What's your personal style?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Renwick, Dec 29, 2002.

  1. Renwick

    Renwick Senior member

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    I noticed the popularity of the "What are you wearing", "who's your favorite designer", and "What type of clothing store would you open" and I figured that people here like to talk about their personal preferences and tastes. So here's a topic:
    How would you describe your personal style? Do you have a certain way that you normally dress or a few staple items of clothing that you build your wordrobe around or do you change styles constantly? I know the topic could be taken in a few different ways but I left it broad to keep it more open to discussion.

    My personal style is closest to the "mod" look. I also like a lot of deconstructed clothing like Margiela stuff and some of the Prada inside out stuff. I almost always wear suits, with a preference toward 2 buttons although I do wear a few 3 and 4 buttons suits. With footwear I like chelsea syle boots and combat boots with Campers and vintage Adidas for casual wear. Oh, and I love skinny ties too.
     
  2. pstoller

    pstoller Senior member

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    I can't readily define my style, beyond "eclectic." I'm drawn to modernist/deconstructionist items, but also to classics from across the spectrum (that is, jeans and t-shirts to eveningwear). I mix and match depending on my mood. Still, people around me seem to think I have a distinctive, individual style, so I suppose I simply lack the perspective to neatly peg it.
     
  3. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I think my style would probably be best described as informed casual. I wear jeans nearly every day, and I don't think I've tucked in a shirt since my last interview (about a month ago.) I like highly textured materials like moleskin, suede and corduroy, and warm colors like moss green, brown and orange. I'm not afraid to wear distinctive colors (I'm wearing an orange shirt right now), but I shy away from pastels (except in ties for constrast) and "cool colors" like sky or ice blue. I like designers, but also really like to by pieces from lesser known manufacturers. My philosophy, informed not least by my limited means at present, is to look at whole ranges, and choose a couple of really good pieces - sort of a severe edit. I find that stylish young Europeans, and the French and English in particular, are able to look a lot better than their American contemporaries with significantly more limited funds and wardrobes. I believe that this is because they have more care in their purchases, are less likely to take the safe road, and are more willing to spend more money on one really good piece than one several cheaper pieces of clothing. i.e. They know the value of a signature piece or an accent.

    I try to bear this in mind when I shop, and I try to pare my wardrobe down to the basics: a few good jackets, including a good jean style jacket, a shirt jacket, a leather jacket (the older and more beaten up the better); and a thigh length "signature" jacket; enough casual shirts for a week or two; a good sweater; a couple of pairs of sneakers and a few good pairs of shoes/boots; a black suit; and charcoal or navy suit; a few dress shirts, at least two white ones and a blue one; a half dozen ties. Everything else, I either consign or give to charity. I am always on the lookout for certain pieces, but I try to limit my purchases to filling those gaps in my wardrobe (right now I really want a navy suit, but with some red in it - makes the suit look much more luxurious and warmer, imo.) I really believe in the minimalist credo as it pertains to clothing: the more distilled your wardrobe, the better. Think how good Hedi Slimane looks (same thing every day: black jacket, white shirt and t-shirt, jeans, black boots) and how bad Elton John looks on any given day.
     
  4. pstoller

    pstoller Senior member

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    There's more at work in this comparison than the respective size of these guys' closets. Hedi's got a much better figure for modeling clothes, and, while his uniform may get boring, it's at least simple and classic. When he eventually tires of his one outfit, he'll probably look good in whatever else he chooses to wear"”as long as he doesn't start dressing like Elton John (or Dior stablemate John Galliano).

    Elton's problems are: 1) he's dumpy; and 2) he dresses in what shocks rather than what flatters. To the extent that he does get away with it (which isn't much), it's because he earned his look as the most popular of the glam rockers. He's my generation's Liberace; an institution above and beyond pedestrian standards of taste. That said, David Bowie was wilder-looking than EJ back in the day, yet looks fabulous today. Anyone who can transition so well from Yamamoto Kansai to McQueen bespoke gets my vote as a style god.

