Mens Fashion

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Bankai
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Bankai » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:19 pm

The male pheromone androstenone is not the same as androstenol. Androstenol is the scent produced by fresh male sweat, and is attractive to females. Androstenone is produced by male sweat after exposure to oxygen – i.e. when less fresh – and is perceived as highly unpleasant by females (except during ovulation, when their responses change from ‘negative’ to ‘neutral’).

So, men who believe that their ‘macho’, sweaty body-odour is attractive to women are deluding themselves, unless they are constantly producing fresh sweat and either naked or changing their clothes every 20 minutes to remove any trace of the oxidised sweat. Generally, the female-repelling androstenone is the more prominent male body odour, as the fresh-sweat odour of androstenol disappears very quickly. In terms of scent, the sweaty macho-man is therefore likely to be unattractive to most women, most of the time – at best, he may elicit a grudging ‘neutral’ response from women who happen to be ovulating (which of course excludes all those taking oral contraceptives).


Source: http://www.sirc.org/publik/smell_attract.html

Jean
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jean » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:44 pm

I spend most of the summer mostly naked and producing fresh sweat, that might be were I get my impression from. Filtering out women on pill is an other upside to this method.

Kipling
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Kipling » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:13 am

Some comments on bespoke suiting from the perspective of a legal professional services environment. Note that in such an environment (i) there is a whole lot of clothes - based signalling going on, and (ii) the financial rewards of success far outweigh the financial costs of making the attempt. Consider very carefully whether (ii) applies before going for bespoke which is otherwise an extremely expensive habit!

First, though, to support what everyone (Prognostat, Bankai, 7w5) has said in this thread about being in shape always being in style is absolutely, and eternally, true. So, that first. Not least because if you work fourteen hours a day and you are still in shape then you are demonstrating/ signalling awesome amounts of self control. The senior staff in your firm notice this.

Second, what G'n'J said about the right haircut. It appears that a successfully-revised haircut is one of the things that it is acceptable for female work colleagues to compliment male colleagues on these days [note: the reverse is not the case!].

Anyway, to return to the bespoke point. Ultimately lawyers get paid because a client has hired them to do some lawyering. Potential clients are usually talking to you because you are from [name] law firm and because they have an idea of, and approve of the values of, that firm. If your clothes clash with the impression they have of that firm then they will go elsewhere. We dress to look authoritative and sober and sensible. Because that is usually what clients want from lawyers. Note this does not universally apply, tech lawyers dress somewhat more like their Silicon Valley clients.

For the professional services workplace if I can reduce it to one principle (of which I am not the originator) it is that you should dress for one level above where you are (but which is where you want to go next). You need to signal that you are spending your money in a way that aligns you with the people who you want to be among and who otherwise have the power to apply drag to your promotions (they will not necessarily be the decision-makers about whether you get promoted, but they will usually be consulted). So a trainee lawyer should wear respectable off-the-peg; a junior lawyer should wear made-to measure and a senior associate gunning for partnership should grit their teeth and go for at least one bespoke suit. When you get towards the top of the ladder you can start to forge your own image. [Most days when I am not meeting clients I wear a bespoke navy blazer, off-the-peg chinos, bespoke striped formal shirt, brown leather belt, brown suede boots. This signals, of course, that I have nothing left to prove… ]

To talk about each of the above suit options in more detail. I have been through all of these over the years as I have worked my way up the ladder. Purchasing power parity being what it is you can probably translate pounds for dollars. If you work five days a week in an office and always wear a suit, you need at least two jackets and five pairs of trousers. Wool is an organic fabric and it needs time to rest and relax between wears.

- Respectable off-the-peg. Think £400-£800 for a jacket and a pair of trousers. It is virtually impossible to get a good new suit for less than £400 because good wool fabric is actually quite expensive, £50 a yard and up, and a suit takes four yards. Add labour and retailer's margin and there you are. What everyone has said above about getting the major measurements (chest, shoulders) right and getting the rest altered to fit. Usually such suits are made in a factory in a LCOL country. Machine sewn throughout. Simple alterations to fit (sleeve length, trouser length) are usually done in a couple of hours locally.

