannot get by with a gray blazer from H&M and girls will laugh at me, then I will not be getting a jacket from H&M. The key is how important is a gray blazer?

    I went shopping again today, and I found more gray blazers. One was from Banana Republic for $300. Another was from H&M for $150. I went to a custom-made place that sells for $600. And you know what, I can't tell one bit of difference from one to the other because those, and all of the other hundreds of jackets I've tried on from Gucci to Uniqlo are ALL ROUGHLY THE SAME.

    For instance, let's say I have an H&M jacket and an Armani jacket. If I opt for the H&M jacket are 40% of girls going to see me as cheap? If I get an Armani jacket, does that mean 100% of girls will see me as stylish?

    Or let's say I have an H&M jacket and a mid-range jacket like the one at Banana Republic for $300. If I pay the $150 extra for the Banana Republic, does that mean 30% of girls will see me as cheap instead of 40% for the H&M? Or is it 35%? Or will will 95% of girls not even be able to tell the difference once I hit a certain brand/price range? If 95% won't be able to tell the difference, and that jacket costs $300, then there is no reason for me to pay $400, $500, or the Armani $1,200.

    This is my dilemma.

    Liquidus:

    That jacket has a really nice fit but a little expensive. I've been keeping an eye out for nice fits on my shopping excursions, and not a whole lot of the jackets I've tried on hug the midriff like the one in that link. In my fashion book it says that when the jacket is unbuttoned you should see a nice silhouette of your body, but as of now I've only been seeing slight and almost unnoticeable silhouettes. I don't know if that's just because I need tailoring, or if the silhouettes I'm seeing are enough, or if I'm not seeing much of a silhouette because when a jacket is unbuttoned it just naturally hangs the way it hangs by law of gravity...

    wintourh007:

    I couldn't find very good blazers at GAP, and I haven't been to Topman yet. It's interesting that you say, "Not stiff" because that's the kind I've been looking for. I've been looking for one that resembles a suit jacket with shoulder padding (to make my shoulders look meatier) and somewhat of a shine to it.

    What do you think about shine to gray blazers? Is it too gaudy? In my book it says the blazer should be timeless, and flashy clothing looks cheap and dates very easily. Is a shiny gray not what I want to be looking for?

    Thanks, guys!
     
  6. cold war painter

    cold war painter Senior member

    Messages:
    547
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Mamucium
    


    :confused:

    Really?
     
  7. Gray Blazer

    Gray Blazer Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    cold war painter:

    Yeah, serious about the gray shoes (well, sneakers). He says that they're both original and versatile.
     
  8. Makoto Chan

    Makoto Chan Senior member

    Messages:
    624
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Check out the Streetwear and Denim forum if you're looking for sneakers.Grey sneakers sound good.

    By the way, if you're on a budget and you "need" raw denim, then you're in luck living in Tokyo. Uniqlo sells raw denim jeans at their larger stores for about $100 (in fact, I think it's 10 thousand yen). This is a budget option that most Americans (or, well, non-Japanese) don't have.

    As for your search for a gray jacket - you're in a tough spot. You don't know what you're looking for, and you don't want to spend a lot of money, AND you want it right away? That's a bad combo.
     
  9. dapperdoctor

    dapperdoctor Senior member

    Messages:
    479
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Gray shoes does not sound like something you should try to get.... :)
     
  10. Makoto Chan

    Makoto Chan Senior member

    Messages:
    624
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Try Azabu Tailor. Search the net or google maps. Walk in, they'll show you around. The staff are very helpful and I suspect their taste is right up your alley. Their prices start cheap and they have a lot of options. Tell 'em what you want, they'll make the process easy for you.
     
  11. cold war painter

    cold war painter Senior member

    Messages:
    547
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Mamucium
    

    Fair enough, grey sneakers as a streetwear basic make sense I guess.
     
  12. Gray Blazer

    Gray Blazer Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Wow, thanks, Makoto Chan! There's an Azabu Tailor right down the street from my house! So I'm thinking that this would be a great option because not only will I get the jacket I'm looking for, I'll also get it tailored all in one go! The only problem is what to say when people ask where it's from...

    As for the Uniqlo raw denim, that would be great as long as nobody cares that it's from Uniqlo. If I get the OK from the forum to make these purchases, problem solved. But please feel free to chime in and say this is a BAD IDEA. Please, I want all of the perspectives I can get.
     
  13. Gray Blazer

    Gray Blazer Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Also, let it be known that it's not that I don't know what I'm looking for, it's that I don't know the value of what I'm looking for. I also don't know the difference between one place that sells the thing that I'm looking for and any other place that sells what I'm looking for. I know design comes pretty heftily into play, but to be honest all of the designs look roughly the same. So is paying a couple hundred extra dollars only going to mean something to me, or are people not going to notice either way?
     
  14. Makoto Chan

    Makoto Chan Senior member

    Messages:
    624
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Location:
    Tokyo
    

    If it means something to you, do it. Honeslty most people won't notice. But who exactly are you trying to impress?

