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Old 01-11-2004, 10:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Meeshagain
I want to start dressing nice - Please Help

Hi everyone.

I've been making an effort to dress nicer lately, as in nothing but khakis/dockers and sweaters/long sleeve button downs. After reading the thread about the young looking guy, I want to step my game up. I only have basketball and running shoes (although some of my basketball shoes do look decent), so I'm thikning I need shoes too.

So I need some advice on
-shoes
-pants
-shirts
-undershirts
-jewelry (if any, I like silver necklaces a lot, and I think a sharply dressed man should have a watch too. Also, I have my left ear pierced twice, can look nice with earrings sometimes)


Just for reference, I'm 6'5, 215, and I'm mixed, so I'm dark but not too dark. You can see a picture of my face
here

Basically, I want to be the guy that everyone says "Man, he can dress!". Thanks for the help.

Edit: I forgot to mention, my money is pretty limited, but I can splurge a little if neceary for something really sweet. Also it's not like I'm trying to buy all this stuff at once, I'm looking at more of a gradual thing.

Last edited by emphant; 01-11-2004 at 10:14 PM..
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Old 01-12-2004, 06:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Emphant,

I'm not expert at fashion, or what you want to call it, but I think you can get a good idea of how to dress nice by looking at the men's fashion sections in magazines such as Maxim or Esquire. Of course a lot of times the clothes and accessories presented there are expensive, but you can find items that look similar.
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Old 01-12-2004, 06:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey Emphant -

here are a few resources online that you might find helpful:

<a href="http://fashion.about.com/cs/menstips/l/blaskmen.htm">http://fashion.about.com/cs/menstips/l/blaskmen.htm</a>

<a href="http://fashion.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.modernman.com%2Fclothes%2F">http://fashion.about.com/gi/dynamic/...m%2Fclothes%2F</a>

I'm afraid I'm not much of a fasion maven, but I know what makes me say "Damn, he looks nice!":

- Shoes. Make sure they match what you're wearing (see links above for rules) and keep 'em polished and in good condition.

- Socks. Make sure they match what you're wearing. Save the white athletic socks for working out, or wearing with jeans, I suppose.

- Fit. Make sure your clothes fit you - not too baggy in the butt, but not too tight, either, and not too long - make sure your slacks have just a little "break" in them.

- Comfort. Above all, you should feel comfortable in what you're wearing. That doesn't have to mean slouchy, just that you feel like your clothes fit who you are and what you're up to at the moment.

Good luck!
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Old 01-12-2004, 07:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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believe it or not, just go to the men's warehouse and tell 'em how dressy you want it to be. They'll take care of the rest. I am by no means a clothes horse but everyone thinks I am
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Old 01-13-2004, 07:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ralph Lauren, they can help you find a "look" and the prices aren't always bad.

Kenneth Cole is another great name, and again I find the prices good.

Also, if you know any well-dressed, fashionable girls, *take one or two of them shopping with you* At the very least, they'll give you some ideas. I've done this more than once; it has helped.

I would also like to add that I went through a similar transformation after I came to Los Angeles and didn't feel as well-dressed as I once felt in New York. It's important to wear what impresses you, not what impresses others. Just keep an open mind and be true to yourself, you should be ok.
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Old 01-14-2004, 12:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I recommend going to Mens Wearhouse... at least to let them dress you in a suit once... they'll give you the whole gambit as a service from tie to shoes... you don't have to buy it but they will help you get dressed nicely.
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Old 01-14-2004, 02:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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emphant, are you looking to dress nicer for work or for going out on the town? Here are a few suggestions for work:

Shoes: Make sure you have a two pair minimum. One brown, one black.

Belt: Same, maqke sure you have one brown and one black

If your work is not a "suit and tie" kind of place, then get yourself a few pair of Dockers. Also, Men's Warehouse has great deals on sharp looking slacks. Also, get a few Polo shirts and a few button ups.

Make sure to accessorize appropriately, i.e. Black belt with black shoes, brown with brown, etc.....also, it would be nice to have a non-leather watch. Meaning, get a decent silver watch that would look good with both brown and black.

These are only the basics. If you want more, I can go into sport coats, suits, Navy stuff, ties, etc.....

Also, always wear undershirts!
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Old 01-14-2004, 05:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you really want a great idea- and be with the times of trends, check out Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on tv or online.
I'm sorry, but they have good taste!
 
