FashionBeans: Men's Fashion & Men's Style Guide
21-01-2012 05:45 PM
Fashion Help - Smartening Up My Image
Hey wondered if this is the right place to ask for some fashion advice?
I'm 27 and I've never really paid much attention to what I wear, usually loose jeans, t shirts and hoodies from next etc because the clothes fit, I might wear some jeans and a shirt if I go out, my clothes are always at the bottom of my priority list to be honest.
I basically want to smarten up my image, started today by going shopping at cabot circus in bristol, not much luck (shopping is my idea of a nightmare), bought some straight fit diesel larkee jeans which I quite like and that is about it. The rest of it is a lot different to what I would normally wear and I didnt know where to start??
I'll try to take a photo of me with my usual clothes if it will help you guys at all.
22-01-2012 02:26 PM
Hey man, do you live in Bristol? I'm a student there and there's some great stores there for what your looking for.
What you need to do is build up a collection of basic, smart clothes that will work together in lots of different combinations.
1) Chinos - these automatically smarten up any outfit. Topman's Chinos come in a variety of colours and many people find the fit very satisfactory for the price. Colourwise, stick with stone or navy, neatral shades that will work with most clothes.
2) Plain tee shirts - these should be the staple of your wardrobe and the basis for all your outfits. For your age, a vee neck is still a ncie statement but avoid slouchy, scoop tees. I buy mine from Topman or H and M. Stick to white, black, grey and navy.
3) Shirts - simple smart designs are the name of the game. I say you need one light blue oxford shirt, a white oxford, a denim shirt or a chambray one. These are worth spending a bit more money on for fit and quality. My favourite shirts are from Allsaints, but Topman are doing some okay ones at the moment.
3) Shoes - These are IMPORTANT. I'd go for a smart brown or tan pair, that will work with the Chinos. Brogues are the obvious go to, they say all the right things, but there are less elaborate designs if you're not confident. Spend a fair amount on these, quality is important.
5) A blazer - If you're a bit iffy about tweed or cord, go for a plain navy blazer. There are plenty of examples on Asos and they're not too expensive.
7) Knitwear- block neatral colours like navy, grey and black. Layer them with shirts or tee shirts under your blazer and you're looking pretty smart. You need a v neck, a crew neck and a cardigan. Roll/turtle necks look good also.
22-01-2012 02:32 PM
Couldn't have said this better myself, great post.
Originally Posted by Nath6644
22-01-2012 06:20 PM
You stumbled into the right place! Check out some of our articles here on Fashionbeans.com and see what grabs your eye. Our long running Fashion Basics series is available here: Men's Fashion Basics - Fashion Advice For Beginners By Fashionbeans.com and is deffinately the place to start.
22-01-2012 08:21 PM
One more thing, one of the most important lessons I ever learnt about fashion is, when it comes to being a man, its not the clothes you own but the way you put them together.
You can have the nicest shirt or shoes in the world, but if you wear them with horrible jeans and a jacket with the wrong colour, you've wasted you're money. Learn about basic colour theory, try out different layering tecniques and find what works! It's a hard journey but can be jolly good fun and very rewarding.
22-01-2012 11:54 PM
Hey, yeah I'm in bristol, well Clevedon actually, but its not far really.
Today I went and bought some adidas stan smith trainers, I stumbled across the basics link a little earlier today, my old DC's (yeah i dress like a bit of a slouch!) were pretty destroyed anyway (toes were poking out the holes in the sides haha) so seemed like a good idea.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but I think things like chinos/brogues worry me a bit, never really found them too appealing, but maybe that's my problem? I always see them on their own and think they would definitely not suit me?
I'll head to the shops again next weekend and start getting some more things! Where would you suggest looking for brogues and the knitwear?? I'm up for buying decent stuff, money isn't an issue really, though I would like to keep it fairly sensible, i.e not spending £200 on a jumper :P
Also I would like a leather jacket, any suggestions? I ride a bike so have proper bike jackets, but they aren't really something I can wear off the bike and pull off unless I'm carring the helmet with me haha.
Cheers for the help
23-01-2012 12:14 AM
You said you wanted to dress "smart" and chinos are a great way to make your first steps into that area. Don't be put off them because of the way the sheep wear them (mustard, drop crotch, elasticated-ankles.) Find a smart pair. Burtons are good. I stick with Topman's skinny fit, although in reality they're more of a slim fit on me. If money's no problem, then have a look at Allsaints chinos online. They're a bit different, and the slightly edgy look they have might be more up your streets.
