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Thread: Want a whole new look

  1. #1
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    Want a whole new look

    I have never been into fashion or style, but a recent breakup has me ready to re-invent myself. I am jumping head first to learn about style and update a wardrobe that has not seen much activity in years. I plan to have a whole new look that I will work on in the next few months and I am open to any and all suggestions.

    To get things started, I do like the casual look by these two celebrities and would like to do something similar for my first new outfit/wardrobe pieces.

    Look 1:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bsXRqI1WbI

    Look 2:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DksSPZTZES0

    I also like the more business look that Justin Timberlake has here:

    http://thatgrapejuice.net/2013/01/ju...ritney-spears/


    Anyways, those are two looks I liked, any suggestions on where to buy similar outfits on the less expensive end?
    Based on these looks - any suggestions for looks that can be had on the cheap? Almost any look will be an upgrade to my attire. I appreciate any and all help, I would have no clue where to look for style or how to put things together but over the next few weeks with your help, I hope that will change.

    Sincerely,

    Sean

  2. #2
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    Sean, welcome to the forums. You seem to have a taste in style that is similar to a regular member of the forums by the name of "shad0w4life". His outfits in the WIWT thread may provide some inspiration.

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    I'll second following the WIWT thread and add on the Looks You Really Like thread. Stills are much easier to deconstruct than videos in terms of identifying what aspects of a look you like (fit, colors, textures, etc) and then seeking out items that have those aspects.

    I'd also further mention that, in my opinion, if you really want to change up your look and stay on a budget, the best thing you can do is not buy things. Read articles on the main site and EffortlessGent (especially the Back to Basics ones), check out the Getup articles on Primer, look through the threads above, making note of things you really like and then trying to understand why you like them. Try lots of items on in different stores and try them on in sizes different than what you've been wearing. Then, don't buy anything. Go back and keep reading and learning, then go back and try items on again. More than likely, some of what you liked before you're less certain of now, some you'll like more. In addition to having not wasted money on items you later realize you don't really like, "real" pricing vs. listed pricing will be more obvious after seeing items discussed over a longer period of time, allowing you to get more bang your buck.
    Last edited by Tim; February 19th, 2013 at 12:04 AM.

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    Welcome!

    So first off, a quick word of caution. The vast majority of people who decide that they want to upgrade their style - including almost everyone on this forum - makes the decision suddenly. And, for a lot of us, while it's a great decision, we act far too quickly, drop a lot of money on new clothing, and, as we continue pursuing our interest in style, wearing our new clothes, etc very, very quickly find that we could have both (1) spent the money more efficiently, as we bought items that were too specific and not versatile enough items and (2) should have bought items in a different fit. Sometimes your whole sense of style evolves as well. For instance, you're looking for a very specific look. Sure, maybe you'll find it's 100% you, but maybe you'll also find that it's just a little bit off. For instance: when I first started dressing well, I bought several gorgeous, really expensive dress shirts. And now? Unless I need to wear them, I don't. They're just not me. More often than not, I'm a tee shirt and henley guy; its casual, comfortable and lets me feel good about my physique.

    That said, while I tend to wear a little more color than in your examples, I have a very, very casual style compared to most guys on this forum. Here's a few sample basics (but please promise you wont go out and buy anything for at least a few weeks):

    Tees: Target (Their heathered colors are especially great)
    Pocket Tees: J Crew Factory Slim (good pops of color)
    Henleys: Old Navy (The dark grey heathered is awesome)
    Zip Hoodie: Old Navy. Size Down.
    Denim Jacket: Levi
    Waxed Canvas Jacket: Lands End
    Casual Button-Downs: JCP, J Crew Factory Slim, BR Tailored Slim
    Jeans: Levi 513s/511s in a dark navy wash (I wear 511s in Rigid Dragon)
    Chinos: Bonobos Slim Straight
    Footwear: Adidas Sambas, Clarks Desert Boots

    But seriously, pick one insanely simple item - say a simple white t shirt, go to like five brands, try them all on, and then get some. Wear it for a few days, see if you're still happy, then move on. Don't try to make everything happen at once.
    Last edited by hon140; February 18th, 2013 at 11:50 PM.

  5. #5
    Varsity Member Teej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hon140 View Post
    Welcome!