    Your request is a bit absurd, mate. It sounds like you're not asking with a very level head. You want high quality but you don't know what it looks like. When asked for a budget you tell us your credit limit, your total paycheck, and the amount in your savings, and then admit you don't even know how important this jacket is to you. Sounds like you need to cool your jets.
     
  15. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

    Messages:
    8,518
    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Location:
    El Barrio
    +1

    Take a deep breath, spend some more time reading and looking at tumblrs, then take another deep breath and buy something that meets your needs for today and tomorrow.
     
  16. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

    Messages:
    2,970
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    

    I don't think I've seen a noob this concerned with what other people think in the 2.5 years I've been here. Girls will think x, what do I say when people ask where y is from, what will people think, blah blah blah.

    Honestly chief, if you are trying to pick up chicks, some confidence and buying these chicks drinks with that money will go much farther than an expensive blazer. Do you really think a girl gives a fuck whether you have a $800 blazer or a $300 blazer? 1, if they do, they aren't worth anybody's time, and 2, most women wouldn't know some of the highest quality brands out there.

    So quit basing your life on what shallow women might like and buy what you want...shit.
     
  17. Gray Blazer

    Gray Blazer Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Makoto Chan:

    I'm trying to impress really hot girls. If they don't care if my jacket is from Uniqlo or Louis Vuitton then I'll buy from Uniqlo.

    It's not that I'm asking without a level head, it's that I'm a BEGINNER. So please keep this in mind. I am so beginner that I don't even know the REASON behind buying expensive clothes.

    -Yes, I want high quality, but I don't know what it looks like.

    ----But I only want high quality because that's what it said I should go for in my book. If I had bought another book that said buy cheap, 100% cotton, made in Portugal, then I would be looking for that. The book is not specific enough for me and I don't really understand the explanations of what quality looks like, as I am a newb.

    (One thing that really confused me yesterday was that both the H&M and Banana Republic jackets were 100% wool, yet one was $150 more than the other)

    -Yes, as for my budget, I told you what my credit limit was, my total paycheck, and the amount in my savings. And I don't know how important the jacket is to me.

    ----All I know is that it said in my book that a gray blazer is on the 11 essentials list. I thought that sounded like a good idea as I could see myself wearing it every day because it would increase my level of confidence, and most of the clothes I own now are 3 years old from Uniqlo and H&M anyway, so I thought the jacket would be a nice bandage for the time being. He gave a few suggestions of makers such as H&M and Zara for lower budgets ( high school or college students, I am assuming he's talking about?) and for higher budgets he gave suggestions like Paul Smith, Christian Dior, et al (rich people, I am assuming he's talking about?). I don't know why he would suggest both ends of the spectrum if one end is more important than the other. If he had said, "The bare minimum you should spend is. blah blah blah, never buy 'Made in China', and absolutely no synthetic fibers or stitching on the lapels," then I would have a bit more of a direction to take this.

    Your suggestions I will definitely take into account.
     
  18. Liquidus

    Liquidus Senior member

    Messages:
    1,653
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco, California
    

    You're following this book way too closely. I don't know if you've tried it already or not, but if that Howard Yount blazer fits you well, just get it. Finding jackets that fit well RTW is not easy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  19. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    10,005
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Location:
    Texas.
    Surprised nobody has said it, but: don't access your savings OR use your credit card for this purchase. Spending money you either don't have or are saving is silly (especially on clothes). I spend a decent chunk of money on clothes that I don't need, but I've budgeted for it. I imagine the vast majority of the posters on here do the same. However, you came here for clothing advice, not financial advice [​IMG]

    On the clothing: I'd steer clear of UNIQLO and H&M. You might not be able to tell the difference NOW, but you will next year. Going for things like LV and Gucci is almost equally stupid (come to think of it, more). Banana Republic is a happy medium on the low end. It'll last you several seasons, look good, and it won't break your bank.

    EDIT: +1 for Howard Yount

    Also, this is a far better list for a man working on starting his wardrobe:
    http://www.styleforum.net/t/317672/list-of-bare-necessities
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  20. Jeff M

    Jeff M Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Quote: Yes. You have your own style and sense of what you like, if you like something, get it. One of my favorite quotes is "I don't give a damn what others think of me, I care what I think of me." For me, this is partially true. Sure I do care a little bit about what opinions are formed about me, but at the end of the day you only have to answer to one person: you. My previous comment about H&M stems from a poor quality blazer I once bought from them a while ago, but at that time I had no clue what I was looking for. So I am inclined to steer clear of them, but I haven't been back in a while so I don't know if things have changed.

    Read your book and the things we have to offer here, but don't get so caught up in conforming to what everyone else tells you to do. If everyone followed strict guidelines to a T then there would be no individuality, no uniqueness in our styles. Fit is a huge part of how good you will look, so I echo what Liquidus said. Someone can buy the most expensive Armani suit and still look like s*** because it doesn't fit right.

    And just because you seem to be making a big deal out of it, for the women, in my experience it is your personality and how well you communicate that ultimately shines through and is the deciding factor. How you dress (again, I emphasize clothes that fit well) will catch eyes initially, but after that it's how you actually interact. There is a Lifestyle section of the forum you might want to check out for this, I haven't looked myself, but I imagine you might find some insight there.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by