ReverendDizzle will help you look like a beautiful, beautiful man
There are so many things… but in most environments/cultures men don’t bother and the baseline of what’s expected has drifted way down.
This actually offers a *huge* advantage to any guy that wants to give a shit about his appearance. You say that women have an unfair advantage… but women actually have it really shitty. Having your hair done, being well dressed, and having your makeup on is *expected* of women. If you don’t do those things as a women people think you look sickly and you don’t have your shit together. The bar for personal care is so much lower for men that doing just about anything above the bar makes you look like a god damn super star.
I won’t even give you abstract examples, I’ll give you examples of things that I personally do that 99% of the men I know don’t (and I get mother fucking compliments hand over fist from women for it).
- Take care of your skin. Use good cleansers, use alpha-hydroxy wipes to break down sebaceous filaments (those look-like-tiny-black heads-but-aren’t things on your nose and upper cheeks), moisturize, use sun screen so you don’t look like an old shoe. /r/SkincareAddiction for more info.
- Groom your eyebrows. For fuck sake everyone *groom your fucking eyebrows*. This doesn’t mean waxing them so you look like a drag queen or a damn chola, it means plucking between your eyebrows, plucking lightly under and above them to get rid of those stray freakish hairs. Don’t shape your eyebrows, that’s feminine. Just clean around the natural shape of your eyebrows so that they look sharp and defined and not like a caterpillar slowly melting into your face.
- Buy clothes in the right size, in a flattering cut, and get your shit tailored. I’m a slender guy. I look ridiculous in your typical fat-guy-American cut dress shirts, like a kid wearing his father’s shirt for a bad job interview. You need clothes that fit. Nobody wants to see somebody in a suit that looks like they stole it from their Andrea the Giant size grandfather.
- Have a sense of style. I have a *distinct* style. It isn’t about exactly what my style is, it’s about having a style, a personal mark. If you showed somebody a photo of me with the head completely blacked out, they’d know it was me.
- Have a scent. Don’t wear some bitch ass body spray like a high school boy. Whether your signature scent is the aftershave you use or a cologne doesn’t matter. Have a heavier winter scent and a lighter summer scent. Experiment until you find one that works well with your body chemistry.
- Stand up straight. Seriously, this is grandma-level-1 advice, but stand-the-fuck-up-straight. Shoulders back, gaze level, etc. People with good posture and a strong gaze dominant the room.
- Get a good hair cut. Either have a damn good old school barber or go to a salon. I’ve been getting my hair cut at a salon since I was a teenager. The difference between shitty haircuts and good haircuts is about $200 or so a year. $200 a year is a small price to pay to not look like you were raped by a Flowbee.
- Shave your neck. The *back* of your neck. Don’t wait 4 weeks to go back to your barber/stylist to have the carpet that is slowly growing down from your hairline to your shoulders managed. That neck fuzz guys get between haircuts looks awful. A simple pass over the area in the shower once or twice a week will keep it looking neat.
- Take care of your hair. Almost every guy I know just buys whatever shampoo is on sale when they’re (also) buying their frat boy body sprays. Don’t do that. Buy a quality shampoo and conditioner suited for your hair style. You want compliments on your hair? Good hair cut, good hair products.
- Speaking of hair, know how the hell to manage facial hair. Either you shave it clean (and properly, see /r/wicked_edge) or you trim it right. Unkempt facial hair is hideous. It looks like sprawling pubes devouring your face. I have a beard. I keep my upper cheeks and neck clean shaven. I clip my beard every few days by doing an upward pass through the beard with a #2 guard (1/4”) and then a downward pass with a #1 guard (1/8”). I get at least a few compliments a week on my beard and they’re almost always along the lines of “I really don’t like beards on men, but your beard looks great… what do you do so I can tell my boyfriend/brother/dad/son?”
- Get a good looking watch. Not necessarily an expensive watch… a good looking watch. Since we’re talking office environment, this means no watches that look like you forgot to take them off after coaching a track team, climbing a mountain, or going on a deep sea dive. This also means no watches that are popular among school age boys. You should be wearing a respectable looking and subtle watch that doesn’t look like a plastic piece of shit, a piece ripped off a boat’s navigational spread, or a god damn hub cap from Pimp my Ride.
