How the journey started…

For my first post, I wanted to write a story about my style journey. I made many mistakes and that’s something I’m not very proud of. However, I learned my lesson and maybe you will too.

My journey started in February of the year 2016. I got a part-time job at a ‘big’ menswear store in The Netherlands. I still don’t understand why they hired me, because my dress-sense was zero! I wore a dress shirt (two sizes too big), jeans (Almost ten centimetres – 4 inches – too long) and Air Max sneakers…It was horrendous. If I had applied for a sneaker shop, it would have been fine. I applied for the department ‘classic menswear’. I understood from the get go that I had to change my style, so I watched some YouTube videos and I thought I understood the things they were saying (foreshadowing: I did not). Besides, I also watched many TV series. My favourite series was Boardwalk Empire. I loved their three-piece suits and I tried to emulate these looks. I went to a vintage store and bought a dress shirt, pants and a grey tweed jacket. After that, I bought two hats and I wore a bowtie every day.

This is what I wore in 2016:

Whenever I need a good laugh, I will look at this picture and remember that I really didn’t know what I was doing. At least it got me where I am now.

When I want to learn something new, I always search for as much information as I can take in. I started following many blogs and I also signed up for multiple menswear forums. At stijlforum.nl, the Dutch equivalent of Styleforum.net, I found a thread about the best menswear books every beginner has to read. On these lists stood ‘Dressing the man’ by Alan Flusser. I ordered that book immediately and found some really good information. I also found out that my grey tweed jacket I had bought at the vintage shop was almost 10 centimetres – 4 inches – too short. I had wasted way too much on clothing that didn’t fit me! Flusser taught me that trousers are better when you wear them at your natural waist and support them by braces/suspenders. I bought some braces and sewed some buttons at the inside of my jeans. Nice now I could wear my jeans with braces… I wore them to work and was very proud of my ‘good’ dress sense. One of my colleagues told me that my jeans where really cutting deep into my behind…

When I want to learn something new, I always search for as much information as I can take in. I started following many blogs and I also signed up for multiple menswear forums. At stijlforum.nl, the Dutch equivalent of Styleforum.net, I found a thread about the best menswear books every beginner has to read. On these lists stood ‘Dressing the man’ by Alan Flusser. I ordered that book immediately and found some really good information. I also found out that my grey tweed jacket I had bought at the vintage shop was almost 10 centimetres – 4 inches – too short. I had wasted way too much on clothing that didn’t fit me! Flusser taught me that trousers are better when you wear them at your natural waist and support them by braces/suspenders. I bought some braces and sewed some buttons at the inside of my jeans. Nice now I could wear my jeans with braces… I wore them to work and was very proud of my ‘good’ dress sense. One of my colleagues told me that my jeans where really cutting deep into my behind…

I was confused, how could this be? It could only mean one thing: the braces are too short. Yet, after these changes, the problem still was there. It was time to consult the internet to find the solution for my persistent problem. When I found out that my trousers where to low and I needed proper high waisted trousers I was a bit devastated, because I had to throw out almost my entire wardrobe and I didn’t know where I could buy new trousers. Nobody sold high waisted trousers. I looked everywhere, and at last, I found some high waisted trousers at Yoox. I bought two trousers and found out they were much better, but only appropriated for spring/summer and it was almost winter. I looked at my dad’s wardrobe and found a really old pair of black high waisted Polo Ralph Lauren jeans. I wore that the whole autumn/winter until I could buy myself a new pair. When I could afford some mtm/bespoke stuff, I jumped in. I again spend a lot of money for nothing because some stuff was not my ‘style’. I think that’s the important lesson, what somebody says about clothing doesn’t mean that you will also like it. Just find your own personal preferences and as long as they look nice on you, that’s good. When somebody says: “but I don’t know what I like?” that means you have to try more things. Another important lesson: I kept trying, so don’t give up! You will get there.

Fast forward to today, I bought myself some bespoke dress shirts, some bespoke trousers and a bespoke jacket. Very happy with the result. My visible styling mistakes are proof of a long journey of learning… that still continues. Hereby I invite you to join my journey and start your own journey too!

Photo’s made of my first high waisted Rota trousers (via Yoox). Bespoke navy blazer, bespoke linen shirt and Crockett and Jones tassel loafers. A change, isn’t it?

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