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Dressing the Best

MrDoctorProfessorMrDoctorProfessor Registered User regular
edited November 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a dilemma. Like most men, I have an extreme lack of style. I typically wear shorts, sandals, and a tshirt/button up long sleeve. The nicest clothes I have are some slacks and sweaters. In January, I will be taking my Wife to Vegas for her Bday. I plan on spending the day doing random sight seeing around the strip and such, but I would like to take her to dinner at one of the nicer casino restuarants (Craftsteak most likely) followed by going to see one of the Cirque shows. My wife will most likely be wearing some sort of dress in the evening. My question is, what the heck do I wear? I look at things like sports coats and they either look too formal or not formal enough. Another problem I run into is, I dont feel like they would look right on me. Im 6ft 220lbs with most of my weight being carried around the midsection. Im not huge by any means, but Im rockin around a 40 in waist. I normally wear things that kind of minimize the belly I have and I feel like I would just look odd in some sort of jacket.

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  • SixSix Registered User regular
    Get yourself a black suit that fits properly and you'll be good to go.

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  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited November 2011
    I have a dilemma. Like most men, I have an extreme lack of style. I typically wear shorts, sandals, and a tshirt/button up long sleeve. The nicest clothes I have are some slacks and sweaters. In January, I will be taking my Wife to Vegas for her Bday. I plan on spending the day doing random sight seeing around the strip and such, but I would like to take her to dinner at one of the nicer casino restuarants (Craftsteak most likely) followed by going to see one of the Cirque shows. My wife will most likely be wearing some sort of dress in the evening. My question is, what the heck do I wear? I look at things like sports coats and they either look too formal or not formal enough. Another problem I run into is, I dont feel like they would look right on me. Im 6ft 220lbs with most of my weight being carried around the midsection. Im not huge by any means, but Im rockin around a 40 in waist. I normally wear things that kind of minimize the belly I have and I feel like I would just look odd in some sort of jacket.

    Go somewhere like a Nordstroms to the "dressy" part of the men's clothing section. Tell them what you need. That's their job. They know what they're doing. They'll kit you out. They know how to do more than just ring you up. If you go somewhere cheap, those people are going to be glorified counter monkeys. Drop a little cash. Every man needs some nice clothes in his closet.

    This is not something I'd attempt on your own as your current sense of fashion is severely lacking. I've seen people try and it generally turns out terribly.

    Esh on
    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Eh, I think black suits are pretty severe, and tend to telegraph "I'm in mourning" or "don't fuck with me" ... unless the event is black tie. It will match anything your wife decides to wear though. A charcoal suit or navy blue is probably going to be more versatile if you plan on wearing it more than once or twice a year. If you do decide a suit (instead of pairing slacks and sportscoats), be sure to pick up an extra pair or 2 of matching slacks. Being a bigger guy you'll probably want pleated front and cuffs. Flat front and no cuffs are more fashionable, but you need a slim or model build to really pull it off. Try everything though and pick what you like and make sure it's a comfortable fit. If you start to dress up more often you will eventually become more comfortable wearing dressier clothes. You just feel conspicuous cause you're used to more casual wear.

  • StraygatsbyStraygatsby Registered User regular
    Honestly, nothing camouflages said rockin' belly/waist better than a nicely cut sports jacket. Get ye some slacks and an oxford (or otherwise classy button up long sleeve shirt with proper collar and whatnot) and toss that jacket over it. Most of the upper crusty restaurants in Vegas will expect at least a jacket anyway, and you'll look good in the process.

    And definitely listen to the above advice. Do not be afraid to ask for help. That old guy with the pins and the measuring ribbon? He's not a creeper. He knows what he's doing. Let him put his hands on you and be not afraid. You will be so much happier for it.

  • MrDoctorProfessorMrDoctorProfessor Registered User regular
    Awesome. Thanks for the advice everyone :). I didnt even think about actually going to a nicer store to have someone help me. I was just going to hit the mall and try to fly blind haha.

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  • StraygatsbyStraygatsby Registered User regular
    Awesome. Thanks for the advice everyone :). I didnt even think about actually going to a nicer store to have someone help me. I was just going to hit the mall and try to fly blind haha.

    It needn't be Classy McClasserson's. Most larger mall department stores will have someone competent in Men's suits to help you (if you're in the US, think like J.C. Penney's, Macy's, etc...).

    And remember always bet on black! Also, don't play roulette. Seriously, it's like the worst casino game.

  • UrQuanLord88UrQuanLord88 Registered User regular
    If you don't mind further internet critique, try http://www.reddit.com/r/malefashionadvice

  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Awesome. Thanks for the advice everyone :). I didnt even think about actually going to a nicer store to have someone help me. I was just going to hit the mall and try to fly blind haha.

    It needn't be Classy McClasserson's. Most larger mall department stores will have someone competent in Men's suits to help you (if you're in the US, think like J.C. Penney's, Macy's, etc...).

