Shawn S. asks: My significant other has been after me to update my look – and I agree with her that someone in my profession should not be tagged as ‘old school ‘because of his clothes. She gets frustrated by my lack of enthusiasm for shopping, and, trust me, I get that my clothes are mostly about five years old, and would like to be thought of as “current “. But I’m not trying to look like Ryan Seacrest, and I am not prepared to get rid of everything in my closet and bet the farm on a whole new wardrobe that might go out of fashion before my cell phone contract comes up for renewal. Do you have a sensible strategy that you can suggest for updating my wardrobe?
Tom Talks: Here’s what we would recommend you consider doing to update your look. Think in terms of taking three steps to get started:
1) Consider wearing more trousers without pleats, cuffs, and even without creases – just don’t go overboard until you’re comfortable with the new look and feel. A shorter rise in the trouser (think a shorter zippered pant cut to fit on your hips and not on your ‘equator’) makes it easier to walk and move around. Try squatting down in a full cut pleated trouser and then get up quickly – a much more comfortable maneuver in a pleat-less pant. Your range of motion, like how high you can raise your leg at the knee, improves with a shorter rise flat front pant model — whether its traditional denim or the latest 5-pocket flannel or twill trouser cut to fit like jeans.
2) Realize that closer fitting clothes – properly sized and tailored, of course – trim your silhouette and can literally help you shed weight visually. When it’s done right it really works, and your fan club will see the difference right away. As tailors, we incorporate our “tricks of the trade” to enhance your silhouette by making the shoulders a bit more narrow and raising the coat button position while trimming the girth of the jacket at the button. But fear not — trimmer doesn’t have to mean tighter and less comfortable. With our soft construction option and a new generation of fabrics engineered with a “stretch” component, closer fitting tailored clothes can be nearly as comfortable as jeans but still meet the dress code at work.
3) Hedge your bets by adding only 3 outfits at one sitting – not unlike ‘dollar cost averaging’. This strategy allows you to move in and out of micro-trends in clothing but stay on course as fashion evolves. I’d suggest you consider three outfits together: one for Thursday (dressy office attire — suit/shirt/tie, etc) when you’re all business, one for Friday (business/casual attire—sport coat, trouser, open collar shirt, etc) like how you’d dress to meet your wife for dinner, and another for cool weather Saturdays (comfortable and social – jeans or another 5-pocket trouser, a sleeveless or long-sleeve knit layered over a collared sport shirt, and comfortable shoes) to wear when you’re going to a friend’s house for wine and cheese before heading out to the movies. We’ve designed several Value Packages that will help you do exactly what we’re suggesting here.