- Made to measure. Think £800-£1,200 for jacket and trousers. Cut to your dimensions from the same sorts of fabric as above (generally a fairly restricted range of fabric in the same sort of price range as above) and allows you to choose features (single, double breasted etc) and allows you to order e.g. a second pair of trousers (very strongly recommended, you usually won't wear your jacket when at your desk, so the trousers always wear out first by a factor of two or more). Usually made in a factory somewhere in your own country, since speed of delivery matters. Usually machine- sewn throughout, sometimes with hand-sewn button-holes. Typically takes a couple of weeks to a month.

-Bespoke is a different game. Think £2,000-£3,000 for a jacket and trousers. This is a process, a relationship with your tailor, rather than an event. It starts with a discussion about you, your job, your lifestyle; it moves on to how much you carry in your pockets (and which pockets) whether you get public transport to work (ticket pockets, possibly lighter-weight fabric if you are in a city that gets really warm)... the tailor measures you up and assesses your body shape, discusses with you your desires for the look (including whether you are interested in the latest fashion in mens' suits – which might produce a very different result from a 'classic' suit depending on the fashion of the time- always go for 'classic' as otherwise your suit will be out of fashion in three years). We are probably forty minutes to an hour into the discussion here and we haven't got to fabrics yet. Then fabrics- books and books of sample fabrics - running from £80 a yard up to £1,000 or more... make sure you look at the fabrics in daylight as well as artificial light. Such suits are usually made on the premises where you see the tailor. Only the major straight seams will be machine sewn. All detail elements (button holes etc.) and drape elements (furl of lapel etc.) will be hand sewn. You will normally have at least two more meetings with the tailor after the first one so that they can (i) check drape and construction details (ii) make final adjustments. Typically takes three months.

Of the three categories, bespoke is the only one that really lasts. This is for three reasons. One, the fabric is usually a bit better and sometimes longer lasting than MTM (at least if you do not go for exotic soft cloths like merino). Second, the tailor will cut it to fit your personal physical idiosyncracies which would otherwise wear a suit out. [One shoulder a bit lower than the other? They balance for that. Dress to the right rather than the left? They will cut appropriately.] Third, the tailor allows fabric in the making for, and can adjust the suit if, you lose or gain weight (wearing a suit that is too small will fast wreck it).

But, even bespoke wears out. You will not get more than about 300-400 wears out of a pair of trousers if you sit at a desk all day (c.f. what DLJ said above about standing up). You might get 800-1000 wears out of a jacket. I have made two identical jackets and five identical pairs of trousers to a 'suit' and only own one such suit (usually navy blue) at any one time.

This post is already far too long so I will not go on to bespoke sports jackets, shirts, or shoes...

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Ego
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Ego » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:19 am

Kipling wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:13 am
For the professional services workplace if I can reduce it to one principle (of which I am not the originator) it is that you should dress for one level above where you are (but which is where you want to go next).
+1 Not just for professional services. Parties. Interviews. Work. It is much better to err on the side of being over dressed than under dressed.

Kipling
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Kipling » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:46 am

Oh: and I should add two riders about custom tailoring and the workplace. Firstly, for a given identical body composition, (good) bespoke does look better than (good) mtm which looks better than otp. I add the (good) qualifiers because, because of the higher levels of communication as to customisation being required, you can end up with a garment being wrong due to poor communication. Secondly, a bit like expertise in other areas, a male colleague who habitually wears bespoke can likely tell whether you are wearing bespoke, mtm, or otp. A colleague who habitually wears mtm can tell whether you are wearing mtm or otp but likely cannot reliably tell whether you are wearing bespoke or mtm. A colleague who habitually wears otp likely cannot tell reliably whether you are wearing otp, mtm or bespoke. Think about who you are trying to send signals to...

