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Where do I start? Tips for launching your fashion journey

May 2, 2012

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a friend asking me to provide fashion consulting advice to a man in need of the basics. He is seeking help with understanding what to buy and wear and what to avoid – those things I write about on this blog. It got me thinking. How do I prepare someone to go shopping, search out the right clothes and leave satisfied without breaking the bank? And, what advice would I give to someone needing to simply get started?

When starting your fashion journey, I want you to think through three areas. Each holds importance like the legs of a three-legged stool. Without all three legs, you fall on your butt.

1. Fit

The more you read my advice, the longer you will hear me talk about properly fitting clothes. You could buy and wear a magnificent, glorious, high quality suit, but if it does not fit, you will miss the mark. I would almost rather have lower quality clothes that fit me properly than too-big or too-small high quality clothes. Take as much time as you need and make it a point to examine clothes for fit.

2. Quality

Better fabrics and construction look better, feel better, and last longer. You will find this especially true of suits and ties. These items should cause people to say, “Wow, sharp suit,” or “where did you get that tie?” Higher quality clothes hold their shape more appropriately, maintain their stitching, rip less frequently, and stand firm under the pressures of regular wear. Across the board, it remains true – with shirts, pants, belts, socks, suits, ties, shoes and more.

3. Appropriate attire

Each occasion requires a particular outfit – such as a swimsuit to the beach or a suit to an interview. So, take special thought to what you need to wear. Then, look at the outfit as a whole. Stand in front of a mirror. Does it look good? Do the colors match? Do the shoes combine well with the pants? And so on. When starting out, keep it simple. Don’t begin your fashion journey trying to match two different kinds of plaid. Focus on simple combinations and the classics. As time goes on, you will learn more beneficial principles to help you combine clothes in a well-rounded way. For more on this point, please read Assembling outfits made easy.

With each of these legs firmly holding up your style chair, you will find more compliments heading your way. When starting, the best thing to do is to jump in with both feet. Sure, you will slip up and stumble into mistakes. So what! When you realize your fashion car has turned down a dead end street, kick it into reverse and head back to the highway of the tried and true. In the coming months, I plan to expand on each of these areas.

Also, check out these other articles:

The starter kit

Assembling outfits made easy

Dress shirt basics (Part 1): Fit

Dress shirt basics (Part 2): Style

© Copyright 2012 Fashion for the average man

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43 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2012 10:33 pm

    I have found that you are very correct in that higher quality material does hold its shape and colors much better. I’ve had classics that lasted years. Well worth the money or the waiting for the sale

  2. May 5, 2012 11:45 am

    Fit and quality. I couldn’t agree more. I think men have an easier time of it than women, in general. Quality often seems to be compromised to benefit fashion, but there is no need for that. Aim for quality and something that is not so outrageously fashionable that it will be out of season next week and it’s hard to wrong.

  3. May 9, 2012 6:52 pm

    You hit the nail on the head with saying fit is so important. Far too men have a suit or two from years back that they still they can wear even they have picked u weight as they get older!

  4. May 10, 2012 4:14 pm

    I didn’t see an about page in order to comment in general, so I shall do it here. First, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to ‘like’ my post about the Ant. I appreciate it. Second…what a fabulous idea this blog is. What a GREAT resource. I hope the men out there appreciate what you are doing and what you have to offer. Much success!
    Rhonda

  5. May 10, 2012 4:56 pm

    What a fun blog! This will come in handy when I give fashion advice to my hubby!

  6. guitanaeima permalink
    May 11, 2012 4:05 pm

    Well, I tried many times to like your great post, but I could not unfortunately!
    Thanks.

  7. May 14, 2012 3:20 am

    I sure you can guess my fashion style. BLUEJEANS Great site, if ever in Philly let me know.

  8. May 14, 2012 2:35 pm

    I love it… love it… love it! I can’t wait to read through the rest of your blog! I’ll be sharing this with my fiance as well as a few others. Thanks for coming by and bringing me to your page!

  9. May 14, 2012 10:08 pm

    Great points for everyone – not just your average man! Great post – love your style.

  10. May 15, 2012 4:17 pm

    Thank you for visiting my blog today! I have read several of your posts and find them very inspiring for men!! Very different from the other blogs I have viewed. Keep up the good work. I really liked the packing for a trip post.

  11. May 17, 2012 8:47 pm

    My sons are both in college. They absolutely need to read your blog. I’ll be sending them your way.

  12. May 19, 2012 9:56 am

    Great post! I’m slowly working on re-building my wardrobe. Though I don’t know if I should say re-build as I never had one in the first place!

  13. May 20, 2012 3:45 am

    As a fashionista you can just imagine how elated I am for this blog of yours, this is spot on. You have covered everything in male haberdashery, and coordination. Thanks also for stopping by my blog.

  14. May 29, 2012 7:05 am

    Great idea for a blog. I was thinking of doing something myself a while back – along the lines of fashion for middle aged man. Not much around in that market. Now I can just read yours 🙂 Some things are timeless but now I’m 45 I notice men of a certain age wearing things that they really shouldn’t!

  15. May 31, 2012 8:48 pm

    I recently read a quote on Pinterest that went something like “A well dressed man is to women what lingerie is to men…” So simple. I love the idea of your blog and wonder if you’ve addressed the conundrum men face when they feel the need to transition their style from high school to college to 30 something and so on…

    • May 31, 2012 8:57 pm

      Thanks for your thoughts. I think the transition can be especially difficult when growing up with the right fashion knowledge. I know for me things improved over the years with knowledge.

