Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Wardrobe advice (from woman or fashion maven in the USA) ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Wardrobe advice (from woman or fashion maven in the USA)
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: crom654-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 21 Mar 2003 07:16 PST
Expires: 20 Apr 2003 08:16 PDT
Question ID: 179141
I would prefer this question be answered by some one in the USA,
probably by a woman (cetainly by some one who knows a lot about

I am a visually impaired, somewhat overweight, six foot tall male in
my early 30s, and I live and work in the USA. Having poor eyesight,
and few good friends who might know about this sort of thing, I would
like to get some advice on my wardrobe. My needs are simple; here is a

Complete wardrobe suggestions, with colors, and references to online
places to purchase each article. The main concerns are ease of care
(since I am visually impaired and cannot, for example, do things like
ironing very well), attractiveness/apropriateness, cost (pretty much
in that order).

1. business casual clothes to purchase and wear on my job and in
social situations. This should cover all articles of clothing,
including shoes and belts. How many should you list? I don't know;
whatever is normal. Two or three weeks worth of clothes seems good to
me, but I will defer to your judgement.

2. workout clothes that are not too 'young' for me, but don't make me
look like too much of a dork. (Incidentally, doesn't anyone wear
cotton anymore? As I am stumbling through the sporting goods store,
all I see is lycra and other crap like that which seems unsuitable for
anyone who is not a pretty girl. :)

Thanks very much for your help.

Request for Question Clarification by filian-ga on 21 Mar 2003 08:18 PST
Hello crom654-ga,

I'm a woman in the USA and I have some ideas for you alreadybut wanted
to first ask about your coloring: What color are your eyes (Do you
wear protective glasses?) What shade is your skin? What color is your
hair? Your coloring can help in choosing the best colors for you to
wear. Would you say your skin is more pink and rosy, pale? Or with an
olive/yellow tone to it? Are you very tanned? I can give you some
ideas on a basic wardrobe that works well with all colorings but I'd
love to really help you with specifics and find out what woudlbest
suit you and make you look great!

Thanks for the help, I'm looking forward to helping you with this.


Clarification of Question by crom654-ga on 21 Mar 2003 08:23 PST
Thanks for looking at my question. Here are the answers to your questions:

My eyes are kind of greyish (sorta). 
My hair is dark brown, very short
My skin is white, looks kind of tanned, but not olive.
No glasses or contacts.

Subject: Building a Basic Wardrobe
Answered By: filian-ga on 21 Mar 2003 13:58 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi again!

I will start with trousers since most trousers will be in your basic
neutral colors and you can build from there and we can coordinate
other items to suit them. I'm looking at all kinds of "Travelers"
garments since these are specially made to resist wrinkling and they
are also targeted to business travelers thus retaining that whole
business casual style.

Easy Traveler from Hubbard (From the Suitable Company website)

These trousers are made with "No Wrinkle Fabric" (to help combat the
ironing problem), 36% Merino Wool/64% Micro-Spun Polyester and come in
a variety of colors like Charcoal Blue, Brown, Black, Gray, Taupe. I
think you can choose any of these neutral colors as you can coordinate
many shirts with your basic black, navy and brown trouser colors.
Prices are by size: sizes 30-44: $52.00; sizes 46+ : $62.00.

The Suitable Company

Note: The suitable company charges $8.00 for Normal shipping. They
have an 800 number as well: 1-800-215-2354

The Rocky Mountain Connection website offers a popular brand of pant
called Dockers. These are also "Wrinkle-resist" fabric. Their
description of Dockers Khakis says:

"Comfort and Style in Cotton Twill. The Dockers® Khakis are the most
popular pant style on the planet. Wash 'em and wear 'em-and look good!
Feel good, too! Desert-tan, Black, Grey or Cement. 30-60" waists,
28-38" lengths. See more size and color options below. Wash, and Wear,
and Enjoy!"

These sound like a classic choice that will look great in business
situations and also more casual settings. Again, they're available in
the basic neutral colors that are easy to work with.

