An Ask XY Guy Gets a New Winter Wardrobe

One of our contributors to our Ask XY segment and the author of Girl Games, Luke, is a friend of mine and a few months ago, I went with him to do a little suit shopping. He had a wedding to go to and didn’t have a proper suit for an adult man, but he wanted something stylish that fit him properly and looked goooooooood. So he asked for me to join and provide my womanly opinion.

Ladies, is there anything sexier than a man in a well-tailored suit? I submit that there is not. Case and point: James Bond. Men, take note, don’t wear your Dad’s hand-me-downs when you are old enough to drink legally. It makes you look frumpy. Be sure to get measured before buying a suit and then have that suit tailored. You will look exponentially better in it.

Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig

ZZ Top was spot on when they said every girl is crazy about a sharp dressed man.

Side-note for those of you who need to go suit shopping: you don’t necessarily have to buy one black and one navy because that’s what most people buy (or in Luke’s case, what the guy at the store told him). Because of Luke’s Scandinavian coloring, he didn’t look that great in the black suit, but he was thinking about buying it anyway because that’s what most people do.  In the end, Luke bought a navy blue, a tan, and a grey suit with light purple pinstripes in it.

Tip #1: Buy the suit that makes you feel the most confident.

After this fun and positive experience, for the both of us, he tossed out the idea of having some ladies take him out shopping for everyday clothes. WELL, Luke just happened to have a birthday not long ago, so myself, our mutual friend Michelle (frequent event attendee), and another Ask XY contributor, Patrick (aka My Husband and Luke’s very good friend), took him out on a surprise shopping trip.

Because we weren’t shopping for a specific event, just an overall update, we stuck to the basics. Like Ryan Gosling’s character says in “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” adult men can rebuild their wardrobe with about 16 pieces.

Luke's new wardrobe

Well, we bought 17 so what does Ryan Gosling know!?!

Our goal was to get a variety of basic items that can be mixed and matched to be either dressy or casual. I wouldn’t suggest buying “outfits” where only these two shirts go together and these two shirts go together. Buy a handful of items in colors that you like and build around them with neutrals. Those go with everything so you don’t have to worry about “matching” because it will all coordinate.

Tip #2: Learn the difference between having clothes “match” and having clothes “coordinate.” It will be cheaper and give you a more versatile wardrobe if you buy many pieces that coordinate instead of outfits where only a small number of items match.

After making stops at H&M, JC Penney, and Macy’s, we had a nice stockpile of both everyday items and fancier threads. So naturally, we did a little photo shoot!

Outfit 1

You can be comfy and still look cool.

We’re starting with the most casual and working our way up to CLASSY!

Tip #3: You don’t have to go full-blown skinny jeans, but give slim or straight cut jeans a try. They will probably make you look taller and it gives ladies a better view of your butt.

Outfit 2

Still casual, but you could wear this out to a bar.

Luke found a pair of jeans that were a slimmer cut than he usually wears, but still comfortable. I had to talk him into the cuffs though. (it’s a trendy look, I swear!)

Tip #4: Buy stuff you feel comfortable in. If it’s uncomfortable, you won’t wear it. Even if it looks good on you. Same applies to something that would bug you, like a button fly vs. a zipper.

Luke is displaying his sensitive side by posing with his cat, Cosmos. He's a rescue cat...ladies.

Luke is displaying his sensitive side by posing with his cat, Cosmos. He’s a rescue cat…ladies.

A quality button-down is going to potentially be the most versatile clothing item you can buy. Wear it untucked with the sleeves rolled up and you’re casual. But throw a sweater over it and boom! Whole new look.

Outfit 4

Dinner at a nice restaurant perhaps?

Tucked in with a tie and you look like a responsible adult with a steady job. Note, still wearing jeans. Don’t even need suit pants.

Outfit 5

You are a grown-ass man when you dress like this. People will probably assume you have a 401K and other investments.

Combine the principles from the previous two outfits and voila! You’ll look like you’re going to a fancy dinner party where you will discuss wine and books.

Outfit 6

For when you want to look professorial.

Tip #5: I’ve never met a guy who didn’t look good in argyle. That might just be me, but I love it.

There you have it folks! 17 articles of clothing gets you many, many options for stylish and comfortable outfits appropriate for a variety of occasions. And if you already own a nice suit, well that’s the ball game fellas.

Michelle and I had a lot of fun with this trip! Luke picked up some basic tips and had both male & female opinions to tell him what looked good on him, what colors worked, etc. And since our little outing, he has received many compliments on his new style, so I’d say, overall, it was a success.

Tip #6: If you’re going to have girls take you out shopping, choose people who understand the look you’re going for. Don’t pick a fashionista who will encourage you to drop a ton of cash on the latest cutting-edge trends if you’re a t-shirt and jeans kind of person.

One last tip and that will be all for my fashion advice. Sometimes people don’t know how to describe what they are looking for. One thing that has helped when I’ve gone shopping with my husband was to ask him, “Who do you want to look like? What kind of style do you want to emulate?” When he says “Justin Timberlake” I know we need to go pick out a vest.

Tip #7: Having a mental image makes the whole process a lot easier.

Happy shopping!



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Categories: Ask XY, Fashion, Lady Talk Forum, Welcome!


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