Developing A Fashion Identity

In my continuing journey of self improvement, I have decided to open up another facet to improve on: Fashion! I think this is a logical continuation of my fitness goals. What good is having a better looking body if no one can tell if I wear poor fitting and unfashionable clothes?

I have spent my entire life avoiding developing a fashion sense for the same anxiety inducing reasons I feared people seeing the real me. If I deliberately made an attempt at dressing well, I would feel very self conscious of how people viewed it. For that reason, my wardrobe has always consisted of too-large t-shirt and whatever the women in my life have helped me buy. I’m hoping to change that.

From my analysis, I can put being fashionable on two fronts that I can work on separately: Finding Fashionable clothes and accessories & fitting those clothes and accessories

Developing a sense of what is fashionable

The first part, finding what is and isn’t fashionable is easier. I think I do have a natural perception for fashion that I have never calibrated before. I’ve watched hours of YouTubes and I think I have a workable understanding of what types of clothes and colors to wear together. For colors, it seems earthy and dull colors are big right now. Wearing watches that match the outfit colors is important. And shoes are also treated like accessories. Finding these things won’t be difficult since I have endless time for shopping. Since I’m extremely frugal I will do most of my shopping at thrift stores. Although my first outing didn’t show much promise due to the second, and much more difficult aspect.

Fitting clothes

I’m small. Even with my bulking up, I am still below the smallest size offered by most stores. In time I might be able to bulk up to overcome SOME of this, but that might take a year. Things like long sleeves are always too long even on the smallest shirts. The way I can get around this is to learn how to tailor.

At my first trip to GoodWill, I picked out a few of their smallest long sleeve shirts so that I could practice doing alterations on them to improve the fit. I also needed a sewing machine. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, there is a shortage of sewing machines. And the ones that are available are at a greatly inflated price. I thought I could get by for a while by getting a little cheap handheld sewing machine. I picked out this one:

I thought this would work for a while since I don’t need to make fancy stitches or any complicated patterns. I was wrong. I couldn’t get this machine to work at all. I think It was somehow defective or misaligned. I couldn’t get through more than a couple stitches before the thread would bunch up, get cut, or the needled needed to be re-seated. After several hours of trying to get it to work I took it apart to see if I could find any problems inside. It is a very simple machine, and there wasn’t much I could do so it went in the trash.

Then I tried tailoring a shirt by hand. I spent about 2 hours trying to do this before I caved and ordered an entry level Brother sewing machine for twice its original value. I’m still waiting for it to arrive. I will update how my efforts at tailoring is when I am able to do so.

Fashionable Small Male

By far my biggest problem to being fashionable is my modest size. I am shorter than average, have a small frame, ridiculously small wrists, and my arms are even shorter than they should be based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. Because of this I can’t follow mainstream fashion advice. Mostly I focus on watching YouTube videos from fashionable men who are also of small stature such as The Modest Man, or Tim Dessaint.

In some ways I feel self conscious about my size. The only time I ever had tailored clothes was when I was getting a suit to go to a dance during my Junior year of high school. They tailored the suit to be a bigger fit because my parents and the tailor agreed I would grow into it. I never did. The only suit I have ever owned has never fit me at all. I don’t think I have ever worn pants that didn’t bunch up and drag on the floor. And I’ve never had a shirt that fit my torso. I think changing my wardrobe to well fitting clothes is a great way to instantly improve attractiveness.

As I continue my work out regiment, I focus mainly on expanding my chest, as I understand that is one of the most important aspects of an attractive man. Today my shoulder/hip ratio is nowhere near as good as I’d like. But it is much better than when I started. I need well fitted shirts that can accentuate my upper torso’s size relative to my very narrow waist (it’s about 28 inches, and I can’t wear pants without a belt). Likewise, my pants need to be hemmed up, which will make my overall look appear taller. Then I can throw on some fashionable boots and a watch to complete the outfit.

For watches, I ordered 4 of the smallest and most fashionable watches I could find on Aliexpress. All for less than $15. These are accessories and I don’t care if they work or not. I just want to see how they look with outfits and then I can narrow down and get higher quality watches further down the line.

Going Forward

I am excited because this can become a new hobby. I am eager to get to work with my new sewing machine. I’ll see how much I remember from when my mother taught me about sewing decades ago.

Working on my fashion is a way I can create my identity. All my life I’ve been too scared to step outside of my mediocre and forgettable appearance. Now that I’ve been making progress in my anxiety I feel I am ready to do this. The harder I work on my appearance the more I am showing the world my true self. Who will I be?