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Thread: Class it up

  1. #1
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    Default Class it up

    Here's the lowdown. I'm 23, have a steady office job, and wear typical dress clothes found at Penny's. My casual wear is khaki shorts or jeans and t-shirts with a ball cap with street shoes (currently Nikes).

    I guess I'm kind of "growing out" of my wardrobe (although I still like my ball caps). I'd like to class it up some for both work and casual when it's called for. The problem is I don't want to do it such that friends and family get weirded out by an abrupt change in my style. I currently have a newsboy cap and a fedora and try to wear them when I can.

    I'm looking for suggestions on where to look to find a new style or what type of clothes I should check out. I'm sure my request is more ridiculous than I myself think it to be, but any assistance would be great.
    Kyle

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    There are so many possibilities that it is hard to answer in short order. Certainly, you can't go wrong at a place like Brooks Brothers, if you like the classic American look, and their twice yearly sales offer up some good buys (usually around Father's Day and Christmas). Stay away from the outlet stores, though. It is my understanding that they no longer sell "real" BB clothing but, rather, a line made especially for the outlets.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tam.audio View Post
    I guess I'm kind of "growing out" of my wardrobe (although I still like my ball caps). I'd like to class it up some for both work and casual when it's called for. The problem is I don't want to do it such that friends and family get weirded out by an abrupt change in my style.
    I'd say tweak your wardrobe with a new item every so often, and over time the change will grow upon them without it seeming like you went for some reality-show makeover.

    For dress clothes, I'd suggest replacing what you have with better quality stuff for a start (hard to say more without knowing what you actually wear for work) but a good suit (see the One Suit thread for ideas) and a navy blazer for slacks will certainly be a step in the right direction. I'll take a guess that your dress shoes need an upgrade too ... that is true for almost all men so it's a safe guess.

    For casual, I'd say one good change could be changing your t-shirt habit for a shirt habit ... you know, those ones with buttons down the front. One nice white casual shirt worn at least once a week will start you in the right direction, and give a more mature vibe to what you are wearing.
    Be there or be square. Only I can do both!

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    being a few years older than you and having a job where i need to consistantly wear nice clothes, i have a couple of suggestions.

    J. Crew, takes the classic american/english style that brooks brothers uses and makes it wearable for your age group. im just a few years older and would feel ridiculous (and swimming in) some of the stuff from BB (although thier style is phenomenal!)

    the gap. im not kidding, try their straight fit slacks.

    if you don't want to give up sneakers, try a pair of chuck taylors, Simple has also been doing some nice and comfortable stuff.

    i made the mistake of trying to overdue it with expensive clothes, and didn't feel comfortable. trying too hard horrible.

    good luck!
    -josh



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    Quote Originally Posted by joshmpdx View Post
    being a few years older than you and having a job where i need to consistantly wear nice clothes, i have a couple of suggestions.

    J. Crew, takes the classic american/english style that brooks brothers uses and makes it wearable for your age group. im just a few years older and would feel ridiculous (and swimming in) some of the stuff from BB (although thier style is phenomenal!)

    the gap. im not kidding, try their straight fit slacks.

    if you don't want to give up sneakers, try a pair of chuck taylors, Simple has also been doing some nice and comfortable stuff.

    i made the mistake of trying to overdue it with expensive clothes, and didn't feel comfortable. trying too hard horrible.

    good luck!
    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll have to find some time to go shopping. I took a look at BB, and I don't make that kind of money. Either that or my priorities are in a different place.
    Kyle

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    If you are not in a hurry, you can go to Jos. A Banks when they are having their 70% off sale, you can get an extremely nice suit (Signature Gold) for less than $400, even cheaper if can find them on clearance. Find yourself a nice tailor and get it fitted.

    Do not dare buying anything at a regular price there. Always go during their sales.

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    Until you find your personal style I would recommended that you add certain items one at a time from the bottom up. Taste is subjective but start with a real pair of shoes, split toe, wing tip or oxfords, they look great with khakis, jeans and a suit. Then move on to slacks, Khakis or the like and dressier pants. Move on to dress shirts, white at first then expand your color scheme. Then a sport jacket, black then different colors, materials and textures. Adding items slowly gives you time to figure out what you like and looks good while not hitting you hard in the pocket.

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    I'm a big fan of Lands End. Can't go wrong with Gap or J. Crew either. Depending on your price range and needs, it might be worthwhile to have some custom shirts made and shipped over from Hong Kong (if you look around, you can find some quality ones for 30-40/shirt)
    "Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans." - Thomas La Mance

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    For a nice casual shirt you may want to try the Nat Nast silk camp shirts. They look good with jeans or khaki's and are very comfortable. You can usually find a few varieties on sale at Sierra Outpost.
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    Congratulations on your determination to move on up. You're getting some good advice here. Mine is: consider getting a leather blazer (black or brown) for dressier casual occasions. Looks very smart with khakis or jeans. Expensive, I admit, but lasts a long time.

    Another piece of advice: get rid of the ball cap. It and "class" just can't go together. You gotta grow up some time - might as well be now...
    - moshulu

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    Quote Originally Posted by tam.audio View Post
    Here's the lowdown. I'm 23, have a steady office job, and wear typical dress clothes found at Penny's. My casual wear is khaki shorts or jeans and t-shirts with a ball cap with street shoes (currently Nikes).

    I guess I'm kind of "growing out" of my wardrobe (although I still like my ball caps). I'd like to class it up some for both work and casual when it's called for. The problem is I don't want to do it such that friends and family get weirded out by an abrupt change in my style. I currently have a newsboy cap and a fedora and try to wear them when I can.

    I'm looking for suggestions on where to look to find a new style or what type of clothes I should check out. I'm sure my request is more ridiculous than I myself think it to be, but any assistance would be great.
    i'm in a similar situation. normally i'm a jeans & t-shirt kinda guy but I do like getting dressed up every now and again. i've been slowly accumulating accessory items like ties, shoes and the occasional shirt. I frequently check the used clothing stores in town like Savers or Arc -- i've frequently come across Brooks Bros shirts there, but i've also come across other brands like Kenneth Cole & even Armani at Savers. you just have to be patient and look around. I'm kind of on a shoe kick right now. i've got a nice pair of Calvin Klein dress shoes but i'd like to get a pair of Rockports or Bostonians to have a little variety. you could also consider an off the rack suit by CK, Kenneth Cole or even Hugo Boss, but those are still pretty expensive even at Macy's. your best bet if you're into these types of designer clothes would be to check overstock.com or even ebay, but i'm speaking strictly about suits and the like. if you're looking for dress casual you could still check the places above for good bargains. I've always waited til the end of season sales at the Gap. I have a hard time paying $50 for a button up shirt.

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    Polo Ralph Lauren.

    I suggest a navy blazer, white and blue oxford shirts, brown shoes, and some tan chinos. You can layer the shirts with their sweaters when it's cold. Add in a brown leather jacket, tan windbreaker, light and dark blue jeans, white polo shirt, pocket t-shirt, half-zip pullover and you're all set with your newly mature wardrobe.
    Last edited by Kouros; 10-15-2009 at 07:03 PM.

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    Upgrade the shoes...but in a good way.

    Do not buy Douchebag Guy Club Shoes. i.e.....too big, pointy toes, slightly upturned like a frickin' elf.

    What you want is something slightly casual. Black or Brown Suede Tod's are perfect with jeans.

    Throw in some nice collared shirts and a good wool overcoat (or a Barbour) and you're there.

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    Get an iron. Learn to use it.

    If you'd rather, you can pay to have this done, but no matter how you do it, really nice, wrinkled clothing looks worse than so-so quality stuff that's been properly ironed.
    "He must be a king. He hasn't got Williams all over 'im!" - cb91710
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    on you wanting to change your style. A nice gentlemen's wardrobe will make you feel like a champ when you shave. I went through the same phase. I would really look into seeing if you have a Joseph A. Banks. It is a nice gentlemen's clothing store. A lot of the items are pricey but I've never purchased anything there that wasn't on sale and they are amazing. Look online and sign up for there mailers and you'll score huge on clearance items.

    www.josabanks.com

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    Perhaps I'm setting the bar low, but I'm just impressed that you wear shoes that cover your feet!

    I do think that Jos. Bank is a good option for upgrading; especially for work attire. Their traveler series shirts are pretty wrinkle free (kind of like a "bullet proof vest", there is no such thing as "wrinkle free"). That can at least minimize your ironing time or your dry cleaning bill. As others have said, wait for the appropriate sale. They rotate constantly.

    Good luck and good on you. I've been doing a bit of the same.

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    I too am trying to "class it up" so for work - which I start soon so I can make a good impression from the start. I intend to go for a "mentalist" style (from the TV show), which is suit trousers, waistcoat and shirt although I will be leaving out the suit jacket.

    For casual wear; jeans, decent trainers and a casual shirt is my plan.

    Daven

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    Buy higher quality stuff and maintain it. Especially the shoes. No one cares what brand name you're wearing if you shoes are all scuffed!
    Hugh

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    First step? That baseball cap should be forgotten...

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    Quote Originally Posted by lamina View Post
    First step? That baseball cap should be forgotten...
    +1 Unless of course you are playing ball or going to a ball game.
    Bullgoose Shaving: Pitralon Aftershaves, XPEC, ABC, D.R. Harris, Le Pere Lucien, iKon, Geo F. Trumper, Vie-Long & More

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