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December 10, 2017, 11:58:25 pm

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Topic: Fashion Advice Corner  (Read 668 times)

beelzeboob

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Fashion Advice Corner
« on: August 27, 2017, 12:53:28 pm »
I'm realizing a lot of folks on ballpit, for whatever personal reasons they may have, seem to struggle with finding their style, shopping for their size, or even just finding things they like within a specific budget. Shopping and thrifting are my favorite hobbies so I figured I'd offer my services, as well as those of anyone else who wanders along and wants to help.

Basically, in this thread, if you want any fashion advice or even just store recommendations, please hit me up! I'll gladly try my best to help you find something that you love that caters to your specific tastes, and that you can hopefully also afford. I can also build outfits around a specific style of clothing, or even an article of clothing you already like and have nothing to go with. I'll even make a polyvore spread for you if you'd like one (the worst site name ever, I know) so that you can visualize how good or bad something may look together, like this:



And again, if anyone else wants to jump in here and offer advice or recommendations or even just words of encouragement, please do! Shopping is always more fun with a friend. :)
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Cleretic

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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2017, 04:57:26 am »
Okay, three questions.

1. Where do I get that butterfly skirt, I love it.

2. Is it a bad thing to only have one 'look'? I find that I gravitate a lot towards black clothes when left to my own devices, a lot of the clothes I've gotten compliments on/gotten with friends are similar-ish (knee-length dresses, all black but some with colored floral patterns and such) and I've got a really sweet green coat that I've been wearing a lot lately. I feel like that's all fine in isolation, but it leads to much of my clothing choices being pretty much interchangeable, since anything that doesn't fit with that usual doesn't tend to drift far from that mold.

Related: how okay is it to just be wearing all black all the time? Because I do try to avoid it, but it's sort of an elephant in the room if you see me more than three times a week.

3. How the fuck do you shop at a thrift store and come out looking good, because that seems like a fucking SKILL that I haven't figured out yet.


And actually, a bit of help I can give that I think will resonate with people here, because I think there's a lot of people in the same position I was. It can be really hard to figure out the basics of fashion, of finding stuff that complements a body and everything else in the ensemble. I know I was totally lost when I first started trying to branch out into wearing things that weren't t-shirts and cargo pants, but once I realized I had a bit of a friend helping me with this for years, I did a lot better. It sounds dumb, but:

Video game character creators.

It sounds ridiculous, but when you get one that's got a pretty good offering of clothes and colors, it works really well. Bonus points for different body types. If you can carry the skills you learned from dressing a virtual character, you will be totally fine. The character creators I wound up using a lot and getting that help from were...
City of Heroes: Old at this point, and not exactly easy to get (you can get a version of the client hacked to just be the character creator), but it's a pretty solid basis. Solid mundane clothes and color selection, decent at body types, good hairstyle choices. Something or other beats it in pretty much every category at this point, but it's probably still the best on average.
Champions Online: Technically speaking, CO is probably the best character creator in this list, but it's not easy to use and doesn't have a lot of normal-clothes options. It's a fucking SKILL to get unique looks going in that creator, I remember being genuinely stunned when I saw somebody figure out how to do a plaid shirt tied around the waist.
The Secret World/Secret World Legends: Best possible selection of totally normal clothes, oh my god. Pretty much any outfit you can design in this game could be used as a shopping list and be decently imitated over the course of an afternoon. Absolutely no differentiation in body types, so it won't help you there, but it's hard to find a better one for just plain outfiteering.
Saints Row: Speaking of body types, this has all of them! That makes it REALLY good at figuring out on a basic level what does and doesn't work. Both SR2 and 3/4 have different upsides in the outfit department; 2 offers a lot of pretty realistically low-end choices, while 3/4 is a lot more upper-class stylish. They're both good and they'll both help, but I find 3/4 is probably a better pick in terms of figuring out an actual style.
Honorable mentions to Dark Souls and Final Fantasy XIV. They won't help you with modern-day clothes, but they still give you a pretty solid selection to play with. And debatably, their more limited and slower offerings help to avoid choice paralysis and consider an individual piece of clothing and what to do with it.