  16. May 31, 2012 9:08 pm

    hey there thank you much!! for your “like” on my blog post I appreciate it 🙂 enjoyed browsing through yours 🙂 great advice ill be forwarding your blog to my hubby.. 🙂

  17. June 2, 2012 2:39 am

    My guy friends should be following your blog! Thanks for liking one of my posts too – Jonah

  18. June 2, 2012 11:04 pm

    Thanks for the visit to my post. Excellent advice, liked the “fashion stool” concept. I only wish my husband (who considers a great outfit for going out to dinner to be a fishing shirt with out stains) had any grasp of what you are talking about. Life in our RV does limit choices due to space but I can dream….

  19. June 5, 2012 5:30 pm

    Hi Jeremy! Great tips and fun “poses” I mean photos! This weekend, my husband reminded me that he did not know how to tie a tie. I do, but I needed a bit of a refresher. He spent all of one 3 minute youtube video and gave up. I sat in the car for the 1.5hour drive to the wedding, practicing a half windsor until I got it right and slipped it off my neck for him to put on. I think one thing he DOES get right is that he often works hard to match MY outfits when we go to dressy events. It’s like tango. The man (if he brings a woman) MUST enable the woman to look good. I wore a blue / azure dress with light pink pumps. He wore a light pink pin stripe woven shirt with a blue tie that matched within the same hue as my dress. We looked like we matched, but not like the matching sweatsuits look, you know? Maybe that’s your next book once everyone gets the basics right! 🙂

  20. Natalie Gerber permalink
    June 13, 2012 11:27 pm

    Thanks for the visit… I’m sending over my husband 🙂

  21. messyme permalink
    June 22, 2012 6:16 pm

    You have a great blog here. Maybe someone you know can start one just like it for women? Only using the same style as you !!!! Also, thank you so much for visiting and liking my photos. I appreciate it !

    • June 22, 2012 6:19 pm

      Thanks. In comparison to men, it seems like women have so many great resources for fashion advice. On WordPress, I know I have come across several.

  22. catcristy permalink
    June 22, 2012 9:55 pm

    Hello! So glad I found your blog, I will have to check back and to get fashion advice for my t-shirt-and-jean-boyfriend. Thank you!!!

  23. July 11, 2012 1:23 pm

    Gracious! I am so supposed to be here. Jeremy, I was just in Sak’s and my inner conversation, as i carefully examined dresses was all about the finishing, the details, the quality of what was in my hands…and yes, that was the sale rack. And that is fine. So, on sale i purchased a beautifully crafted, lined little dress for what i might have spent at the Limited. I am learning…and will continue to read your sage words! And thank you sir, for visiting my blog!

  24. July 28, 2012 12:50 pm

    Jeremy, Thank you for stopping by our blog and giving us a thumbs up. Have any fashion advice for gardeners, as we like to get down an dirty in our gardens?

    • July 29, 2012 3:05 pm

      I have a garden I tend along with a yard. I love growing my own veggies. As far as garden fashion is concerned, I plan to write about this topic in the future at some point. Simple suggestion: try a green polo with a sturdy pair of khakis and work boots. More to come on this topic…

      • July 29, 2012 3:25 pm

        Thanks for the tip. Question: What is a green polo? If you need any Gardening Supply Look us up. We can hook you up!

      • August 5, 2012 2:40 pm

        A polo shirt is a cotton shirt with a soft collar and 2-3 buttons near the neck. It is a casual shirt.

      • August 5, 2012 4:14 pm

        Thanks, I would have ever guessed, as I have never played polo. I just usually wear my pajamas with little happy faces. Just kidding! Thanks for getting back. Looks like we might get some rain need to go and open up the Rain Barrel System. See Ya.

  25. August 8, 2012 5:46 am

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I now have discovered yours. These fashion tips will come in handy for when I tell things to my husband. 🙂

  26. December 29, 2012 6:50 pm

    Cool post 🙂 , thank you by the way for stopping by in mine.

  27. January 9, 2013 2:24 pm

    You nailed it with number 1, fit, if it doesn’t matter how much you spend on clothing, if it doesn’t fit, you’ll end up looking cheap and slumpy.

    • January 9, 2013 2:28 pm

      It’s amazing how many men miss this point.

      • January 9, 2013 5:59 pm

        Yea, I think it’s easy to just say “this is my size, it will fit” and go go on with your day, it wasn’t until recently that I started to pay more attention to the fit.

  28. February 12, 2013 3:58 am

    Great post and really so helpful! I have three sons in their early 20’s, and I’m sure they’ll all love your site. I’m sending them over. 🙂

    Thank you for Liking my Kitchen Confessions post.

  29. July 7, 2013 9:07 am

    Great info, and I am wondering if you have any tips for the best style of suit, and dress pants/jacket combo, for men in middle age with a bit more belly than they had when they were in their 20’s, and of average to short height.

    • July 11, 2013 12:38 am

      Couple of points to consider. For a suit or sport coat, choose a single breasted two button. Avoid double breasted at all costs. For the pants, make sure there are no cuffs. In general, I like flat front, but for a man with a sizable waist, I recommend a single pleat. It opens up the midsection.

      One more point: darker colors mask shadows obscuring the weight somewhat.

      Hope this helps. P. s. I talk about this in my book.

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