Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

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stan1
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by stan1 » Sun May 13, 2018 9:27 am

Gardener wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:35 am

Amateur question about button down shirts and clothes in general. Do I simply purchase a shirt or whatever article of clothing that fits me as well as possible and then if needed take it to a tailor to fine tune it to fit my body better? Totally agree that clothes that fit is very important and looks a lot better.

Are there any one stop shops to complete an entire wardrobe (w/higher quality clothing) that will last?
If you want a one stop shop go in person to Nordstrom or a mens store like Bonobos. There are also some subs on Reddit that you can search through if you want to learn more about specific brands people feel strongly about (like Outlier). Many online stores now post the dimensions of their clothes so you can check measurements against something you already have once you've found a good fit. I'm in a between size situation with sport shirts where sometimes I need a Small Tailored, Small Regular, or Medium Tailored. I often don't know which one works best until I try all three.

With the exception of suits and hemming cuffs on pants I would seek out clothes that fit. Suits are designed to be tailored, off the shelf shirts are not.
Light colored shirts stand up to more washings without losing color.

If you are a bodybuilder with a big neck and shoulders and a slim waist or extremely tall and skinny (6'3" and 150 pounds) you might need custom tailored clothes, but if your body is proportioned like most people you do not. Slim and athletic fits do not mean you are slim or athletic (they refer to how the clothes are cut at each size). If you aren't sure of your sizing try on at a store where you can get advice or buy multiple sizes from an online store with an easy return policy. I'm not sure baggy and loose clothes were ever in style for mature adults.

afan
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by afan » Sun May 13, 2018 9:44 am

If you choose to go for the close fitting style, recognizing that it is at an extreme and will not last, then there are athletic cuts available for suits. That will get people who are muscular and in shape closer than a typical off the rack. Or made to measure, which is more expensive. Or bespoke, which is much more expensive.

You can search for off the rack shirts that are reasonbly close to your measurements. Lands End has multiple different fits in exact sleeve and collar sizes. If that is not good enough then you can have a tailor adjust the shirt to fit. This will cost more than the shirt itself.

If you wear a jacket over your shirt then no one will notice the snug fit of the shirt. You could have the jacket tailored so that it fits like a wet suit. Or not bother.

There is a current fashion that favors extremely tight fits. If you are new to this it may be a good idea to read up on the trends over time and decide whether you want to conform to every fashion whim. If so, then it is easy to get specifics. Recognize that the fashion industry changes styles constantly to generate sales. So you will be constantly laying out cash to keep up.

Clothing depreciates drastically once purchased. You can buy a used suit in like-new condition for 10% the price if bought new. Once you know your measurements you can shop till you find something that fits, thus avoiding the tailor expense.


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cherijoh
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by cherijoh » Sun May 13, 2018 9:45 am

GCD wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 11:33 am
Bespoke suits and sports coats have more fabric in them in crucial places so they can be let out over time and not look bad. You may plan on getting fit and/or swear you're not gonna get fat, but life happens. It can go the other way too. TBH, you shouldn't even need to tell a competent tailor that you might gain or lose weight, they incorporate that almost universal eventuality into what they do. I returned to custom tailors over the years to have jackets and pants let out or taken in as my lifestyle changed.

When you go to buy your initial wardrobe, the salesman will inevitably try to sell you some of every color. Don't fall for that. What ends up happening is you wear the colors you like over and over and the green or brown jackets and pants sit in the closet. Stick to a few stock colors.
I'm a woman, and that advice holds true for women as well. As far as pants and jackets go, I have black, navy and gray that I wear all the time along with denim for casual.

Years ago, we had a big meeting at a customer and the travel department decided it was cheaper to use the corporate jet instead of flying commercial. All the guys hung up their suit jackets in the closet - then had problems figuring out whose jacket was whose since all 8 or 9 of them had worn a gray suit for the dog and pony show.

FIBoston
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by FIBoston » Sun May 13, 2018 10:33 am

golfCaddy wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 8:59 pm
irishnick23 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 9:57 am

Depending on your body type you can decide to go classic or slim fit. Slim fit almost always looks better, and I would always push my customers to try a slim fit on, even if they had thought all their lives they were classic. You may end up being classic, but at least give it a try.
Slim fit can look good if you have the body type for it, but is best avoided for most people in the office. Men's dress clothes shouldn't have the painted on look of skinny jeans. Nothing looks more unprofessional to me than when an overweight guy is wearing low rise pants and you can see the outline of his ... when he sits down.
I think you're confusing Slim Fit with "Skinny Fit". Skinny fit is a cheap alternative to a vasectomy, Slim Fit is clean and most definitely office appropriate.