GirlKisser420

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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2017, 05:07:52 am »
2. Is it a bad thing to only have one 'look'? I find that I gravitate a lot towards black clothes when left to my own devices, a lot of the clothes I've gotten compliments on/gotten with friends are similar-ish (knee-length dresses, all black but some with colored floral patterns and such) and I've got a really sweet green coat that I've been wearing a lot lately. I feel like that's all fine in isolation, but it leads to much of my clothing choices being pretty much interchangeable, since anything that doesn't fit with that usual doesn't tend to drift far from that mold.

Related: how okay is it to just be wearing all black all the time? Because I do try to avoid it, but it's sort of an elephant in the room if you see me more than three times a week.

3. How the fuck do you shop at a thrift store and come out looking good, because that seems like a fucking SKILL that I haven't figured out yet.

I think having a look is fine, as long as it's having a look and not just having a bunch of stuff.

The trick with op-shopping is to be the same size as the old people and kids of your area, since they're the main donators. I'm pretty tall so I never find anything, which is good because I have a nerd brain parasite that makes me think casual blazers are allowed.


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beelzeboob

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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2017, 09:38:13 am »
Okay, three questions.

1. Where do I get that butterfly skirt, I love it.

2. Is it a bad thing to only have one 'look'? I find that I gravitate a lot towards black clothes when left to my own devices, a lot of the clothes I've gotten compliments on/gotten with friends are similar-ish (knee-length dresses, all black but some with colored floral patterns and such) and I've got a really sweet green coat that I've been wearing a lot lately. I feel like that's all fine in isolation, but it leads to much of my clothing choices being pretty much interchangeable, since anything that doesn't fit with that usual doesn't tend to drift far from that mold.

Related: how okay is it to just be wearing all black all the time? Because I do try to avoid it, but it's sort of an elephant in the room if you see me more than three times a week.

3. How the fuck do you shop at a thrift store and come out looking good, because that seems like a fucking SKILL that I haven't figured out yet.

1. Where else but Etsy? I bought it as a present for myself for graduating, with birthday money so I didn't die of starvation.

2. One look is actually super convenient! I try to have a lot of things I can mix and match so that I don't fall into my own trap of "this is THIS outfit and that's THAT outfit" and then I only have like three things to wear out. People start noticing that very quickly. Being able to mix and match is a huge benefit and makes life 100x easier. If you want to make a few separate outfits that fall outside your standard mold that's okay too, but keep in mind that they cost a lot more when you have to build the whole thing from scratch instead of drawing from your already existing wardrobe.

There's no shame in a preference in color, and if there is then I'm totally fucked for wearing blue so much. That said, If you're worried about wearing nothing but black, invest in some pieces that pop a bit more with a bright color. I wear my black shirts with pink, floral patterned pants for instance - not for everybody, obviously, but the idea is the same. Jackets, sweaters, and cardigans are a godsend when it comes to breaking up a dull outfit. So is chunky jewelry, if that's your thing. Green goes excellently with black - most things do (lucky you!) - so chase that jacket and find some green laces that match to tie stuff together, or find a similar style that you enjoy in another color (Saints Row sold me on purple, green, and black all together) to switch it up a bit from day to day.

ETA: Tadah, a color piece turning a completely black outfit into something a bit more interesting to look at.


3. Not all stores are created equal, and the real secret to thrifting isn't being able to roll around in anything and come out looking fabulous. Instead, the secret is simply knowing which thrift stores aren't shitty. Don't assume that every thrift store will have something for you. I've got three go-to's in thrift and consignment in my town, and the Goodwill everyone else thinks of is not one of those places. Know your size, know what you want (A dress? A cardigan? Pants? What is your wardrobe lacking?) and head for that section immediately. If they don't have your size there, odds are they don't carry it in the rest of the store, either. If they DO have your size, check first to see if this store has a changing room, and if it does? Start pulling shit you like immediately. It doesn't matter if it doesn't fit pretty when you try it on, so long as you don't break it. Thrift shops are about throwing a LOT of things at a wall and seeing if one sticks. Often it will be cuter on the rack than on you, and that's okay. The joy is that someone else will come along and love that thing that doesn't work for you, and focusing on that communal effort makes the experience a lot more fun. All that said, if there's no changing room, as is the case in smaller stores, it's a gamble based on sizes, prices, and return policies. It's always up to you whether to take that risk.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 10:07:58 am by beelzeboob »

Sanguinary Novel

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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2017, 10:24:36 pm »
Hey, not sure if anyone here likes Torrid, but they have a pretty big clearance sale going on right now.
beelzeboob

