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View Diary: Kossacks Under 35: Wardrobe Edition (281 comments)

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  •  advice for men: (11+ / 0-)

    treat your clothes well, and they'll treat you well.  That's for starters.  You'll look nicer, and you'll save money in the long run.

    The most important part of your wardrobe is the shirt.  It's the thing that people will notice the most.  It's worth the initial investment of getting some nicer shirts (but nothing ridiculously expensive) in a decent variety of colors--you'll want to make sure that you have white, pink and blue on hand, because you can do anything with those three colors.

    Now, I'm an avowed metrosexual, which means that I have more clothes than I could possibly ever wear--I even have more shoes than my girlfriend.  Now, you don't have to be like me, but you should still have some nicer stuff.  Any department store will be able to help--I stocked up on some really nice, beautiful dress shirts, and got 7 for $30 on clearance at Macy's.  Pick your opportunities wisely, and you won't have to worry about much pricewise.  And don't wear short sleeves.  Your office is air-conditioned, right?

    Pants: You're not your fuckin' khakis, but you should have some anyway.  If you're younger, you should probably stay away from pleats for the time being and see if you can get some flat-front pants that fit your style.  If you have the opportunity to go business casual, you should take advantage of it and look cool and preppy rather than slightly antiquated.

    A good look right now is the "Obama" or "Ahmedinejad" look: slacks and shirt with a sportcoat but no tie.  Be creative but not outlandish with your colors, and you'll be fine.

    The advantage of being a guy is that we really don't have to put much effort into this whole clothing thing to be able to look like we put a lot of effort into it--expectations for guys are so low that all you really have to do is try and you've won half the battle.

    Suits:  I only have a couple, and they're Italian.  Since my work environment doesn't require them, I only wear them on special occasions.  I don't have much advice to give, outside of making sure that whatever suit you get fits your shoulders right and allows you the opportunity to stretch your shoulders back without being constricting across your chest, without drooping too much when your shoulders are at rest.

    Ties: Seriously, they don't have to be silk.  Nobody is really going to care unless your significant other is undressing you slowly and caressing you with her/his tie, or vice versa.  Then it helps to have a silk tie.  Otherwise, it just has to not have any ridiculous patterns on it, and be a good complement to your suit and shirt.  You can also wear suit pants and a tie without a corresponding jacket--you can keep yourself cooler and more comfortable, and slightly more casual.  Knots: I personally hate skinny knots on ties.  I think they went out with Green Day.  I personally always fashion a Windsor for myself.  You can do a double if you want, but to me, that looks like you're trying too hard.

    Shoes:  Like I said, I'm big on it.  I have more shoes than Andi does.  But still, it's not a huge deal, as long as they match and they're not scuffed.  Around here in L.A., there are a bunch of places to get shoes at massive discounts.  Email me if you're interested.

    oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

    by Dante Atkins on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 06:43:52 PM PDT

    •  Green Day is out? (8+ / 0-)

      Shit! There goes my eyeliner.

      Let there be sharks - TracieLynn

      by GussieFN on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 06:50:49 PM PDT

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    •  This is what my Dad said (8+ / 0-)

      when my Mom laid out his clothes for my wedding. (I'd given him the choice of his Navy uniform OR what the other groomsmen were wearing -- which, being my Dad,he never inquired about).  He left it up to my Mom, who went with the blue blazers, white flannel pants and pink shirts I'd chosen for everyone else.  My Dad was a counter-metrosexual.  He saw the pink shirt, blanched and said: "I should have gone for the uniform." Still giggle when I think about it.

      Awesome advice, hekebolos!

      1-20-09 The Darkness Ends "Where cruelty exists, law does not." ~ Alberto Mora.

      by noweasels on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 06:53:20 PM PDT

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    •  Thanks, hek! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hekebolos

      Don't forget to tell 'em to get a flashy orange shirt for election night victories! :-D

    •  Details Details Details (7+ / 0-)

      I couldn't agree with your comments more - especially about shirts (and pink shirts - they're the new black). Something to add to your shirt-based monologue:

      Keep spare stays around. Guys, pull out a dress shirt (that doesn't have a button/snap-down collar). Flip up the collar. Look for a slot between two the outer layers of fabric that's about an inch long and a third of an inch wide. Find it? Good.

      This is a slot for a stay. Stays are thin plastic (if you're management, sterling silver) stakes that go in that slot, and are designed to stop the collar of your shirt from curling, and keep it nice and angular. You should always have a supply of stays - sometimes they fall out, sometimes they break, sometimes the cleaner screws them up. If you don't have any, go to your local men's store and ask for a few - they have boxes upon boxes of them in the back (they come in all new shirts) and should happily give you an envelope full of them. When you put on a shirt, make sure that it's got stays in it, and if not, load 'em in.

      I'm also going to have to disagree with you on ties. You relationship to shoes seems to mirror mine with ties; I find them to be a great way to show some style and individuality in a dress-groupthink world. As a general guide, ties shouldn't have any logos or recognizable images on them (no, you can't wear the Coca-Cola tie you got when you were eighteen), should be of a similar color to the secondary color of your shirt, should have a pattern that's in a direction not opposite to those on your jacket and/or shirt, and shouldn't be iridescent. Aside from that, while there's no need to buy $150 ties (even though I tend to do so), you should buy decent ones - as in one can tell the difference between a $15 Tie Rack tie and one you got for $40 at a men's store. Buy quality ties, hang them properly, don't ever get them dry cleaned (unless you know the cleaner has the special equipment needed), and they'll last a while. As for knots, I use a four-in-hand with my thicker ties, and a half-Windsor with my thinner ones.

      It's also a good idea to have a few jackets around. I manage just fine with a natural linen jacket (from M&S) for the summer months, a heavier brown one for the winter, and a lightweight black one that always works. For business, you can wear them Obama-style (as Hek described), but they can also double-up their usage for casual wear with a solid-color good-quality t-shirt and a pair of nice jeans. They're also very handy for the dreaded "smart casual" functions, where the host has specified the world's most ambiguous dress standard. If it's the casual side of smart-casual, you can mix a jacket with a t-shirt, nice jeans, and a pair of dress pumas. If it's the more smart side, upgrade the shoes, throw on some slacks, and keep the shirt.

      "The NSA offers exciting work for recent graduates in computer science. Pick up the phone, call your mom, and ask for an application."

      by Scipio on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 07:38:39 PM PDT

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