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Why you dress the way you do, buy what you buy, like what you like, et cetera?

APK

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Originally Posted by MiniW
I feel my best when I am dressing my best, and while it may sound cliche, life's too short to be wearing anything besides what you really want to be wearing. I've been into clothes since middle school and it's almost been 10 years since I graduated HS so obviously I have had time to tweak my wardrobe (more than the majority of the members here I'd presume). When I am wearing the wrong things I am always overly self conscious. On the other hand when I am confident in what I am wearing, I am confident, period. More than other objects in life, I find that the right clothes can speak for me. Because I believe in this, I also find myself learning a lot about others by what they wear and how they style.
This is a good point. While some would infer your confidence hinging on something as external as clothing means there are confidence issues in general, there's something to be said about the "right" clothes can do for your psyche.

The average person doesn't care about good cuts, raw denim, or other such details. But that's irrelevant if those points matter to you. Your resulting raised self esteem is what people will notice. They have no clue how you attained that.
 

nonissue

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Originally Posted by Synthese
Obviously, I'm a victim of caprice - and I gravitate between trying to look the way I think an adult should look, and wanting to look like anything but an adult. Clothing, to me, is more about mood than anything else; more about romance, and in a way, about literary archetypes - the Kennedy, the Highwayman, the Socialite - what I'm learning, slowly, is how to do these things well, to share a vision I might have and make others understand it - not to appear highbrow, nor to incite criticism/discussion, but to look like I know what I'm doing, which I guess would be, for me, the most important part of all of it.

+1
 

CoconutBanana

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Well one day I was watching the move "Blade" and I thought to myself "hey deacon frost looks pretty cool" so I started dressing like that and it eventually just stuck.
 

Souper

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i buy cool shit cuz it like it and rationalize it by trying to to make it look as lame as possible to fit in with society.

it makes me feel gud inside.

I really get a kick out of incorporating weirder pieces into a regular person wardrobe. my way of seeing if I can "pull off" stuff, I guess its about the challenge for me.

THis is all in addition to the obvious desire to look well put together.
 

Timbaland

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I always dressed more on the preppy side because I felt it fit better with who I am and what I do. I was never into the streetwear look as all the wannabe thugs wear that around where I live.

I went through the phase when I just joined here looking for the best fit (tight clothes) and actually wore them. My friends kept making fun of my jeans saying they were chick jeans. I started looking at my outfits in a full length mirror and realized they were right.


You can't wear slim jeans when you are 6' 185 lbs. It'd work a lot better if I weighed 30 pounds less. I ended up giving a lot of clothes away to a good friend of mine.

Now I wear more fitted clothes. I like the attention I get at times. I notice girls glancing me over and some smiling at me. Maybe some of it is in my head, but still I feel better dressing the way I do now.
 

snake

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Originally Posted by Synthese
I'm not sure if I really count the obligatory AE/faded jeans phase as anything but that - a phase that most people go through (obviously, myself included), whether they're responding to advertisements, hype, or the fact that middle-school girls tell middle-school boys that they want them to look like the shirtless abercrombie models. I do, however, remember that at some point in seventh or eighth grade I became obsessed with button-down shirts. To me, they made me seem "grown up" (and they still seem that way). Both my grandfathers wore them - one, an economist from New Jersey who grew up incredibly poor, and subsequently spent every adult day in a suit (and from whom I recently inherited several blazers); the other, a New England prep-school headmaster who spends all of his free time boiling maple syrup, repairing roofs, fishing, and clearing brush with chainsaws. Despite growing up in Colorado, the preppy/ New England aesthetic is fairly firmly ingrained in my mind as a the way that adults dress - I'm not talking about owning fourteen pairs of pastel shorts and twelve pairs of "dress" boat shoes, but looking sharp, tailored, fitted, professional, like you work in New York and know about stocks. But I also remember going out on the lake with my headmaster granddad, wearing LL Bean galoshes and bright yellow raincoats, my great-aunt's performance-fleece and hunting gear company, and the age-old Sorel and Bean boots that we all used to to tromp through the snow every winter. I guess that Americana, in an East-Coast sense of the word, is going to be with me for a long time. I think that's why I understand the new-prep hipsterism; why wearing sperrys and apcs every day seems normal to me; why the "SF uniform" in general seems normal: it's an easy way to look like a grown-up. That said, I also look at people like Kunk and Fuuma and am always blown away. Designers that I'm going to refer to, despite my good sense, as "goth-ninja" designers; high-fashion labels whose collections I admire every season - all of that is impossibly attractive to me. It has a different sort of romance than the Eastern Seaboard classicism that I'm familiar with - I can look at Fuuma and see Baudelaire's ineffable dandy, or SoCal and see the LastNight'sParty decadence that strikes yet another chord for me. All in all, it makes it difficult to set myself to a single aesthetic - in my closet, I have APC, NDG, and Helmut Lang denim, alongisde vintage Burberry blazers, Acne hi-tops, sperrys, Shmack hoodies, gigantic LL Bean button-downs, and ridiculous, sheer All-Saints knits that I can't for the life of me figure out how to work into my wardrobe. Obviously, I'm a victim of caprice - and I gravitate between trying to look the way I think an adult should look, and wanting to look like anything but an adult. Clothing, to me, is more about mood than anything else; more about romance, and in a way, about literary archetypes - the Kennedy, the Highwayman, the Socialite - what I'm learning, slowly, is how to do these things well, to share a vision I might have and make others understand it - not to appear highbrow, nor to incite criticism/discussion, but to look like I know what I'm doing, which I guess would be, for me, the most important part of all of it.
Wow, I could not have said it better myself.
 