Old 01-15-2004, 01:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I wear a pair of brown Sketchers boots regularly. They're dressy-casual and look good with denim, khaki and cargo pants. They also make me taller! I've also gravitated away from T-shirts to long-sleeve casual stuff from Tommy Hilfiger and the like. You can get designer stuff cheap at Ross if you want to start testing out looks without spending a bunch of money. I also second the recommendation to browse the Maxim and Stuff fashion pages the next time you're near a bookstore.
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by water_boy1999
emphant, are you looking to dress nicer for work or for going out on the town? Here are a few suggestions for work:

Shoes: Make sure you have a two pair minimum. One brown, one black.

Belt: Same, maqke sure you have one brown and one black

If your work is not a "suit and tie" kind of place, then get yourself a few pair of Dockers. Also, Men's Warehouse has great deals on sharp looking slacks. Also, get a few Polo shirts and a few button ups.

Make sure to accessorize appropriately, i.e. Black belt with black shoes, brown with brown, etc.....also, it would be nice to have a non-leather watch. Meaning, get a decent silver watch that would look good with both brown and black.

These are only the basics. If you want more, I can go into sport coats, suits, Navy stuff, ties, etc.....

Also, always wear undershirts!

Excellent points. Also, if you have trouble coordinating your wardrobe, such as which pants with which shirt, stick with basic colors and solids. I work in a business casual environment and I have 1 pair of black dockers, 1 pair of blue, 1 pair of kakhi, 1 pair - olive, 1 pair - stone, and 1 pair - gray. Polo shirts I have - black, dark grey, light grey, dark blue, white, red, forest green, as well as a couple with a solid chest stripe. I have all solid color dress shirts ( blue, grey, white, black, light blue, french blue). I also have a few solid color sweaters and sweater vests and that's pretty extensive as far as I'm concerned.

Of course outside of work - dressy is a whole different thing.
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Old 01-20-2004, 04:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The #1 rule... Invest in a good pair of shoes.
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Old 01-20-2004, 06:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Watch Queer Eye for the Straight Guy... they have great fashion sense...
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Old 01-20-2004, 06:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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on the topic of shoes:
You can find some REALLY nice shoes made by Born ( http://www.bornshoes.com/asp/bornmens.asp ), and also by Rockport ( http://www.rockport.com ) Happy shopping!
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Old 01-22-2004, 07:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think itīs great that you want to start dressing nicer. I think men should start looking a little bit into what they wear, just like women do. The recomendation I have for you is that you go about once a month or so and get a manicure and pedicure. Donīt put nail polish on, but just tell them to fix your hands and feet up. A man with nice hands is very sexy, and it doesnīt have to be a gay thing.
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Old 01-24-2004, 07:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Much good advice with lurkette and jadey providing some key points. Here are some of mine, and I have to dress sharp:

Fundamentals....

Casual dressy:

kakhi, beige and blue kakhis
casual but dressy shoes with a belt to match
a few nice polo types in basic colors and the same with a few camp shirts
v-neck and crew sweaters for the winter, basic colors

Dressy:

charcoal, gray and and earth tone pair of slacks
navy blazer
1-2 striped dress shirts unless you are moving up to a suit
brown/cordovan and black shoes with bels to match and you wouldn't wear these with kakhis - and shoe polish
a few silk or rayon type shirts

Those are the basics and you can expand from there as you have more $$.
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:39 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Chapel Hill, NC
A couple of things:

It is ALL about the fit. If it doesnt fit, its worthless. Coats can be taken in a little bit, but it should be damn near perfect when you try it on. Like others have said, go to a mens clothing store (I personally prefer Jos. Banks, but thats because most of the clerks there know me and my family by name and how we dress... Go wherever you want). The difference between a well dressed man and a man in dressy clothes is the FIT. I cant emphasize this enough. Once you find the basic coat size that fits you, memorize that number. For me it as 40 Regular, but you are quite a bit larger than me, so it will be different.

Its also about the small things. Find shirts you like, and then--and here is the hard part--pick the types you like. There are many different collar/cuff combinations. No buttons on the collar of a shirt that will be worn with a tie. I also like French cuffs (no buttons on the cuffs, they are folded over and use cufflinks to fasten them). French cuffs, however, should not be worn without a coat, it looks too gaudy.