- Speaking of the general region of the wrist and hands… take care of your hands and nails. Most guys have disgusting hands. Moisturize your dry ass hands. Clip and properly shape your nails. Clean under your nails. No woman is attracted to a man with filthy hands and a cesspool of smegma and bacteria under his nails. That screams “he’s going to fingerbang me into having a horrible vaginal infection”. Push your cuticles back. If you have heavily ridged nails that make you look like an old coke head, polish them down with a buffer once a week. You’ll get really healthy looking nails without looking like you’re getting manicures all the time or wearing nail polish. Even if you don’t take this section seriously, at minimum: moisturize your hands and clean that shit out from under your nails.
- Enough about your hands. Take care of your feet. I know, I know. You asked about office apparel. What does taking care of your feet have to do with that? Most men have feet that *fucking stink*. Most men also don’t take *care* of their feet… so they stink. You need to exfoliate your feet. Keep a pumice stone or similar tool in the shower. Use it to rub the dead skin off your feet a few times a week (or every shower, really). You’ll be absolutely revolted at how much dead skin comes off. That’s what the bacteria eat. Your shitty ass dead-skin-covered feet are like an Old Country Buffet for bacteria. The more you exfoliate and clean your feet, the less nasty they’ll be. Don’t be the guy in the meeting that’s smelling the joint up.
- On the topic of feet and smelling the joint up… learn how to properly take care of your shoes. Don’t wear the same pair of dress shoes to work every day until they disintegrate. They’ll smell. They’ll never air out properly. The leather will suffer. Buy a few pairs. Rotated them. Let them breath. Polish them. Put cedar trees in them to keep them smelling fresh. You might not give a shit about shoes, but other people notice.
Now… that all seems like a lot. You said you don’t have an extra hour before work every day. You don’t need an extra hour before work every day. I hardly spend anymore time on my daily grooming than your average guy… I just do it more efficiently. Just get in the habit of taking care of yourself. Switch from a shitty bar of soap to a quality facial cleanser. When you’re looking in the mirror while you’re brushing your teeth and you notice a stray hair on your brow, pluck it out. When you’re in the shower contemplating the universe, scrub the nasty ass callouses off your feet. When you’re shopping for clothes, leave it in the store unless it fits and flatters you (or you’re willing to pay someone to make it fit and flatter).
All those little changes add up and suddenly you’re dapper as fuck.
tttigre runs down the good and bad of buying Common Projects
(image from http://herroutfit.blogspot.com/)
I’ve owned five pairs. I currently have two. They’re quality sneakers, but there are a few caveats to think about when considering a pair:
They’re not worth retail. When they hit the market, they stirred controversy by having a “high” MSRP of around $200. Now, they reliably go for double that. Although construction has certainly changed (one of the pairs I owned was a 2008 pair, currently I own a 2012 pair) that jump isn’t exactly justified.
They’re extremely easy to find new/nearly new for less. $175-$225 is a fair price to pay for nearly new condition. $80-120 is fair for more heavily used. They hold up well over time, so it’s possible to find very cheap very used pairs that still have many miles on them (my first pair were $52 and beaten heavily before I got my turn).
They’re not that comfortable. The Margom sole is thick, flat, and hard; the insole isn’t too cushioned either. There are many better options, even within the realm of designer sneakers, if you’re looking for comfort. Maison Martin Margiela replica sneakers are about 20 times as comfortable as CPs in my experience.
You’ll discover the little details that separate “sneakers” from “really nice sneakers”. The laces don’t come untied. The tongue doesn’t slip. The experience of wearing them (even if you’ve never considered *the experience* of wearing anything) is noticeable.
They’re not the end-game for white sneakers. They’re for people who know what they want; they’re negative space. They’re everything you want and nothing you don’t, but they also won’t be anything magical. There are many situations in which a different white sneaker would be a better choice.
Above all, you have to buy in to the idea of expensive sneakers. The idea of a $200, $300, $400 sneaker is plainly ridiculous to many people, even people interested in fashion. You must understand you’re paying for materials and construction, but there are diminishing returns in which you begin to pay for design. There are more comfortable and more durable sneakers for far less money. But if you are considering Common Projects, that’s something you already know.