    So first off, a quick word of caution. The vast majority of people who decide that they want to upgrade their style - including almost everyone on this forum - makes the decision suddenly. And, for a lot of us, while it's a great decision, we act far too quickly, drop a lot of money on new clothing, and, as we continue pursuing our interest in style, wearing our new clothes, etc very, very quickly find that we could have both (1) spent the money more efficiently, as we bought items that were too specific and not versatile enough items and (2) should have bought items in a different fit. Sometimes your whole sense of style evolves as well. For instance, you're looking for a very specific look. Sure, maybe you'll find it's 100% you, but maybe you'll also find that it's just a little bit off. For instance: when I first started dressing well, I bought several gorgeous, really expensive dress shirts. And now? Unless I need to wear them, I don't. They're just not me. More often than not, I'm a tee shirt and henley guy; its casual, comfortable and lets me feel good about my physique.
    I definitely agree with this. It is really like anything in my life. Once I decide to do it, I want to rush into it all at once when what I really should do is take it slow. It takes a while to get comfortable with your new personal style and what works for me. Today I wear stuff that I never even would have considered wearing two years ago when I started my style transition. I sometimes like to think on my purchases for a little while to decide if it is something that I really want to spend my money on (unless its a sale and I have a limited time).

    A word of advice, fit is king. I wish I had known that when I was first starting.

    I would start out with basics, hon140 has some good ones in his post.

    Also, don't forget that the most important reason for dressing better is yourself, with the ladies be a close second of course. Don't hesitate to ask people on the forum here about a purchase, they are very willing to help, and some people probably already have the item or know the brand and can comment on it.

    edit: one last thing, real men real style recently made a list of some of the top men's style blogs, some of them may be very helpful on your transition.

    http://www.realmenrealstyle.com/top-...tyle-websites/
    Last edited by Teej; February 19th, 2013 at 12:48 AM.

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    I think you need to provide a couple more pieces of info before getting any meaningful info. What kind of budget are you on? What's your work environment/dress code like? What's your body type?

    The $1,500 Wardrobe is a great place to start:
    http://dappered.com/2011/05/the-1500-wardobe-shirts/

    Personal faves for me are:

    Banana Republic: Dress shirts, soft-wash shirts, sweaters, blazers, ties

    J. Crew: Suits, blazers

    J. Crew Factory: soft-wash shirts, ties

    Frank & Oak: Blazers

    Charles Tyrwhitt: Dress Shirts

    Bonobos: Chinos

    Thetiebar.com: ties & tie bars

    Shoes: Certified Allen Edmonds whore

    Kohl's: Great deals on Levi's and Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars with coupons paired with sales.

    Shameless referral time:
    http://vnlink.co/SaDNq5V (F&O, I think you get $5 for signing up through a referral)
    http://a.bono.bs/x/1Xcyk (Bonobos, $25 off your first order)

    Biggest piece of advice is try not to succumb to impulse buys, especially starting from scratch. Go for value rather than cheapest price. Natural materials where you can. Also try to avoid full price if you can! Retail stores constantly add new styles and have limited space, so markdowns and "sales" are frequent. I don't buy something from BR unless its either on clearance with addition % off sale or without a 40% off full price coupon, which they typical run at least a couple times a month. Also as others have said, try things on first if at all possible. And find a good tailor.
    Last edited by Ian619; February 19th, 2013 at 01:09 AM.

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    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum.

    Looks like you're a bit into the "tough guy" look - leather jacket, t-shirts, jeans. For basic staples like t-shirts, hoodies, and henleys, check out Target. The most important thing at this stage is to figure out what fits you well, and ease slowly into things. As has been alluded to, a lot of guys who start their style transformation end up plunking down a lot of money for new stuff, only to realize that they are actually a medium instead of a large, and none of their new clothes really fit them very well.

    Don't be afraid to try a bunch of stuff on, in a variety of sizes. Start small in terms of picking up staple items that you can wear virtually every day, like t-shirts and jeans. Consider saving up for a big ticket purchase, which for you might be a nice leather jacket. By the time you've saved up the money for that big ticket purchase, you will have figured out what fits and styles look good on you and will be in a better position to spend the money in an informed way.
    BenR

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    Hey all,


    Thanks for all the replies! I am about to head into work right now but I am going to get back on here tonight around 9 eastern time and reply to everyone a bit more in depth. I appreciate the advice on waiting to buy, definitely sounds like sound advice. Maybe I will go out every weekend and check out different stores, try on different sizes and styles and make sure to wait a week before purchasing anything. Maybe even snap a picture, put it on here and ask everyone their thoughts.