james_timothy

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Originally Posted by Synthese
... but to look like I know what I'm doing, which I guess would be, for me, the most important part of all of it.

Ahh, the eternal problem of manhood.
 

chroMe

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Cheap clothes don't hang well on me unfortunately. It's hard to find clothes which fit my female frame as I'm 5ft6 and larger build and I wear mens (usually) designer clothes. I wear a chest binder (which is actually for men) to keep everything in place and give me a more streamline look. That said, my style vascillates between 40/50s dandy to scooter mod. Used to wear more vintage suits but current job I don't have to wear one. Shoes, on the other hand, are usually no problem and I am well stocked but always needing more. I'm not into one label per se but do like pieces of collections. Being in London, you can shop high end and also find some amazing pieces in up and coming designer houses in east end. I quite like: vivienne westwood, black fitted trousers by calvin klein/hilfiger for my short legs, COS, cavi (at the moment), bespoke shirts, PS, Folk, sometimes AllSaints for light jackets/cardis. I also have about 8o+ ties and scarves but haven't worn any really for 2 seasons but will be making a resurgence.
 

Kent Money

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To make a long story short,

My first obsession was freestyle BMX. Pretty much from 5th grade till my freshman year in college it was my life. Eat, sleep, breath BMX. I basically juggled doing well in school (my moms will, which I am now forever thankful for) and riding my bike whenever I could. Because of this, most of my energy/money went into buying/replacing bike parts and riding the hell outta my bike. In addition, the need for freedom-of-movement and the ability to accommodate protective equipment meant that my clothing was inevitably baggy, cheap, and consisted of BMX-brandwhore t-shirts.

Even up until high school, I was still dressing like shit; BMX, school, and a girlfriend were my main interests up until my senior year. Around this time, however, I started to notice how others dressed. In particular, I started to notice how some of my fellow BMXers dressed.

The guys that I thought dressed well usually adopted the hipster aesthetic of tight jeans, fitted clothing, guaged ears, long hair, tats, etc. Pretty edgy stuff, they were dirty hipster BMXers from the city, after all. However, at the time it was hard for me to pinpoint what exactly it was that gravitated me towards their style, I knew nothing about clothing or style, per se. But I started to notice 'style' and started to have the desire to cultivate my own. (It is also during this point in my life that I also started to actively listen to music. I was heavily influenced by BMX videos which often consisted of indy/rock/metal/punk.) So in general, with my BMX background and my music choices, I've always preferred edgy sort of styles.

My freshman year of college was the first time I started building my own wardrobe. Most things were purchased on the cheap, from skateshops and ebay. I spent loads on things that were ultimately stupid/ugly/unflattering. Kr3w skinny jeans, graphic shirts, hoodies, etc. I still was into BMXing but I was pretty much hooked on clothing by this time, too.

The summer between my freshman and sophomore was the pinnacle of my BMX 'career.' I was working and riding every day, filming for a video part on my friends website. The summer came to an end and I was still dressed like a BMXer, but at least I was starting to get the concept of fit down. ( , thats the video, for shits n giggles)

When I came back to UCLA my sophomore year, I started to realize that my desire to ride my bike was dissolving. I started to realize that I have the rest of my life to worry about and I had already decided that attempting to go professional in BMX wasn't going to happen; I was going to become a physician/scientist. The decision to stop BMXing ultimately came a few months after school started when I was KO'd for a good 2 minutes while riding with a friend. I couldn't afford to be injured when I had to take care of myself at college. I stopped riding.

So, at this point the main focii of my life were school and clothing. Although the hipster/edgy style still really appealed to me, I also wanted to appear smart, intelligent, and approachable. I am a nerd at heart, and I am a nice guy, but I still wanted to have some edge and hipness (for lack of a better word). I was reading a lot more on the internet and looking at pictures from streetstyle blogs. I was basically being super autodidactic in learning about clothing, fit, styles, etc. But most importantly, I was developing an eye for what looked good, particularly on me.

