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Upgrading Wardrobe

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

  1. raurell

    raurell New Member

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    I am one of those guys that has been into clothes for sometime but never prefected my business atire look. Everyone says that I look my best in jeans and a shorts sleeve knit shirt so I have that down. But I work at a high profile company where your attire is very important

    There was a period back in high school ( had to wear coat and tie ) when I had it going pretty well but at that point I was wearing mainly American Traditional ( i.e. Brooks Brothers, Polo, etc.) Always wore Alden tassel loafers, mixed it up with some ethnic belts but overall was pretty conservative in a New England way.

    Since then when I started going to work having to wear suits. I started with some Hickey Freemans and Corbins. 86 the Brooks Brothers striped shirts for Charvets and Hilditch and Key. Lost the Aldens in favor of Gucci loafers and now wear Berluit's, Latanzzi's, Santoni's, etc. Tried some Lidfords that are a bit different and I am not quite comfortable in them but I thought that I would take a risk. Risks don't usually work out so well for me but there it is.

    Then I got into Italian suits getting marked down Kiton's etc. Then tried some custom suits one from Turnbull & Asser and another with a private tailor and used Loro Piana wool. These were good but they took a long time to make and several fittings which was an undertaking.

    Dry cleaners always ruined my shirts putting on too much startch, collars always seem to shrink or break buttons and then I couldn't botton them to wear my tie. So I would look like a
    slob even at considerble expense.

    I had put off getting any new suits for awhile and I found that I was abusing the casual look and not pulling it off when i had to wear suits. They got worn out, stopped fitting and or just didn't look right.

    Recently I have spent a lot of time and money trying to get it right. I got a MTM gray suit form Brioni that I hope is a winner. Did this because the ones that I bought off the rack weren't quite right - a bit tight under the arms and the vents don't seem to fall right. Got some Kiton winter weight suits which I have never owned because I didn't think they made sense. Always had year round weight but after this winter freezing my ass I gave in. Thinking about getting some Oxxford 2 button Manhattan's they have some at Filenes cause I can't buy anymore $4,000 ones retail.

    Fact is I feel like I can get buy now with what I have but given all the time, effort ( reseraching ) and money I feel like I should be all set. I am still struggling to find some ground between being too boring with the blue suit, white shirt and black shoes - To looking a bit too fashonable or aggressive. It is a fine line and things change so fast it is hard to keep up. That is why I prefer to stick to classics and throw in something new like a tie or somethinf to break it up. Any suggestions for how I can work on this without it being a second job or having to get one to pay for it all? $15,000 Bijans aren't in my budget.
     


  2. newyorker

    newyorker Senior Member

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    I am probably not qualified to advise you since the prices you pay are far out of my league but some practical suggestions are:

    1) read StyleForum often, and read archived posts
    2) hire a very good wardrobe consultant
    3) get your shirts hand laundered and hand pressed

    One look I like is to have the suit, shirt and tie all patterned, but very discreetly so. To achieve this, one often needs considerable expertise and expense. The matching has to be perfect. One needs a large wardrobe and a very good consultant.

    Bankers believe that if you throw enough money at something, it will work.
     


  3. newyorker

    newyorker Senior Member

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    I think that you are also in a (financial) position to cultivate a long-term relationship with the best artisans in the world so I would advise you to do that. This relationship should bring you pleasure in many ways, and not just sartorial, especially if you believe, as I do, that clothing is a precious artform. Just make sure that the artitsans have terrific taste, or else hire someone that does.
     


  4. thinman

    thinman Distinguished Member

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    Likewise, your wardrobe is out of my price range, but I have several suggestions that I hope will help:

    1) references like Alan Flusser's "Dressing the Man" and Bernhard Roetzel's "Gentleman: A Timeless Fashion" have good tips

    2) add some colored/patterned shirts, if you can get away with it

    3) use textures to add interest without being too "fashionable". I love both the feel of unique textures and the reaction I get when someone realizes that I'm wearing a "stealth" paisley or herringbone in the weave.
     


  5. countdemoney

    countdemoney Distinguished Member

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    Good work in your efforts to dress well. Keep going and it will begin to make more sense.

    If you're wearing MTM shirts, I would also suggest visiting your shirtmakers for additional buttons. In some cases, they may help with replacement of the buttons, or you can just get some loose ones from them. A tailor will replace buttons if you have the spares.

    If you don't have much time, and are running out of shirts, you don't need to care as much about your top button not matching. Have your laundry replace it with a button that's close enough, and as long as you always wear a tie with that shirt, no one will notice. You can get it corrected later.

    As for the rest, it sounds like you have a good wardrobe in your closet, waiting to be found. I'd second the flusser book. It will help put you at ease re: your choices on clothes pattern and color. It also has good sections on fit, which will help make you a more educated buyer.

    I'd also agree that with your budget, you should be able to find a good salesperson or two, to help you build your own style. Set aside enough time on the occassions when you shop, so that you ask what you can wear with what. Keep notes if you need to. Treat your shopping like work, and you should do fine.

    For myself, I'll spend more on a suit, and less on the shirts, planning to replace the shirts more frequently.

    Goood luck.
     


  6. johnapril

    johnapril Distinguished Member

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    You are a classic victim of a consumerist culture. Step back from the entire enterprise and reassess.
     


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