Men's Wrinkle Resist Dockers® Khakis $46
Big & Tall Dockers® Khakis $51

The Rocky Mountain Connection website also offers an 800 number: (800)

Shipping details:

"Colorado residents only, Add 3% sales tax 
All orders: include handling charge $7.00"

At Nordstrom I also found some attractive wrinkle-free trousers for
business casual or social wear. These are Chinos:

"Norsport Wrinkle-Free Chinos

These classic pants are made of specially formulated cotton that keeps
its crisp good looks all day long.
• Finished inseams with straight hem; choose waist size and inseam
length from the "Select Size" menu.
• Easy care—no ironing required.  
• Relaxed fit with front pleats.  
• 100% cotton; machine wash.  
• By Nordstrom; imported."

They come in Black, Gray, Khaki, Navy, Sage or Stone.

Another style you might try is the Nordstrom Smartcare™ Flat-Front
Pants. Pants with pleats can sometimes make you look a bit heavier and
flat fronts can work very well if this is your trouble area. It's a
bit difficult to find many men's trousers with Flat Fronts as pleats
are pretty much a standard look and women are usually more concerned
with how the pleats make them look. With men's fashion it's far more

These are called "Smart Care" because again they are treated and don't
need a lot of ironing or upkeep.

"A Smartcare™ finishing treatment gives these pants long-lasting,
built-in wrinkle resistance. With a clean flat front and two on-seam
• Colors Khaki or Stone.  
• Back pockets.  
• Cotton; machine wash.  
• By Nordstrom; imported."

At Brooks Brothers I found some great "plain front" pants in nice dark
colors. These are wool, $118.00, and come in Charcoal or Gray."

"Plain Front Tropical Wool Dress Trouser  
Refined lightweight trousers tailored in premium Italian wool from
Loro Piana®. Beautifully finished with an alterable split waistband,
back darts and on-seam side pockets. Plain front. Uncuffed, finished
hems. Dry clean. Made in Canada."

Brooks Brothers also has:

"Plain Front Light Weight Casual Twill Pant  
Lightweight and soft, our impeccably tailored cotton twill trousers
are perfect spring through summer. Alterable split waistband. Zipper
fly. On-seam pockets. Back darts and pockets. Finished hems. Plain
front. Uncuffed. Machine wash. Imported.""

Magellan's specializes in travelers clothing, which could work to your
advantage. I found these trousers:

Description: "Microfiber Travel Pants
Combine lightweight, wrinkle-resistant fabric, a comfortable fit, and
classic styling. Add a selfsizer waist for inches of "relaxation"
(perfect for long flights and large meals), and six convenient
pockets. The result? The perfect travel trouser. Fabric is a soft,
sanded microfiber that drapes beautifully. Machine washable. Available
in Khaki or Black, in even waist sizes 32-48, lengths 29-34". PLEASE
SPECIFY COLOR, WAIST AND LENGTH. A Magellan's exclusive."

They are $72.50 and Magellan's charges shipping based on order totals:,11&itemID=7&iPCatId=2&itemType=Article&iCategoryID=11

American Fit

This store has some beautiful looking black flat front pants that will
go with just about anything and work in casual or business situations.

"flat front pants
Talk about attitude. Starting with an extended tab, flat front and
just to make sure he's comfortable - straight legs. It' s the ideal
fit. $119"

The great thing about American Fit is that they offer custom

"You submit 6 body measurements and we create a pattern for you from
scratch according to your body measurements."

Of course you can always go with what is in stock but if you aren't
sure of your need or fit, this slightly more expensive ($129) option
will help you get the perfect fit.

As for shirts, I have found a few dress shirts to wear to work, and
I've added a few casual shirts as well. I chose mostly bolder colors
for you since you said your skin is more pink than olive and a bit
tanned so we don't want you to look washed out. Stay away from
horizontal stripes, as those will make anyone look wider than they
are. Vertical stripes can be all right, but keep those as subtle as
possible. I recommend solid dress shirts in bold colors like green,
red, and blue. You can also go with neutral colors like black, gray
and brown since you can mix and match with neutrals very easily. It
helps to have all of the most basic classic pieces in your wardrobe
because they've stood the test of time and will be the most efficient
and functional in a variety of situations. I'd stay away from gingham
or tiny checks because they will also make you look bigger.