As for suits, start with a dark grey/black or blue (or both). Again, make damn sure it fits you. It is no good if it doesnt. And be prepared to spend some money. You shouldnt have to spend more than $500 for a good suit (unless you are some really uncommon size), but a cheap suit looks like a cheap suit. Dont be that man. Also, you will need a good navy blue blazer (and no, dont wear the blue coat from your suit, they arent the same thing). And slacks. Look for some nicer pants to go with them, your standard Dockers dont look all that good. As for shoes, brown and black should start you off fine. Dont wear shoes that are of a lighter color than your pants (generally). This means dont wear brown shoes with a black/grey suit.

Its all about the small things (and fit, like I have said). Anyone can wear a suit, but the person who is well dressed is the one who gets it all down.

A lot of looking well dressed also comes from knowing how to wear your clothes. This sounds odd, but a lot of people just dont know how to wear their nice clothes. Stand up straight, dont hunch your shoulders, be confident.

Oh, and regardless of the number of buttons on a coat, you never button the bottom button. Thus, if the coat has 2 buttons, only button the top one. Three, button the top two.

Im sure Ill think of some more later.
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:43 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Oh, and dont be afraid to be the best dressed man in the room. Its a lot better than being under-dressed.
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Old 01-25-2004, 03:08 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I guess just wear things you see in Maxim or CQ? Those people are probably pretty smartly dressed.
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Old 01-25-2004, 10:02 AM   #19 (permalink)
beauty in the breakdown
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Quote:
Originally posted by Strange Famous
I guess just wear things you see in Maxim or CQ? Those people are probably pretty smartly dressed.
Just dont go overboard. Wearing flashy stuff only works for a very few people, most people just look dumb in it.

It can also help to pick someone whom you think is well dressed and shares a similar complexion/build/look/whatever to you. Look at how they dress, and take hints from that.

Develop a sense of what you think looks good though, dont just wear something because someone else is.
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Old 01-25-2004, 02:10 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Location: Chapel Hill, NC
A couple more points. There is a difference between slacks and chinos (like Dockers). Slacks are a lot nicer. In fact, I prefer not to wear Chinos at all--they look too casual. They are fine for bumming around in, but I dont particularly like them for any sort of dressy situation.

Jewelry--keep it sparse. Few men can pull off a lot of jewelry. A metal watch is a good thing to wear. If you have a ring of some importance, that is fine too (wedding ring, whatever--but nothing too gaudy). Necklaces I would shy away from, and earings just look bad on a guy that is dressed up. They are fine in casual situations, but Im not so sure about dressed up--UNLESS these things sorta define you. If everyone knows you as always having this stuff on, fine, but just keep it low key, nothing too flashy. And if you are going into a professional environment (job interview, whatever), lose the earings and necklace.

And yeah, like others said, always wear an undershirt.
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Old 01-25-2004, 04:46 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Also dont forget its about being yourself, not a magazine ad. So if you arent a penny loafer or wing tip type of guy, dont get them. Go with a solid leather boot if you are outdoorsy probaly. Something that has minimal ammounts of stiching, and definatly hard leather, no suede boots here. They let a little out of your personality.

jewelry, definatly no digital watches...you can find something really nice on ebay these days. a coworker got a beautiful Invicta watch on ebay for pennys on the dollar. Go with a neutral color like silver, and like a silver or black back. Im one for earings tho, but keep it simple. If its a formal occasion Id think about taking it out, but light formal, a stud. Kahki day, a hoop is fine.

Dont forget skin and hair care while you are at it. Keep that facial hair under check.

all else fails...watch some queer eye for the straight guy . but dont listen to everything....some of that is just too.....yea
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Old 01-25-2004, 05:59 PM   #22 (permalink)
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My recommendation is to save up some money until you can afford several basics from reputable retailers.

Also, try to bargain hunt! I just lost enough weight to be able to shop in regular stores, and was able to pick up SEVERAL new pairs of pants, all very nice, at www.macys.com for incredible prices.

As for specific brands/pieces, it depends on your style. I tend towards a more contemporary, yet off-beat look.

I've been picking up semi-dressy black slacks such as ones from Kenneth Cole and "dirty" denim jeans from DKNY (still trying to find some nice stuff from Diesel) at really nice prices. I tend to wear "dress" shirts (untucked, partially buttoned with the sleeves rolled up) with my jeans or slacks to go out on the town, but all I have to do is tuck in the shirt and roll down the sleeves for more formal occasions.

