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Starting from scratch


Sep 13, 2013
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Hello all,

I have been sporadically following this and other fashion threads on the web for a while now. Dressing well seems to be majorly important in the light of self-improvement. Because there are so many different forums and blogs on the Internet about this topic it's easy to lose sight of what the best line is to take here. I feel like dressing well can give me a big edge and thus I'm willing to relatively spend quite an amount of money for somebody my age. But I'd like to do it as well as possible for a beginner. I also think a lot of people are in the same position as me (starters who don't know where and how to start).

It's time for a new wardrobe and I'm here to ask you some questions the coming period of time.

My starting position is as following: I'm 20 years old and attending University. I regularly go out to student bars. The percentage of items that are unacceptable in my current wardrobe is about 80%+, so I'd like to start from scratch. I live in a country where well dressed men are a scarcity. It's the beginning of Fall. My budget is $4000 and I'm probably looking in the 'business casual' direction.

1) Before I buy anything, what are the must-reads?
2) What are the forums/posters/blogs I should regularly check up on?

I am extremely thankful for every piece of advice given to me.

(if this is the wrong place to start this thread I am sorry and I'm sure a moderator will be kindly enough to delete/move this)
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Senior Member
Sep 28, 2010
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Avoid business casual. It's the nemesis to a well dressed man. You're going to have a lot of missteps, it's inevitable.

I would read the "whnay good taste" thread to learn a lot about dressing well.

A few quick tips:

Skip the crummy shoes and get quality shoes that fit well. Allen Edmonds quality should suffice. You will feel a drastic difference in quality over something like Cole Haan's and it will save you money and anguish in the long run.

Always get the longer sleeved shirt versus the shorter. So I have a 32/33 sleeve. I always go for 33 after learning that when you wear a suit jacket you NEED the extra length as a lot of the shirt gets caught in the sleeve when you move your arms. Take this advice from someone who has screwed this up.

Cardigans are generally inadvisable purchases.

Don't get pocket squares unless it's very basic white linen or matte cream silk. Pocket squares are a lot more difficult to pull off correctly than people think.

Buy lots of navy and grey socks. Those are the only colors you need to start. Wear your greys with navy trousers and vice versa. Don't match your socks to your trouser color.

Wear a modest sized watch. I have purchased large face watches in the past and regret them now. A ~40mm watch is a lot sleeker looking.

Avoid patterned clothing. It's far easier to invest in monochromatic and un-patterned clothes and learn how to wear them well together. To the untrained, patterns will cause outfit failures more often than not.

In the same way you should be considering your outfits as a whole ensemble and not individual pieces that you have to cobble together. Avoid flashy looking things for this reason.

I could go on for a long time with these tips but the ones listed above should save you from a lot of anguish. Let me know if you have questions.
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