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Style Change Advice Please

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by SimonPeters, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. SimonPeters

    SimonPeters Member

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    Apr 27, 2013
    Hi there,


    I'm fast approaching my 30th birthday and I've decided I really want to smarten up my style. I've been in a bit of a rut clothing-wise for years. I pretty much live in t-shirts, jeans, hoodies and trainers. I have to admit I'm completely clueless when it comes to fashion - how to match up colours, what items go well together, accessories etc etc


    I work in a creative/technical role in media so its a very casual environment that involves a fair bit of outdoor working so I dont have the opportunity to dress up for work. Recently I've started changing my clothes when I get home into something smarter.


    I was wondering if anyone would be able to give me advice on good looks to go for or an idea of how to put together what I've already bought - if I'm on the right track - or more options of staples to go for.


    I bought a couple of grey chambray workshirt-style shirts a while back and a pair of black trousers. I've recently bought a pair of burgundy slim corts and dark brown chinos. I got a tweed jacket off eBay that I really like. I wore it with a white shirt and slim black tie to a wedding recently and a friend complimented me on it and said I should wear shirt and tie more often so I'd like to go with that, but be able to keep it casual as well as dress it up for special occassions.


    I've got a navy pinstripe suit and dark blue, black and white shirts. I'm extremely lacking on the footwear front as all I really own are trainers and a pair of cheap fake leather smart-ish black shoes.


    I'm quite short - 5'6 and fairly slim with shoulder length blonde hair.


    I saw a couple of looks I liked. http://www.asos.com/ASOS/ASOS-…d=2563950&WT.ac=rec_viewed ,http://www.kinowear.com/blog/kinowea...ck-rebel-class and http://www.thedrum.com/uploads…89707/main_images/caffreys.jpg


    Thanks in advance,

    Simon
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. antipattern

    antipattern Member

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    There are many just-getting-started threads in existence. Search around. There is also a quick question thread: http://www.styleforum.net/t/79716/ask-a-question-get-an-answer-post-all-quick-questions-here. Check out the WAYWT thread for inspiration: http://www.styleforum.net/t/164384/the-waywt-discussion-thread. Also, check out the Best of WAYWT to find out what people have thought really stood out: http://www.styleforum.net/t/243095/official-best-of-waywt-favorite-fits. That said, I'll still offer some advice.

    I was in the same boat as you. I'm 22, and up until the middle of last year, I didn't really care what I wore. Maybe I can be of help as I have finally begun developing a sense of dressing myself. My sense of style still has a way to go, hehe.

    First off, do you have a mall around you? I don't care what anyone says, Banana Republic and J. Crew are great starter stores. Go there and be honest with the associates. Tell them you don't know the ins and outs of fashion and building outfits, and want some advice. They will try to sell you on stuff, but you might be able to put together some good smart casual outfits, or at least get some inspiration for things to buy. Also, these stores are great for getting basic articles that will work for both business ultra-casual (which is what it sounds like you wear at work), as well as off-the-job smart casual. A lot of the casual/sport shirts (e.g., oxfords, soft-wash shirts) and such that you can get from there will work with jeans or chinos.

    Look at a lot of pictures for inspiration and try on a lot of combinations to see what works for you. Be assertive. If you prefer to try things on yourself without the interaction with a sales associate, take a load of clothes into a fitting room and try matching different things.

    A great shirt color for blonde haired people is blue. Baby blue, sky blue, and mid-light blue work especially well. Combine these with markedly darker indigo jeans and brown belt and shoes for an easy match.

    If you have money to spend, check out the casual shoes section of Allen Edmonds. They make comfortable, high-quality, fashionable shoes, and are definitely Style Forum approved. If you want some cheaper brands to test combinations, Clarks, Cole Haan, ECCO, John Varvatos, Kenneth Cole, and the like are fine, even if they aren't Style Forum approved. They might not last as long, but what matters is if they look good and you like them, and they will teach you how to combine clothing. Go with browns, as these can be easily worn with both chinos and jeans. As for black, save that for suits and very formal clothing.

    You're slim, so that can be used to your advantage. Buy slim fit whenever possible. The most common fashion mistake people make is ill-fitting clothing. Get a couple of pairs of good slim fit jeans and chinos in various colors, and see what works with what. You can start with Levi's if you don't have much money to invest and want decent quality and fit. I'd suggest 514s. If you have money to spare, look into APC, 3sixteen, Naked and Famous, and Nudie. I would personally recommend AG Jeans as well. Get slim fit shirts, plenty of which are available from Banana Republic and J. Crew, and you will immediately see how well slim fitting shirts work with slim fitting pants.

