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New and have some questions

Seth

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Hi guys,

Go easy on me I am 18 and have just finished high school and entering college. I am beginning to build a sense of style from reading this forum for about the past 4 months. I live in Cincinnati, Ohio where many people dress poorly and I don't see many people wearing much more than a button down shirt and jeans to go out for fine dining. I am trying and slowly building a wardrobe within my budget. I like to dress sophisticated but not to sophisticated for my age.

There aren't many unique boutiques or shops here, just the usual mall garbage. We have a Saxs Fifth Avenue and that's about as fancy as you get. However, I have just moved to a town called Hyde Park based originally on the Hyde Park of New York. It is the upscale area here and I recently went into a small shop that had a few items that I don't know much about. The people in there were very friendly; to the point of following me around the shop as I look around. I realize this is normal for a lot of people, but we don't have many shops in the area.

I talked with the owner, shook his hand, and was really the first time I used my very small knowledge of fashion and clothing, which I've learned just from reading. It is hard to be taken seriously when people my age walk in. However, I really enjoyed my experience in something other than a mall store. People my age are satisfied with mall stores - a polo and jean shorts. I'm not sure if I am above myself or whatnot, but I don't settle for it as accessible as it may be.

Anyhow, I saw some items I had questions about the quality. Cole Haan, Bill's Khakis, and Jeff Rose were the brands I had questions about. I also saw a suit in there that I really liked, but I can't remember the brand other than it started with a "Ma", but it's nothing I recognized. The cost was $290, for what its worth to have it special ordered for my size. It didn't seem to be anything to extravagant, but the suit style I really liked. I will have to go back in. Anyhow I ended up purchasing a Jack Spade Messenger bag and was on my way.

I hope this wasn't out of context of the forum, but hopefully you guys can steer me toward the right direction. Everyone here seems very mature and respectful.

Seth\\
 

matadorpoeta

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welcome to the style forum seth. i can't really answer any of your questions, but i believe bills khakis got some bad reviews when they were discussed on this board. i recommend you try a search. also, don't try to dress your age. wear whatever you want. there's a difference between to and too.
 

imageWIS

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Welcome. (How come I always welcome all the newbies? Oh, yeah...cus I got a warm reception the first time I posted&#33
Anyways, you have to find your own style, something that (in no particular order) A)\tMakes you comfortable with what you are wearing B)\tMake others comfortable around you C)\tIs appropriate for the situation...morning dress during a trip to the mall is a no-no (even though there are some here who would argue this point
) Also, don't let anyone detract form the fact tat you like to dress well, because you spent (for example) $400 on a RLPL (Ralph Lauren Purple Label) silk button-less long sleeve polo, it does not mean everyone will understand...so when they criticize or show their surprise / amazement, just remember that its only their ignorance showing. Might I suggest the Internet as a good source of finding clothes? Go to the Neiman Marcus website, go to the websites listed at the top of the forum under: Link If you can't find things in your area, just order them via the web and if they don't fit / don't like the item, you can always return them. Jon.
 

johnnynorman3

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Bill Khakis:  Pretty good quality for khakis, but then again they are just khakis.  I think most people here would agree that the fits are more "adult" in that they are a bit roomy.

Jeff Rose:  I've only seen their golf shirts, which are extremely nice, albeit "country clubish."  Most of their stuff is made in Italy, I think.  Always struck me as good quality, but you don't want to be paying retail for that stuff.

Cole Haan: They still make some fairly nice stuff, but all of it comes out of Italy. The Cole Haan's you were seeing were probably made in Brazil or India. If that is the case, they are vastly overpriced, because the leather is very plasticy. I like some of their styles, but you could do much better on Bluefly and the like. In fact, I would recommend Bluefly (with a coupon code) if you want to try some nice shoes. I'd recommend Bluefly over Ebay because you have 90 days to return, and shipping costs are very reasonable.
The suit:  I have no clue what you are referring to, but if it was $290 in a boutique, unless it was on significant discount, it's not going to be very good at all.  But if you like the style, that's at least something to note in your brain.
 

AlanC

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If in Cincy visit:

Hunt Club Clothiers
441 Vine Street
Carew Tower Arcade
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-3169

I know nothing of the store other than they carry Alden shoes, which is a good indicator that they carry other quality items as well.

Go Reds. Down with the Bearcats.
 

TomW

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Welcome Seth.

