Every morning, when faced with the task of choosing an outfit from my closet full of clothes, I choose instead to wear what I wore the day before. Not the same underwear, mind you, but often the same pants and the same shirt. I have not, by any concerted effort, created my own version of an Elizabeth Holmesian capsule wardrobe. If anything, I’ve tried to change things up. Every now and again, I’ll pull out a jacket that I haven’t worn in a while and try it on. And for a minute, I think maybe it could work. But as soon as it’s time to leave the house, I revert back to my daily standard — jeans and a T-shirt. No colors. No labels.
By all accounts, I’m in a fashion rut, seemingly without any ability to turn it around. And so, I asked some of the guys on the Male Fashion Advice (MFA) subreddit to tell me what they do when they feel like their wardrobe is on a loop.
According to redditor notarascal, part of the problem is that I lack any sartorial inspiration. As for how he finds his, he tells me…
- He visits some of his favorite boutiques (online or in-person).
- He checks out some of his favorite brands’ lookbooks.
- He reads his favorite menswear blogs — namely, Putthison and Style & Direction.
- He checks in on the MFA “What Are You Wearing Today?” thread where people post their fits along with info on where they got them.
- He kicks around more avant-garde shops like Lucentement.
“Then, with your newfound inspiration, make a plan for how you will change your wardrobe,” he says. “Make an honest assessment of your current clothes piece by piece. Maybe you have a shirt or blazer that doesn’t fit right. Plan to get it tailored; if it can’t be tailored, sell it, or give it to a friend, or donate it. Create simple steps. Go slow. Google Sheets and Trello are both good places to get organized.”
He astutely points out that none of this has to cost you anything. In fact, he recommends visiting boutiques specifically to look, not buy.
To that end, ZombiePartyBoyLives says that sometimes it’s fun to just go browsing. “One thing I do is scroll a little faster than if I was searching for something specific until a piece catches my eye,” he tells me. “Then I take a closer look to see if I actually like the thing, or think about how something like it might work for me.”
Another quick and easy tactic, per Vampa_the_Bandit, is to take fit pics, which, like the aforementioned Google Sheets, should help you think about your clothes critically. “Fit pics help you catalog your outfits, and provide reference for how your clothes look on your body,” he explains. “Why do you hate certain items? Are they bad on their own, or have you just not found where they can fit in? Try new outfits. Walk around your place in a weird fit you like but would be embarrassed to wear in public.”
Lastly, wiggs_de tells me that he starts by looking for interesting variations of things he already likes. “Differences in cuts, materials and colors are good for adding variety and interest,” he says. The way he goes about this is via stockists like END. “Finding smaller stockists is a good way to find similar brands to what you like,” he continues. “For example, I like the brand Earth\Studies, and I found the stockist This Thing of Ours, who carries brands working in a similar space.”
None of this is revolutionary, of course. But that’s sorta the point. I’m not dressing for a special occasion or anything fancy. I’m just trying to bring a close to Groundhog Day.