It would be nice to learn so we can all look like Ryan Gosling?
This movie struck a personal nerve with me - in my late twenties my fiancee and I split up, and I found myself single with a large disposable income and many of the things Gosling commented on upon working with Carrell were things I learned very quickly a few years ago. During the movie I found myself thinking the same things even before Gosling pointed them out. The notes below are very similar to advice given, and while seems very shallow (it is), whether we like it or not books are judged by their covers and presenting yourself as best you can is helpful not only in dating but business as well.
1. Find a hair stylist you like and stick with her so she learns your hair, what works, and has a vested interest in your appearance. expect to spend at least $35, much higher if you live in Chicago, NY, LA, etc. Bonus - a good stylist can also become a very cheap therapist. You wouldn't believe the difference between this and great clips.
2. Get in shape. This should be your top priority. P90X can be very effective, even if you only have time to do half of the workouts each day. Keep in mind your body type and expectations for weight loss when buying clothes.
3. If you drink, learn to handle martinis and straight liquor. Identify some brands you prefer, and don't necessarily just choose the most expensive. Kettle One is actually better than Grey Goose vodka, Hendriks is actually better than Bombay Saphire, Don Julio is better than Patron. If you must mix your drinks keep them simple. Gin and Tonic. Vodka and Soda. No fruit, no straws, and ask for rocks glasses - dont let the bartender give you a Gin and Tonic in a collins glass.
On to the clothes, will run past 16 items though:
First off, you must find a good MENS clothier and establish a relationship with the salesman so he learns your wardrobe (find someone about your age +/-5 years), your body type, and keeps his eye out for items he knows would suit you well. A nice mall may be the place to start, find somewhere that carries brands like Robert Graham, Ike Behar, Alberto Zinni, Tommy Bahama, etc. These are the brands you can get at Saks, but you will have better relatioship with a privately owned clothier than Saks. The ideal place should have a nice mix of both suits and casual wear hopefully offer complimentary tailoring (tailoring is crucial, and complimentary changes after sale are great if you will be working out and needing your clothes refit in a few months/years)
1) Shoes - you need 3 pairs of nice shoes. Black, Beige, and Mahogony/Maroon which will probably be your most versatile pair. You can probably save a few hundred bucks and get some very nice shoes at a Mens Warehouse (where you may also want to pick up belts and pocket squares). See what the clothier offers in his store, and compare to MW. You will probably be spending between 100-300 per pair of shoes depending where you shop.
2) Belts - you will need 3 belts, one to match each pair of shoes. Optionally you can get a fourth belt that is strictly to wear with jeans. These will be $50-$100 each depending where you shop.
3) Two sportcoats (to start with). Definitely buy through the clothier, and try on several and select two. You want something that can work with jeans or slacks, and be paired with many different shirts. The sales guy will know the latest styles, such as side pockets (more casual-what I prefer), european vents, etc. If you don't get an all black sportcoat as one of your first 2, add that as your third later on. Each coat will probably set you back $500
4) Five dress shirts. Buy your first 3-5 shirts through the clothier, then you can add in the future through NWT on eBay or scouring "Off 5th" (Saks outlet) if you want to save some money. At least 2 of the shirts you will probably only wear with Jeans, the other three should be veratile for jeans, slacks, or with a suit. Get at least one robert graham, which have added detail in the collar/under the sleeve which many designers have since copied. Must have them tailored of course. Each shirt will cost $100-$150.
5) Two pairs of jeans. See what the clothier can recommend. I personally prefer simple jeans, so Tommy Bahamas and Agave are nice, and I avoid the stuff at Buckle as it is way too over the top for my tastes. The one area I did disagree with the movie was on Gap, I still find the standard fit jeans to be among my favorite jeans, and I think they have the best plain white v-neck shirts which are great with jeans unless you are overweight and cannot pull that look off. Gap $30, Clothier: $150, Buckle and others >$200
6) 2 - 3 suits. The number of suits you will want will depend on how often you realistically think you will wear them and your climate (i.e., if you live in Miami you probably only need 1 suit, beige). The nice thing about suits is you get your slacks even if you rarely don the coat. Flat front is in,pleats are out. Cuffs are out too. Suit at a clothier will run at least $500, could be up to $1000+. Get one from them, and based on your needs you can find some excellent ones at Mens Warehouse if you look hard enough.
7) 3+ pairs of pants (Black, Beige, Gray). I spend a lot of mony at my clothier, but never am impressed with the high-end pants... could be because they all need to be tailored and I never see finished product at point of purchase, but I find the options at Express and Banana Republic to be superior. $70+ per pair.
8) Polo shirts - depends on your climate. I still usually prefer dress shirts.
Bottom line amount to spend on good stuff in average market: ~$3,500-$4,000. Ideally you will want to buy almost everything in one visit - the guy works on commission so this will give you a little more pull in negotiating - try to work in getting a free sportcoat or some extra shirts. Don't insult them (i.e., you are not going to get a %25 discount), but keep it clear you will be spending a lot, are looking to establish a relationship, and are ready to walk away. These guys will be master salemen and if you are not careful you will walk out with 10 things you didn't even intend to buy. RIGHT BEFORE you checkout, be sure to do one last review, and pass on anything you are not in love with.
**Note on tailoring: if you are already in great shape, you may want to buy slightly bigger and have the items tailored down to fit you, this way you can always have them let out should you gain some weight in the future. You will be spending quite a lot of money up front and you want this to be an investment to last you years. Talk with your wardrobe consultant about what is right for you.
Get a very nice watch. This is the only piece of jewelry you need. Not a Rolex or Movado, go for Omega, Tissot, Tag, etc. This could set you back another $2000+ depending on your tastes. This is also an investment and treat it like one. Do not buy on eBay.
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