Originally Posted by mikeyboy
For brogues, it depends. I like brogues that look very smart, cleancut and polished. For that I'd try (in Bristol), House of Fraser or a proper shoe shop like Elts.
It sounds to me like you want to look smart, but keep an edge to your look. Allsaints will be very good for you. Alot of their clothes are smart, but with a slightly distressed quality. They do some brogueish shoes/boots in there so have a look. Stick in Allsaints for knitwear as well, although alot of it will have gone in the sale.
Also for knitwear, go to House of Fraser.
23-01-2012 12:18 AM
Thankyou, I actually went into all saints yesterday, but felt out of my depth with what I was looking at, ill try again next weekend instead
23-01-2012 10:34 AM
Although I completely agree with everything Nath has said (and I think you should invest in a lot of the things he has mentioned) I would in this instance suggest a more subtle change to style; you might find that going all out with chinos, blazers & brogues too much of a shock from your normal look. Think about investing in more refined versions of what you are already comfortable in:
- Invest in some SLIM or straight leg indigo or dark wash jeans (selvedge is best), these will make a huge difference to your look immediately. You might actually find this one of the hardest things to get used to. I would say that slimmer legs are better, but straight legs can work well, shopping around the brands will reveal quite a lot of difference in the fit, its worth doing the research.
- Get some decent basic Tees, American Apparel are good quality (you can get them online - just their standard crew necks, very nice colours to) White, black, Navy, Grey and perhaps a couple of other colours that catch your eye and it never hurts to have multiples of each.
- You mentioned that you bought some Stan Smiths which is a good step forward, everyone needs some classic trainers. Brogues are probably a step too far at the moment but if you wanted some more formal footwear, perhaps a desert or chukka boot might be more up your street; if money isn't an issue, invest in decent quality footwear, go to Kurt Geiger, House of Fraser etc.
- You said you wear shirts when you go out, start wearing them on an everyday basis, pick up a couple of plaid/checked shirts (All saints are very good) and a Blue oxford shirt, these will give you a good base to work from; check shirts for casual days, the oxford shirt to smarten everything up a little bit. A denim/chambray shirt might also be a good investment as Nath has said.
- For Knitwear stick with simple crew neck jumpers in easy colours, Navy, grey, maybe cream, you want them to go with everything else in your wardrobe, places like Reiss, All Saints (sometimes), House of Fraser will have a decent selection of good quality items.
- Think about the cut and fit - Just nip all the baggy clothes in the bud straight away, this isn't really a look at all, which means you're looking for slimmer fits and sharper lines, simple things will make the biggest differences.
Personally I think you are better off building up your new style gradually, refine what you already wear to start with, get comfortable wearing more shirts, different shoes and thinking more about your appearance. Once you are happy with the smaller developments going a bit further, think about buying some chinos, more shirts, a blazer and possibly even Brogues.
I would certainly advocate looking through Matt's Basics series, otherwise just come back everyday to read the articles and see if there is anything that takes your fancy!
Last edited by William Colman; 23-01-2012 at 10:41 AM.
21-02-2012 12:09 AM
Hey guys, thanks for your help, quick little update, managed to get out and buy some things. No where near finished though.
Bought some v neck merino wool jumpers from all saints in black and grey (really like them), some plain tee's from H&m to wear under things (white and grey atm, need to go out and grab some more colours), some dark blue diesel jeans in straight fit, as well as some lighter coloured deisel jeans (they seem to fit perfect with the 31" waist option).
Bought some T shirts from republic and holister, just wanted some new t shirts for casual wearing. Found some light coloured jean/chino looking things from jack jones the weekend too, seemed like a inbetweener of jeans and chinos, thought I'd use them to ease myself into the idea of chinos?
Still need to find some decent oxford shirts.
I was also looking at desert boots
Berner boots taupe - KG BY KURT GEIGER - Shoes & boots - Menswear - Selfridges | Shop Online or
KG By Kurt Geiger | KG By Kurt Geiger Berner Suede Desert Boots at ASOS Thought I could wear them to look smart without being too full on like brogues? Or do they not work with anything I have bought so far?
It kind of seems like I've bought a mix match of stuff, im just trying to ease myself into this new stuff, without going full on straight away.
Need to buy some crew neck jumpers still, and expand on everything. Main thing im struggling with is what colours go with what, for instance, a black jumper? what colour jeans, t shirt/shirt and shoes should i be wearing? I've been wearing the black v neck jumpe, with white t shirt, the dark blue jeans and brown leather shoes.....
Same goes with a grey jumper, or a navy jumper etc. Completely lost
Last edited by mikeyboy; 21-02-2012 at 12:27 AM.