Sunday, 31 July 2011

Fashion trips

Social effectiveness seems like a skill with incredibly high returns on investment. I recognize that many of my problems achieving my goals stem from fear of social situations: I'm afraid to talk to people and afraid to ask them for things. Partially I worry about making a bad impression, but mostly I think I just have some intrinsic fear of people.

Social effectiveness is not just about talking to people: being reliably able to convince people of things during conversations, such as your level of intelligence, attractiveness, social effectiveness. If you can effectively charm rich people, you can probably get much farther in achieving your goals; if you can effectively charm attractive people you can have a more successful sex life.

We're trying lots of ways to improve social effectiveness -- fashion being the one which I will focus on today. The way you dress provides lots of bits of data about your personality, and so you should carefully select your clothing to provide the bits you want to provide. Seeming more attractive is always better (not just in dating, but in business too!) Fashion can also make you seem conscientious (if you were put together carefully) or higher status.

We had our second fashion field trip this weekend, and so it seemed like time to write a post.

A few weeks ago we had sessions on what makes good fashion. Wendy already wrote about the content, so I won't go too much into depth there.

Luke and Hugh are the fashion instructors. To give you a sense of their fashion style, Luke usually wears designer jeans, a designer T-shirt or monocolored button-down shirt, belt, and shiny shoes. He also spikes his hair. Luke's look is designed to be imposing and impressive -- he's six foot four, and his fashion seems designed to accentuate this. It is considered fairly mainstream, though the spiked hair is nontraditional; he also sometimes wears a shiny belt buckle and leather wristband, which push him a bit towards the "rocker" category.

Hugh doesn't have nearly as consistent of a style. The first day he showed up, he was wearing basically all white -- white button-down shirt, white khaki pants, white belt, with black military boots. His hair is long and dyed black with red highlights, and he wears it either draped to his shoulders or tied into a ponytail. Besides the all-white outfit, he's also worn an all-black suit (black jacket, trousers, shirt and tie), and other interesting outfits that I don't remember very well. He is considered "very goth".

The rest of this post is me describing things I've bought. I am not really willing to put lots of silly photos of myself online, so you'll have to settle for descriptions. Do Google Image Search if you're unsure of a term.

On the first trip, we went to Haight St. in San Francisco, which is quite famous for being a fashionable place to shop. There are a lot of interesting clothes shops there. Much of what you can find on Haight is alternative fashion rather than mainstream fashion, but there's stuff for everyone. There's a steampunk store (Distractions), a military surplus store (Cal Surplus), indie (Ceiba), goth (New York Apparel); there are several thrift stores, shoe shops, and random other fashion stores that I didn't go into.

I went to Distractions first and tried on a full outfit there -- a stretchy black pinstripe shirt with leather accents, black pinstripe pants, black top hat, studded belt and leather wristband. It was pretty awesome, but I would never wear it. Someone said it could be a good clubbing outfit, but I don't really go clubbing.

However, I liked the pinstripe pants and belt enough to buy them. My belt is actually super awesome; it's made of four separate leather components connected by rings. I've gotten lots of compliments on it. The pants are fairly muted by themselves, and go quite well with colorful shirts and shoes. They are a little too warm to wear in the summer though.

The military surplus store was another place where I got some good stuff. I tried on military boots and work shirts. The military boots are basically thick black boots with lots of lacing, and sometimes a zipper down the side. I liked the style, but didn't find boots that fit. I did find a boring black work shirt. Some people got these awesome black commando turtleneck sweaters -- acrylic sweaters with interesting features like epaulets on the shoulders.

I picked up some tight-fitting shirts (Henley and v-neck tees) at American Apparel and thrift stores; I wanted casual shirts that look good, and I found some at these places.

Separately from the fashion trips, I picked up some Converse high-top fashion sneakers, which have served me rather well. They're cranberry colored and they go super well with most of my outfits. I think that was one of the better fashion choices I've made.

Anyway, last weekend was another fashion trip, this time to the Union Square Mall in downtown San Francisco. This was a much more mainstream-oriented trip; we went to big chain stores like Express, American Eagle, and Guess. Express seems to be a great place for mainstream fashion; I liked a broad variety of their styles, and it was stuff that fit me. I ended up getting a cranberry colored button-down shirt to go with my Converse. I also got a new pair of dark jeans -- most of my jeans were medium dark blue, but these are darker, and more on the gray side.

At Guess, Luke handed me a shirt and told me to try it on. I did, and it turned out to be a really awesome shirt: it was a medium light blue button-down shirt which fit me very well, with epaulets on the shoulders. I wasn't planning to buy anything else but this shirt fit me well enough, and I really liked the style, so I bought it.

I tried a shirt at Hugo Boss. The style and fit were fabulous, but it was a $175 shirt, so I didn't buy that one. Someday, maybe.

1 comment:

  1. It would be awesome if you guys did post pictures! Fashion show!