I'm not a "fashion whore" or obsessed with labels, but I've found that investing money in a well-made piece is exactly that--an investment. For years I purchased poorly made (but often expensive) "freak" or street punk clothing that fell apart in no time. Now, I know that I can spend slightly more (or even less, when I find good deals) on something from ExpressMen or a similar store, and have a well-made article of clothing that's going to last. However, price does not indicate quality.

As far as jewelry, I'm probably not the best person to ask. My personal style involves tons of bracelets, large polished steel tunnels in my ears, a nice stainless steel watch, a necklace, and multiple silver rings. Most people prefer to tone it down a little. But what's important is that it fits your style and attitude.

If there's any stores like TJ Maxx or Marshall's in your area, look there. You may have to do a little more work, but you can find nice stuff for much less money than in regular department stores and mall's.

To get ideas, try lurking around some style-oriented forums. I've recently joined up with the www.menshealth.com Style Message Board, and the Style Forum, as well (www.styleforum.net). Not all the advice on these sites is useful, and much of it is unrealistic as far as budget goes, but it does provide good sources for discounted merchandise.

And if you're feeling lucky, try Ebay. Although I just signed up for an account and haven't purchased anything there, I've seen lots of pieces from very reputable companies in my size (which is a hard one to find) for great prices. Just be aware of what you're buying, how much it's going to cost (including shipping and any other fees), and who you're buying from.

As for building a wardrobe, many people have mentioned getting things that are interchangeable. That's great advice!

Try things like:

Black slacks
Belts, one brown one black
Grey or Khaki slacks
A couple pairs of versatile, well-fitted jeans (something with a little class that you can wear places other than just bumming around)
Leather shoes: one pair brown, one pair black
T-shirts in solid, versatile colors such as black, grey, white and a few "accent" shirts in colors like maroon, green, etc.
A nice jacket that can be dressed up or down (such as a leather jacket, I prefer faux leather with simple, clean lines)
If you have the need, at least one suit and a couple of simple, versatile ties
Several long sleeve button-downs in solid colors that co-ordinate with your pants and undershirts.

These pieces can be interchanged for any situation from just hanging out, going on dates, working, or for more formal occasions just by changing what you pair together, and how you wear it.

Good luck!
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Last edited by majik_6; 01-25-2004 at 06:06 PM..
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Old 01-25-2004, 10:13 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Location: Meeshagain
Everyone, thanks for your help. I'm picking up all these tips, saving money, and in about a month I'm going shopping with some of my better dressed female friends.
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Old 01-26-2004, 02:17 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Location: Finland
I'm finding this thread a very valuable read as well, thanks.

One question however:

Quote:
Originally posted by sailor420
A couple more points. There is a difference between slacks and chinos (like Dockers). Slacks are a lot nicer. In fact, I prefer not to wear Chinos at all--they look too casual.
As a non-native English speaker I'm not very familiar with all English terminology for clothing. What exactly is the difference between slacks and chinos?
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Old 01-26-2004, 07:15 AM   #25 (permalink)
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slacks: dress pants

chinos: khakis, canvas pants, something more casual than dress pants.
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Old 01-26-2004, 09:31 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Location: Finland
Quote:
Originally posted by Cynthetiq
slacks: dress pants

chinos: khakis, canvas pants, something more casual than dress pants.
Ok, thanks. I figured they'd both be more casual than actual dress pants but it seems it's not that complicated.
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Old 01-26-2004, 05:07 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Location: Clifton Park, NY
For shoes, go with Sketchers:



I have a pair just like this and a pair of black ones.
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Old 01-26-2004, 06:36 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Location: land of the merry
Learn from me:





It's a really dark grey fabric with lighter grey and dark red/blue pinstripes (the blue and red are not very visible but add much to the pinstripe effect). It was 15 dollars a local thrift store. The shirt I got at Kohl's for 30 and is Herringbone Twill. Shoes are just plain black semi-shiny Nunn Bush from Kohl's as well. It's a Docker's reversible belt that I got for 8 bucks from Kohl's clearance.

edit: Oh, and the tie is a solid grey tie that is 100% polyester, semi-shiny. I got it from my dad's wordrobe, don't know where he got it, but the brand is called "Botany'500'"

Last edited by tehblaed; 01-26-2004 at 06:43 PM..
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