What's a fashioneaster?

This is a long-term project, but I've been learning about men's fashion and slowly replacing almost all of the clothes I own. I'm going to share some basic clothing tips with you, my readers of the male and female genders, which you probably already know and don't need - but if you don't and you do, then you're welcome. These are classic things - not advice that will be out of style by this fall - so you can print this post and keep it in your pocket forever.

-Socks should match your pants, not your shoes. You want to make your legs look longer, not your feet look taller. Tan pants with dark shoes are the exception - pick a pair of socks that splits the difference in colors: a medium shade of brown or a dark brown sock with a light-colored pattern.

-The shoulder seams on your shirts should sit on top of your shoulder, not hanging down your arm an inch or two. At least 60% of the men I see are are wearing shirts that are at least one size too big for them. Wearing a shirt that fits will make you look slimmer and sharper. Don't rely on the size on the tag - I wear an Large in Penguin sizing and an XS in Lacoste (side note: American sizing is silly - there's no way a 6'2", 175 lb person should be wearing an shirt tagged "extra-small").

-Spend $15 and get at least one white dress shirt tailored by a professional. Now it's your go-to basic white dress shirt. You know it fits, so wear it confidently - untucked with jeans, open-collared and tucked in with the sleeves rolled, under a sporcoat, or with a suit.

-Relaxed-fit, boot-cut jeans may be more comfortable than slim, straight-leg jeans, but they don't look as good.

-Pleated pants and double-breasted suits were designed in the 1940s to make overweight men look slimmer. Unless you have a giant ol' belly, you want single-breasted jackets with flat-front pants.

-Even though they're both dark, black and navy don't match. You need a brown belt and brown shoes with those navy pants. While you're at it, wear brown with your grey pants too - especially if you're wearing a pink, yellow, or blue shirt.

-None of us will ever be able to dress as cool as this guy -


Spice said...

Is this blog now being written by Clinton Kelly of TLC's "What not to Wear?"

Mister Vertigo said...

Hmmm... different colored socks based on the color of my pants, huh? I only have two kinds of socks right now: white sport socks to wear with jeans and black socks to wear with my dress slacks for work. My shoes are brown. I guess if I'm wearing dark pants that's ok, huh?

Brent the Tank said...

I don't wear pants

J.Po said...

Added note: nothing drives me more crazy than flood pants. Dudes, Rockabilly ain't in style no mo. Buy pants that go slightly beyond the tops of your shoes.

grrrbear said...

OMG this is almost all the same stuff I've been learning this year too, J.Bro!

Most of it has been from WNTW and (some) Queer Eye. Frankly I think Carson dresses people for New York City hipness and I can't quite pull it off.

I feel powerful now that I have this knowledge. But I use it for both good (dressing better myself) and evil (cattily ripping on those who don't with women-friends at work over lunch).

J.Bro said...

So, hooray for fasion comments!

Grrrbear - let's go shopping together! We'll hit up H&M and Nordstrom Rack!

Brent - You pull off neon pink daisy dukes better than any man I've ever seen, so it's OK.

Mister Vertigo - the only situation I can think of in which black socks would look OK with brown shoes if if you're wearing black pants with a brown belt and brown shirt. If that's not what you're wearing to work, then the socks don't work. As a computer nerd, though, the people you're compared to at work are probably dressing pretty poorly themselves.

J.Po and Spice - Amen, sisters.

Spice said...

I must admit I've learned a fair bit from WNTW as well. That shoulder thing? Really important. So important that I returned my Threadless shirt (a guys' one) because the shoulder seam was like two inches below my shoulder.

Also, I was at a conference a few weeks ago and commented to someone that middle-aged male professors in our field had to stop thinking that black tennis shoes (sometimes with velcro) were at all equivalent to dress shoes. The other person admitted that during the panel, she was thinking the exact same thing! Maybe I'll propose a panel on that next year for the big conference...

towwas said...

I think there is basically no situation in which black tennis shoes are acceptable. I have tried to explain this to my mother, but she disagrees. She is wrong.

K.Bro said...

Damn, I was going to say something about Clinton Kelly, but someone beat me to it. Oh, big brother, how times have changed!