ClumsyCriminal wants to help you break out of “the JCrew rut”
I found myself in a similar situation a few months ago. To me there seemed to be a large gap between clothes similar to that of Jcrew which are generally safe/consistent and higher fashion brands that produced items I could never imagine myself wearing. Eventually, I was able to identify a few brands that were similar to Jcrew in their simplicity but still marked a distinct step up in creativity, quality etc. To start, here are a few I’d recommend (as a warning, none of these brands are going to be cheap. As you venture into brands producing more unique designs prices will rise steeply due to their monopoly on these styles):
APC is often recommended on MFA and you’ve probably heard of it. Not cheap, but they definitely maintain the clean-cut, not overly flashy look Jcrew also seems to strive for. They do offer the occasional louder piece, but relative to something from Dries Van Noten or Ann Demeulemeester this would be considered extremely conservative.
Folk clothing is a favorite of mine, although I rarely see it mentioned on MFA. They have a strong emphasis on quality, mostly expressed through high quality/thickness of their fabrics. Designs are again understated but more adventurous than Jcrew. Look out for patterned shirts, heavily textured sweaters and some colorblocked sweatshirts.
Oliver Spencer is another brand I associate strongly with Folk and probably my personal favorite. Again, simple but creative designs that are rarely too loud. I’d place particular emphasis on their outerwear, shirts and sweaters. Shirt designs such as these are distinctly more creative than anything you’d find at Jcrew but still maintain a brilliant subtlety. The first, for example, takes a pattern you rarely would find on a butt-up shirt of wide/thick stripes. However, it maintains its simplicity by using dark, low contrast colors that blend together beautifully. The third shirt accomplishes this in a similar manner, subduing a loud pattern with quiet colors. They also make a favorite cardigan of mine which takes a simple design and gives it a twist with a round collar and patterned texture.
Rag and Bone is also a brand I rarely see mentioned on MFA, although they’ve been coming up a bit more recently. I’d personally categorize them as less adventurous than the others I’ve already mentioned, but their pieces are still unique enough that you’re not going to find an equivalent at Macy’s but quiet enough that you’re not going to be drawing attention to yourself just by walking down the street wearing one of their items.
Norse Projects definitely makes its appearance on MFA and is often characterized as being a perfect balance between Americana and urban/streetwear. Personally I think the streetwear comparison is a bit exaggerated, as I think the only “streetwear” elements present in their collections are loud colors. I’m a big fan of their accessories, but most people appreciate them for their sweaters/sweatshirts.
These of course are only a few of many brands, but should be a good place to get started. From there I’d recommend looking at some brands such as Dana Lee, SNS Herning, Steven Alan, Beams+, Howlin by Morrison, Billy Reid etc (sorry I’m not going to do a write up for these). Good luck!
trashpile makes a Venn diagram that changes lives, warms cold hearts
this is basically how i see it
EDIT: goldvotes? REALLY????
_beacon puts together a list of unique button-ups
gitman x hillside
wolf vs goat - party pigs
uniqlo fun flannel
uniqlo fun flannel
gitman x liberty x unionmade
oh you said longsleeve. only one that isnt is the first one lol oh man if only it were long sleeve:
Bennwalton on making music and developing your own style
i don’t often write long posts on reddit.
as a musician, i’ve always kind of thought of it like writing music on your instrument. almost always, people pick up and learn an instrument by playing other people’s music; for each instrument, there is generally well-respected music in the canon that is used as pedagogical building blocks for making a good musician. if you don’t have a teacher, you learn how to play your favorite nirvana songs (or whatever, really) because you like them.
once you understand that music and how to play your instrument proficiently, you start to noodle around and make your own creations- you’re inspired by that lyric or this melody or directly steal those chords into your favorite key change. your first few attempts are like, alright, and more often than not they’re just blatant rip offs of your favorites. but that’s alright because you like your favorites.
eventually your understanding grows, you learn that nirvana’s music itself was kind of boring, your style grows, your technique grows, and eventually you’re writing and playing some pretty solid stuff that’s truly yours. you start to learn songs by other musicians who are more virtuosic and use more interesting harmony and eventually understand *that* music and start to work it in to what you play and what you write. soon enough you stop stealing directly and start referencing; you understand the aesthetics of the bigger picture and draw more tangible inspiration from that.
then of course there are those fucking prodigies who pull off goth ninja silhouettes without a second thought and have a wardrobe of grail pieces.