Brooks Brothers

This is a lovely dress shirt in French blue. Again I was conscious of
the need to have it stay wrinkle-free and this one is called a "Non
Iron" kind of shirt, which has been treated to achieve this

"Button Down 100% Cotton Non-Iron French Blue Solid Dress Shirt  
These pure cotton shirts are treated with a unique formula that gives
memory to the fibers, allowing them to remain virtually without
wrinkles, permanently. Perfect for travel. Winner of Good
Housekeeping's "Best Buy" award for solving a major consumer problem.
Now offered in Big and Tall sizes. 80's 2-ply pinpoint. Machine Wash.
Imported. 3 3/8" polo button-down collar, barrel cuffs. Traditional
fit. Catalog and Internet only. $65.00"

Brooks Brothers shipping depends on the order total. You can find a
chart here:

Another shirt from Brooks Brothers that's really attractive is this

Here is the order page:"

"Non- Iron Forward Point Dress Shirt  

Our pure cotton, high-performance shirts in 80s 2-ply cotton, treated
with a unique formula so they remain virtually wrinkle-free.
Single-needle tailoring, durable cross-stitched buttons, barrel cuffs.
Regular fit. Machine washable. Imported"

This shirt comes in a variety of colors and I love the way it has a
very subtle check pattern. It's not too small or loud and just adds a
hint of texture.I think the green would be an excellent choice to go
with the trousers I'd mentioned above. Green can go well with brown
pants or black pants. Unlike the shirt above from Brooks Brothers,
this one does not have buttons on the collar. This shirt can also be
monogrammed for an extra $10.

And at Nordstrom there is this one:

Straight-Collar Easy-Care Dress Shirt

"A crisp-looking, pure cotton dress shirt, treated to stay virtually
wrinkle-free. Wash it, remove it from the dryer, smooth the collar and
this shirt is good-to-go.
• Specially treated pinpoint oxford cloth stays virtually wrinkle
• Relaxed fit, with cross-stitched ceramic buttons and extra-long
• 100% cotton; machine wash.  
• Please note below: this item is available in Big & Tall sizes.  
• By Nordstrom; imported."  

Always have a basic white dress shirt handy. This one from Paul
Frederick fits the bill:

"Pure cotton shirts treated with an exclusive patented formula that
allows them to remain virtually wrinkle free while wearing. Expertly
tailored with a European Straight collar. Imported. White."

Here is a sweater from RJ Menswear that I think would suit you. It is
a polo type sweater with cable knit and the texture is vertical so it
would give style while not making you look bigger. It's $81.25; a tad
pricey but the color is great and as the description says it would go
with many of the pants I've suggested above.

"This cable knit polo style sweater is one of Cotton Traders finest.
The solid navy body is exceptionally accented by the cable knit
pattern. The ivory high crew highlights the beautiful buttons on the
placket of this sweater. Khaki, navy, charcoal, and sand colored
trousers will be an ideal match."

Jos A Bank has some basic polo shirts which their description says can
be worn "under a blazer or alone." They have a large variety of colors
as well and they go for $49.99 each.

As for coats or overcoats you want to stay away from double-breasted
styles as these will make you look wider than you are.

I found a store called Big Men Shop ( that
caters to bigger, taller or stout men.

For a Classic Raincoat I think the best bet is this one, as it does
not have a belt (a belt cinching your middle will emphasize any extra
weight in that area.)

Description: "Always a classic, this 47" Rain and Shine coat features
Teflon® rain and stain resistant process. Fully lined with a zip
in/zip out Thermolite® liner.

Colors: Black, Natural, Taupe, Navy"

The prices on this one depend heavily on the size: They can be
anywhere from $165 to $199 depending on your need. This store also has
a couple of phone numbers in case you need to speak with them: Order
by phone: 800-458-5650 or 617-542-5397
They charge $7.50 for shipping.

At Nordstrom they have a beautiful black raincoat without the belt
that I think would work so well but it's a tad expensive and does need
dry cleaning:

"Sanyo Madison Long Traveler Coat
Travel in comfort and still look your best. A well-designed
water-repellent microfiber shell protects against the elements while a
distinctive three-quarter length adds dash.

• Color pictured is Black.  
• Notch collar.  
• Button front.  
• Hidden placket.  
• Side slash pockets.  
• Inside pocket.  
• Half lining.  
• Polyester/polyurethane blend; dry clean.  
• By Sanyo; imported."