    I know it's almost summer, but check out sweaters as well. Jeans + an oxford shirt + a v-neck sweater or cardigan are an instant win, so long as you pick the right colors. Figuring out those combinations will help you figure out color combinations you can use for other seasons.

    Google for people asking what colors go with what. Yahoo! Answers, About.com, and other sites have quick answers on "what color pants go with a [color] shirt?", "what color shoes should i wear with [color] pants?", and similar questions. It might not always be spot on, but it will help you get started. Spend a couple of hours trying on every article of clothing in your wardrobe, and look at yourself in the mirror. It should stand out. Sometimes outfits look bad, and sometimes outfits look okay. You will eventually stumble onto something that looks good, and you will instinctively know it. If you like the colors but not the fabric or texture of one of the articles, you can buy that article in the same color with a more appropriate texture.

    Finally, post pictures in WAYWT and the quick question thread, asking for advice. You might take some heat in the former if it's really bad, but you will pick up good advice.

    Also, be confident. If you like it, great. Walk with your head high and let the world know you embrace your fit. It doesn't matter how well you are dressed; what matters is the man in the clothing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  3. Distorbiant

    Distorbiant Senior member

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    As someone who works in retail, I would advise against this.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. Dapp

    Dapp Senior member

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    JV is cheap?

    I would honestly just say lurk around, read a hundred pages of WAYWT and figure out what you like. There's dozens of unique styles so you'll probably find one that you like and you can build off it from there. Give it some time and don't rush into any crazy purchases.
     
  5. eglbc

    eglbc Senior member

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    kop rick live on forums
     
  6. MiniW

    MiniW Senior member

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    as counter intuitive as it may sound, start from the bottom up. get 1-2 really good pairs of leather shoes - brown is more casual than black, then get really well fitting chinos for work (I like darker colored ones as they are less common but lighter ones may work better for spring./summer). After that then work on button up shirts/sweaters/jackets. Most people when starting to shop for themselves do ok on shirts and pants but then horrible shoes (new or old) ruins the look. You can find plentiful, inexpensive, well fitting items from places such as The Gap or H&M, but shoes are the real challenge and until you acquire 1-2 good pairs, your style won't improve much.
     
  7. NorCal

    NorCal Senior member

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    Cut your hair.
    Take the Rick Owens challenge (that is, if you look good, then looking good is easy, ie: be fit)
    Until you know what you want, avoid colour.
    Get a decent pair of jeans.
     
  8. antipattern

    antipattern Member

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    Could you explain? This obviously isn't always a good idea, but depending on the associate it could be helpful.
     
  9. andii1212

    andii1212 Active Member

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    I think that as you are just beginning to get into "fashion" you should probably go for classic and timeless pieces that one can rarely go wrong with, Zara & H&M have affordable staple pieces that with time you can build on.
     
  10. SimonPeters

    SimonPeters Member

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    Thanks for this, all great advice. Unfortunately I'm in the UK and we don't have Banana Republic or J Crew over here, but I could order off the website. That negates your point about speaking to the sales staff though.
    Great advice, thanks - but I've already been buying some items and currently have no decent shoes to match with anything. I've currently got a pair of green nike high-tops, a pair of black hi-top plimsoles and a pair of boring square toed fake leather slip ons. I've not been able to wear my new cords because I have no idea what sort of footwear goes with it - but definately not anything I've got. Someone advised these: http://www.asos.com/ASOS/ASOS-Brogu...ze=-1&sort=-1&clr=Tanleather&WT.ac=style_chat I quite like them but was wondering what other folk thought? I tried on one of my chambray shirts under a green crew-neck sweater(that I usually wear casually) with my chinos and tweed blazer and thought these shoes would really help smarten up the look? I could also wear them with my navy suit I guess. I was looking for something to wear with my black trousers as well.
    I don't think I want to cut my hair - and if I do I think I'd like to keep the length rather than go for a standard short cut. Did you have any styles in mind or could anyone else advise on good long-hair styles?
     
  11. SimonPeters

    SimonPeters Member

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    Thanks! What sort of staple pieces should I be looking for?
     
  12. meso

    meso Senior member

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    It depends on what you want to look like. A "staple" to a goth ninja is not a staple to someone who wants to dress preppy. No offense, but there are at least a handful of these sorts of posts every day on this forum. They all say things very much like you do - I don't want to dress like a kid, slightly more "dressy," have shitty shoes - but this isn't that helpful.