Whitehat511 on ocbds and not being “the fashion guy”
Do a LOT of research. Take your time until you feel like you truly, deeply understand how an item can and should be worn. Then make sure you know differences in quality (it varies by brand mostly), how it should fit, etc. You’ll be amazed at how good you can look just by having well-fitting clothes. Most people wear clothes a size up, and if you were a t shirt and cargo shorts guy I’m willing to bet you’re one size too big.
The easiest piece to start with, IMO, is an OCBD. You can wear it in all seasons, it’s pretty unoffensive (try to stick with white, light blue, or white/blue stripe), and fashionable in many different styles. Common recommended brands are Uniqlo, J Crew, and Brooks Brothers. Uniqlo is on the low end, but it’s probably the best value at $20-30 for a great quality shirt. Brooks Brothers is on the high end for $80-90 for the highest quality you’ll find anywhere. J Crew is in the middle and will have fantastic quality, but not the highest out there.
Warning- switching from t-shirt to button down is not a huge step up in formality, but your friends will think it is. They may start asking if you have an interview or asking why you are dressed up. If they are close friends, you can explain you’re trying to develop some style, otherwise just have a go-to excuse. People underestimate how much this will affect their life.
You will also start to get compliments all the time. While compliments are nice, don’t forget that they are not indications that you are dressing well. People often compliment someone’s clothes when they are too loud, or too formal for an occasion and they feel as if they can’t talk to you without mentioning your clothes. Try to aim for a more subtle style- you want a reputation for being well-dressed, not for being the fashion guy.
This means different things to people in different situations. For me, I wear an OCBD and chinos or jeans every day because I’m in college. My brother works in a super casual office, and he looks dressed up just by not wearing sweatpants to work. He can’t get away with chinos, but he started to wear well-fitting henleys and OCBDs with his jeans, and he constantly tells me how much it’s improved his life.
Just don’t get too caught up with it and remember clothes aren’t everything. Good luck! You’re embarking on a journey that will make you very happy and ensure you much success in the long run.
MAJhacks on streetwear, trends and personal style
streetwear isn’t just the snap back culture seen in urban outfitters, and it’s not just $500 japanese made varsities, the best streetwear is where the wearer has his own style, uses influences around him to create something unique as cliche as it sounds.
hbaas runs down the difference between chromexcel and shell cordovan
- Made only by Horween
- A pullup/analine leather, i.e. the colour lightens with age and wear
- really oily, you can actually feel the oils in the leather when you touch it
- Comes in lots of colours
- Not that expensive
- stretches a lot
- consists of the whole hide
Shell cordovan is :
- Horse, specifically rump leather, the thickest and strongest part of the hide
- Takes 6 months to tan (varies, Horween does it in 6, some english tanneries take up to 10 months)
- Not exclusive to Horween, many other tanneries make shell cordovan
- A very waxy leather, instead of creasing it ripples.
- gets darker with age (but only slightly, acquiring a dark patina)
- comes in many colours, but traditionally burgundy, aka cordovan no. 8
- very strong, and still relatively thin. Only stretches a little
- Consists of a pair of “shells”, round disks of rump that are cut from the hide and treated, i.e. two ass cheeks.
- that’s why it’s so expensive, because it takes 6 months to make, and you only get a very small part per horse (6 ft, compared to around 50ft for a cowhide)
Shell is more more expensive, but really way tougher than chromexcel. When it comes to dress shoes, shell is slightly more formal, but both are still pretty casual leathers, i.e. you shouldn’t wear them with a suit. Shell cordovan has a very distinctive texture, it’s so smooth you can barely see the grain. If you’re looking at used shoes, shell is easy to identify by the way it ripples, and absoloutely doesn’t crease. The colour is very deep, and has an amazing lustre. Also, at the stress points, you can get a little white buildup. This is the wax, and it easily buffs off.
EDIT: a few more things I forgot to mention
Chromexcel comes in a variety of weights (thicknesses), since it’s just regular cow leather, and can be, iirc, thicker than shell cordovan (but not stronger), which only is made in one weight.