FashionBeans: Men's Fashion & Men's Style Guide
15-10-2011 05:40 PM
Need Help Reinventing My Style On A Budget
I'm 18 and right now I'm going through a period of extreme fustration at the moment. I'm desperate to change my current image. The art-studenty, hipster look I've had going for a while suddenly feels immature and kind of conformist, given the amount of people going for that particular look.
I've long had an interest in fashion and I find it very difficult looking at all these great looks and not being in a position (I'm a student) to recreate them. I want to start wearing nice trousers and leather casual shoes in place of my usual skinny jeans and vans, but alot of stuff I try doesn't suit me and I end up looking like I'm trying to hard.
The long and short of this is: can anyone recomend stores, pieces or looks that would allow me to dress current, smart and maturely, but on the budget of your average university student.
Any advice would be very welcome!
15-10-2011 07:29 PM
I'd suggest that "Reinvention" always looks forced. If you want to start dressing more maturely, keep it simple, and faithful to your individual style. The keep it simple bit is key; It's impossible to look like you're trying too hard in a simple outfit. If your normal outfit would be, say, skinny jeans, a tee and Vans, maturing the look could be as simple as swapping the Vans for simple, unadorned leather trainers and the tee for a shirt. This does depend on the fit of your jeans; skinny jeans are still alright, but try to move away from the elastane infused skintight stuff and towards more relaxed styles in beefier denim that break a little at the ankle.
One important point is to eschew trends. It is, for example, very fashionable to do your shirt all the way to the top while not wearing a tie at the minute - but leaving a button or two undone at the top won't make you look "out of fashion," it'll look instantly more relaxed and less "hipster."
In terms of stores - You can still shop at Topman, as I presume you already do. It's simply a matter of picking past the trend pieces and buying more timeless stuff. This isn't so much a question of where you shop as of what you buy; almost every shop by now is offering a sensible slim fit chino in a stone colour that will see you through anything from the weekend to casual Friday. That said, Asos is a good resource for almost everything if you don't mind buying online. On the high street, or at least, in my local shopping centre, Debenhams, House of Fraser and John Lewis are pretty easy to find sensible stuff in.
Fred Perry | Fred Perry Rosco Leather Sneakers at ASOS That's the sort of thing I'm thinking of.
Hope that helps a bit
15-10-2011 07:58 PM
Thanks alot, good sound advice.
I know that simplicity is the key and its that transition which is going to be hard for me, especially since I have a passion for fancy patterns, especially on knitwear.
As for the shoes, I like them a lot. However, I would like to keep a slightly indie-tinged element to my look. Whats your view on a pair of loafers, or a NICE pair of boat shoes?
Also, do you have a preference for where you buy jeans/trousers? I was looking in Cabott circus Bristol today and was strugging.
15-10-2011 08:23 PM
Absolutely! Loafers, or boat shoes - although given that we're moving in to A/W you'll have less use for boat shoes soon - would definitely be a good choice for a mature casual shoe. As before, I'd opt for something simple - the more basic it is the less tryhard you'll feel! Sperries are the definitive boat shoe, I think, but if you're going to buy one from the high street I'd suggest Office; shoes I've bought from Topman and River Island have been unfailingly flimsy.
Loafers are something I'm totally clueless about I'm afraid; check out an article on the main site, or wait for another forum member to give you a few suggestions! I do think they look great though.
Personally, I buy far too much from Topman, and that includes trousers. I'd say their chinos are a safe bet, and jeans too. Their smart trousers aren't so good. They do things in a variety of fits so you should find what you're after. H&M and Zara are other basic high street brands that should do a good trouser. To be honest, trousers are something you can buy cheaply whatever your budget - last week Gary Barlow went on the X Factor in Topman chinos!
Also, patterns are still good but if you want to be a bit more timeless and mature then generally I'd suggest you stick to Fairisle, which is a bit more timeless than the seasonal Navajos, jacquards and geometrics.
15-10-2011 08:37 PM
I feel your pain. Reading the majority of fashion sites, loving something and then finding that it's £300 is annoying! At Fashionbeans we do get put up quite a range of stuff in our product picks so try clicking on a few and see the price.
Topman will always be a favorite for the budget buyer. The range has some really great, mature pieces that can fit very well and with the students 25% off, it's very welcoming.
I don't know where you live but if you have a half decent market close by go down, I always find something that catches the eye.
Soon we'll be uploading an article on how to dress your age, so watch out for the article on people in their 20s, it should answer some questions on what you need to buy.
15-10-2011 08:58 PM
Thanks again Sam. I did happen to see a lovely pair of brown boat shoes in office today for 70. The problem is, I don't really own many blue jeans or trousers at the moment so I'd have to invest in those before I buy the shoes. Just seen quite a nice pair of blue chinos on ASOS though, so might invest in those.
15-10-2011 08:59 PM
Thanks man, I feel almost bad for my Topman addiction. Sometimes it feels a bit too safe and conformist, but like you say, some relatively classy and timeless pieces for a highstreet store.
I wait eagerly for these articles!
15-10-2011 09:29 PM
I would agree with everyone else on H&M, Zara and Topman for budget shopping but I would warn against buying cheap shoes, they just aren't worth it, continue with what you seem to be doing i.e shopping in Office, for a decent pair and reap the benefits. I would also suggest that, even though you are one a budget, you should always consider investing; save your pennies and buy something you really want and are really happy with. I shop in this way and while it means that I don't buy new clothes as often as I would like, it does mean that what I do buy I am very happy with and I am assured of its quality and cut.
15-10-2011 09:36 PM
Good advice from a few folks above, but I'll throw my hat into the ring too.
I don't know how skinny your skinnys are, but as long as they aren't skin tight, then don't throw them out! If they are skin tight, then go for a slim leg. Swap the jans for chinos. Avoid the usual stone/mustard and go for colour such as red and blue (but keep to a darker shade if you aren't feeling you can carry the bolder colours off.
Replace the T-shirts with a simple shirt (chambray is versatile and easy to wear); I'd advise you to keep that top button done up though if you wan't to keep a modern indie edge to the clothing. Throw in a dark wool tie (charcoal is good; plaid if feeling brave) and you have a great look going.
If wanting to try something other than vans, perhaps start with a pair of desert boots: a bit smarter but still within the hipster comfort zone. If feeling braver go for a pair of brogues (or brogue boots as it's getting colder!).
You can get all of this at the usual high street stores (and online ones). I buy my skinny chinos from Topman and then change horrible white buttons they come with for brass jeans style ones, which instantly makes them look ten times better. Everywhere has brogues at the moment and you can pick up a chambray from anywhere too.
16-10-2011 08:47 AM
As far as my skinnies go, I do have one pair of spray ons which are fairly skin tight (I used to be in a band). My regulars are more on the loose side to be me fair.
Chinos are something I've struggled with for a longtime. I think its just finding the right fit and shade. As a rather skinny guy, even a skinny fit seems to hang off me a little bit. But I'm determined to make it work!
Desert boots do intrigue me actually. Do they work with a tighter leg? And what sort of colour would you recomend with say a neutral shade of blue chino?