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Used to be depressed and now I need a new wardrobe

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mark24, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Mark24

    Mark24 Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 9, 2013
    Long story short I was stuck in a deep depression for the past 3 years and I dressed like shit. Now I'm feeling better and I'd like to start dressing better. I already have an idea of how I want to dress in my head but I can't find pictures to base it off of and I don't know what stores to go to.

    The way I'd like to dress is like a combination of casual,dressy, chic, and preppy. I'm still in college so it can't be too formal. I want to be able to stand out by my dress. I see guys wearing button up shirts with ties and then a pair of jeans,khakis, or chinos and I think it looks really good. And they're wearing casual shoes not dress shoes. Are there any websites where I can find guys dressed like that so I can get an idea of what to buy ? Are there any stores that sell stuff like that. I'd like to spend about 500 dollars not including shoes.
     
  2. Twotone

    Twotone Senior member

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    First, congratulations on turning your life around and getting out of depression!

    Shop before you buy. Look at men's fashion magazines, web sites such as this, go to departments stores and men's shops, ask well-dressed friends where they shop and join them one afternoon.

    Make a note of what you like and try stuff on. This will cost you nothing. After you find a few pieces you like, buy carefully - a piece at a time and usually on sale. Refine your style over time (it takes a lifetime). Start with the basics -- a navy blazer or sports coat, a couple of nice shirts, trousers and shoes. Work up from there. Remember -- fit is the most important when buying clothes. Quality of materials, construction, color, texture are important as well, after fit.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
    2 people like this.
  3. f800gs

    f800gs Senior member

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    Fit, Fit, Fit.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. TheNewKid

    TheNewKid Member

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    Congratulations, mate. I was in quite a similar dilemma a few years ago also. When I first started, I was sorting through random sites like Askmen, GQ, and the men's fashion section on Pinterest to get an idea of what I like and potentially my own style.

    Like the replys above said, fit is extremely important. Get shirts, pants, coats, blazers, etc. fitted, wearing clothes much bigger than your body size makes you look like a kid. Also, get familiar with colors and patterns knowing what goes well with what and what doesn't. Add a little color instead of the usual whites, greys, and blacks.

    When shopping, I usually try to imagine what outfit I want. If you're a little low on money, buy flexible clothing which could adapt to your wardrobe, like cardigans or various button down shirts so you could have lots of different combinations even with a small amount of clothes at hand.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. othertravel

    othertravel Senior member

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    For preppy/chic, you can't go wrong with a cotton blazer. Will look good with jeans.

    And to echo the above point, congrats on getting out of depression.

    Jcrew should have most of the stuff you're looking for if you're on a budget. Also check the the B&S section of the forum.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  6. Apollotrader

    Apollotrader Senior member

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    Paradise Valley, AZ
    First, big congrats on feeling better. One of the things that gets me going in the morning is thinking about what I will wear, it is a great pastime that is easy on the head if you don't take it too seriously. I agree on the J. Crew idea. You will see a lot of negative comments on them from time to time but one thing they do a fantastic job of is their style guide which is both a catalog and a resource. It also helps that they are on the same look you are after right now. I also look at Brooks Brothers and I can't say enough about how well the Mr. Porter website works. You are able to go on the site, pic a product and then click to see it in outfit view. It is also helpful that any item you select will also have listed 4-5 complimentary pieces they suggest. It is expensive to buy from but you can get great ideas to make your list from. They do have good sales from time to time. Lastly they have great editorial content that is updated and added to frequently. Those things along with the endless amount of information here and people to ask questions of and get ideas from and you will be all set.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions you want to ask off the public boards, I am happy to try and assist.

    Be Well,

    RCC
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  7. Apollotrader

    Apollotrader Senior member

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    Additionally user Bourbonbasted has a great blog you can get to by just looking at one of his posts, and a website called Ivy Style along with some of the links you will find there.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  8. TiberiasUSA

    TiberiasUSA Senior member

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    BB, J Crew, Ralph Lauren, bonobos great places to shop.

    Slow and steady, don't buy too much at once until you find your style.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. pleco

    pleco Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    London, England
    Great job! Start with the looks you're gonna get a lot of versatility out of. I'd probably spend most of that budget on an awesome navy sport coat/blazer and a few shirts and jeans. I've recently started my style quest and it hasn't taken too long - maybe 3-4 months to get my new wardrobe sorted. It has taken a considerable investment though. I echo the advice above, don't buy too much too fast, and keep reviewing/exchanging/returning/selling things that don't work (it'll still happen even with good advice from here).
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    Congratulations, I found it beneficial to find images of what I liked on tumblr and go from there. A lot of looks and content and plenty of things to be found.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Texas.
    The above article possesses this gem:
    Quote: So I would take everything else it says with a grain of salt.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  12. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    It gets worse after that. I made the mistake of reading a few if the other blog posts as well. That was a mistake.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. Mark24

    Mark24 Member

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    thanks for all the replies guys. I decided to check out tumblr and see if I can find my desired look on there.
     