    I believe you can have overstuffed closets and still look consistently good, as long as your closets are stuffed with quality items that suit you well, and you combine your daily choices tastefully and artfully.

    Having made this argument for my own overstuffed closets, I have to say that one of the biggest drawbacks is the trouble I have making up my mind. I don't think I'd necessarily look better if I pared down my collection, but my life would be simpler. I suppose I do have to confess to the occasional 'bad clothes day,' which would be preventable by judicious closet-pruning. However, the real blame still rests with my short-circuiting style sensibility rather than my volume of choices.
     
  5. davei

    davei Senior member

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    Good topic for discussion. I was initially going to answer "I wear what I like" since I don't think I could peg myself largely into one area like Renwick - sometimes I "dress to impress", othertimes by mood, most often by whatever I seem to pick out of the closet. So, what do I "like"? Color-wise I like red & green, since I'm a snake (Chinese astrology) which is a fire symbol. I generally dislike blacks and blues, which are water symbols. Funny thing is, even when I was younger and never heard of Chinese astrology or feng shui or anything of the sort, I liked red and disliked black, so I've stuck with it. Doesn't mean I won't wear jeans or a tux, but I generally like bright colors [​IMG] I'm still somewhat conservative, though - I'll pair something wild with something subdued (i.e. today I'm wearing these Schonberger day-glo cords with a simple homemade grey tunic.) I find I stick with pieces I like way too long though. For instance, I still have (and wear regularly) a jean jacket I bought in high school. It's patched up and totally destroyed but I won't (can't?) give it up. Season to season, I try to find pieces that aren't super trendy which I'll be able to wear for years. That being said, I have lots of stuff that I wore once but I'm keeping since I know it'll be hot again in a few years [​IMG]
     
  6. pstoller

    pstoller Senior member

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    Seems to me this is the distressed denim look all the designers are trying to fake. As long as it still fits, wear it until it disintegrates. [​IMG]
    I'm a rat; what colors am I supposed to like?
     
  7. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Senior member

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    interesting topic.

    i'd say my style has gone thru some changes in the last 6-7 years, finally becoming what it is now (less flashy, more classic). i try to focus on classic, 1930s-40s style and high quality, while taking cues from connery and brosnan Bonds, with a good dose of ocean's eleven clooney's look, as well.

    the only thing i find i am terrible at is the everyday casual. i mean, i can't wear a suit or sportcoat ALL the time. i've been trying to stick with banana republic for help in this area.

    BTW, has anyone seen the book 'Dressing Your Man'? my wife asked me about it, as she was looking at it for a xmas gift.
     
  8. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    It sounds like I'm a lot more conservative than most of you guys. For daily work wear, usually a solid Canali, Zegna or Corneliani suit in chocolate brown, navy, charcoal grey or khaki with an Ascot Chang bespoke shirt with double cuffs and a tie from Stefano Ricci or Dunhill. Maybe twice a week a pocket square. If I'm feeling really radical I might even -- shudder -- wear two different patterns rather than a solid color shirt with solid suit and patterned tie.

    I am a newspaper editor, and in general journalists are slovenly. Most wear crappy jeans and T-shirts to work, not because they are underpaid, but rather because they tend to be off-the-beaten path types. So some days I like to go completely the opposite way and dress like a banker -- pinstripes, solid red tie with matching links and highly buffed shoes. I find that being the boss, it helps shore up my position and give me more authority to get things done so I get things accomplished without being an a.hole which is one of the trickiest things in management.

    I am like Fox in that I have a hell of a time with everyday casual. I mean I am clueless. I usually throw on some khakis and a shirt that looks like it was meant for a 1950s backyard BBQ in the suburbs and call it Casual Friday.

    I have some nice blue cotton khaki sport pants, and I can't figure out what the hell to wear with them other than black Bally loafers. B. Republic does have some good suggestions though and the quality seems good for a casual Friday or a Saturday morning at the office.
     