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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by jacob » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:59 am

@Kipling - In terms of signalling (and countersignalling), I think this holds in general: "It takes one to know one". Also, people in the know at a given level will recognize all lower levels, but only 1 level higher. (This is similar to Wheaton levels and any kind of development of differences in kind.)

A derived hypothesis would be that romantic [attractiveness] points are primarily scored not because making an effort makes one look better (even if it does) but because it demonstrates a shared interest in looks.

Kipling
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Kipling » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:29 pm

@Jacob: Quite so. I was poorly expressing an allusion to the general principle which you have elegantly put.

I will need to think about the derived hypothesis!

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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by theanimal » Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:22 pm

This thread piqued my interest and led me to do some reading on the topic over the past couple weeks. Men's fashion is like ERE in the sense that once you know it, you don't look at things the same way again. It's been somewhat astonishing to notice how poorly most people dress. Much of it is in relation to fit, with people wearing things that are far too big. The industry makes one think that to have good style one must keep up with the latest trends. But it's so simple! Clothes that fit properly combined with good plain color choices make you look good. I added a couple pieces to my wardrobe and have started to take more care in how I dress. The number of compliments I have received from women (and men) have skyrocketed in the past week. The bar is so low.

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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jean » Sun Mar 31, 2019 3:03 pm

@the animal
completly agree. Last time I was in the US (2013, coast to coast more or less along the gulf and southern border), just having fitting cloth in quality material put me in the top 1% regarding cloth. I'm really not a clothing interested person, so apparently you only need to put a personal effort equivalent to my grandma regularly telling me i look like a bum to learn enough to be among the top stylish people, even in kinda hipstery places like New orleans, Austin or Tucson.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jin+Guice » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:31 pm

theanimal wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:22 pm
It's been somewhat astonishing to notice how poorly most people dress. Much of it is in relation to fit, with people wearing things that are far too big. The industry makes one think that to have good style one must keep up with the latest trends. But it's so simple! Clothes that fit properly combined with good plain color choices make you look good. I added a couple pieces to my wardrobe and have started to take more care in how I dress. The number of compliments I have received from women (and men) have skyrocketed in the past week. The bar is so low.
Fuck an A, thank you. Did you read anything interesting/ informative that you'd care to share?

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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jin+Guice » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:39 pm

@Kipling: That's an interesting perspective. The this is easy because no one is even trying effect begins to fall apart if you're in NYC, L.A. or London (I imagine). Most of my friends who still live in NYC just wear cool sneakers, jeans and a well fitting (usually black) t-shirt because the suit game is impossible to win. It's also a signal that they're not lawyers, bankers or wall street dudes.

It's probably not applicable to your job situation because of the signaling, but do you have any experience with getting shirts/ suits tailored? Where would that put them on the continuum? How much knowledge is necessary before getting the most out of getting something bespoke?

Kipling
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Kipling » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:24 am

Signalling that you are not a banker, lawyer, or wall street dude is, I can imagine, a distinct advantage in many situations!

Getting an otp garment altered to fit (sometimes called 'alteration tailoring' in the UK) is something I have done often with things I do buy otp (e.g. chinos, to reduce the leg length, as I have short legs and a long body). If you are not a standard size getting suits and shirts altered to fit would tend to put you at the top of otp and below mtm in my classification. However this is subject to two important qualifications, first that the major measurements like shoulders and jacket length are right, second that the alteration is to reduce a measurement on the clothes rather than increase it. Otp clothes are manufactured to very fine tolerances (as cloth is expensive) and rarely have spare fabric in the seams... As DLJ notes upthread, top end otp will usually offer this alteration service either as part of the price or as an add-on.

I had my first full bespoke suit made when I was 21, ignoring the tailor's politely expressed suggestions that this was something I should perhaps leave for a few years before diving into. I also took out a loan to pay for it. Both things were stupid.