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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2017, 10:44:54 pm »
So I have the fat girl problem that when I sit my stomach sticks out past my chest. This leads to the problem where most clothes in the 2x-3x range don't fit at all around my stomach, but anything larger than that and my boobs are just sorta...hanging out in the fabric. It's caused me to mostly wear polo shirts and t-shirts with the occasional rare Lane Bryant top. Oh god, what can I do to make me look less like a dump?

edit: To give you an idea, on Torrid my chest falls into the size 4 range while my stomach is either 5 or 6.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 10:51:23 pm by Knitting Machine »

beelzeboob

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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2017, 09:13:04 am »
So I have the fat girl problem that when I sit my stomach sticks out past my chest. This leads to the problem where most clothes in the 2x-3x range don't fit at all around my stomach, but anything larger than that and my boobs are just sorta...hanging out in the fabric. It's caused me to mostly wear polo shirts and t-shirts with the occasional rare Lane Bryant top. Oh god, what can I do to make me look less like a dump?

edit: To give you an idea, on Torrid my chest falls into the size 4 range while my stomach is either 5 or 6.

This is a frustrating issue to be sure, especially if you're the kind of person who just wants to wear jeans and a T-shirt. Shopping plus-sized when you aren't just a scaled-up twig can be really really difficult, because nobody accommodates for stomach, hips, and butt like they should. THAT SAID, it is totally still do-able to dress yourself cutely and fashionably.

Definitely shop for your chest and let a drapey, loose-fitting top solve the rest of your problem. I'm not sure how you feel about baggy tops and leggings or jeggings, but they are definitely your friends, as are empire waist dresses, a-line dresses, and anything cut high and loose that will hang off your chest and drape around your stomach. The basic idea is "loose on top, tight on bottom." Something as simple as leggings, a loose, draping cami, and a long cardigan can already make a really cute outfit by itself, especially if you work a nicely patterned piece in there. Here's a whole pageful of inspiration for solutions, though I can't vouch for the validity of actually shopping on that site since I've never done it myself (it does appear to have good reviews).

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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2017, 09:26:09 am »
Has anyone ever ordered from eshakti.com? It's about the same/little bit less than Lane Bryant in terms of cost, but much better choices. They even allow you to customize the shape of the dress for extra. But, for things like that, the clothing seems too cheap. The about section does talk about labor, wages, and factory conditions, but, ugh, no ethical consumption under capitalism...

beelzeboob

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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2017, 09:43:29 am »
I've never even heard of them tbh, but ALL their reviews seem to be blogger-based -- never a good sign in my experience. When you have to donate free clothes to someone you're desperately trying to impress to get positive feedback and still can't get a 5-star review, your quality is not up to snuff.

Schumin Capote

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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 11:57:32 pm »
The Christmas party at work is cocktail attire and I have no idea what that means. What are some basic guidelines for men's cocktail attire? I have been putting effort into dressing better and buying nicer clothes, but I've never really been a suit and tie person.

chai tea latte

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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 01:06:33 pm »
The Christmas party at work is cocktail attire and I have no idea what that means. What are some basic guidelines for men's cocktail attire? I have been putting effort into dressing better and buying nicer clothes, but I've never really been a suit and tie person.

I'll try to be really clear and straight-forward about this. Cocktail attire for men is pretty easy - you have a little bit of flexibility, because 'cocktail' just means 'in between formal and semi-formal'. You're probably going to have to wear a suit. If you don't own one, look into renting one for the work party. It's a lot harder to rent a suit than a tux, but you can get exactly what you want for the work event. Or, if you've got some money to spend on a suit, even though you're not really a suit guy, a gray suit with notched lapels (my preference is notched lapels; i think most people look best in them) helps you build looks of all sorts of levels of formality. If you have time and don't plan on imminently losing a lot of weight, get your suit tailored. If you don't, you'll live.

As for what to wear and how to dress yourself:

You might want to do something nice with your hair. Brush it, pomade, whatever your thing is. Clean up your facial hair. Hair is the bow on the parcel that is your suit. If you don't have a 'thing' you do to your hair, don't worry about it.

What kind of suit? You can get away with something that isn't black or midnight blue at a cocktail party, so if you have something that's at least semi-formal but has, like, checks or a pattern or a colour you wouldn't normally wear at work, that's another option. I personally wouldn't want to be the one dressed weird at the christmas party, so I'd suggest a gray suit, plain or striped (candy-cane striped???) tie, work shoes, work belt. Because we haven't gone all the way into 'formal', pocket squares or other jewelry (tie clip, earrings, cuff links) are optional and not called for.