  14. etner

    etner New Member

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    Don't let tumblr define your wardrobe, be yourself
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. TimelesStyle

    TimelesStyle Senior member

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    I'll echo the congratulations above; must feel good to confront this and finally feel better! Ok, now on to the important stuff :D...

    Based on what you've stated as your desired look, I'd start with JCrew, Brooks Bros. and Ralph Lauren. In trying to determine the look you want, I think you'll be less overwhelmed if you start with single-brand stores (like the above) as opposed to department stores. The reason being, the catalogs of single-brand stores will typically have a certain overall aesthetic (or one or two running themes) to them while a department store will be all over the map. When it comes time to buy, by all means go wherever and try on lots of stuff. In addition to the brand stores and dept. stores you may or may not (depending on where you live) have access to some nice boutiques with a well-curated collection of clothes.

    My final suggestion would be to avoid getting multiple whole outfits at one time from one place (unless money really isn't an issue) because a) never good to look like you just stepped out of a catalogue and b) it's more fun to search over time, plus you'll refine the vision of what you'd ultimately like as your style.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. CanGren

    CanGren Active Member

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    Location:
    Grenoble, France
    Congratulations on feeling better!

    I'm in college as well, so hopefully I can give some insight...

    My personal stance on this matter is that simplicity is best. In college, most students come to school dressed in ill fighting jeans and sneakers, so by wearing a collared shirt and casual trousers, you'll already stand out and look much more presentable. For that reason, I tend not to go too crazy on patterns and stick more to solid coloured shirts, with the main focus on fit. For cost reasons, most of my wardrobe is from J.Crew and Uniqlo.I love polo ralph lauren, but only buy from the outlet and they don't always have the best selection of "fitted" clothing.

    I'd say start off with 2-3 polo shirts, 2-3 oxford shirts, 2 pairs of chinos, and 1 pair of jeans as the basis of your wardrobe. From there, branch into 2-3 sweaters and a coat, squaring off with 3 pairs of shoes (2 oxfords-1 black, 1 brown, and 1 pair of brown/burgundy loafers).

    Just my point of view as a fellow college student, which I'm sure will differ from the more traditional taste on this forum.
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. eluther

    eluther Senior member

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    Apr 10, 2011
    Start by going to stores and trying things on. Don't be afraid to make the salespeople there talk to you and fetch you multiple sizes. Be mindful to not overwhelm yourself in a room full of clothes, though.

    Be well, amigo.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. McBindle

    McBindle Well-Known Member

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    Sep 27, 2011
    I like CanGren's advice. You really can't go wrong with that list. These are good foundational garments to get you on your way.

    While in grad school I found SF. SF has proven to be an invaluable resource and has saved me a lot of money and time and helped me to reduce the mistakes in wardrobe selection. Here is what I have learned and maybe it will help you too.

    For approx every $20 you are planning on spending spend one hour studying the following threads. Since you are in university this part will be easy for you. Start with this thread on mistakes we have all made when updating our wardrobes. Then check out the WAYWRN: MC casual edition thread. There is a broad range of looks here but you will see all the iterations of casual wear and you can get an idea of the nuances. Follow the discussions on that thread and note the reactions (good and bad) of forum members and you will in good time understand how to put together a solid look for yourself that won't break the bank and that you won't regret buying.

    Maybe make a folder and drop in fits that appeal to you and then you will start to notice their commonalities (e.g. trouser type and cut; sweater styles, shirt colors, etc). Strive for cohesion and steer away from items that are very difficult to pair with more than one garment. You will begin to find that there are really just a few variables of color you need. For example, if all you had for shirts were blue oxford shirts you could create three great outfits with one pair of dark denim jeans, one pair khaki chinos, and one pair of grey chinos. With nice shoes (in your case as a student desert boots, aka chukas, would be a good choice) and a field jacket or pea coat (depending on weather) you will look great and will not be out of context at most universities.

    Start slow and be stingy with your money. I have been greatly influenced by the ethos and acumen of SF member Orgetorix who has the Thrifty Gent site. His looks kill just about every time and he barely drops a dime. Much of it is more business oriented than what you need for school but the lessons and skills are the same. And on SF you will constantly encounter the mantra that fit is everything and it is absolutely true.

    Eluther makes a great suggestion. I'll add just this: Don't even take your wallet with you. See what the clothes look like on you, take a picture in the mirror, look at it that evening and then sleep on it.

    Congratulations on your recent life successes and I wish you the best with your studies. Good luck with your search, you will do fine!
     
    2 people like this.
  19. Mark24

    Mark24 Member

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    Jan 9, 2013
    I can't express how grateful I am for all the helpful replies I've received so far. I found out there's an outlet mall with a brook's brother's and J.crew store in it not too far away from me so I'm gonna go check that out soon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  20. Varmant

    Varmant Well-Known Member

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    Jan 14, 2013
    Mark24, glad you are feeling better and taking steps to a better wardrobe
     

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