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  1. #1

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    Style change advice needed

    Hi there,


    I'm fast approaching my 30th birthday and I've decided I really want to smarten up my style. I've been in a bit of a rut clothing-wise for years. I pretty much live in t-shirts, jeans, hoodies and trainers. I have to admit I'm completely clueless when it comes to fashion - how to match up colours, what items go well together, accessories etc etc


    I work in a creative/technical role in media so its a very casual environment that involves a fair bit of outdoor working so I dont have the opportunity to dress up for work. Recently I've started changing my clothes when I get home into something smarter.


    I was wondering if anyone would be able to give me advice on good looks to go for or an idea of how to put together what I've already bought - if I'm on the right track - or more options of staples to go for.


    I bought a couple of grey chambray workshirt-style shirts a while back and a pair of black trousers. I've recently bought a pair of burgundy slim corts and dark brown chinos. I got a tweed jacket off eBay that I really like. I wore it with a white shirt and slim black tie to a wedding recently and a friend complimented me on it and said I should wear shirt and tie more often so I'd like to go with that, but be able to keep it casual as well as dress it up for special occassions.


    I've got a navy pinstripe suit and dark blue, black and white shirts. I'm extremely lacking on the footwear front as all I really own are trainers and a pair of cheap fake leather smart-ish black shoes.


    I'm quite short - 5'6 and fairly slim with shoulder length blonde hair.


    I saw a couple of looks I liked. http://www.asos.com/ASOS/ASOS-…d=2563950&WT.ac=rec_viewed , http://www.kinowear.com/blog/kinowea...ck-rebel-class and http://www.thedrum.com/uploads…89707/main_images/caffreys.jpg


    Thanks in advance,

    Simon

  2. #2
    MarcLager's Avatar

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    You know, you sound pretty much exactly like me. When I was closing in on 30, I decided I needed to get a smarter wardrobe.

    What I did was to first of all figure out which style I wanted to go for. I tend to go for a business-casual kind of look. Checked shirts, wool or knitted ties, blazers, leather shoes. My coworkers are quite casually dressed, usually just shirt and jeans or even jeans and hoodies, so I sometimes have to go down a pin to not feel completely overdressed.

    When I'd figured out the style I wanted, I made an inventory of my wardrobe - what I had, and what I needed to buy. Then I stuck to that list when buying new clothes, rarely buying anything outside of that list. Then I'd a solid basic wardrobe in a couple of years.

    I work in an office, and you say you work outside, so we've got different needs for work wear. But you can still work outside and look sharp. A good fit to comfortable, durable outdoor wear will up your game a lot!

    Check your PM inbox in a bit. I'm sending you something.
    Last edited by MarcLager; 27-04-2013 at 06:35 PM.

  3. #3
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    I'm no expert in office wear, but on the footwear front I reckon desert boots in a neutral colour (Navy or beige) can really help your smart casual looks when used in place of
    trainers. Try Clarks or Kurt Geiger.

  4. #4
    Aharps's Avatar

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    It seems like you definitely want a tweed blazer which is a really great way to smarten up a look! It can be paired with pretty much anything too (jeans or smart trousers) without looking overly dressy. If you aren't comfortable with that then a cotton blazer can also work

    The looks you gave seem to be split between the heritage style that this site has covered a lot and a bit of European style so invest in some pastel coloured shirts (baby blue, mint and salmon), maybe go for thicker oxford styles over smart shirts as you seem to be fairly active.

    Shoes wise, your best bet is to stick to leather trainer/pumps or a leather chucka boot during the day. For evenings get yourself a pair of leather shoes. Brogues would work great with the aforementioned jacket but if you arent all that confident you could try a pair of Derbies as they are much less fussy.

    Accessories wise, you said you are into ties and these days the choice in that department is fantastic. A knitted tie is a great way to avoid looking overly smart. Otherwise a cord one, Zara did a gorgeous tan coloured one last year (i didnt buy it for some reason and regret it so if you find somewhere selling somthing similar then let me know!!!). I would keep the tie skinny/narrow now, theres a trend towards wider ties that is coming round following skinny tie dominance but i think for the look you want, slimmer ties are the way to go.

    Also read this:
    Men?s Fashion Basics ? Part 41 ? An Introduction To Colour | FashionBeans
    and this:
    Men’s Fashion Basics – Part 43 – Combining Colours | FashionBeansAlso this is going to go totally against the fashion bean ethos but here goes:

