Welcome to the new face of men's fashion in Kingston!
As you can see our website has received a bit of a makeover and that's, hopefully, what we can help you with as well!
At UNDR For Men we truly believe that all men should be able to walk through life looking and feeling their best.
Contrary to that old stereotype the world of fashion can be fun and exciting! Clothing gives you the power to express yourself in a way that is unique to you. However, we do appreciate that to someone who has limited experience with the fashion world could find it to be somewhat overwhelming. That being the case we decided that for this inaugural blog post on our new-and-improved website we would like to bring things back to basics and explain a few simple fashion tips anyone can use.
To help us out with this we've asked Menswear Blogger Graeme Wheeler to help give you all some tips and tricks for creating the perfect outfit.
I'm so excited to share some of my expertise with you! Just for a quick introduction: I am a twenty-five year old from British Columbia. I've worked several retail jobs for various major fashion brands and honestly, I just find clothing fun and exciting!
Anyway, enough about me; onto the advice!
One of my aforementioned retail experiences was being the assistant manager and menswear expert for a prominent Canadian fashion retailer (I don't know if I'd get in trouble for saying the companies name so I'll just let your imagination fill in the blank). It was working here where I started to really hone my aesthetic eye and understand how to pair things together.
One of the main lessons I got out of working with customers at this retailer was that a lot of men simply don't know how to dress for their proportions. Our store ran sizes from XXS to XXL so, from our perspective, we could size just about anyone. However a majority of men would, for some reason, habitually select a size up from the one they actually wear; grabbing a large if they were in fact a medium etc..
So my first bit of advice, the foundation of foundational recommendations, is if you are at all unsure about a size or style simply ask the employee; they are there to help you! I know it might seem daunting and embarrassing but, for the most part, that is literally what they/we are getting paid to do; so take advantage of it!
Ok, let's get onto the actual exciting bit; talking about the clothes!
Now, looking at my own personal wardrobe, I have a couple different key elements. Firstly, I have several pairs of denim jeans in either blue, black or grey. I'm a fairly small guy (I'm only like 5'7" and 130lbs) so I prefer to wear slim or skinny jeans. I learned fairly early on that if I wear baggy or loose fitting clothing I just look and feel kinda like a blob. The slim jeans hug my shape and proportion out my body by giving me a distinct silhouette. I usually just wear the blue/grey denim around when I know I'm having a more casual day; pairing it with a basic plain or patterned t-shirt/sweater. Jeans are one of the essential clothing items I believe every guy should own. If anything, one pair in blue and the other in black; blue for casual days and black if you need to dress an outfit up a bit.
Looking at the UNDR website they have a good selection of comfortable denim; in both a nice Khaki/Mocha and various shades of Navy/Blue.
(Now, I've always been a believer in investing a little more in an article of clothing you'll be getting a lot of wear from. I think I paid $200 each for two pairs of jeans which, I know, seems like a ridiculous amount to spend on single items. However, I bought them almost five years ago and I have yet to replace them. The same can't be said for a pair I once got for $40 and which only lasted me six months. I totally understand that not everyone can afford an outright expense like that but if you can I assure you it is worth it in the long run!)
Black jeans are great because all you have to do is throw on a collared shirt and you've instantly achieved that elusive "business casual" look. It's amazing what a simple collared shirt can do to elevate a "too casual" outfit to perfectly stylish. That being said if you need a pair of pants and denim just won't cut it then a pair of simple black or brown chinos will do nicely.
One thing that I constantly try and find (it feels like an endless quest) is comfortable underwear. This is something, looking at the variety that UNDR has, that I feel a little spoiled for choice over. I would highly recommend giving their underwear section a look; it has something for everyone and you will definitely not be disappointed.
To finish off the bottom half of your outfit I believe that every man should own (at least) one fitted, tailored suit. Even if you don't ever think you'll need it I assure you that one or two life events will pop up where you'll want to really dress to impress. Taking the time and investing in a suit will, trust me, be worth your while in the long run.
Now the top portion of your outfit is where things can get interesting. However if you have absolutely no idea where to begin that is totally fine. Here are one or two things to keep in mind while perusing the racks (or online stores!)
Firstly, an old saying in the fashion world is that you can never go wrong with black or white. Black pants and a white/neutral shirt will always look good; no matter what the current trend is. That said if you are feeling a little more adventurous I would recommend starting off with basic colours and patterns. Fashion is personal so it completely depends on what you like and what styles or things excite you. Pick your favourite colour and find a few different shirts in it! UNDR has a fun selection of t-shirts/tops; my favourite being this one.
Like I said with suit pants getting a fitted, tailored blazer should be an essential part of every mans wardrobe. I believe the suit vest is optional but making sure that the jacket fits you well is crucial. Usually an employee (or/and a tailor) should help fit you in a blazer but if you want something to look for when trying things on make sure the shoulder seam of the jacket lands on top of the crest of your shoulder. This can go for really any shirt/top item but if the shoulders are too low down your arm that's a sign that the item is too big.
If you don't mind playing with colour I always love the idea of a "statement piece" within an outfit. For example a simple outfit can be elevated by adding a brightly coloured tie, pocket square, an elaborate belt buckle or necklace. Something that catches the eye and makes people think a lot of effort went into what you are wearing (even if no extra effort did!)
Accessories, especially in menswear, are often undervalued but have the ability to really elevate an outfit to something more than those of its individual parts. Something that UNDR obviously specializes in is underwear. Gone are the days that underwear would be considered simply utilitarian. UNDR provides an incredible range of fun and colourful styles; from quirky to sexy. Their range of underwear is, in my opinion, definitely worth a browse.
So, in summary, I would recommend having a few pairs of jeans (at least one of them should be in black). For a casual look simple throw on a t-shirt however if you want to dress to impress investing in a couple collared shirts can really step up your fashion game.
Most importantly, fashion is playful. You should have fun selecting the items that you wear because, for better or worse, how you dress yourself is a direct reflection on how people out in the world will see and judge you.