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Jackets for beginners - first this, then what?

Makoto Chan

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Uploaded with ImageShack.us Hey Styleforum, I own only one "nice" jacket - it's wool and navy and you can see the picture - and I love it and it goes with everything. But I need to own another. What would you recommend for a second jacket? I'm a teacher. My school doesn't require suits (though they're not unusual, and I'm saving up to buy one later), but I regularly have to attend kinda-formal occasions, so I would like a sports coat that could fit those at well. My present jacket does well. My ideas are: Just regular medium GREY wool,
GREY HERRINGBONE, if it isn't too casual. Is it too casual?
GLEN PLAID, something fine and not too loud, maybe something like this I guess
Or, like, something like that! I want it to look good with as many other things as possible and in as many occasions as possible. I am concerned that herringbone automatically looks informal if I'm standing between other people in suits. And I wonder if glen plaid is too much. Hmm, hmmm. So THANKS for your help!
 

Manton

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The middle one is useful. You could get the same cut and pattern in brown.

Solid gray wool is a waste. The plaid DB is hard to coordinate and looks like a suit.

I'd look into some more vivid patterns.
 

TheFoo

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Forget greys. You need browns.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
I think that is a personal preference.

No, it's sensible orthodoxy. Grey odd jackets are relatively rare for good reasons. First of all, they are more likely to be confused for suit jackets. Second, and more importantly, they shift the burden to your trousers to take on color. It is easier to build a wardrobe based on grey trousers than one based on grey jackets and multi-colored trousers, which will be harder to wear with non-grey jackets. Moreover, one's jacket tends to be a much stronger focal point than his trousers. If you wear grey trousers everyday, it will go completely unnoticed. A grey jacket everyday is far more conspicuous.

Of course, none of this will strike you as a problem if you are into outfit-collecting as opposed to wardrobe-building.
 

Master-Classter

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^^^ very nice explanation!
 

asdf

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Originally Posted by mafoofan
Second, and more importantly, they shift the burden to your trousers to take on color.

How so? are you implying that brown is "colour" or that brown is inherently more interesting, as a colour, than grey?

Also, can shirts and ties not provide colour?

I'm not sure I follow your reasoning, though I do not necessarily disagree with the conclusion.
 

gdl203

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Manton

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Blue or brown jacket with gray pants = classic look, not conspicuous, accessorizible in infinite ways.

Gray jacket is harder. You can wear gray pants but they must be of a noticeably different shade. You also will look very ... gray. And you're not wearing a gray suit. I can work but it's not foolproof.

As to other colors, there is blue. Personally I hate blue trousers but some here wear them. Brown can look nice but doesn't work with as many coats. After that you have the funkier colors that can be fun but that are not 100% appropriate for all venues and occasions. I like green and red and such but they aren't nearly as useful.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by asdf
How so? are you implying that brown is "colour" or that brown is inherently more interesting, as a colour, than grey?

Both. Grey is technically not a color. But regardless, brown is also more interesting than grey because it is potentially far richer and deeper to the eyes: it can have many other colors mixed in and there are many, many different tones of brown to begin with. Take a look through a book of tweeds for evidence.

Also, from a more contextual perspective, consider that grey is the most popular choice for suit cloth. Wearing colored odd jackets helps to differentiate them.

Originally Posted by asdf
Also, can shirts and ties not provide colour?

Sure, but you shouldn't count on them to do so alone. More often than not, they should blend in with your outfit. If everything else you wear is without color, and you use your tie or shirt to compensate, they will attract too much attention to themselves.
 

epa

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I find my charcoal (very dark grey) cashco odd jacket very versatile. I pair if with medium or light grey trousers, and let shirt and tie do the colour job. Great jacket both for casual occasions and for work. Looks reasonable formal with a tie, and reasonably casual sans tie.
 

gdl203

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Honestly, hard to think of many jackets as versatile as thick grey donegal or grey herringbone jacket. No way in hell they could be mistaken for suit jackets either.

Now a glenplaid grey as shown in the OP sounds a bit off to me as a standalone coat. It really screams orphaned jacket.
 

The Gooch

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Yes, but a brown donegal (especially one peppered with flecks of color) or herringbone is much more versatile.
 

amplifiedheat

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Originally Posted by asdf
How so? are you implying that brown is "colour" or that brown is inherently more interesting, as a colour, than grey?

Consider the following three phrases. "Rich, deep navy." "Warm, rich brown." "Deep, rich gray." You never hear the third.
 

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