    If your changing your look quite severely, don't worry about buying quality 'investment pieces' or ensuring everything is 100% pure natural materials. You are going to end up buying things you come to realise don't suit you or you just dont feel comfortable in, make these mistakes with good value high street items that you can upgrade at a later date to better pieces. Fit is key though, so don't skimp on that!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aharps View Post
    It seems like you definitely want a tweed blazer which is a really great way to smarten up a look! It can be paired with pretty much anything too (jeans or smart trousers) without looking overly dressy. If you aren't comfortable with that then a cotton blazer can also work
    I've already got a tweed blazer Been mostly wearing it casually layered up with a t-shirt, hoodie and jeans. I've tried it out with a few smarter items and it looks really sharp.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aharps View Post
    The looks you gave seem to be split between the heritage style that this site has covered a lot and a bit of European style so invest in some pastel coloured shirts (baby blue, mint and salmon), maybe go for thicker oxford styles over smart shirts as you seem to be fairly active.
    Sorry, this is probably going to make me sound like a complete idiot but could you tell me what 'heritage style' and 'european style' are? And what the differences are? As I've said already, I'm completely clueless haha


    Quote Originally Posted by Aharps View Post
    Shoes wise, your best bet is to stick to leather trainer/pumps or a leather chucka boot during the day. For evenings get yourself a pair of leather shoes. Brogues would work great with the aforementioned jacket but if you arent all that confident you could try a pair of Derbies as they are much less fussy.
    I was thinking about getting these: ASOS | ASOS Brogue Chukka Boots in Leather at ASOS I thought they were a good all round pair for smart/casual and more dressier with a suit? What do you think? Was thinking to wear with brown chinos, burgundy cords and jeans (maybe)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aharps View Post
    Accessories wise, you said you are into ties and these days the choice in that department is fantastic. A knitted tie is a great way to avoid looking overly smart. Otherwise a cord one, Zara did a gorgeous tan coloured one last year (i didnt buy it for some reason and regret it so if you find somewhere selling somthing similar then let me know!!!). I would keep the tie skinny/narrow now, theres a trend towards wider ties that is coming round following skinny tie dominance but i think for the look you want, slimmer ties are the way to go.

    Also read this:
    Men?s Fashion Basics ? Part 41 ? An Introduction To Colour | FashionBeans
    and this:
    Men’s Fashion Basics – Part 43 – Combining Colours | FashionBeansAlso this is going to go totally against the fashion bean ethos but here goes:

    If your changing your look quite severely, don't worry about buying quality 'investment pieces' or ensuring everything is 100% pure natural materials. You are going to end up buying things you come to realise don't suit you or you just dont feel comfortable in, make these mistakes with good value high street items that you can upgrade at a later date to better pieces. Fit is key though, so don't skimp on that!

  6. #6
    MarcLager's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by nostromo View Post
    I was thinking about getting these: ASOS | ASOS Brogue Chukka Boots in Leather at ASOS I thought they were a good all round pair for smart/casual and more dressier with a suit? What do you think? Was thinking to wear with brown chinos, burgundy cords and jeans (maybe)
    They look nice, but the price hints that the quality might not that solid. Cheap leather or leather imitations will get scratched and look tired very easily. They'll require looking after (as do all shoes).

    I'm not saying you shouldn't get them, just make sure to get a good shoe cream as well, with a colour as close as possible to the original. I usually go with Kiwi shoe cream, it's got a good value for money, imo.

  7. #7
    MarcLager's Avatar

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    Oh, and brogues go excellent with jeans.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcLager View Post
    They look nice, but the price hints that the quality might not that solid. Cheap leather or leather imitations will get scratched and look tired very easily. They'll require looking after (as do all shoes).

    I'm not saying you shouldn't get them, just make sure to get a good shoe cream as well, with a colour as close as possible to the original. I usually go with Kiwi shoe cream, it's got a good value for money, imo.
    I know what you mean, but my shoe budget for this month can't quite stretch past this - I'd also like to get a decent pair of black smart boots as well :/ i'll take you're advice and get some shoe cream as well

  9. #9
    Aharps's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by nostromo View Post

    Sorry, this is probably going to make me sound like a complete idiot but could you tell me what 'heritage style' and 'european style' are? And what the differences are? As I've said already, I'm completely clueless haha

    Heritage is a look thats been quite popular recently, think country gentleman. Theres loads of articles here on fashion beans. With european I was refering to the cool sharp look associated with italians, again these's plenty of articles to read on that here too.

    I like those brogue boots, they look pretty versatile and would fit into the heritage look nicely.

    If you already have a tweed blazer then definitely try an oxford shirt underneath. You could pick up a pocket square and stuff it into your blazer pocket roughly to give the outfit a bit of flair!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aharps View Post
    Heritage is a look thats been quite popular recently, think country gentleman. Theres loads of articles here on fashion beans. With european I was refering to the cool sharp look associated with italians, again these's plenty of articles to read on that here too.
    Cheers, do you think its possible to alternate/mix between the two looks?


    Quote Originally Posted by Aharps View Post
    If you already have a tweed blazer then definitely try an oxford shirt underneath. You could pick up a pocket square and stuff it into your blazer pocket roughly to give the outfit a bit of flair!
    I have to admit, I'm not too fond of oxford shirts - I generally have a thing against button-down collars. Not sure why but I really don't like the look haha!

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