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Business casual on a budget

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've been working in banking for the past six years, so my wardrobe is very suit/odd pants/dress shirt/tie heavy.

I believe I'm going to accept a position with a company that is business casual. Most of the men I saw were wearing cotton chinos and sportshirts similar to what Polo offers in the $50-100 range.

I'd prefer to stick with nicer trousers than cotton chinos and dressier-looking shirts. I intend to lose some weight over the next several months, so I don't want break the bank on high-end clothing that won't fit next year. Any suggestions on where I can buy good-looking/fitting shirts in the sub-$75 range (I'm not a fan of button-down collars, so BB has limited options)? Pants in the sub-$125 range?

Cross posted on AAAC
post #2 of 13
Brooks Brothers
post #3 of 13
Second the Brethren as a good source. They are nicer-than-average but neither too expensive nor too showy. I work in a very business casual workplace and have a lot of BB basics. I'd stay away from BB for shirts, but they are good for pants (altho' the cut is a bit generous) and sweaters (a key accesory in biz casual - I like V-necks). Don't wear polo shirts unless it is required by the company dress code. A crisp buttondown dress shirt is almost never the wrong answer.
post #4 of 13
Brooks Brothers is too expensive for people like me for sure...
post #5 of 13
If you can wait, try Nordstrom. They periodically have huge sales, and you can find nice shirts well within your range.
post #6 of 13
Isn't the Nordstrom half yearly men's sale in late May or early June?
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by philosophe
Isn't the Nordstrom half yearly men's sale in late May or early June?

I seem to remember it being in August last year. I was in the store right after Christmas, and they had a comparable sale then, as well. I don't think the post-Christmas sale is also held on the website, though.
post #8 of 13
I just got the newest Tyrwhitt catalog, and while I have only purchased shoes from them, they seem like they could be a credible source for low cost (50% off) business casual stuff. Any thoughts?
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxnharry
I just got the newest Tyrwhitt catalog, and while I have only purchased shoes from them, they seem like they could be a credible source for low cost (50% off) business casual stuff. Any thoughts?

Good suggestion, I have bought several shirts from them, but be careful about fit. I think the collar and sleeves should be ordered/purchased at least 1/2 inch bigger to allow for shrinkage. However, YMMV.
post #10 of 13
CT's shirts are also cut pretty generously. If you're thin, darts will be in order.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jovan
Brooks Brothers is too expensive for people like me for sure...
Hmmm...I only shop at sales, where I regularly get cotton trousers for ~$40. Not nothing, but not a huge amount. Their wool pants can get expensive pretty quickly, and I'd recommend that you think hard before spending more than $100 on them. But they are decently made. The sweaters I buy there are around $30-50 on sale, with some still at $75. But these are staple items, so I'd argue that you get decent wear/$ out of them. And they are usually fairly well-made for a mainstream brand. They are also widely available - the smartest move is usu to get niche brands like Oxxford for cheap on Ebay, but that can lead to a lot of dead-ends, with 'deals' that actually stink, etc. The big downside on Brooks (IMHO) is the cut - I am a decently filled out gentleman, so it is OK on me, but if you are a trimmer build I am not sure that the style will flatter. It is very business and very American - although there are occasional standout pieces that have an Italian elegance.
post #12 of 13
edit - repeat
post #13 of 13
For some discounted dressy pants, try Sierra Trading Post.

Where to point you to shirts that will fit well depends somewhat on your build, which you have not described.

Also, since you're planning to lose weight, shirt fit might change so much that items bought now will not be worth altering. Sweater alterations would be even less affordable.
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