Land's End

Land's End offers a "Virtual Model" so you can "see" what their
clothing will look like on a model with your coloring and body type. I
could not grab the link since it's a javascript but if you go to this
page and click in the menu on My Model, you can create your own model
and "try on" all of the clothing in the online catalog. The only catch
is you need to register, but it's free, so that's good news.

This Men's travel Blazer "Fights wrinkles like nobody's business."


"100% wool 
Fully lined 
Chest pocket, two flap pockets 
Rear center vent 
Notched lapel

This jacket is 100% wool that breathes and stretches when you move.
Tightly twisted yarn means you can pack it flat as a pancake and it'll
bounce back to shape when you unpack. Tailoring includes lots of
pockets inside and out. Fully lined for easy on, easy off. Traditional
two-button style and classic rear center vent. Traditional fit. Dry
clean. Imported."

I have come to understand what you mean about workout clothing! Almost
everything I've seen online is snug fitting spandex or another fabric
that conforms to the body. It's very difficult to find anything at all
made out of cotton though I did find cotton blends and items which
were half cotton, half polyester. Finally I discovered a glorious pair
of Jersey knit pants I think will be perfect and comfortable.

First, at Nordstrom I found these Hugo Boss Coolmax® Pants. I own
Coolmax socks and they're the most wonderful and comfortable socks
I've ever owned. I haven't tried Coolmax apparel yet, but if it feels
anything like the socks, you will be ultra comfortable and look
spiffy. These come in heather gray with a green stripe of mesh on the
leg for ventilation (you can zip this up if you'd rather keep it
closed). And they're cotton! They're $135.00.


"Athletic-inspired style in moisture-wicking Coolmax®. The zippered
sides open from hem to waistband, and fine mesh inserts provide
exceptional ventilation and breathability.
• Elastic waist with drawstring.  
• Two green vent holes in back.  
• Green mesh inserts with tonal logo.  
• No pockets.  
• Cotton; machine wash  
• By Hugo Boss; imported"

Though this Puma set from Nordstrom's is made of polyester, I thought
the style was excellent. Sporty but not over the top. This is the polo

"Puma Zip-Neck Polo
A spirited take on a classic. Moisture-wicking polyester has sporty
contrast stripes at the sides plus a contrast-colored gusset at the
• Short sleeves.  
• Logo on left chest.  
• Polyester; machine wash.  
• By Puma; imported."

And here are the shorts:

"Puma Athletic Shorts
A classic athletic fit for any kind of workout. Contrast insets with
piping give a sporty look.
• Functional drawstring waist.  
• Two pockets.  
• Coordinates with item #10497.  
• Polyester; machine wash.  
• By Puma; imported."

These Jersey knit pants from Land's End ($34.00) look ravishing. Have
you ever felt Jersey knit? It is SO soft. These are cotton and I'm
sure they'd be very comfortable, plus they look much more elegant than
your basic sweats.,1467,1_2_1931_45_54149_38816_5:view=-1,00.html?sid=6499028398002122120

"Soft cotton midweight jersey knit 
Elasticized waist is easy on your middle 
Inside drawcord lets you customize the fit 
Stash essentials in two handy side pockets 
100% cotton breathes naturally

Comfy as sweats with a more stylish, streetwear fit. 
You'll like these for their comfort alone — they're soft jersey knit
in 100% cotton — like sweats. But you also get nicer needlework and a
trimmer fit, just what's needed when you're dashing around town.
Thought-out details include side pockets, elasticized waistband and
drawcord. There's even a rear pocket for your wallet. By the way, we
garment wash these pants to minimize shrinkage so there's no need to
"size up." 31" inseam. Machine wash. Imported."

Of course if you're in the market for a decent pair of basic
sweatpants (80% cotton, 20% polyester) Land's End also has these at

Shoes. There are so many styles of shoes, but you can't go wrong with
a classic penny loafer:"

These are available in black or burgundy for $128.00.

A closer look:

At Orvis online I found a pair of Oxfords (I am partial to Oxfords,
all the classic looks are perfect and should be the base of any
wardrobe!) in brown that looked like they'd go beautifully with the
other items mentioned above.

These are $198.00 but the customer recommendation on this page states
that this particular customer had been wearing the same pair for 21
years, so they sound quite durable.