  9. Renwick

    Renwick Senior member

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  10. davei

    davei Senior member

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    I like red & green, since I'm a snake (Chinese astrology) which is a fire symbol.
    I'm a rat; what colors am I supposed to like?
    Actually it's not so much what you're supposed to like as what colors are auspicious for a particular sign. Let's see, I'm a bit rusty, but IIRC a rat is a metal sign, and wood creates metal, so auspicious colors would be white, gold, silver, yellow (anything pure/metallic.)
     
  11. pstoller

    pstoller Senior member

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    The link comes up dead for me. Too bad about those colors: I like green (my favorite color), yellow and coffee. [​IMG] But, then, I like wearing almost any color except orange (and I can even swing orange pants on occasion), although obviously not every shade.
    I can see I'm going to have trouble following the logic behind Chinese astrological color charts. In any case, my web research (at the Boston Feng Shui site) indicates that the Rat is a yang water sign, that my personal Kua number is 4, and that my auspicious colors are dependent on my auspicious direction"”one direction each for success, love, health and personal development. This gives me a whole range of auspicious (and inauspicious) colors, depending on my goals for any given day. Yellow, beige and "earth tones" seem to be consistently inauspicious for me"”but, I'll keep wearing them, anyway. [​IMG]
     
  12. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Okay, so I was shooting from the hip. My point was actually that it can take surprisingly little to look good, despite what the magazines try to tell us (there seems to be a top ten list with a different ten everytime I open any one of Esquire, GQ, FHM, etc...); and that, but contrast, one can have a lot and look rather bad. Elton was just the best example of that I could think of, but I know lots of guys, not surprising mostly German and American, who have extensive wardrobes, but still turn up looking pretty boring/bad on any given day. They wear Brioni shirts and Armani suits and Prada shoes, but somehow in such a pedestrian, uninspired manner that they might as well have shopped at the Men's Wearhouse or the Gap. (The blue sportshirt tucked into Khakis with a Navy Blazer combination is especially maddening).
     
  13. Nick M

    Nick M Senior member

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    So true, some people just can't put it together in the end. I was in a department store recently, and watched with some amusement as a confused shopper - who had just purchased a very expensive designer suit for some festive occasion - continually confounded a pair of shop assistants, who were attempting to accessorize him with a quality shirt and an interesting tie. Of course, it ended his way, with a cheap white poly-cotton shirt and the dullest burgundy tie I think I'd ever seen. Someone once told me that an interesting shirt and tie can rejuvenate an average suit, but even if you're wearing the most expensive suit on Earth, a dull tie can make that suit look bargain-basement. I think that holds true in many cases. My personal style is somewhere between preppy and British gentleman, depending on the occasion, but since those cultures are absent in Australia, it seems I just fell into it. I like double-cuffs, pocket squares, spread collars. I appreciate tailored clothing, something with a bit of structure, dress shirts and trousers, chinos, sportcoats and blazers, but all with a youthful bent and some color- they supply protection from the elements, versatility, pockets, and it means I'm never turned away for being underdressed. When I dress up, I like to go all out, not the least because it helps me stand out from all those others dressed exactly the same. I favor three-piece suits, and many patterns, two at least, often three or four. My ties are quite... bold - if a tie doesn't make at least one person say wow through the course of a night, I'm giving it away. Like Renwick, I'm something of a suit junkie, but I'm in recovery - I owned 32 suits at one point, but I've since donated some of the more samey ones to charity. So how did everyone get to where they are, style-wise? Parents? Significant others? Books? Natural instinct? Cheers, Nick.
     
  14. pstoller

    pstoller Senior member

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    On this, we can certainly agree. At least Elton John isn't boring; just garish. [​IMG]
     
  15. pstoller

    pstoller Senior member

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    Although I, too, like noteworthy ties, sometimes the tie has to be the eye of the hurricane.

    I have numerous influences. My father is a very stylish man, although never ostentatiously so; I went to an art/design magnate high school, from which many of my fellow students went on to FIT and the like; in one of my other lives, I was/am a musician; I did a stint working in a vintage clothing shop; and I've done a healthy combination of studious research and trial-and-error.
     

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