The streetstyle blogs are probably my biggest style influence besides BMX. I was really drawn towards vintage/retro and classic looks. I think this is why I really like workwear, military, and thrift stuff. It's rugged, it's manly, it's functional, and it's classic! I can also appreciate a little bit of prep, little bit of hippy, a little bit of quirk, little bit of hipster, and a little bit of international male. In all, my style doesn't subscribe to any particular 'theme,' but I like to adopt certain looks from each and make them my own. However, I have always tried to remain approachable and un-overdone but still unique and hip. An ideal look for me would be a tailored/slim workwear aesthetic or a streetstyle take on vintage military/classic looks. I also like a subdued hip/intellectual look (again, for lack of a better term). I suppose you could say that most of the fits I like have an underlying 'urban influence' which satisfies my need for edge.

Joining SF marks the third epoch of my ventures into style. I've learned so much since joining here. Particularly about materials/fabric/construction, the different brands making good stuff, and where to buy all this good stuff! Now a days, the main things I appreciate and try to acquire are good denim, cool outerwear, leather, tailored button-collar shirts, and good shoes. Joining SF has also made me appreciate looks that dont incorporate tight jeans, haha. I appreciate Get Smart, Biscotti, robbie, edgier PinkPantser, and Stazy off the top of my head.

This is where I am coming from. This is why I like what I like.
 

tagutcow

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Originally Posted by Hummingbird
My only rule is this. I try to buy items based on uniqueness, aesthetic merit, and quality. I don't care about a theme, only whether or not the item I'm looking at matches up with my perception of self. Who cares about grander themes, though I shy from things like work wear, ninja outfits, and faddishness.

I'm late to this thread, but this sums me up as well. Something has to have that ineffable x-factor that speaks directly to me. Either it's there or it isn't.

But then I barely end up buying any clothes at all, or just end up pissing more money away on t-shirts. I see clothes during sales season that I'm sure I could buy and have people on WAYWT say, "Wow, tagutcow, you've really stepped up your game!", but maybe I don't like the shape of the pockets, or the buttons are too big, or something like that, so I end up passing on it. "In the pursuit of perfection, we often fail to achieve the acceptable," as they say.

I'm an inherently visual person, so I have a very definite idea of how I want things to look that may not necessarily be influenced by anything outside myself. I like clean designs and bold colors-- particularly orange and green. Wearing blue, grey, and brown all the time seems like a cop out to me.

I think I'm going to progress linearly from where I am now for the next few years. Boots, maybe some interesting sneakers, jeans (both raw and prewashed), tops from what- for lack of a better term- I'l call "basics brands" (Alternative, Splendid Mills), a graphic tee here and there, and maybe the occasional mid-level designer "impact piece".

But the bottom line is that it has to be practical for my life, and to some degree I've internalized this sense of practicality so that when I step too far beyond it, it starts to feel costumey. I can admire some runway fashion from afar, and I can admire some of the aesthetics on SF from afar, but there's really nothing I can say I wish I could wear that I feel I can't.
 

Gutman

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Coming out of a 15-year relationship with someone who had very different ideas / tastes from my own, I found myself rebuilding my wardrobe almost from scratch to something which was actually "me". It's difficult to describe the good feeling that is. It was like turning the clock back, but to a better "past" if that makes sense, because now I know a lot more about fit, colours and putting things together. Part of the problem was I never had enough space to experiment and work things out. Sure, I have had some recent "fails", but my basic disposition is still the same after all that time: either brogues and tweeds, or punkish/mod influences. Sometimes both of course. They're both fairly "smart" looks I suppose (I love shining shoes, sad...), and suit my short haircut (few options now for me there). And a strong retro undercurrent too, which goes hand in hand with some of my other interests.

It's funny to see myself wearing skinny jeans and connies again, but also brogues and tweed (I have a lot of both now
). My first buys as a teenager were: Barker brogues, Harris Tweed sports jacket, and this "stadium" jacket: http://www.styleforum.net/showthread...64#post2429464 Unworn for over 20 years, but I kept it all this time thinking "one day" it will be in again. Got a compliment on it today too.

I don't count work clothes in this, since there is a fairly standard business suit uniform for guys.
 

Gutman

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Sorry for the extra post, but something else I was gonna say was don't let anyone talk you out of how you want to dress. It's your personality and you should be yourself. I enjoy the different looks on SF, even if it's not what I would wear. Life's too short, have some fun.
 

ntaqip!

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I buy what I buy because I want to. Makes sense, no? Gutman hit the nail on the head: life really is too short.
 

girlfashionista

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Why I dress up the way I am because I wanna be unique and different from the rest.....I wanna make myself comfortable and happy and pamper myself for it
 

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