    Nearly every one neglects this one question: what do you want to look like? Hip professor? Artsy migrant?? I'd like to say you could figure this out before you buy anything, but you'll probably have to buy a bunch of stuff and 3/4 of it you won't wear in a year because you figured out by then what you really like. It's kind of a process. Lurk moar, starting buying items that interest you, rinse, repeat.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  13. crosswound

    crosswound Senior member

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    i vote he should go for goth ninja.
     
  14. Distorbiant

    Distorbiant Senior member

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    I, too, vote goth ninja. The more zippers the better.
     
  15. SimonPeters

    SimonPeters Member

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    I'm sorry my post has made you so annoyed, and I'm sorry if I made a mistake. I've been reading around the forum and I have been checking out a few websites but decided to ask a question here so I could maybe have a conversation with some people who have more experience and are more 'stylish' than I am to hopefully improve my clothing style. I thought a site called 'styleforum' might be the place to talk about these things.

    To be fair in my original post I wrote down some of the items I have been buying and wearing recently and a little bit about my personal circumstances in the hope that maybe in a discourse I can find out more than reading the articles I've been reading. I'm getting what people are saying but I'd kinda like to know how I can apply them to myself. I also posted a few looks in the original post that I liked and that was the look I was going for - unfortunately I don't know what that particular look is called which is why I added links.

    I don't mean to sound pissy or angsty but I thought this was the point of forums like these, to ask advice and have conversations with others? I didn't expect to be snarled at or judged - which is exactly what is putting me off making a change or talking about it with shop assistants, peers etc.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. crosswound

    crosswound Senior member

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    your going to have to spend money buy things that you think you like keep what works for you sell what doesn't.

    as time goes by it will get easier.
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. antipattern

    antipattern Member

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    Believe me, there is plenty of this attitude around here, and that was not even close to the worst of it. Take it all with a grain of salt. It's easy to get offended but learn from it and take the good with the bad. Really, this website is one of the greatest resources available to people learning how to dress better. People here aren't afraid to say "that looks like shit" when it looks like shit. Most everyone else in the real world will censor their opinions even if you ask them to be honest. Threads like this are frustrating to some members because fashion isn't about applying a cookie cutter outfit to oneself, but rather learning what articles work together and how to sport them best. Developing style is about learning what you like, and if you want some commentary it is much more beneficial to ask for it once you have something put together. Believe me, when I first started lurking here, I was hoping for the magic answer, but it didn't come, and I'm glad it didn't. If it had, it wouldn't have been mine, and I wouldn't have had to develop my senses.

    What helps us as advisers is if you show us links to combinations that you are considering (e.g., the shoe link you posted). The pictures of the models is fine and well, but start putting together your own combinations of shirt, sweater, pants, shoes, etc. and then ask. Better yet, throw together some outfits using clothing you currently have and we will tell you what looks good or what articles break them.

    MiniW suggested H&M, which is a great store. It's arguably even better than BR or J.Crew for starting out considering the price point and larger range of styles offered there.

    Maybe take a trip to the local mall in the next few days and put together a couple of outfits, even if you don't end up buying them. Post pictures and we'll tell you what's up.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. bbaquiran

    bbaquiran Senior member

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    Third vote for goth ninja.
     
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  19. meso

    meso Senior member

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    I'm not "so annoyed." You apparently think everyone is angry, pissy, and angsty, including yourself. You sound paranoid or emotionally fragile. If this is the first time you've posted on a message board, welcome to the internet. It can be kind of unvarnished and jarring. You are however asking a huge string of questions that have little to do with style. There is not a "look" that goes with a 5'6 man with long blond hair and works in the creative industries.

    It's okay if you don't know exactly what kind of look you're going for, at the beginning. The first pic from asos is definitely more menswear, so you want to check in on that side. The other two look like eurotrash and kind of ill-advised... unbuttoned denim shirt with long arms under a camelhair blazer, with aviator shades? Screams douche, and if you ever wore it in the real world would look silly. Buy a pair of decent shoes or boots to start with (see Alden & AE threads). Figure out what your size really is in various brands. Buy uniqlo or other inexpensive brands to start with. Make bigger purchases judiciously. Figure out for what is working. Advice is all around you in other threads.
     
  20. SimonPeters

    SimonPeters Member

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    Thanks, I guess I'm just a little frustrated at finally asking for some help to get such a harsh reaction from some people. Its ok I havent taken it to heart haha!


    Yeah, H&M is pretty good, I get most of my smarter shirts from there also got a nice pair of slim fit black trousers and a grey Peacoat. And also actually - my blue pinstripe suit is H&M


    Great, I'll do this tonight hopefully - throw together some outfits I've been trying and post them up to see what the reaction is.

    Thanks for taking the time and patience to deal with me! haha!
     

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