FashionBeans: Men's Fashion & Men's Style Guide
11-10-2011 06:53 PM
Fashion Newbie Needs Help Revamping His Wardrobe
I have just recently recognised the expanse of men's fashion to choose from and have realised that I seriously need to revamp my wardrobe. During secondary school all my outing consisted of a hoody, a pair of baggy jeans and a pair of trainers. Since starting sixth form (college) I wanted to reinvent myself as a person through the clothes I wear. Not only is it a step up from secondary school to college but it is a jump from an all boys school to a mixed school.
I have started dabbling since the summer holidays and am looking to go all out for the winter wear. My obvious option was to consolidate the fashion masterminds on this very site rather than going out like a headless chicken. I did buy a ralph lauren polo with the small pony as I was told it is a staple in most wardrobes for the casual day out to the movies. I have also bought some nice high tops, pair of brogues and am looking to buy theseMens Penguin Bennie Brown Canvas Trainers - DL | eBay . I have bought a few chunky cardigans in black and an orange which can be seen on the what did I buy thread. You guys can even check the outfit I bought and let me know if I am on the right track or completely out of my depth.
The real point of this thread was to ask how do I start building a wardrobe with the staples as well as winter clothes for the freezing days ahead. I can't really afford the likes of Ralph Lauren, Hugo boss and All saints every time, occasionally yes but you will have to appreciate my price range is more topman and riverisland.
P.S My build is fairly bulky, broad shoulders and slightly chubby (however it is disappearing as I am getting older), I am 6 ft 1 and my thighs are quite big because I do mountaineering and climbing quite regularly and as a result look ridiculous in skinny jeans.
11-10-2011 07:13 PM
First off, forget fashion (at least at first). If you are trying to build up a wardrobe go for simple pieces that will become the staple of any wardrobe. Try and stick to neutral colours at first as these will work with a range of different items together easily and will anchor colour once you delve into it: think monotones (blacks, greys, whites), navy, browns and beiges. Try and buy clothes that fit well, look tailored but aren't too tight fitting.
The thing is to have a plan.
When buying new items, think to yourself, how does this fit into my current wardrobe? Consider what it will work with in a range of items, avoid wild statement pieces that will be in the back of the wardrobe in three months, invest in quality for key items as it will save you money in the long run (cheap knitwear looks like cheap knitwear)
It all comes down to personal taste but the absolute staples I wouldn't be without are:
brogue/military boots (again I prefer brown)
grey jumper (v or crew neck)
grey fine knit cardigan
chambray oxford shirt
a range of cheap long and short sleeved t-shirts (in grey, black, white and navy)
slim fitting indigo jeans
stone slim fitting chinos
camel trench coat
That's not a bad starter list. You might replace the slim jeans/chinos with a straight leg if you're a bigger build. From there you can start to delve into current fashion trends and begin to experiment with colour.
Matt's articles on the 6 Items You should own and 6 Other Items You Should Own aren't a bad start (in the fashion basics section of this site) for getting going with a basic wardrobe.
I hope this helps.
11-10-2011 08:57 PM
That is amazing help, I can tell you I have: Grey suit from River island (lovely fit) , grey fine knit cardigan, chambray oxford shirts, an array of t-shirts from super dry to hollister. The rest I am looking into.
What do you guys think of this beige mac?
beige mac - jackets - coats / jackets - men - River Island
11-10-2011 10:26 PM
At £50 it's a bargain.
I own a couple of macs. One that cost £50 in the sale from Topman(navy) and one that cost around £200. You can definitely tell the difference from the thickness and quality of the material. The cheaper one is thinner and not finished with the care and attention of the pricier one. I'm guessing the material on that one will be fairly thin, so perhaps not a winter coat, but if I wanted an inexpensive mac, at that price I'd snap it up, wear it on less blustery days or with a chunky knit underneath. you will find come spring and summer it will be perfect.
That's the thing I love about a good mac: they work in all seasons. No-one should be without a camel coloured mac.
Last edited by Jay; 11-10-2011 at 11:15 PM.
11-10-2011 10:55 PM
It's amazing how little teenagers can know about style (hear it firsthand daily) so listen to your friends at your peril! Do monitor their reactions though, just because you don't make their mistakes doesn't mean you won't make your own.
Jay's right; opt for simple classic pieces in sensible fits. I think that the navy blazer could be grey if you preferred; I like grey as an anchor for outlandish colour statements. A navy blazer is definitely a safe standby though.
Consider your shirts; white, blue and pink will take you anywhere. Chambray isn't an essential, I don't think, but you already have it so hey!
Think about where to add shots of colour; a V neck jumper is the perfect place to toy with it. One in bright red works for most guys. Scarves, ties and socks are the easiest places to add colour.
For the most part, I'd avoid patterns; minimalism is the easiest way to build a wardrobe.
Regarding that River Island coat, I'm not a massive fan personally; I'd opt for something with a more classic neckline. Also your coat needn't be a camel trench; wool would work just as well, as would black or grey, and an overcoat or peacoat would be as good of a choice. I really really like this Alister Mackie Topman collab Peacoat, which is simple, classic but slightly rock and roll:
Alister Mackie Black Peacoat - The Peacoat Project - New In - TOPMAN
If you can't stretch to that then fair enough but it's an example of the sort of thing you might try instead of a camel trench. All that said, that River Island is the sort of thing you need to try on; if you do and it's good then of course you should buy it!
Also consider where you'll save and where you'll spend; personally I'd blow bigger money on jackets, shoes and knitwear and save on jeans (some might disagree but my Topman jeans never let me down), tees and ties.
And remember that a wardrobe full of simple classics is crying out for a statement piece or two so once you've got the basics down don't hesitate to get something very cool.
Finally and easily most importantly, fit is everything. If you get nothing else right make sure that it all fits perfectly. If it doesn't then it's all for nothing but if it does you'll look good.
Hope that long selection of fairly random tips helps, and that none of it's misinformation!