"Sauvage Oxford 
Comfortable rolled-ankle collar in a classic oxford design for
everyday wear, year after year. In D,E,EE widths.
Sizes: 7-13½; 

Custom Shoe Measuring Information Video: To guarantee the perfect
custom fit, please request our free video (and custom order form) that
details how to take your required measurements. Allow 4 to 6 weeks
delivery on custom orders. Call 800-548-9548."

Another classy looking but functional shoe is this one from J. Crew.
It's a Buck oxford in suede and on sale for $59.99:

Belts: You can have belts in black, brown, or a combination. According
to this site (,
a man should always have one black belt and black shoes to match to
keep him out of fashion trouble.

I found this very elegant looking leather belt that is both brown and
black with a conservative buckle at Orvis:


"Cut Edge Battenkill Belt 
A belt done in the classic Battenkill leather and canvas with angled
striations on the edge for a unique look. Silver hardware complements
the rich brown leather and deep Battenkill green of the canvas.

Even Sizes: 32-46


Timberland has a very conservative looking all purpose black or
chestnut belt here for $32.50:


"Designed for workday styling combined with quality construction, the
belts in our Casual Collection go well with a full range of Timberland
men's shoes. They're just as comfortable for days spent outdoors as
hours spent in meetings.

32mm/flat/no stitch
Antiqued pewter hardware
Natural smooth leather"

I recommend buying at least one brown, one black and one combination
belt or a belt with some flair to it for dressier occasions. For
business casual, a nice simple leather belt will do just fine.

RJ Menswear has a gorgeous brown belt that has a little style and
pizzaz to it here:

This one is the Monti Weave Brown Belt and it's $66.00. The texture is
subtle and professional yet stylish.

Of course all of my suggestions are only just suggestions. You will be
the final judge on whether something is the right fabric and texture,
whether it is comfortable, and where you'd like to wear it. You can't
go wrong with the basics, so build from there. Meld style with
comfort; buy pieces that can be used in a variety of settings so you
get the most use out of them. If something feels wrong, send it back.
It's your style, it's your body. You want to emphasize your assets and
avert attention from problem areas. So if your midsection is a problem
area steer away from horizontal stripes and pleats. If you're very
pale, don't wear pastels as they will wash you out. Go for more bold
colors. You sound more like a "Winter" (I'm a Winter as well) so one
good tip is to check what you already own and see which colors are
dominant. If you get compliments on how you look, take note of what
you're wearing, what color it is. Ask friends and family to evaluate
different combinations and colors. It's a process, but with all of
these basic items laying the foundation, you're going to have a very
stylish and functional wardrobe.

Paul Frederick's website suggests:

"...begin with 4-5 pairs of dress trousers. 100% wool trousers are
most appropriate for a business environment. Gabardine and 120’s
merino wool are good year round choices, regardless of climate. If you
are uncomfortable in wool, tencel is a synthetic fabric that is a
viable alternative. Colors such as gray, navy, brown, tan, olive and
black provide a great deal of flexibility in matching shirts, knitwear
and sportcoats.

The sportcoat is a mainstay of the business casual wardrobe. Wool and
silk/wool fabrications are quite popular. You should select fairly
subtle patterns, choose one garment in the gray/black family and
another in a shade of green. A navy blazer, of course, is always

By being a bit conservative with trousers and sportcoats, you will be
free to express yourself in your choice of shirts. Almost any pattern
or color woven dress shirt will work in the business casual
environment. Don’t be afraid to wear a necktie occasionally to
demonstrate your independence. If you are conservative by nature, or
undecided, a timeless and classic button down collar pinpoint dress
shirt will always be acceptable. Finally, add a pullover or cardigan
vest to complete your look.

Fine gauge knits, in a polo, crew, v-neck or mock turtle style, can be
an excellent alternative to a woven dress shirt. Merino wool is the
ideal fall/winter fabric, while spun silk is a great spring/summer

If there is anything else you need, if you would like me to search for
anything more specific (style, color, brand), please let me know. I am
more than happy to help you. I hope most of these items suit what you
were looking for. Thank you for this opportunity to help you and to
also get a great look at men's fashion. Have fun shopping!



men's clothing
men's cotton workout clothing
Men's belt
men's basic wardrobe essentials
coloring clothing seasons
wrinkle free men's clothes
crom654-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks so much for your help!

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy