Fashion tips for sartorial improvement


#1

Continuing the discussion from :fleur-de-lis::notebook: The Tweed Crew 2: Need 4 Twee'd :necktie::sailboat: (and further Harrisment):

Since no one else is doing so:

I’ve been trying to become more fashionable of late.

I’ve got my hair cut shorter, and make the effort to style it every day.

My work is business casual, but I’ve decided to kick it up a notch. I’ve switched to golf shirts to button-down shirts, and I’m ordering shirts online that should actually fit (instead of being designed for someone with a neck the size of my wrist, an arm as long as my leg, and a bodybuilder’s chest).

They say that you should dress for the job you want, but there’s no particular job I want, and since I’m in I.T., I doubt that any job I’d like (I’m not cut out for management) would require me to dress in anything more formal than a golf shirt.

Instead of dressing for the job I want, I’m dressing in the way that makes me feel the most confident. I think I look best in a collared shirt and tie, so that’s going to be my look, once I have collars that close without risking auto-asphyxiation. In the meantime, I’m wearing the shirt unbuttoned to the second button, with a white undershirt.

Now, I just need to figure out how to complete the look.

I have slacks from my golf-shirt days, but I don’t know if I should stick with the style I have (they don’t wrinkle, but they won’t hold a crease either), or go more formal (sharp creases), or more casual (khakis).

And I’m completely lost when it comes to completing the look with a jacket/overcoat/peacoat. My current jacket is leather, which meshed well enough with the golf shirts, but I’m finding I crave a more formal look. I just worry about carrying the look too far.

In short, I want to radiate classy, without going so far as to hit smug/superior/snobbish, and I’m having trouble hitting that mark.

If anyone has suggestions, I’d be most grateful.


Help! Fashion advice!
#2

The old quote is:
‘Fashions fade, style is eternal.’ - Yves Saint Laurent
So think less about the “now” and more about the "always."
Fit is the key. Clothes that fit properly will always look good- so, for pants, think about this: in the 90’s everything was about super-long stacked pants. Then, in the 2010’s, it’s about shorter pants that show a bit of sock. Classic is neither- it’s a slight break to the front crease where it contacts the shoe. I’d aim for that, as it’s the “always” without worrying about the "now."
Wear a tie. It’s super easy, and it instantly clicks things up a notch. I like somewhat less formal ties for work- less shiny, more texture- so, currently, that means woven wool ties (or, alternately, knit silk). They mean business without looking like you forgot to wear the rest of the suit.
There are a bunch of coat options- most men’s coats are derived from military roots, so a pea coat or a field coat are decent choices. They’ve been around for a long time and will likely be around for the foreseeable future.
Good shoes. Good shoes aren’t cheap, but they last and send a hell of a message. Skip the weird square toe junk. Skip the trendy.

I’m not sure how much this helps, but maybe it gets you a start? It’s a process, after all.


#3

I’ve been told by several people that I should get a few tailored blazers, because “a well fitting blazer adds class. Even to a tshirt and jeans.”

I don’t buy that. If anything, if I wear a blazer without the rest of the suit, I think I end up looking homeless.


#4

Ah.
A “blazer” is not the same as a suit jacket. Wearing a suit jacket as a blazer is an error.
A good blazer (and I’m no fan of the blue blazer with gold buttons, mind you) is a powerful thing. And it’s like magic- wearing one automatically makes people view you as together, even if the rest of the outfit is the same as always.
Also: they are super practical. Pockets and whatnot.


#5

A blazer is not a suit jacket. As @nothingfuture says. Think more… country club, than 9-5 office.
You can dress it up fun, with an ascot even, or just a shirt underneath, dress pants of a different colour, etc.
Or dress it down with jeans and loafers.

A well tailored suit is another (excellent) beast altogether, and sadly out of reach price wise for most people.
So get a well tailored shirt, the difference it makes is amazing. :slight_smile:

Last thing about “blazers” you can, but you should not, wear them with shorts, the results may be violent.


#6

I have a couple of tailored suitjackets collecting dust. I used them when I was still in a jazz band. I liked them. Double breasted, black shirt, red tie. I clean up pretty well. But I just can’t be arsed to dress up nice every day. And like you said, suitjackets aren’t blazers. I guess that was a core-concept I was misunderstanding.

In anycase, where I work, people aren’t bothered by me coming in with 3 days’ beard growth wearing a tshirt, jeans and a pair of filthy old New Balance crosstrainers. It’s nice, but maybe I should start dressing for a better job myself.


#7

Im in.


#8

The difference between a tailored shirt and an off the shelf is huge. For example:


#9

Double breasted suits are an abomination. If you want to wear a robe, wear a robe.

this?

or this?

No. Contest.


#10

To be fair, the first model above couldn’t compete with Idris Elba, even if he was wearing the exact same suit tailored to perfection.

Clothes don’t make the man; they just accentuate him.


#11

Like, that’s my aesthetic, man.


#12

Do I look homeless? (you can say pudgy)

Corduroy jacket, baby. And I desperately miss those shoes.


#13

Absolutely not. Although, just hanging out around Pike Place, I’ve had homeless people come up to me, about to ask for a dollar, then see me up close and react by saying “Oh, sorry bud, I guess you have it hard too.”


#14


#15

The double breasted jacket works well for a 1930s-1940s aesthetic, like if you’re in a big band. Which I was.


#16

Back when I was a lab rat, there was a time when that would be a pretty close pic except for the goatee (and the robe was lab attire)…
Although, even when I wore thrift-shop jeans and white t-shirts, I still wore nice shoes (I guess that was my thing).


#17

Any tips on how one might obtain these tailored shirts? Particularly if one were cheap and/or short on disposable income?

Asking for a friend.


#18

I should get a blazer but as far as tailored goes is there an official loose fit look? I really like the feel of slightly baggy shirts.


#19

All you need is a couple of these:

That technique seems to work for mannequins…


#20

Not quite tailored but find out your neck size and sleeve length. Buy shirts that are listed by those two measurements. Instant improvement in fit.

Don’t buy anything measured in S, M, L, XL, etc. for a dress shirt. You will have a bad time.