    And remember always bet on black! Also, don't play roulette. Seriously, it's like the worst casino game.

    Again, stay away from black. Dark Navy or Charcoal.

    Macy's, probably. JC Penny, I wouldn't.

    Esh on
    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • Baron DirigibleBaron Dirigible Registered User regular
    Don't buy a black suit. Black suits are for funerals and special agents.

    Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    Unless you want your outfit to be a surprise, you should go with your wife. As the person who will have to be looking at you, she deserves a say in what you display.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    The main downside of the less expensive department stores is they are less likely to make good alterations. A few of my friends have gotten suits and sometimes all they do is adjust the hem and sleeve cuff and they're done. Now it could be that an off the rack suit will just fit real well, but it's not uncommon for the seat of the pants to need to be adjusted, as well as the jacket. You'll get a step up in tailoring at a dedicated menswear store or a more upmarket department store. And the best tailoring is probably at a small boutique or upmarket dedicated menswear store that does custom suits (they'll stock less expensive off-the-rack stuff). If you're tight on cash you might pick up a suit that's comfortable through the waist and long enough to need to be hemmed, and a coat that fits (it might need to be taken in at either the shoulder or the waist, but it shouldn't be tight in those areas), and then taking that to a place that does alterations. You'll have to decide, belt or suspenders as suspenders need buttons on the inside of the waist of your pants (suspenders are the shit)

    The downside to not having that final bit of finishing is you could end up with a suit that wears you instead of the other way round.

    Djeet on
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Go with Marshall Fields (Macy's), or Nordstroms or Lord & Taylor if you've got the cash to be treated like an ace. Like Djeet said, those stores will do a better job at alterations and getting the fit just right.

    Pennys or Kohls will be more of a gamble, but should take care of you. Wherever you go, let them know what you're looking for, and go with their recommendations. Note this may include new shoes.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    Remember, with a suit you have a ton of flexibility to dress it up or down based on your leather and linens.

    A grey suit is one of the most versatile pieces of clothing you can own. Go with a modern cut, but not too aggressive.

    Then for going out dress it down with a brown belt and shoes, a colored shirt with no tie, and maybe a pocket square in whatever color you damn well please, or maybe white with colored piping around the edge.

    In any case if you want to go a bit fancier you just swap brown leather for black, and/or add a tie, and/or use a conservative pocket square, white always works.

    And everybody looks good in a well fitted suit. If you're a bit bigger around the middle it can pull the eye up to the color in your shirt and face for instance.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    Hey, don't stick us all in your category of don't know how to dress.

    If you can swing it in you budget get a tailored suit they will taper the back in to adjust for your stomach. Something off the rack and tailored will usually fit to shoulders and then tailor the length of arms. A lot of subtle things like finishing the jacket length at mid palm won't happen with something off the rack.

    Finally, never be worried about being over dressed anywhere. The only exception to this rule is the beach, and even then there are beach weddings.

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    Also, grey suits aren't for everyone, I look very washed out in one. Charcoal and navy blue are far more universal colors.

  • MrDoctorProfessorMrDoctorProfessor Registered User regular
    You all are so awesome. You've made me excited to go out and do this rather than be very apprehensive like I was. Thanks so much!

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  • badpoetbadpoet Registered User regular
    Unless you want your outfit to be a surprise, you should go with your wife. As the person who will have to be looking at you, she deserves a say in what you display.

    A man can pick out his own clothes. Besides, a good charcoal suit goes with anything.

  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    badpoet wrote:
    Unless you want your outfit to be a surprise, you should go with your wife. As the person who will have to be looking at you, she deserves a say in what you display.

    A man can pick out his own clothes. Besides, a good charcoal suit goes with anything.

    It's always good to have a second opinion.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 a.k.a. Nubmonger, 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion Oakland, CARegistered User regular
    Esh wrote:
    badpoet wrote:
    Unless you want your outfit to be a surprise, you should go with your wife. As the person who will have to be looking at you, she deserves a say in what you display.

    A man can pick out his own clothes. Besides, a good charcoal suit goes with anything.

    It's always good to have a second your wife's opinion.

    Fixed.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no.
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Esh wrote:
    badpoet wrote:
    Unless you want your outfit to be a surprise, you should go with your wife. As the person who will have to be looking at you, she deserves a say in what you display.

    A man can pick out his own clothes. Besides, a good charcoal suit goes with anything.

    It's always good to have a second your opinion given to you.

    Fixed.

    Fixed.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    Blake T wrote:
    Also, grey suits aren't for everyone, I look very washed out in one. Charcoal and navy blue are far more universal colors.

    Yes indeed. In my head I include charcoal in the spectrum of grey, but it really does probably deserve special mention.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • Baron DirigibleBaron Dirigible Registered User regular
    I don't want to be all Don Draper, but I want to make two points:

    1) A good tailor will know more about menswear and be able to offer better advice re: suits than your wife. If this is not true, you need to find a better tailor. Department store assistants do not count as tailors.

