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Thread: How to be Stylish at Unusual Events?

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    How to be Stylish at Unusual Events?

    Okay, so as I explained in an earlier thread, I've upped my style game and I'm getting results in the form of increased attention from the Mrs. and compliments at the office. But that's at the day to day level.

    On the other hand, we go to a lot of different types of events from from formal affairs costume balls to dive bars to goth clubs to cowboy bars.

    I've got the costume events handled. And the formal is not a problem. The rest? Not so sure. I'm going to be 59 in a few months and although I can pass for ten years younger (at least in my mind), that's still a good deal older than the crowd you find at a goth club.

    So, how to dress? Tomorrow night we're headed to a dive bar to hear a band a buddy of mine fronts. He's barely 40, so the crowd is likely to be younger--jeez--a 40 year old is almost 20 years younger than I am--when did I get so old?

    It's been at least 15 years since I've felt comfortable wearing jeans and a t-shirt to any public event, so that's out. And a sport coat, a button up shirt, and some AEs hardly seem appropriate.

    Up until recently, for an event like this, my go-to was a black leather jacket cut like a sport coat, some black boots, black jeans, and a black button up dress shirt. Or I might do the same thing with a brown leather jacket, brown boots, and blue jeans. Okay, that made me not seem too odd, I suppose, more or less, but it hardly conveys a sense of style. My wife gave me some collar tips for shirts--like the dude on The Preacher has--that gave me a little bling, and that was good, but other than that--I don't have a good sense of the kind of look to go for.

    Ideas for how to style it up? But I don't want to look like an old guy trying to look young. And I don't want to look like I'm the business manager of the band.

    At a cowboy type bar, I'm not going to go full-on cowboy with the hat and all that. How to approach that situation? Jeans and some non-cowboy boots seem to work, but I don't feel like I'm stylish.

    Believe it or not, the Goth clubs are not so much a problem--all black anything seems to work for those.

    How do y'all deal with this type of thing?

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    Interesting question. Here's my take on it. Most of the typical style items discussed on internet forums tend to be those worn by either an ivy league student, a British businessman or an Italian gentleman. None of these people would normally frequent dive or goth bars. Therefore you have to think a bit outside of this box.

    I also think the purpose of some situations isn't so much to be "stylish" as to somehow fit in. I can tell this is your dilema. You're thinking in the right direction, though. With the goth bars anything black is de rigueur. Therefore you simply need to figure out what kinds of clothes in black you would feel stylish in. I don't personally have a lot of clothes in black (I might not have any items other than shoes), but I might start with a black collared shirt, black leather jacket, black jeans and black boots. Of course the key to "stylishness" that is always discussed is the fit, so focus on the fit to not look like a rumpled mess, but instead slick and polished. However, it sounds like you're less concerned with this situation.

    What immediately comes to mind with the cowboy bars and dive bars is a denim shirt. These are quite trendy now and I like them as well. You can get a shirt that is cut more like a dress shirt, or as a button down collar and the denim fabric will make it much more casual. Get one of these and it will serve you well. The question then become what pants to wear them with, since wearing jeans of a similiar colour then looks weird. If you're into black jeans then you can get away with the 2 denims because you'll have a lot of contrast. Otherwise consider some other type of 5-pocket pants. Any boots other than cowboy boots should be fine, such as chelsea boots.

    I think you're on the right track. You don't want to walk into one of these places wearing a navy blazer, grey wool trousers a tie and black oxfords. Half of dressing well is dressing appropriately for the situation. There are times where the key isn't so much to stand out but to fit in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spex View Post
    Most of the typical style items discussed on internet forums tend to be those worn by either an ivy league student, a British businessman or an Italian gentleman.
    Might also add American dandy to the list...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spex View Post
    Interesting question. Here's my take on it. Most of the typical style items discussed on internet forums tend to be those worn by either an ivy league student, a British businessman or an Italian gentleman. None of these people would normally frequent dive or goth bars. Therefore you have to think a bit outside of this box.
    And lawyers. I'm a lawyer and I wear a suit and tie to work everyday. None of my colleagues who are even within 15 years of my age frequent these types of events--one used to, before he was a lawyer he was road manager for a very popular band--but now he's 45 and has a wife and kid and stays home when he's not working.

    But yes--that's the thing--most of the talk about being stylish is for those of us who are normally in places where we are dressing to impress.

    Over all, some good points I can consider and incorporate. Thank you.

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    I think a lot of this comes down to shoes. If you have the right shoes, it is not that difficult to put together an appropriate outfit. Of course, in one of these cases, that means western boots.

    Edit...
    I would add that, personally, for casual style, my biggest problem was(/is) dressing like it is still 1980- or 1990-something. The cuts and colors I will automatically gravitate towards look like that era. I didn't quite realize it until I was searching google images, found what I thought was a nice henley... only to open up the page and have it be a "vintage" listing. I noticed with most clothing searches, I could sort though hundreds of images and the ones that appealed to me most were all "vintage 80s/90s" Etsy or eBay listings. I realized it was no wonder thrift stores are so kind to me; the clothes I like are being donated by families of dead people.

    To sort this out, I started buying casual clothes somewhere between totally contemporary and old man. I use Poshmark quite a bit to copy other people's casual clothes choices by literally buying their clothes.
    Last edited by ianr; April 7th, 2018 at 12:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianr View Post
    I think a lot of this comes down to shoes. If you have the right shoes, it is not that difficult to put together an appropriate outfit. Of course, in one of these cases, that means western boots.

    Edit...
    I would add that, personally, for casual style, my biggest problem was(/is) dressing like it is still 1980- or 1990-something. The cuts and colors I will automatically gravitate towards look like that era. I didn't quite realize it until I was searching google images, found what I thought was a nice henley... only to open up the page and have it be a "vintage" listing. I noticed with most clothing searches, I could sort though hundreds of images and the ones that appealed to me most were all "vintage 80s/90s" Etsy or eBay listings. I realized it was no wonder thrift stores are so kind to me; the clothes I like are being donated by families of dead people.

    To sort this out, I started buying casual clothes somewhere between totally contemporary and old man. I use Poshmark quite a bit to copy other people's casual clothes choices by literally buying their clothes.
    Pretty funny.

    What do you all think about wearing a long sleeve henley to a dive bar situation? With a jacket or ? A long sleeve polo? A dressier t-shirt (I have a black one with a zipper pocket that has some styling details) with a leather sports coat?

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    I’ve been going to more shows lately, from all ages gigs at youth centers (with my kids) to local venues to arenas. Honestly? People wear all kinds of stuff. I have a friend who is a lawyer and dresses professionally all week. Weekends? He is in a t-shirt under flannel and denim and chucks. He’s in his mid fifties. That’s the same uniform as the 20-somethings and all of our older friends who never stopped seeing live music at dive bars. There are even people is business clothing.

    I dress in “business casual” during the week and go with casual, somewhat elevated street wear at shows. If you want to blend in, suggest you consider swapping formal pieces for casual equivalents — type II or type III denim trucker for a sport coat; 5 pocket khaki or olive chinos for dress trousers; desert boots for AE’s (they could be AE suede chukkas)....

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    Simple, just wear what you like. Wear a pair of blue jeans and white shirt with a good pair of sneakers.

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    For the cowboy bar, in addition to the denim/chambray shirt suggestion brought up earlier, you might consider a plaid shirt, long sleeve. That would be much easier to pair with blue jeans than a denim shirt. Wear with cowboy boots (chelseas might work if you don’t own cowboy boots), and you’ll want a leather belt with the largest buckle you can find. Match it to your boots. Skip the watch. Throw on a ten-gallon hat if you’ve got one, but if not that’s ok. Make sure your jeans aren’t baggy and don’t have cargo pockets.

    Hope that helps!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by TR_strums98 View Post
    For the cowboy bar, in addition to the denim/chambray shirt suggestion brought up earlier, you might consider a plaid shirt, long sleeve. That would be much easier to pair with blue jeans than a denim shirt. Wear with cowboy boots (chelseas might work if you don’t own cowboy boots), and you’ll want a leather belt with the largest buckle you can find. Match it to your boots. Skip the watch. Throw on a ten-gallon hat if you’ve got one, but if not that’s ok. Make sure your jeans aren’t baggy and don’t have cargo pockets.

    Hope that helps!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yeah--that's kind of my go-to look at the cowboy bar, but no cowboy boots and no hat for sure. I have some boots that look okay at the cowboy bar. I guess it all works more or less, but I don't feel stylish.
    Last edited by mebejoseph; April 15th, 2018 at 04:42 PM.

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