This is slim fit: https://www.jcrew.com/p/mens_category/p ... wool/G7124

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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by abuss368 » Sun May 13, 2018 10:45 am

cherijoh wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 9:45 am
All the guys hung up their suit jackets in the closet - then had problems figuring out whose jacket was whose since all 8 or 9 of them had worn a gray suit for the dog and pony show.
Priceless.
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golfCaddy
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by golfCaddy » Sun May 13, 2018 10:56 am

FIBoston wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 10:33 am
I think you're confusing Slim Fit with "Skinny Fit". Skinny fit is a cheap alternative to a vasectomy, Slim Fit is clean and most definitely office appropriate.

This is slim fit: https://www.jcrew.com/p/mens_category/p ... wool/G7124
Some of the Jcrew models look borderline anorexic.

golfCaddy
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by golfCaddy » Sun May 13, 2018 11:01 am

Gardener wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:35 am
Original Poster Here.

Very grateful for the quality of responses here.

I'm going to sit down today and inventory what I have and what I want to add to complete my wardrobe.

Amateur question about button down shirts and clothes in general. Do I simply purchase a shirt or whatever article of clothing that fits me as well as possible and then if needed take it to a tailor to fine tune it to fit my body better?
I don't know anyone who gets clothes tailored other than suits. With suits, they should be able to shorten the jacket sleeve length or hem the pants or take in the waist as free alterations if you buy them at a brick and mortar store.

afan
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by afan » Sun May 13, 2018 11:20 am

golfCaddy wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 11:01 am
Gardener wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:35 am
Original Poster Here.

Very grateful for the quality of responses here.

I'm going to sit down today and inventory what I have and what I want to add to complete my wardrobe.

Amateur question about button down shirts and clothes in general. Do I simply purchase a shirt or whatever article of clothing that fits me as well as possible and then if needed take it to a tailor to fine tune it to fit my body better?
I don't know anyone who gets clothes tailored other than suits. With suits, they should be able to shorten the jacket sleeve length or hem the pants or take in the waist as free alterations if you buy them at a brick and mortar store.
How much tailoring you need depends on how closely you want the clothes to fit. Traditionally men did what golfcaddy indicates. They got a general cut that they liked and had the sleeves, waist, and pants hem adjusted. The pickier people might have the jacket adjusted a bit if it was too baggy, but that is a more involved process. This works fine if you are not going for the close fitting Spandex look that is popular with stylists.

But to get a jacket or even pants that have a tight glove fit you need the whole suit carefully tailored to your body. Many stores will include basic alterations in the purchase price (note, they are not free. You just pay for them as part of the price). These more elaborate alterations may require taking apart the shoulder of the jacket as well as the upper chest. They require a higher level of skill. Probably an actual tailor as opposed to simply someone who can sew straight. They might not be included in the price and you probably would not want always to pay for a lot of tailoring you may not need.

Yet another reason to opt out of the skin tight fashion.

Plenty of guys who are obsessed with style buy shirts as close as they can to their measurements and have them tailored. For those who lift weights and have low body fat it is the only way to get the tight fit at chest and waist. Or don't bother, keep your jacket on and stop trying to show off your physique.
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Mickey7
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by Mickey7 » Sun May 13, 2018 2:02 pm

OP if nothing else on the Forum you can always find a range of ideas and opinions, but first I believe that you have already outlined what you looking for "I am in my mid-30's, newly single, and live in the north east. Appropriate attire for my work is business casual to suit and suit and tie a couple of days per week. Also, I am beginning to date again and probably need to step up my game a bit."

Be observant, see what works for some and not for others and then ask yourself if it is appropriate for you.

You want to build up a wardrobe, doing this will take a little time. Take stock of what you currently have and can currently use and go from there. As you enhance your wardrobe do the same work that you would do for your portfolio. Begin by developing a firm base that works for you and build from there.

When you start buying the best that works for you, take care of it the best you can. For example if you buy higher end dress shoes get the appropriate shoe cream or wax for them, get the sole edging and shoe trees. This will extend the life of the shoes and will continue to enhance their appearance. Follow the cleaning for your shirts and slacks. Your blazer and suits will last longer and stay in top shape when taken to a good reliable cleaner. Buy the appropriate hangars and use them religiously. Hang your ties and if they get spotted replace them.

Since you are building a wardrobe, build it as you would your funds (and/or stocks). Buy at the appropriate times and know what quality of item you are buying. [Stepping in a mine field here, sorry.] You can buy polos and knits at some stores for inexpensive prices and their collars will curl and their colors will fade or they will need special treatment or you go higher end without having to experience those hassles. Remember you can purchase higher end clothes on sale, people will see the quality and not the price you paid for them!

Don't rush it, take your time, After all, you are building a "timeless wardrobe".

Enjoy.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Sun May 13, 2018 4:17 pm

Nothing is as timeless and as versatile as a black a-line skirt. Can be used formally or casually. Not great in the Winter, though.

