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If you didn't work-

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by familyman, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. familyman

    familyman Senior member

    Messages:
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    Feb 18, 2005
    Love reading about the rules of business dress on this board. Wonderful information that would be great to put to use but.... I don't work. I'm a stay at home dad. If I have the need to wear a suit once in the next year it will be a busy year. My wife recently told me that she loves having the house clean and the kids happy and dinner on the table and as far as she's concerned I never have to go back to work. That was a bit of a shock, I've always planned on going back to work, though with a one year old at home I'm still looking at 4 more years before I'd be working agian and that's assuming no more kids, which hasn't been ruled out.
    If you were in my situation how would your dress change? I've been gravitating toward button downs, chinos, sport coat with the occasional bow tie. This has me significantly more dressed up than most people I meet which sets a good example for my kids and gets me treated much better by service people in stores and other stay at home parents. It also allows me to get thrown up on and shrug it off, most everthing can go in the wash and nothing is terribly expensive.
    So show me you dreams here, if you din't have to work but had to care for two kids all day, what would your wardrobe look like?
     
  2. dorian

    dorian Senior member

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    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    NYC/London
    I don't work; if I did, I wouldn't change what I wear currently. Does that count? Â [​IMG] To be more specific, I look for any reason to wear a suit. Although I rarely can find one, I still do. My more casual wear usually includes (still not too warm here) over/top/covert coat as necessary, a blazer, sportcoat, etc, with a collared sweater of some sort - maybe a high collared zip cardigan - Barba, Attolini, HK or RLPL shirt (silk knots if I feel like it.), EGs or C&Js, and one of the two pairs of my jeans that haven't yet disintegrated. I must remember to pick up some Nudies soon...
     
  3. newyorker

    newyorker Senior member

    Messages:
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    Mar 30, 2005
    If I didn't have to work, I would definitely wear more casual styles (although I would still love to be dressed up for dinner, opera, etc). See my thread titled 'casual styles'.

    I believe that it requires much more taste and money to appear terrific in casual clothes than in business clothes. For one, it is much harder to conceal a small wardrobe for casual wear; one can't mix and match casual wear as easily as business wear unless one goes for the ivy league preppy look in which case the whole idea is to have a standard look that requires a fairly small wardrobe.
     
  4. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Mar 3, 2004
    If I didn't work, I'd be wearing PDC jeans and an American Apparel t-shirt around the house and (depending on the weather) some flannel lined moccasin slippers. When leaving the house I'd wear either jeans, cords, cotton pants, or (occassionally) flannel trousers. I'd not wear a suit, but wouldn't hesitate to wear some sort of sturdy sportcoat (tweed, velvet, etc.). I think your daily dress sounds very nice. Going with the bowtie is unnecessary but a nice, elegant touch I think.
     
  5. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    This is true, which is why I lament the move to business casual -- people just end up dressing like crap.

    Also, I'd consider going with some sturdy wool pants, or some fine pinwale cords if I were you. Anything to get away from the consistent chinos look is a good idea, IMO. Oh, and a couple of pairs of nice shoes are always nice to have. A pebble grain split toe would be good (try Brooks Brothers during their sales).
     
  6. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Casualwear is easy. All you need are:

    1) A few good pairs of jeans (i.e. well fitting) - see my thread in Streetwear and Denim
    2) A few fitted knits, sweatshirts, or hoodies, as per your personal taste.
    3) Half dozen casual button shirts meant to be worn unironed ad untucked (Age, A.P.C. and Schiele are great).
    4) A few pair of odd trousers (Weber, CP Company and Varvatos make some of the best, imo)
    5) Two jackets, one waist length, and one hip, in grey and brown (preferably in textured fabrics)
    6) Two good casual belts (beige and brown)- I like mine more distinctive, but Polo makes fine basic ones. Varvatos is more expensive, but quality is also higher.
    7) Three pairs of shoes - a pair of chukkas, a pair of sneakers (stick to the classics) and a pair of Chelsea boots.

    Stay away from black, which is actually not particularly versatile, and stick to browns and blues. Let the more vivid colors and patterns be be in your shirts. You are completely set. A perfect capsule casual wardrobe. Of course, you can go overboard. I have about 2 dozen pairs of sneakers and jeans, and about eight or nine casual jackets. And tee shirts out the wazoo.
     
  7. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    I think guys prefer a business wardrobe because you are not expected to put much of your personality into it, and it's easy. A good casual outfit requires a lot more thought, and oddly enough, devotion to detail.
     
  8. JBZ

    JBZ Senior member

    Messages:
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    Oct 14, 2003
    As one who has been working in a business casual environment for about six years, I completely agree with the above statement. I look at casual dress as being similar to what a friend of mine once told me about playing the bass guitar - he said that playing the bass is easy, but playing it well is very difficult.

    Anyone can put on a pair of chinos, a blue button down shirt, and a pair of brown loafers and look "acceptable." To dress well casually takes a lot of time and effort, IMHO. You have to be good at matching colors and patterns, and you also have to have a good feel for clothing that reflects your personal style (whatever that may be). You also generally buy pieces separately, and have to match them up with other things at a later time (as opposed to a suit, where your pants and jacket automatically match). If you work in a business casual environment, you also generally have to work within certain written guidelines, as well as unwritten standards based upon the culture of your business.

    I don't mean to make it sound like rocket science, because it isn't (and I don't mean to belittle business or formal dress, which is an artform unto itself if you want to do it well), but I'm generally pretty proud of my casual wardrobe, and put a lot of time and effort into it (much to my wife's chagrin sometimes). Of course there are some days (particularly after the 20th snow storm of the year) when I just can't put in the effort and throw on a pair of khakis and a basic wool sweater and head out the door.

    Regards,

    Jeff
     
  9. familyman

    familyman Senior member

    Messages:
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    Feb 18, 2005
    Interesting suggestions. I really don't want to look like a 22 year old hipster though. The look you described may not be 22 year old hipster to you, but for a small town just north of Houston (where I live) it certainly is. Maybe I'm just a bit averse to 'keeping my youth' through clothes because I see so many stay at home moms that do it badly. I'm not saying that anyone has to look like a 40 year old housewife (or house husband in my case) but if I see another over weight mid 30's woman with 3 screaming kids and a skin tight shirt that says 'hottie' on it I'll puke. I almost do anyway. I'm only 29 and I actually look quite a bit younger. When I quit smoking 3 years ago I was frequently carded, to check if I was 18 or not. I find when I dress 'younger', jeans and a hoodie say, people tend to view me as an early 20's guy who should have gotten an education instead of getting somebody knocked up, and tend to treat me as such. It really sucks to get treated like crap at stores when I'm already dealing with my two kids, not what I need usually. This is one reason I've drifted toward a more conservative style, I'm treated better and my life is easier.
    Looking at your list I do realize that I desperately need to upgrade my shoes though.
     
  10. newyorker

    newyorker Senior member

    Messages:
    185
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    If done right, you can be the hottest stay-at-home dad in your small town just north of Houston. [​IMG]
     

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