Mens Fashion

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
classical_Liberal
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by classical_Liberal »

@horsewoman
I think the point we "pro-dressers" are making is there is a difference between spending a shit-ton of time and effort on clothing/appearance and putting in enough effort to "pass muster" in a given social engagement. Over and over again I read on these forums that people have a hard time fitting in, maintaining social connections, getting dates, or jobs, or whatever. Look, I have no problem if someone wants to rebel against "da man", I'm a Gen Xer for god's sake, it's in my DNA! However, social standards are not some individual gatekeeper. Society has created these norms and traditions for whatever reason. One can't both say F society, I don't care what people think, then complain they are excluded in the same breath.

Clothing is one of the first things most people notice about you. If I walk into a wedding reception with an old, oversized metallica tee-shirt and sweatpants, because "this is who I am and what I wear at home". I'm sending the message "I don't want to be here". I really can't complain if people think I'm weird or don't wanna dance with me. If I walk in with the slightest bit of care for the social circumstance, even just nice jeans with a dress shirt and stylish sports coat, I'm acknowledging the event and that I took a bit of effort, like everyone else, to prepare for it. The fact I don't wear a suit like 90% of the men there still shows I'm not really a suit guy, that's enough. Add to this the confidence being dressed in right-fitting, socially appropriate clothing can provide when I walk out the door every day, and I think it's well worth the minimal effort and cost.

jacob
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by jacob »

If clothes are about socialization, then:

Kegan1 (The impulsive mind, childhood): "My dinosaur shirt is my best shirt so I wear it all the time. It has a T-Rex which is my favorite dinosaur!"

Kegan2 (The instrumental mind, teenage years, 14% of adults): "I dress like a punk because I like the music and the style. I'll put on a suit for the wedding but only because I have to. If I wanna wear my combat boots to the interview that's just who I am. Take it or leave it."

Kegan3 (The socialized mind, 56% of adults): "I dress to fit in. I judge my dress and myself according to how people judge my dress. If these pants make me look fat, then I am fat. If this shirt makes me look good, then I am attractive and feel accordingly about myself. Upgrading my wardrobe makes me feel like a new person."

Kegan4 (The self-authoring mind, 30% of adults): "This office wear is just a uniform but I'm not my uniform. I choose to change my uniform according to the circumstances and I have different uniforms for the various functions I fill. I am old enough to see clothes as a tool. Upgrading my wardrobe is like getting a better tool."

Kegan5 (The self-transforming mind, 1% of adults): You're not my fucking khakis. You're the all singing all dancing crap of the world. I choose my outfit according to how I want to relate to other people/want them to relate to each other. (Those Kegan2 fanboys just copy what I do without understanding why I do it.)"

jacob
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by jacob »

Add: FWIW, I think wardrobes would change quite a bit if everybody was forced to start completely from scratch every year.

As someone who insists on wearing everything out, this could just be me projecting.

It could be a very wasteful method but it doesn't have to be. Buying everything from thrift-stores and donating it back again (zero-waste style) would reduce the waste a bit.

ertyu
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by ertyu »

jacob wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:44 pm

Kegan2 (The instrumental mind, teenage years, 14% of adults): "I dress like a punk because I like the music and the style. I'll put on a suit for the wedding but only because I have to. If I wanna wear my combat boots to the interview that's just who I am. Take it or leave it."
Checks out this was exactly me as a teenager, down to how I wore combat boots to a scholarship interview. :lol: :lol: :lol: nostalgia

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Bankai
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Bankai »

Still seems both sides are talking past each other.

How is:

"You can learn about style in an hour and without spending any more money than you normally would, look much better, feel much more confident and operate in the world more efficiently"
"But spending thousands on flashy outfits to impress/signal is against my nature, I could never do it"

different than:

"You can learn about the principles of FI easily and by making some changes in a few key areas, you can start saving 50%+ of your income and set yourself for bright financial future"
"But eating rice and beans is a sacrifice and I would have no life, I could never do it"

jacob
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by jacob »

@Bankai - They're no different. Each have a ton of inertia thanks to the inherent Wheaton levels of dealing with personal change.
See earlier post viewtopic.php?p=204579#p204579 Insert comments about how simple != easy.

theanimal
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by theanimal »

In hopes of avoiding further confusion, I should note that Level 7 is a joke.

ertyu
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by ertyu »

@Bankai, the difference is that there can be quite a large can of psychological worms under (1), the desire to avoid which drives people to make the "But spending thousands on flashy outfits to impress/signal is against my nature, I could never do it" and related arguments.