I second the previous posts - wear what you like and are comfortable in. Cole-Haan is okay - but seriously over-priced at retail - I have 2 pair that I've had for more than 20 years, nothing they make now can even compare. There are choices at the same price point that are far better shoes: Alden, Allen Edmonds, Polo (especially the Benchmade in England shoes), etc. Bluefly is an excellent online source - especially with a 20% coupon on top of a sale price. Bill's Khakis are reasonably good, I just think they're too old man for me, and I'm pushing 40... Polo makes good quality chinos at a much better price (often steeply discounted at your local Costco or online from sites like Bluefly - $29 is not uncommon). Enjoy your experiences, I wish I'd had a resource like this forum when I was 18. Ask anything that comes to mind, most of us will do our best to answer. Invest in quality, not quantity - a lesson I learned much later in life.

Tom
 

esquire.

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Not to be rude, but do you really need a suit? I ask this becuase your body is still growing and changing. To buy one too early, before you have a chance to use it, might be a waste. But, good luck.
 

johnnynorman3

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Invest in quality, not quantity - a lesson I learned much later in life.

Tom
I'm going to alter TomW's suggestion about quality over quantity: Invest in quality stuff that FITS over quality stuff that doesn't fit over quantity. A lot of times, people will buy that Kiton cashmere sweater, or Borrelli shirt etc. when it doesn't fit right. In the long run, the clothes that you will wear the most are the ones that fit the best, and I think that is almost regardless of pure "quality." So, at age 18, your first lesson should be what fits well. Your second lesson should be what the highest quality clothes are (or, best bang for the buck, which is what you should be concerned with at your age).
 

regularjoe

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Not to be rude, but do you really need a suit? I ask this becuase your body is still growing and changing. To buy one too early, before you have a chance to use it, might be a waste. But, good luck.
I have to agree here. Odds are, your body will change anywhere from a little bit to a lot. The college diet isn't exactly kind. Then again, maybe you'll gain an interest in weightlifting and start doing creatine and taking supplements. A lot can happen. I'd go with fit and fabric (natural fibers&#33
over anything else and keep it on the cheap so that you don't feel bad about chucking it if you outgrow it or your clothes get puke on them or stray cigarette ash or some other catastrophe. The finer clothes can wait until you're done with school and have a little more money to spend.
 

TomW

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Originally Posted by TomW,28 July 2004, 8:28
Invest in quality, not quantity - a lesson I learned much later in life. Tom
I'm going to alter TomW's suggestion about quality over quantity: Invest in quality stuff that FITS over quality stuff that doesn't fit over quantity. A lot of times, people will buy that Kiton cashmere sweater, or Borrelli shirt etc. when it doesn't fit right. In the long run, the clothes that you will wear the most are the ones that fit the best, and I think that is almost regardless of pure "quality." So, at age 18, your first lesson should be what fits well. Your second lesson should be what the highest quality clothes are (or, best bang for the buck, which is what you should be concerned with at your age).
Thanks Johnnynorman3 - I made the assumption of fit, and I should not have. Fit is the most important piece of the equation - without it, you have a bit of cloth. Don't buy anything if it doesn't fit, or cannot be easily altered to fit. Also, buy the best you can afford - if that's GAP, great. You will be able to spend more as your earnings increase. Chase down bargins at Marshalls, TJMaxx, Ross, Loehman's or Thrift Stores - great way to find very high end things at very low end prices, in fact, you may find the perfect suit that way - one of my favorites is a Zegna DB in a heavenly silk/cashmere blend that only cost $6 - $12 bought a suit, 3 Zegna dress shirts, 2 ties and a pocket square that day. Needless to say, I stop at this particular thrift store nearly every week - somebody in my size is donating good stuff fairly regularly, and I want it
 

southerncollegeboy

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Seth, In the past year I've spent quite a bit of time in Cincy, and if you're not looking for suits but just little bohemian shops, I'd have to say the city has a surprising amount of them. Try the Clifton area (by UofC) and Mt. Adams. I can't remember specific places but their seemed to be a few. The city is almost overrun with malls, but I have to say even the worst of them are fairly nice.
 

AlanC

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According to the Hunt Club Clothiers website, now would be a wonderful time to pay them a visit as they're having a relocation sale. It includes: BASIC FURNISHINGS, DRESS SHIRTS, NECKWEAR & ALDEN SHOES SALE PRICED 20% TO 50% OFF the original price Supposedly, everything is on sale to some degree.
 

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