I read a couple of books on tailoring and the history of tailoring beforehand (one was called "The Savile Row Story" I recall) but neither of them pointed out the correct basic message of this thread...

If you are in good shape (and so don't need custom tailoring to compensate) then an otp suit in a good sober fabric with sleeve and trouser length adjusted will make you look better (save for work signalling purposes) than the chunky guy in the expensive bespoke suit (think Donald Trump).

My experience suggests that unless you have to wear a suit often (at least once every week) and have done so for several years, and expect to for several years more, and happen to have the cash sitting around, don't bother with bespoke.

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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by theanimal » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:48 pm

Jin+Guice wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:31 pm
Fuck an A, thank you. Did you read anything interesting/ informative that you'd care to share?
I just did a search on Google similar to the one you suggested earlier. I checked out a couple sites related to style and fit and called it good there.

I read many of the articles within the style section on these two websites:

https://ashleyweston.com/mens-clothing-fit-guide/

https://wellbuiltstyle.com/style/

I also read many of the "What Not to Wear" articles from the second site.

I don't think it can be stated enough that having style and fashion doesn't mean only wearing the newest fads and expensive dressy, clothing. The things that matter are fit and a simple color combination. I rarely wear dress clothes. Most of the time it's just jeans and a T-shirt. But there's a right way to do it. And it makes a HUGE difference!
Last edited by theanimal on Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jin+Guice » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:31 am

theanimal wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:48 pm
I don't think it can be stated enough that having style and fashion means only wearing the newest fads and expensive dressy, clothing. The things that matter are fit and a simple color combination. I rarely wear dress clothes. Most of the time it's just jeans and a T-shirt. But there's a right way to do it. And it makes a HUGE difference!
Is "I don't think it can be stated enough that having style and fashion DOESN'T means only wearing the newest fads and expensive dressy, clothing" what you meant?

Thanks for the resources, I'm glad someone else is as excited about this as I am.

C40 seems like he has the keep it simple strategy on lock down. Aside from more to nerd out on, one of the reasons I'm learning about and wearing fancy clothes is that I'm in New Orleans. The average dude here wears clothes that are shittier than the ones I get out of the garbage. Wearing business casual signals that you have you have your shit slightly more together and separates you from the other hipsters. A lot of my older hipster friends are already utilizing this strategy. I realized after reading Kippling's post that I might need to upgrade my stock of cool t-shirts from two to three for when I visit NYC once per year.

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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by theanimal » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:42 am

Yes, that is what I meant. Thanks for the correction.

Yeah, I experience the same thing here in Fairbanks. Everyone's clothes are so big. Simply by having clothes that fit, I hit the top 10%. Having clothes that look decent easily puts me in the top 1%. And I'm barely trying, it's somewhat ridiculous.

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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by theanimal » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:58 pm

Something I've had an issue with is finding pants that actually fit well. Almost all pants are designed for men who do not work out and have small legs. This is one of the rare instances where being fit and having muscles is actually a detriment. Straight leg pants fit at the hips and quads but the pants are way too baggy from the knees down. Slim pants have the opposite issue, the calves fit perfectly, but the upper portion (thighs and hips) is akin to wearing a version of black stretchy pants. Not exactly what I'm looking for. There are some athletic slim fit versions that I'm going to try. Otherwise anyone have any suggestions? I could get them tailored, but that's likely pricey.

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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jean » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:02 pm

Grandma pants (as in outdoor pants cut for old women) fit surprisingly well If you've got big quads.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Kriegsspiel » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:15 pm

Lee's Modern Series Extreme Motion straight fit tapered leg jeans fit well, and they're stretchy like girls pants so they're hilariously comfortable.

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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by C40 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:24 pm

Animal:

I probably posted this at least twice already in this thread, but: Levi’s 541 work for me. I used to wear 569 but had the same problem you described. (They weren’t tapered so were way too big at lower leg.)

