Automatic Style
March 13, 2010 9:46 PM   Subscribe

I usually do the Banana Republic/J. Crew/Express Men's trifecta. No one who knows me would call me stylish. But one day I bought a pair of Diesel jeans, and suddenly new people in my life think I'm stylish. When questioned, they indicate the jeans. What other brands automatically do this, in that price range? 29-year-old male, Philly/NYC. I'm looking for shoes, shirts, and more pants.
posted by zeek321 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (I should add, multiple people knew they were Diesel jeans. That's why I'm asking about brands.)
posted by zeek321 at 9:48 PM on March 13, 2010

D&G, 7 for all Mankind, at least for jeans.
posted by msbutah at 9:49 PM on March 13, 2010

True Religion and 575 are some brands that come to mind for jeans; both are in the sub-$100 price range.
posted by meta.mark at 10:30 PM on March 13, 2010

Where are you finding True Religion jeans for less than $100, meta.mark? Checking online, the cheapest pair I see are ~$135.
posted by asterix at 10:34 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

At the risk of being flamed, I'd advise against Ed Hardy and Affliction unless you want 99% of people to think you're a tool.

Check out a few fashion blogs (EX:The Sartorialist) and see what you could see yourself wearing. Most things are far from "average"... To me stylish is a hazy area between looking good and attracting positive attention at the same time *shrug*.
posted by mhuckaba at 10:54 PM on March 13, 2010 [3 favorites]

Designer jeans usually advertise by back pocket design. Besides jeans other status brands are Polo (little man on horse), Lacoste (alligator), Abercrombie and Fitch (moose), the Burberry tan/black/red plaid pattern.

In my experience designer jeans are hard to wear wrong but it's very easy to become a walking stereotype with the other brands. Banana Republic, J.Crew and Express all sell great stuff but are pretty conservative with style. Check out Uniqlo, TOPMAN and H&M for more style but a similar price range.
posted by laptolain at 10:56 PM on March 13, 2010

Also, I would focus on pattern, material, cut and layering. When I see people wearing Ed Hardy or Affliction I just see fashion laziness, it just so happens lots of tools wear them. Paying more for your clothes doesn't make you more stylish. It's a mistake many people make and isn't exclusive to Ed Hardy and Affliction (see: designer sunglasses).
posted by laptolain at 11:12 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

All of these brands won't give you automatic style. And anyone that thinks they do doesn't actually know what they are talking about.

If you would like to impress the sheep who follow, wear Diesel, True Religion etc.

Cut is much more important than anything else. Make sure the clothes fit. Get a tailor.
posted by lakerk at 11:25 PM on March 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

The ladies and gents at can offer you some tips on selecting the best denim for you in your price range.

In addition to what's been mentioned, I'd also suggest Joe's.
posted by Amanda B at 11:33 PM on March 13, 2010

I'm female so I don't know if my jeans experiences apply to men, but it's worth considering.

One of the differences between brands of clothes is the fit. Some brands come out with clothes that consistently fit me so well, I can buy the clothes without trying them on (this is rare in my experience). Those are the clothes that look stylish. Some brands might look amazing on other people, but those other people have a different shape to me, and those clothes will never look stylish on me.

As an example: I have large hips and a small waist, so if I wear jeans made for someone more boy-shaped, I have a big gaping gap at the back, down which anyone can see my ass. Similarly, it seems like skinny guys can wear low slung pants and look great, whereas guys with any kind of belly wearing this style just look like they have an ENORMOUS torso, tiny legs, and have their ass on show when they bend down.

Therefore, take all brand advice in this thread with a pinch of salt, apply common sense, and/or post something more about your dimensions.
posted by emilyw at 5:32 AM on March 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Second Emily W; the jeans *must* fit well, or you're wasting the money.
posted by talldean at 5:37 AM on March 14, 2010

Response by poster: Hmm. This is more complicated than I was hoping it would be. No free lunch, I guess. :-)

I have a long torso, long arms, broad shoulders, and a muscle-butt. (I'm on the thin side, but I'm slowly but surely putting on more and more muscle with each passing month.)

Most shirts each look like a tent (too large) or they aren't long enough and my arms stick out of them. Most pants do this weird tilt thing around the hips/waist because I have a flat stomach but my glutes are getting pretty big. Help!
posted by zeek321 at 5:45 AM on March 14, 2010

I agree that fit is more important than wearing any specific brand, BUT if a brand is cut to fit a body type similar to yours, it may help to stick to it. Over here in the UK, for example, Ted Baker and Zara look great on tall, slim-hipped men but not so much on other body types. Mr. Stuck, who has what tailors delicately refer to as a "prominent seat", also looks fantastic in Diesel jeans, so maybe they're cut to fit your body type and this, rather than the brand name, is what your friends were actually registering when they were favorably impressed.
posted by stuck on an island at 6:58 AM on March 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Christ, DO NOT buy True Religions. You'll get some cred from people who don't really understand style, sure, but if you wish to present yourself in a classy and well put-together manner, opt for another brand. You'll want a dark, nicely fitting pair of jeans that have absolutely no tearing, holes or excessive sanding. Take a look at Nudie, 7 for all Mankind or even Uniqlo.
posted by Orchestra at 7:08 AM on March 14, 2010 [2 favorites]

Nthing that fit is more important than label. I'm impressed by people who can consistently dress well, but a pair of 7 for All Mankind, True Religion, or whatever Veblen denim is the new hotness doesn't say "style" to me. It says "shallow." (Or "compensating for something.")

No matter the brand, avoid anything where someone can identify the label from across the room - no huge logos or "trademark" back pocket stitching. People seeing the logos may be complimenting you more on your ability to afford/keep up with trendy brands than how you actually wear your clothes. They're impressed with the labels, not with you.

That said, if a $200 pair of jeans fits you perfectly and makes you look and feel great, and you're buying it for the fit and not the label prominently displayed on the ass, then go ahead.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:34 AM on March 14, 2010

Another tip that I use as a skinny guy (wearing smalls and 32" jeans) is to shop in the children's department at places like Dillards and Nordstroms. If you're small enough then you can usually fit in a childs large or 16. Plus there are often name brands (like Polo, etc) for about 60% less than adults, even though its the same fabric, logo, etc. The nice thing about a child's cut is that it's generally easier to differentiate between smalls. If you're a skinny guy like me you can try on a 14, a 16, and an 18 and see what one comes out with the best fit. The one nice thing about a growing obese child population I guess.
posted by msbutah at 10:39 AM on March 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

G Star Raw
Triple 5 Soul
Lots of hot guys clothes at 80s Purple
posted by infinityjinx at 12:18 PM on March 14, 2010

Brooklyn Industries
posted by infinityjinx at 12:19 PM on March 14, 2010

Kasil, Mavi, AG Jeans.
posted by charlesv at 2:31 PM on March 14, 2010

FWIW the expensive jeans trend is pretty much over, so do not go out and buy a bunch of designer-name jeans. Buying a number of brands that people will instantly recognize is definitely moving towards tool territory.

As for shirts that don't fit, go to a tailor. For about $20-40 you can make them MUCH more flattering. This will make a much bigger difference than buying labels that people will recognize.
posted by AtomicBee at 11:06 AM on March 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Depends on who you're trying to impress. I probably wouldn't recognize Diesel jeans, but if you showed up sporting some tactical pants, I'd nod and give you the secret handshake.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:11 AM on March 15, 2010

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