The big 'thing' this winter / holiday season is velvet. It has a warmth and depth to it, as well as the obvious texture, that make it a focal point of any outfit. You might be able to find a velvet blazer that fits. If you wore that with some professional basics (work shirt, work pants, etc), you would be dressed for the cocktail party but also dressed 'fashionably'. If you don't want to buy a velvet blazer for this one party, don't - you'll only have a few more chances to wear it until it goes to the back of the closet for next year's christmas party. If you want, go to Zara or somewhere else with a really good returns policy, and bring it back later that week.

A side-note on work party etiquette: most agony aunts avoid getting tipsy, let alone drunk, at any kind of work fundraiser or event. It's still all coworkers, and you don't want to be dumb in front of them. You don't want to not drink, but sip, don't chug. A highball beats a beer, and a whiskey beats a highball if you like whiskey. Try not to talk about work for longer than a sentence or two (nobody else wants to either!!!). Have a good time, wish your boss a merry christmas, and get drunk at home.

Hope this helps!
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2017, 05:34:25 pm »
Without knowing your job or specific workplace, you can probably get through the Christmas party without a suit if you don't have one.  Do slacks, shirt, tie, blazer. 

In addition to the above mostly solid advice (pomade? pocket squares? [fuckyou]) I would suggest one thing in terms of buying a suit:  If you have the means, go to a men's clothing store.  Someplace where the person working the floor has measuring tape around his neck and extra dress pins in his lapel.  It will be more expensive, but your money is going two places: the quality of the suit, and the experience of the person who helps you decide which one.  You should absolutely have it tailored if you can but you may not have time before the party - you aren't the only one having alterations done this time of year.

If you don't have the means to go to a men's clothing store and instead you go to a mall department store to buy a suit, buy the most expensive one they have.  The cheapest department store suit will look like exactly that, more obviously than you might think.  If you don't own a blazer and want to go that route, the same rules apply - get a nice one.  Dress pants and a blazer will of course be way cheaper than a decent suit, especially since you probably already own pants you can wear.

With a minimum of proper care a decent quality, conservatively styled dark gray suit will last you for every formal party, wedding, funeral, job interview, etc for as long as you still fit into it.  It never goes out of style.  This is coming from a guy who wears pajamas to work and long sleeve T-shirts everywhere else.

Personally, I skip parties (and meetings) that have a dress code.  They're never fun.





p.s. Skip the fedora.
Schumin Capote

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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2017, 01:52:24 am »
I'd love to skip the party, but it is my first year at the company and it coincides very closely with the launch of a huge project that I lead the development of, so I feel like I need to be there. I do have the means to get something nice, I'm just not thrilled with the idea of buying a suit I feel like I wouldn't wear very much, but maybe a nicer fitting suit would be something I'd actually want to wear. My mind kind of shuts off at anything above business casual, so it helps to have to an idea of what to look for. I agree with getting something gray, nicer fitting (doubt there is time to get it tailored), notched lapels, and nice enough that I'd want to wear it, but not crazy. So basically, not this:

Sanguinary Novel

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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2017, 02:23:23 am »
Don't listen to either of these nerds - what you need is an opposuit



Yeah, that's stylish and festive

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Cleretic

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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2017, 03:18:31 am »
I'd love to skip the party, but it is my first year at the company and it coincides very closely with the launch of a huge project that I lead the development of, so I feel like I need to be there. I do have the means to get something nice, I'm just not thrilled with the idea of buying a suit I feel like I wouldn't wear very much, but maybe a nicer fitting suit would be something I'd actually want to wear. My mind kind of shuts off at anything above business casual, so it helps to have to an idea of what to look for. I agree with getting something gray, nicer fitting (doubt there is time to get it tailored), notched lapels, and nice enough that I'd want to wear it, but not crazy. So basically, not this:


Guys have it luckier than ladies in this corner, because a nice-fitting suit can be worn to fucking anything. Invest in one of those and you're sorted for all future dinner parties, office parties, weddings (unless it's yours), funerals (again, unless it's yours) for at least the next two or three years. It doesn't even need to be tailored, just one that fits you pretty well will look really good and chances are nobody you cross paths with will know much different.