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March 29, 2011 5:18 PM   Subscribe

I'm no longer satisfied with 'preppy' clothes. Help me pick some nice clothes?

I'm having trouble choosing clothing.

My most fundamental concern is for an attractive cohesiveness. For men, that seems easily achievable with well-chosen 'preppy' clothing I guess, you know, no logos, nice colors, long lines, unobtrusive.

I'm no longer satisfied with this option because my muscles have grown, and 'brute in a suit' is to me a contrast of cloaked aggression, a softness, and a hidden sort of vanity. They're not really big or anything, just like an athlete or something I guess.

I find lots of styles really attractive, I like the angularity of punks, I like slicked back hair and fit suits, I like the way a scientist looks as he scribbles notes with one foot atop a rock. I just don't like Banana Republic right now

I find these boots beautiful, I guess that's a reference point or something.

Anyhow thanks a lot for reading and thinking about this
posted by past to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It would help if we knew for what sorts of situations you are dressing. Are you a student? Do you work? Where? What do others there wear?

One way to approach style is to take what is typical for those in your line of work/lifestyle/peer group to wear and find your own twist on it. That way you don't end up looking completely inappropriate, but you can stand out in a positive, stylish way.

You might look up some pictures of how David Beckham dresses. He takes the "preppy" look and sort of dials up the chicness on it. He also has an athletic physique. Of course, his wife is legendarily stylish and he has a ton of money, so you'll probably have to interpret rather than copy.
posted by jeoc at 5:33 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

A picture of how you dressed normally (for now) might help, if you're comfortable posting that online.
posted by kylej at 5:42 PM on March 29, 2011

Watch Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain: he's fairly beefy (athletic, dancery; fills out his shirts/sweaters nicely) but not at all brutish. I tried to take some style points from him for a while, though I eventually devolved into a schlub.

How do you feel about the Nerd Boyfriend? Mostly scrawny preppy hipster looks, but possibly some good inspiration.
posted by xueexueg at 6:50 PM on March 29, 2011

Best answer: Since I don't know what situations you're dressing for, I'm going to make a rather conservative suggestion. You could incorporate subtle variations of the styles you like into your wardrobe. Herringbone pants instead of striped punk pants. Microcheck or a small houndstooth pattern instead of plaid. These will be more work appropriate, incorporate more easily with your current wardrobe, and be less likely to get donated if your interest in spicing up your wadrobe fades (speaking as someone who has had goth, frumpy body-hiding, and nerd wardrobe stages that resulted in massive closet purges). They will, however, be a change, and probably a more comfortable one than going full tweed old school science professor.
posted by Logic Sheep at 7:26 PM on March 29, 2011

Best answer: The boots look like something the designer Rick Owens may have in a runway show. Certainly it's an alternate look to "preppy", and not exactly available at Banana Republic. Maybe check out the forum at for some info and ideas.
posted by jade east at 8:34 PM on March 29, 2011

Response by poster: @jade east: thanks for that website. In my opinion many of those guys are missing something integral, can't name it exactly, but this guy looks brilliant.

That's the sort of thing I'm looking for - I couldn't care less about the style as long as it's beautiful.

For work I've got to wear a lab coat, and my friends don't dress in any definable schema, so I'm not restricted really in terms of peer group culture.

Thanks everyone, you're really helping me out.
posted by past at 9:20 PM on March 29, 2011

skipping straight from prep to punk will lead to disaster. one way to understand fashion better is to totally be out of fashion. as a primer its good to dress like a geek, as if you're totally broke, or all in rainbows like a venice beach drug dealer. i suggest going to a tailor and having some pants fitted. you'll get some idea of how you would like to look/how things drape on you with your new body. the important thing is to make sure the clothes fit well. scour second hand stores for rare gems. buy something weird.
posted by skwint at 9:46 PM on March 29, 2011

I suggest you go to a public place and watch people until you see someone whose style you find compelling and ask them something innocuous, like, "Pardon me, but that is a nice shirt. Where did you get it?"
posted by perfectlylegal at 10:35 PM on March 29, 2011

I don't know anything about fashion but you can't really go wrong with jeans and a t-shirt. If you've got the money, nice black jeans and designer t-shirt. If you've got muscles, maybe a singlet/'wife-beater' (i'm not sure of the politically correct term).
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:51 PM on March 29, 2011

Best answer: I'm very fond of Nau's aesthetic: classic, clean, subtly "military"/"workwear"-influenced. I also dig their socially/ecologically-responsible angle, but that's beside the point While their stuff is quite expensive (non-sale, anyways), it strikes me as indicative of one menswear "genre", if you will, that you might appreciate.
posted by alexandermatheson at 11:13 PM on March 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Perhaps you will like some of the designs by Dandy of the Grotesque (hate the name, love the clothes). They have an atelier here in Berlin, but I would not be surprised if they could arrange to ship to you if you got in touch.
posted by greenfelttip at 6:14 AM on March 30, 2011

Best answer: Past, I believe the fit picture you've posted of the 'goth-ninja' in the snow, is from a member of Style Zeitgeist. There is much there that many consider very forward and stylish. is, despite its incoherence, a quality resource for this type of thing.
posted by fook at 3:36 PM on March 30, 2011

Best answer: If you're into innovative takes on that sort of brooding look, definitely look at collections from Julius, RO (as jade fire said), Attachment, and Ann Demeulemeester.
posted by en forme de poire at 7:26 PM on March 30, 2011

Response by poster: thanks everyone

if anyone is reading at this point - some of those links have very wonderful clothes

I especially like the Ann Demeulemeester - the first image from 2011 men is perfect, the others in that collection less so, and the 2010-2011 is also excellent, though that might just be my appreciation of androgyny as much as of clothing
posted by past at 6:44 AM on April 1, 2011

Glad you found what you're looking for!
posted by fook at 5:24 PM on April 1, 2011

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