    2) By all means take your wife suit-shopping with you, but for the love of God, you are buying yourself a suit. You need to feel comfortable in it. You're not confident about suits and style, and that's fine: see point 1. "As the person who will have to be looking at you, she deserves a say in what you display" is just so fucking patronising -- this isn't his wedding, he doesn't need to make sure anything matches anything besides himself.

    rarrrrrrrr man post fashion advice on computer man go hunt wild pig now

    Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    I don't want to be all Don Draper, but I want to make two points:

    1) A good tailor will know more about menswear and be able to offer better advice re: suits than your wife. If this is not true, you need to find a better tailor. Department store assistants do not count as tailors.

    2) By all means take your wife suit-shopping with you, but for the love of God, you are buying yourself a suit. You need to feel comfortable in it. You're not confident about suits and style, and that's fine: see point 1. "As the person who will have to be looking at you, she deserves a say in what you display" is just so fucking patronising -- this isn't his wedding, he doesn't need to make sure anything matches anything besides himself.

    rarrrrrrrr man post fashion advice on computer man go hunt wild pig now

    He never actually said he was buying a suit though, and a custom tailored suit might be a bit out of his price range. And no one is being patronizing. We're just saying, since he seems to be fashionably challenged, maybe she can help a little. And while the people at Nordstroms may not be tailors, they know how to make sure something off the rack fits right (and places like Nordstrom do do hemming and what not for a better fit) and what will look good on him.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Boston, MARegistered User regular
    I have no idea if this is appropriate to the thread filled with male fashionistas - but I have gotten a ton of mileage out of Men's Wearhouse and the frequent 'Buy One Get One' sales. The guys do their own tailoring which is pretty cheap and well done and can guide you to your standard dark navy, charcoal, and sports jackets.

    If you sign up for the frequent buyer club you also get a free $50 gift certificate for every 200 spent.

    I am in the business of saving lives.

    camo_sig2.png
  • Baron DirigibleBaron Dirigible Registered User regular
    Esh wrote:
    He never actually said he was buying a suit though, and a custom tailored suit might be a bit out of his price range. And no one is being patronizing. We're just saying, since he seems to be fashionably challenged, maybe she can help a little. And while the people at Nordstroms may not be tailors, they know how to make sure something off the rack fits right (and places like Nordstrom do do hemming and what not for a better fit) and what will look good on him.
    Well, I never suggested he buy anything custom tailored (which would also be a huge mistake for a first suit). I considered adding a tangent about how he should shop around and check out all of the options for a ready-to-wear suit, but then didn't, because I saw Djeet had already said most of what I would have. A lot of places will do custom tailoring and also stock RtW at competitive prices.

    Also, I think it's worth pointing out that for all this talk of being "fashionably challenged" and "male fashionistas", we're talking about a guy going to buy his first suit. Which should be either charcoal or navy, single-breasted, notch lapel, 100% wool, with no more than three buttons (preferably two), that fits well in the shoulders and the length -- pretty much everything else can be altered. It's the sort of thing that sounds daunting, but gets a lot easier once you narrow down some "rules" to follow. That's pretty much the most conservative suit you can buy and it will be very difficult to go wrong with it.

    If you decide against a suit and go for a sportscoat, similar rules apply: wool or cotton (depending on season), solid navy, good fit.

    Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    MegaMan001 wrote:
    I have no idea if this is appropriate to the thread filled with male fashionistas - but I have gotten a ton of mileage out of Men's Wearhouse and the frequent 'Buy One Get One' sales. The guys do their own tailoring which is pretty cheap and well done and can guide you to your standard dark navy, charcoal, and sports jackets.

    If you sign up for the frequent buyer club you also get a free $50 gift certificate for every 200 spent.

    Men's Warehouse sells not just inexpensive, but cheap suits, which means they aren't great value for money. A $150 Men's Warehouse suit will last you a quarter as long as a decent suit bought on sale for $400.

    On the other hand, if you're only just breaking in to nicer clothes, a cheap suit trimmed to fit halfway decent can be really nice because if you find you don't like it anymore as you learn better how you look in a suit, it hurts a heck of a lot less to get rid of it.

    As for your wife, sure bring her along, just don't let her pick anything out. She's only allowed to tell you what she thinks about the things you pick out yourself. And she has to be nice about it.

    It's like comedy, only tell the jokes you like, and only keep the ones the audience likes.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • One of the things I've found to be wildly successful is to go up to someone in a store and tell them what you just told us. I'm going to Vegas. I don't have much fashion sense. I want to look nice for my wife. Can you help me?

    People get jobs in clothing stores because they like clothes. Asking for this type of advice is the equivalent of asking a clerk in a record store if they can point you in the direction of some mad tunes. And like MentalExercise was getting at - take their suggestions but only keep the things you actually like. Chances are you'll try on some things you wouldn't have without their suggestion - and chances are you'll like some of it.

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