Most adults who are unfit and unattractive and don't fit in have usually tried to fix this a number of times and they have failed, regained the weight, built their hopes up then been rejected and humiliated (because the first effort is rarely enough, and just because it took you a lot of inner and outer work to get there doesn't mean others would immediately embrace you with open arms, especially others you have a history with that are invested in keeping you in your place)... There can be A Lot of really painful shit around weight, fitness, appearance, and dress, and it might be easier for some to not try to get their hopes up anymore and to try to not go there. The sentiment is, "I've tried to play that game and it's a fool's errand so fuck that." Learning about style in an hour and applying it might be logistically simple, but it's often the exact opposite of psychologically easy.

horsewoman
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by horsewoman »

@c_l we are absolutely in agreement. Dressing appropriately (at least to some extent) is very important, no question about that. But after you check the basic boxes in this regard, when do you start playacting a role? To what end? I think that this topic triggers me so bad because of being on the spectrum. People like my daughter and I, we have to play-act all the time to fit in and I'm pretty much fed up with neurotypical stereotypes and second guessing myself all the time if I'm conforming to them enough to pass muster. It's utterly exhausting.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Laura Ingalls »

jacob wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:22 pm
Add: FWIW, I think wardrobes would change quite a bit if everybody was forced to start completely from scratch every year.

As someone who insists on wearing everything out, this could just be me projecting.

It could be a very wasteful method but it doesn't have to be. Buying everything from thrift-stores and donating it back again (zero-waste style) would reduce the waste a bit.
Starting from zero was stressful. I felt an internal pressure to acquire things that well made, matching each other, and not just random crap. Now seven years later I am back to a more random set up. I probably only still have a third of the clothing I had pre-fire.

BookLoverL
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by BookLoverL »

I'm not convinced there is that much of a difference between the appearance and the money cases - it's true that a lot of people have psychological issues related to appearance, but a lot have psychological issues relating to money as well, as far as I can tell.

I still think it's far more important to make sure the things you are wearing fit well rather than being any one particular style, so if you have your own style, you can absolutely wear that while also making it look decent. But still, if I go to an office/interview/other thing where I'm expected to look professional, out comes the suit jacket. Whereas if I'm going to a party or something I'd go in something more quirky. But either way I get better results if I look like I haven't just thrown on any old ill-fitting nonsense.

T-shirt and jeans can still be well-fitting and make you look very aesthetically pleasant, if you pick one that fits well.

Redbird
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Redbird »

Since ERE can be approached or thought of as living like a poor aristocrat, perhaps that's a style that could be adopted. :D

I believe general principles are to buy the best quality you can afford and wear the hell out of it. Sounds familiar! What those individual pieces ought to be gets a little trickier because of regional distinctions and traditions like Old Money New England vs British aristocrat vs French aristocrat etc. You could even adopt from a region different from your own to avoid the appearance of social climbing.

Do any of you follow the blog "The Old Money Book"? It's an interesting peek into that world and, to me, many of the values espoused, at least the financial ones, align with ERE/FIRE. The blogger is authoring a book on old money style. Could be a useful resource or could be heavily New England prep centric:

https://theoldmoneybook.com/2019/11/11/ ... ney-style/

jacob
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by jacob »

@Redbird - My use of "poor aristocrat" on the blog and in the book likely traces back to reading books about "English gentleman"-style, values and spending my monies on "timeless luxury" (this is definitely where my interest in fine watches originated), just prior to discovering anti-consumerism. In terms of clothing, I think I researched pretty much every single Barbour jacket back in the early noughts even though I never bought one. That's as far as I went though. I never managed to develop a strong interest in clothing or create anything coherent. However, if I did, this would be the way I'd likely go. I think Rob Wringham nailed this one.

I've never heard of the old money book or blog. Have you read the book?

Ralphy
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Ralphy »

I read and enjoyed the Old Money book in the past year. The blog was a more recent discovery.

Some of the core values in Tully's Old Money philosophy are Health, Education, Work Ethic, Financial Independence (among others)...plenty of overlap with ERE.

Some quotes from the intro:
- "Ironically, to enjoy and benefit from the values and way of life of Old Money does not require money, but will often result in the accumulation of it."
- "...Old Money is more concerned with the way things actually are with their personal situation than the way they appear to others." [personal reality > public perception]

Sound familiar?

It's influenced my own framework, but I suppose I've had a soft spot for that "English gentleman"-style for a while now. The Kindle book was only $2.99. I'll buy the Style book if it's similarly priced.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Eh, if you truly were from Old Money, you wouldn't be going out shopping for quality. You'd just be happening upon it when you dug through a closet at your Great-Uncle's house looking for a tennis racket. You also wouldn't be fretting about whether or not you look like Old Money at a job interview.

Also, as noted above, in the U.S. "Old Money Style" is synonymous with New England WASP style. Since my direct paternal line landed within walking distance of Thoreau's Pond on the second voyage of the Mayflower, I grew up with constant advice from my father on this theme*:
.Old Money is more concerned with the way things actually are with their personal situation than the way they appear to others." [personal reality > public perception]
Unfortunately, he also often offered up my bipolar-spendaholic, third-generation, upward-mobility-oriented mother's behavior as counter-example.

After retirement, he grew a beard and was in the habit of taking long walk through the city streets in the morning while drinking a cup of coffee (in a take-away cup he used over and over again) dressed in old rumpled business clothes rather than new shiny leisure wear. One day he was stopped and questioned by police officers who were searching for a homeless man who had thrown a rock through a window. So, my mother, eyes shining with relishment of long-sought victory, exclaimed "See, I told you appearances do matter!"