Relaxing to 541s: I have 29-30” waist and 20-22” upper leg circumference, so if you are of similar ratio, they may work well. They are tapered at the lower leg. If they have a Levi’s store in Alaska, you could go there and try on different styles (and ask the person working there. They usually know). Note that there are actually some differences in sizing of different colors of the same fit #. So you may want to pick a color/wash you like and try to try on different fit numbers of only that color. Levi’s are overpriced but they have good sales often and the outlet stores always have a clearance section.

541s are made with some portion of Lycra or whatever and they are slightly stretchy, which makes them very comfortable for actual work/hiking/etc while fitting well.

Various companies make jeans targeted for bodybuilder types and such, but they cost a lot. Levi’s can be had for down to $15-$20.

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Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jin+Guice » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:42 am

@theanimal:

I haven't had much trouble finding pants that fit, but I didn't do as much research so I am less educated. When I started this fashion experiment all of my pants had the dreaded crotch hole so I needed a quick fix. My strategy for jeans was to go to the thrift store and try on all of the jeans in my size that looked good. I had to do this twice to get two pairs of pants. I'm happy with how they look but I haven't researched how jeans should fit so there may be room for improvement in this area. I have large legs put I like my jeans slim to skinny so maybe that's the difference?


A few weeks ago, I was in Mobile visiting a friend who is very knowledgeable about clothes. I had been asking her some questions about clothing quality so she suggested that we go shopping for clothes with her as my adviser. I asked to go to thrift stores but she said it'd be better to go to TJ Maxx because of the difficulty finding clothes for someone slim in suburban Alabama. I haven't looked into off the rack retail, so I'm not sure if this is a discount store or not. I ended up getting three shirts there, two polos and a white button-up shirt. The fit is not better than I've been able to get at a thrift store, but I've never been able to find three well-fitting shirts at once. My success rate for shirts in thrift stores is about 10% and about 25% at TJ Maxx. The upside of going to a store was filling out my wardrobe with clothes that all fit. The downside was paying twice as much for clothes that have the same small fit issues as a thrift store. I think going to a retail store is good option if you want to fast track a new wardrobe after educating yourself on fit and construction and trying on some clothes. It's doubtful that I'll go that route again since I'll now be replacing clothes as they wear out. I also think it's more environmentally conscious to buy used clothes as opposed to new.

I also purchased a MTM shirt. It cost six times as much as the thrift store shirt and three times as much as the off the rack shirts. It does fit slightly better than the other shirts, but I don't think it's worth the expense. The fabric also seems thinner than the off the rack shirts, which makes it seem less well constructed. I intend to sit down with the thrift store shirt, the off the rack shirt and the MTM shirt and do a hard comparison of construction. My main problem with long-sleeved shirts is that they are all too short and the wrists are too big (can fit my hand through while buttoned), which I guess means I have long arms for someone my size. The MTM shirt is actually a bit long in the sleeves, which is a miss measurement on my part. The MTM shirt does come with the option to have it resized once, though I suspect I'll have to pay for shipping both ways. I'm not sure I want to put the extra effort into having it resized, but for the sake of this experiment I might.

My conclusion to this experiment is that buying clothes from thrift stores is the superior method. Again, I've had success at a "curated" thrift store (Buffalo Exchange) and no success at a non-curated thrift store (Goodwill). I've come to enjoy clothes shopping, particularly after a long day of work when I know I'm not going to get anything done anyway, so I'll keep frequenting Goodwill and Buffalo Exchange when I'm in need of a new garment. I'll also keep researching clothing construction and fit because I find it interesting.

I still haven't ventured into suits, which I think will be more difficult to gain knowledge about than shirts. I would like to get some nice suits but the expense/ research barrier will hold me back for a year or two. I'm also interested in getting a shirt custom fit by a tailor once I've done more research and learning to do some sewing myself.

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