Leemiller
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by Leemiller » Sun May 13, 2018 5:43 pm

Give up on the notion of timeless. Plan on items lasting 3-8 years. Styles and body types change and items get worn out.

Figure out your body type. My husband is tall and slim and can wear off the rack items with minimal tailoring, especially Thomas Pink and certain Italian suit brands. One his best friends can’t and wears these ill fitting shirts - I can’t tell if he needs tailoring or a new brand.

Personally, I disagree with a lot posted here. A light colored, maybe blue, shirt looks better on many men esp those with with pale complexions vs. white, which makes lots of guys looked washed out. Polos and khakis are two items my husband doesn’t own at all. He’s more of the linen or button down shirt type - someone mentioned Robert Graham earlier, some of those shirts are good alternatives depending on your style. I think brown and/or grey shoes are a must. Black shoes are limiting and can look heavy in the summer.

Again re timeless. I used to work downtown by some international offices and the foreign men were always on trend, maybe not extreme but on trend. Then the US workers (many in the govt) often wore ill fitting suits that looked out of date. I just saw someone interview whose suit and especially tie screwed the 80s-90s. Spending on clothing every year is a normal part of being an adult

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Pajamas
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by Pajamas » Sun May 13, 2018 7:26 pm

Leemiller wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:43 pm
Give up on the notion of timeless. Plan on items lasting 3-8 years. Styles and body types change and items get worn out.
+1

Only some of the very basics such as underwear, plain tennis shirts, and wingtips don't change much. Even Brooks Brothers' button-down collar shirts have changed quite a bit over the years. Just buy good quality, simple clothing that fits and wear it until it needs replacing. Don't buy more than you need and buy replacements when they're on sale.

Frugalhead
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by Frugalhead » Tue May 15, 2018 7:25 am

Original Poster,

I highly recommend this site for men's wardrobe advice: https://www.realmenrealstyle.com/mens-c ... exibility/

I received nearly all of my advice, but none of my actual wardrobe, through that site, particularly from watching those videos 5-6 years ago. You really only need a handful of items and colors that are interchangeable, after which you will have tons of different outfits. I haven't needed to update my clothes since (though I am constantly adding more casual polos as I have a hard time finding ones that fit perfectly).

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praxis
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by praxis » Tue May 15, 2018 4:52 pm

Leemiller wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:43 pm
Give up on the notion of timeless. Plan on items lasting 3-8 years. Styles and body types change and items get worn out.
This thread shows how subjective taste is between people. And my opinion is that men's styles have not changed very much in a long time. I worked in upscale clothing stores part time during college (50 yrs ago) and learned some basics of style and fit early from some knowledgeable men and women that I worked alongside. I bought clothes and added to them over the years and they're still in my closet and still more than acceptable in style. I can look sharp because my clothes are subtle and modest, clean and fitted.

Lapels and ties widen and narrow every few years. I don't like cuffs or pleats, but they came back around once in a while (not for some time now, though). Stay away from extremes, avoid loud colors and patterns, and stay in shape enough to not outgrow your clothes.

If someone is looking for timeless men's fashion for work, dating and special occasions, it's not hard to put together a modest wardrode affordably that will stay stylish. And if you take care of your clothes, they won't wear out. Unless you do hard labor in them. I assumed the OP worked in an office and was on a budget.

Steve723
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by Steve723 » Tue May 15, 2018 5:23 pm

I like the idea of having 85% of your wardrobe composed of the "timeless" items that have already been mentioned here. But I think it's nice to spice things up every once in a while around the margins. I just got a new pair of glasses that are much more fashionable, and dare I say trendy, than the ones I had previously. I have had a ton of compliments! So I think you can do things that are fairly conservative and budget-conscious while at the same time playing around with things like watches, socks, glasses, etc.

Utahdogowner
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Re: Advice on building a timeless mens wardrobe?

Post by Utahdogowner » Fri May 18, 2018 10:33 am

FIBoston wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 10:33 am
golfCaddy wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 8:59 pm
irishnick23 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 9:57 am

Depending on your body type you can decide to go classic or slim fit. Slim fit almost always looks better, and I would always push my customers to try a slim fit on, even if they had thought all their lives they were classic. You may end up being classic, but at least give it a try.
Slim fit can look good if you have the body type for it, but is best avoided for most people in the office. Men's dress clothes shouldn't have the painted on look of skinny jeans. Nothing looks more unprofessional to me than when an overweight guy is wearing low rise pants and you can see the outline of his ... when he sits down.
I think you're confusing Slim Fit with "Skinny Fit". Skinny fit is a cheap alternative to a vasectomy, Slim Fit is clean and most definitely office appropriate.

This is slim fit: https://www.jcrew.com/p/mens_category/p ... wool/G7124
:shock:
I'm glad I've never tried on pants this tight.
Hysterical.

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