    I am going to check out all the great links you all put up tonight, and I really appreciate how welcoming and helpful you all have been. It is a bit scary jumping into something you don't know anything about, so it is going to be a huge help and relief that I can count on you guys to help me in the coming weeks.

    I am 6'0, 155 pounds. I have a pretty small and skinny frame. I want to get back to 170 pounds(What I was before the breakup and losing my appetite) so now that I think about it, buying clothes now likely isn't smart since they may not fit in a month or two. I have scoliosis(curvature of the spine) and it makes my right shoulder to appear to stick out a bit at times. I dunno if anyone has any specific advice on covering that up or if that is something I will just have to accept will always be there. I can accept it either way.

    I will have to post some pictures on to my Flickr account so you can get a better idea of what I look like and what type of clothing I have in my outdated wardrobe. I dunno what I should save and what I should get rid of!

    I also have very dark black hair and facial hair. I am also open to trying a different style with my hair.

    For work I am a customer service representative working over the phone in a business casual environment. I also do acting on the side and plan to audition for a few roles once I get my feet back under me. Just to give you an example of what I look like, I will post two videos I was in on YouTube so you can see my frame and all that.

    Video 1: A short film I acted in for a student production at Temple
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qal8QczMFg

    Video 2: A video promotion I did for Community College that I both directed, edited and starred in
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6WzO...CmoTHQ&index=1

    They are both cheesy and not the best, I know. But I wanted to give you a sense of what I look like.


    I look forward to checking out the links tonight everyone posted, and I will respond more in depth to each post later!

    Thanks again for all the help everyone, it really is appreciated!

    Sean

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by heister View Post
    I personally start with the foundation, by foundation I mean shoes. Why? Shoes are almost always the single most expensive piece in any outfit. Aside from a suit, which is really 2 or 3 separate pieces shoes are going to be where most of your money goes. Now, you want to buy shoes that are versatile and can go with many outfits. We on this forum tend to recommend that you buy good quality shoes. For obvious reasons such as build quality, looks, and longevity of the style of the shoe. Browns tend to work with a wider swath of outfits than does black. But just like mentioned above go to the stores and try on many different brands, types and materials. Staples include wingtip, cap toe, desert boots, chukkas, ankle boots. Buy building your wardrobe from your shoes up you can ensure that not only do you have a great top of your outfit but that you will always have a great pair of shoes that can be worn with said outfit.
    I would have to disagree with this, and the reason for that is that shoes are also the most expensive mistake you can make. When you're starting out and your style is evolving, your tastes can change very rapidly. The premise behind buying a 300 dollar pair of shoes is that it will last you 10 years; however, if in 3 months your tastes have changed and you don't like them, you're out 300 dollars. Shoes are VERY important, and building outfits from the shoes up can be important once you have a wardrobe, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend buying shoes first. Start with your basics; don't spend too much on any single item. This is your "exploration" period where you decide what you really want your style to look like. Definite recommendation would be the "looks you really like" thread and "WIWT" thread and decide what pictures really appeal to you, and why those pictures do appeal to you. Then, try to emulate some of the things in those pictures with some cheaper items, and decide whether that look works on you. If you decide that that is the style you want to have, take the plunge and start to actually invest in your wardrobe. But don't go all in with the money before you've decided exactly what kind of style you are going to have.

    Also, make sure you pick a style congruent with your lifestyle. If you're a lawyer, clearly leather jackets, denim jackets, hoodies, and henleys simply won't cut it. Similarly, it would be ludicrous to give tours of national parks in a tuxedo.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator nicholascrawford's Avatar
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    I'd save shoes and suits for later.

    Go through about 20 dress shirts until you hit a home run. You'll like one for a while then get a slimmer fit and realize that's what you want. Then discover you need longer sleeves and tails and a tighter neck....etc... So don't buy 20 shirts at once. It's a process. Buy one at a time until you find the right fit and expect that it will take you at least six months of really trying. THEN spend money and fill out the wardrobe.

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