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Putting together a business wardrobe - Page 2

post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by designprofessor
On AE: I've got a closet full and have yet to buy retail. Try them on at their shop, then see if they have them at their shoe bank. It'll cut your price almost in half.

What's the AE shoe bank?
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradford
What's the AE shoe bank?

I think it may be a reference to the eBay outlet store
http://stores.ebay.com/Allen-Edmonds-Auction-Store
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by norcaltransplant
Cpac,
Shell cordovan is a great, long lasting material, but shell cordovan as your sole type of shoe? It's brutally hot in the summer and simply not as versatile as conventional calf. I like my shell cordos, but I wouldnt put them on the list until shoe number 5-6.

Well, like I said, that's what *I'd* do with that money to spend. I don't find shell cordovan any warmer than calf, and much prefer not only its durability, but its easy-to-care-for nature (i.e. only need to polish every few months with a quick brushing/buffing being plenty in between, etc.)
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
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.

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.

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?)

Is it ok to wear non-black shoes in a law firm setting? Does non-black go with a particular color of suit? The shell cordovan suggestion seems appealing, especially if the material is low maintenance, and my feet are always cold and almost literally do not sweat, so I think overheating probably won't be a prob for me.

As for suits, it seems like the consensus is to build slow, and that my best option is either mtm at a store or in-store adjustments. BB and Saks were mentioned by a few of you...anyone have any other store suggestions, and any advice on how to judge quality while in a store? Like maybe a list of several characteristics I should look for in a suit? Do makers usually have several lines of suits of differing standards of quality?

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?

Can you typically find office-approrpiate suits at Century 21, Syms and Filene's Basement, or do they usually carry more exotic patterns/styles? 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.
post #20 of 24
You can ask CEGO for your measurements, but I highly doubt he'd give them to you so you can use other, cheaper options.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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)

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
I think I'll probably start out with CEGO for shirts. Does anyone have any advice on which fabrics to request?
Good choice. Carl will take care of you. He has two levels--basically MTM and bespoke if I remember correctly. You can get some inexpensive shirts through the first, especially if you stick with basic fabrics. He has plenty, including some nice end bolts, so just tell him what interests you.

Quote:
Do you think an overcoat is mandatory?
I think one is definitely mandatory. You could do without it for many months, but you'll want one in the fall/winter. Now is a good time to buy, if you can, because it's out of season.

Quote:
How does 4 pairs of shoes sound?
Sounds good to me, at least to start. You'll probably end up wanting more, but for a BUSINESS wardrobe, that's good. I'd personally avoid spending EG prices until I knew exactly what I wanted for that money. That's an expensive purchase to regret.

Quote:
Can you typically find office-approrpiate suits at Century 21, Syms and Filene's Basement...?

Yes, especially if you are a normal size like 40R or 44R.
post #23 of 24
Hi,

If you are a lawyer, you need an overcoat for cooler weather. But it doesn't sound like you're a lawyer.

Discovering your pants size is easy. Just look at the rear interior of the waistband of what you're wearing now. Unless it's jeans or has been modified, the size is probably the one to buy.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Checks
I was about to say the same thing. I wear a 44/45 and 37 inch waist, and I'm shorter and heavier than you.
I'd recommend you go to someplace like Brooks and get one suit, have it altered there, and live in it a bit before you buy three more.

Your tastes will change rapidly as you get into this hobby; so what you like today you might hate in a month.


I agree with this. Get one. Try it out, do a lot of window shoppings and discover your taste and style. Before you buy suits, try many different models. Learn and feel the proper fit.
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