My mate (my new term for those I previously designated as "polyamours") who was old money enough to be designated the American boy companion for Sir Edmund Hillary's son, dresses almost exactly like my father did. As in, "Where can you even find a threadbare, oddly stained trench coat in that depressing shade of beige anymore?" OTOH, if you had to guess what sport they both played in their youth, tennis would likely, correctly, come to mind.



*Even though his family never really achieved more than upper-middle-class money.

Redbird
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Redbird »

I read the book a couple years ago and enjoyed the perspective of someone from that socio-economic class. As Ralphy mentioned it covers several topics and there's plenty of overlap. It's a short read but very direct and just about every paragraph is a line of advice.

Redbird
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Redbird »

Jacob,

Is there somewhere that Rob Wringham details his approach to a wardrobe? I couldn't find anything in my search.

Speaking of Barbour, I ran across a maker of Barbour-like jackets from England that seem comparable at a fraction of the eye-watering cost of the real thing. I'd be tempted to get one if I didn't already have a serviceable nylon rain jacket. For anyone interested:

https://walkerandhawkes.co.uk/product-c ... ts/page/2/

jacob
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by jacob »

He owns 20-30 things total and just wears a dark two-piece suit at all times, so it's hardly a wardrobe. It is a very consistent style though.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Hristo Botev »

I'm a little late to this topic and haven't read through all the posts, but men's fashion (as it applies to me, specifically) is one of the few things I've actually finalized a definitive opinion on. I'm an attorney and though I could wear jeans or something similarly casual almost every day to work, doing so would require me having to remember which days I have a client meetings or court hearings or whatever, that requires me wearing something a bit more formal. So a while ago I decided I'd go with a uniform of sorts, consisting of slacks and a blazer, or a suit, with a tie and dress shoes, which is what I wear every work day except sometimes Fridays. When I'm not at work and also not just doing work around the house or running errands, I wear jeans and a blazer. Ultimately, my wardrobe goals are: (1) simplicity, I want to think about clothes and what I'm going to wear as little as possible; and (2) respect, as in I want to show the appropriate amount of respect for wherever I am or whoever I'm with--work, clients, church, friends/family, etc.

My slacks (x3, all shades of grey, in various weights), blazer (navy blue), suits (x2, shades grey), dress shirts (x4, variations of white/blue), and ties (4) are all from Sid Mashburn, because I like his stuff, he's a southerner, his sizing is consistent, tailoring and repairs for life are included in the price, he designs dress clothes for a southern climate, which is to say it's the kind of wool you can wear at an outdoor wedding in the South in August, and it's the best quality for money I've been able to find for new clothes. Apart from replacement dress shirts, I haven't bought anything from Sid in at least 5 years, because his clothes are high quality and get better with age. My first suit from Sid I bought 10 years ago, and when the seat of the pants started to get threadbare a couple years ago, I had a seamstress reinforce them with extra stitching and patches, and they are still in my regular rotation and likely will be for many years to come. And because my clothes from Sid are tailored (and expensive, relative to low quality alternatives like Jos.A.Bank or whatever), I know I can't let my weight and waistline get out of control to the point that the clothes don't fit anymore.

Apart from new clothes from Sid, my work wardrobe consists of:
- 2 pairs of captoe dress shoes, black Aldens (bought new) and brown Cole Haan (thrift store);
- 2 thin sweaters, both from a thrift store, to which I added elbow patches because I wear them to work under my blazer/suit jacket during the winter and wear out the elbows;
- A few additional ties, from who knows where; and
- white pocket squares, naturally.

For non-work clothes, apart from around-the-house stuff, my wardrobe is:
- 3 pairs of Levi's shrink-to-fit 501s, at varying levels of wear (the oldest pair are fully faded now and the crotch has had to be repaired twice; the newest pair, about 2 years old, is still dressy enough to wear to work or church);
- 1 heavy sweater, from LL Bean;
- Some casual button-down long-sleeve shirts and polos;
- 1 pair of brown, Billy Reid (another southerner) boots, from a thrift store;
- 1 pair of brown leather camp moccasins, from Sid;
- 1 pair of brown leather penny loafers, from Sid;
- 1 blue linen blazer, from LL Bean but tailored to fit at Sid Mashburn; and
- 1 heavy herringbone tweed blazer, for winter, from a thrift store.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Hristo Botev »

I'll add that one benefit of a work wardrobe that consists almost entirely of wool clothes, coupled with wearing Levi's STF jeans (which you don't really have to wash very often, and you never tumble dry them), is that the only thing I have to wash on a weekly basis, apart from underwear and socks, are my dress shirts, and I typically wear a dress shirt at least twice before washing. I do the laundry at our house, and in an effort to try and get my kids to not throw every article of clothing in the hamper after only a couple hours of wear, I make sure my kids see each week how much taller their stacks of folded laundry are than mine. They just shrug their shoulders of course; can't wait until they are old enough to start doing their own laundry.

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