Originally Posted by gehrig
Hey guys, thanks for all the responses.
I think I'll probably start out with CEGO for shirts. Does anyone have any advice on which fabrics to request? Also, do you think I'd be able to get my measurements from there so that I can experiment with some of the mail order shirt options as well? My upper body sweats profusely, especially when it's hot out, so I'd like to have the ability to pick up some less expensive shirts for hot summer days.
Carl is great and can steer you towards good fabrics and away from bad ones, so I wouldn't worry about that too much. I keep finding more and more to like.
As for whether he'll provide measurements to send to other makers, he's nice, but I don't see any reason to expect him to be willing to do this. If you're worried about your sweat ruinning the shirts, the simplest solution is to wear an undershirt. Beyond that there are many solutions online for getting out sweatstains should they occur.
Do you think an overcoat is mandatory? I actually have not owned a coat or jacket of any kind for three years now. My body does not get particularly cold, and I've found that I sweat a lot - even in extremely low temperatures - when I am wearing a coat. Plus, it's about to get warm.
For the summer it's obviously not at all necessary. For the winter I'd say it is because pretty much any other kind of coat (i.e. a shorter coat) looks rather ridiculous with a suit.
A possible compromise would be investing in a trenchcoat/raincoat without a liner.
How does 4 pairs of shoes sound? Maybe 2 AE's, since they seem easy to acquire below retail, and 2 from more expensive makers? EG seems to have a great rep here, and they look amazing in photos I've seen here, would they be cost-prohibitive for me? I'd be willing to go up to the 800 or maybe 1k range for a couple of pairs if it's worth it for the quality (whatever that means), because shoes are an item that I will presumably use for many years. Is there a database of pics of EGs, Alden, or other brands somewhere that I could use to determine which shoes, styles, lasts, etc, I want? And any info on wear to get them? (EG are sold in Polo stores?)
4 pairs is a great start. Better than picture databases of shoes is just going to the stores that sell them in person. You can see Alden and Allen Edmonds within a block or two of each other in midtown. For me personally going much above the $500 range in shoes isn't worth it, but then it may be for you. One thing to consider is whether you can negotiate large purchase discounts from some people. (I'd wager, e.g., that if you were going to buy 4 pair of shell cordovan from the Alden store on Madison that you could get a couple hundred off at the very least, and maybe get it up to 1 pair free)
Is it ok to wear non-black shoes in a law firm setting? Does non-black go with a particular color of suit?
Absolutely. Very few law firms still require business dress (most are business casual), but even those that are would never look down on you for brown or burgundy shoes.
The Mr. Ed suggestion sounds intriguing pricewise. Do you have any advice on what fabrics to select when having a suit made there, or how the quality of their product compares to midrange otr/mtm stuff (1.5k range) that I'll be looking at?
That's Mr. Ned. Mr. Ed was a horse. Again, I'd start with basic fabrics, navy solid, charcoal solid, and then go from there. The various solids he has at the $800/$850 (I forget which it is) price point are a great place to start.
Can you typically find office-approrpiate suits at Century 21, Syms and Filene's Basement, or do they usually carry more exotic patterns/styles?
Plenty of office-appropriate options at all 3.
Getting suits significantly marked down sounds appealing, and I'd like to try those stores after I figure out my sizing, since it seems like I'm way off right now.
It can be appealing, though everybody here will tell you fit is much more important than any other single aspect. If you end up buying a discount suit, you'll need to take it to a good alterations tailor to see what they can do for you. If you're lucky, OTR will fit you relatively well with minor adjustments, if not, well that's why there's bespoke/m2m.