Over the past year or so I’ve been becoming more and more interested in male fashion. I feel caring how one looks is part of being an adult and I’d like to project a good image. Dressing better is pretty hard to do and it’s not easy to revamp your entire wardrobe overnight; it’s best if you do it in increments. I started by getting rid of a lot of clothes I never wore, especially after I lost some weight.
I would periodically make trips to department stores and thrift stores, but it was hard to find something when I didn’t have a good concept of what I was looking for. I’d collect inspiration albums of outfits I thought looked really sharp, but often I feel that the outfits look good only because the models wearing them look good. It’s true that if you look good without clothes, you’ll look good with clothes. The opposite is true too: If you look horrible without clothes then there isn’t too much clothes can do to conceal it. Sure there are some things, but generally it’s best to be in shape. I’ve been working on that and my wardrobe at the same time.
One of the best fashion discussion communities I’ve found is the Male Fashion Advice community on reddit. They have lots of really great guides designed to help someone move from just throwing on whatever is in the clean pile to actually dressing like a well put together adult. When you start to learn a little about how clothes should fit and hang on the body, you’ll quickly become aware of just how poorly the majority of people dress themselves. You’ll also start to notice and appreciate those who take the time to do it well.
One of the areas I’ve really wanted to improve upon is footwear. There’s something distinctly American about wearing sneakers everywhere. When traveling abroad you can usually pick out the American tourists by their shoes. Lots of people also tend to wear boxy, ugly, square toed shoes that don’t compliment the human form. Slip-ons are also a common sin. Over the years I’ve been really guilty of this. For a long time the shoe I wore everywhere was a Merrel Moc:
They were easy to put on and take off and were extremely comfortable. While they were great shoes, I wore them primarily as a teenager. My wardrobe didn’t go beyond jeans and an ill-fitting t-shirt. My first big improvement after reading up on fashion was a pair of Bucks:
These shoes are great for casual wear around town. You can even wear them sock-less in the summer if you want, though I’m not too overly a fan of this. The only downside is that the sued darkens really quickly. Mine have gone from tan to a chocolate brown. The next improvement I had my eye on was a pair of wingtips. Wingtip shoes have little design patterns on them like this:
The dilemma now was to what shoe to get. There are plenty of wingtip shoes out there but most of them are cheaply made shoes by either Bostonian or Johnston & Murphy. All the research I did into which shoes to buy always said to not skimp on the shoes. A good pair of well constructed shoes might cost 5-6 times that of a cheaper pair, but they age much better and can last several decades if you take care of them. If I was going to try and get a genuinely nice pair of shoes I needed for them to be flexible enough to be worn with most anything. Brown is usually more flexible than black as far as shoes go, and lighter brown even more so.
The pair I had my heart set on was Allen Edmonds McAllister. I went to the fine clothing store downtown and place an order, but since I have such wide feet I had to wait a for a custom pair to be shipped in from the factory. Well after a month of waiting they’re here and they’re stunning.
I’m so excited that they’re in, I’m giddy. I wore them around a little bit yesterday, but I’m being supper careful with them as they’re my baby. I know this might sound stupid, but I feel a big confidence boost by just wearing them. I still have a long way to go with both weight and wardrobe, but I imagine my confidence will continue to rise as I get better with both.