Mens Fashion

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
Post Reply
Kipling
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:10 am
Location: London

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Kipling »

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...

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 12510
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by jacob »

@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
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:10 am
Location: London

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Kipling »

@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!

theanimal
Posts: 1580
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
Contact:

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by theanimal »

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.

Jean
Posts: 1215
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am
Location: Switzterland

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jean »

@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
Posts: 703
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jin+Guice »

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?

Jin+Guice
Posts: 703
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jin+Guice »

@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
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:10 am
Location: London

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Kipling »

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.

theanimal
Posts: 1580
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
Contact:

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by theanimal »

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
Posts: 703
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jin+Guice »

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.

theanimal
Posts: 1580
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
Contact:

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by theanimal »

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.

theanimal
Posts: 1580
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
Contact:

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by theanimal »

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.

Jean
Posts: 1215
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am
Location: Switzterland

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jean »

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

Kriegsspiel
Posts: 900
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:05 pm

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Kriegsspiel »

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.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2536
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by C40 »

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.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 703
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jin+Guice »

@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.

theanimal
Posts: 1580
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
Contact:

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by theanimal »

Thanks for the suggestions guys.

I have a pair of Levi's 541 on the way. There's not many options in terms of physical retail up here so my options are limited in terms of local selection and ability to try things on. I have a very similar ratio to C40 though so I'm thinking the 541s will be a good fit.

Kriegsspiel
Posts: 900
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:05 pm

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Kriegsspiel »

If you do decide to try the Lee ones, be aware that different colors have different amount of material (according to Amazon).

Maddox: 98% Cotton, 2% Spandex
Cougar, Black: 97% Cotton, 3% Spandex
Maverick, Radical, Apex: 69% Cotton, 20% Polyester, 8% Rayon, 3% Spandex

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 12510
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by jacob »

I'm totally expecting most guys to show up in Levi's and slim-fitted t-shirts at the next ERE meetup.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2536
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by C40 »

ERE uniform. You forgot the replaceable sole boots.

Post Reply