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Why I own 3 JAB suits, and where I want to go from here

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

So I decided to join the forum because I want to improve from where I am now. So where am I now, you ask?

 

I currently have 3 JAB suits, one is navy pinstripe, another is charcoal pinstripe, and the third is olive. I have a 1969 two tone Rolex Date watch that I wear regularly, and a golden pinkie rink that has three small diamonds and a star sapphire (family gift) that I wear infrequently. I have a pair of Cole Haan tassel loafers (Burgundy), and a new pair of Allen Edmonds Park Avenues (black)

 

I know that the JAB suits are not ideal, but I purchased them because I needed something cheap for the summer that would work in a pinch. I also wanted my dad to pay, and I know he wouldn't trust something he doesn't recognize. I am also overweight, and plan on losing 10-20 pounds over the summer, and at least 30-40 over the next year. As such, I went with JAB to keep things simple. 

 

I'm 6'1" 235 lbs (185cm and 106 kg). I guess this puts me borderline big and tall, right?

 

I'm currently a law student and will be working at a law firm this summer. It's a mid sized 100 attorney firm, but not extremely prestigious - it's a regional firm. Still, I want to stay conservative and tasteful. My goal is to project positive, confident, and enthusiastic. 

 

I'm looking for advice on a few things.

 

1. I need shirts and ties. My old shirts and ties wont cut it. 

 

2. Will rotating the Cole Haan's and AE's work for just the summer? I'm not a huge fan of the loafers, but I wore them when I interviewed, and got the job. They can't do too much harm.

 

3. I need socks.

 

4. Whats the best way to get my measurements for buying new suits? How should I go about it? What qualities should I look for when going to a tailor?

 

5. What is the next step in upgrading my wardrobe? Assuming I lose some weight and want to buy a new suit towards the end of the summer, what will be the best options in the price range of $300-$500?

 

Your help is much appreciated. tyia!

post #2 of 31

1.  Where do you live?  If you have access to a Nordstrom Rack, Saks Offf Fifth or NM Last Call, these can be great places for getting nice ties on the cheap ($30-35 dollars).

 

2.  As long as they are nicely polished and in good shape, they should be fine.  Law firms do not expect summer associates to have high quality shoes and suits, only that the items are in good condition and the SA looks presentable.  As most firms are business casual, you'll probably end up wearing the loafers pretty regularly and wearing the Park Avenues when you need to wear a suit.

 

3.  If you need help finding socks, you are in for a long Summer.

 

4.  Go to nice department stores (NM, Nordstrom, Saks, etc.) or Brooks Brothers and try on as many suits as possible to see what fits you best.  If you tell the salesman you are a law student and need to start building your suit collection for after graduation, he/she will be happy to invest the time in helping you.

 

5.  I would not buy a new suit as soon as you lose the weight because you will have a suit that does not fit if you put the weight back on.  If you keep the weight off for 6 months, buy a new suit in that size.  If you absolutely need to because your bigger suits look ridiculous, I would not spend a considerable amount on your "skinny" suit. 

post #3 of 31
your suit color selection is on point, you just need to upgrade the quality. don't spend a ton on suits until you've gotten to the weight loss you want.
post #4 of 31
1. Hit up thetiebar.com for ties. If you need the shirts really soon then you'll have to go off the rack. Same as what I'll say on #4 below, try on a bunch of different brands. For the one that works the best, get 2 white shirts, a solid blue (light blue, not dark), and 1 or 2 stripes. If you can afford more then add another white, another solid blue, another stripe, and a pink. When you have more time and money you can look into better brands or online MTM.

2. If I was spending some money for the future I'd do it here. Don't wear the tasseled loafers. Buy nice pair of brown oxfords. Then you can rotate daily. You bought a quality black pair, just do the same for brown.

3. Target

4. +1 to go to a nicer department store and just try on a ton of stuff. Figure out what fits and what you like.

5. You went straight to pinstripe so now you need to go back to solids. Next purchase should be a navy, then a regular charcoal or mid-grey. There are plenty of SF threads that deal with <$500 suits.

good luck
post #5 of 31
The Marshall's near where I live (I know not all do) carries mid-range quality shirts (Ralph Lauren, Claiborne, DKNY) for less than $30.00. If you need the shirts now but are planning on losing some weight in the future then it might work for you to purchase these. They'll help you get by while you lose the weight with not a lot of investment up front. Another plus is you can pick up your much needed socks and some undershirts in the same trip!

Like one of the previous posters noted, I'd invest in the shoes first, especially if you're going to be changing sizes in the suit and shirt department. I'd also maybe add a white linen pocket square to the list, it's an inexpensive way to class up your JAB suits.
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by New Shoes1 View Post

1.  Where do you live?  If you have access to a Nordstrom Rack, Saks Offf Fifth or NM Last Call, these can be great places for getting nice ties on the cheap ($30-35 dollars).

 

2.  As long as they are nicely polished and in good shape, they should be fine.  Law firms do not expect summer associates to have high quality shoes and suits, only that the items are in good condition and the SA looks presentable.  As most firms are business casual, you'll probably end up wearing the loafers pretty regularly and wearing the Park Avenues when you need to wear a suit.

 

3.  If you need help finding socks, you are in for a long Summer.

 

4.  Go to nice department stores (NM, Nordstrom, Saks, etc.) or Brooks Brothers and try on as many suits as possible to see what fits you best.  If you tell the salesman you are a law student and need to start building your suit collection for after graduation, he/she will be happy to invest the time in helping you.

 

5.  I would not buy a new suit as soon as you lose the weight because you will have a suit that does not fit if you put the weight back on.  If you keep the weight off for 6 months, buy a new suit in that size.  If you absolutely need to because your bigger suits look ridiculous, I would not spend a considerable amount on your "skinny" suit. 

 

I live about 2 hours outside of Chicago. So getting to all of the big stores is no problem - I can do it in a day trip. If there are any Chicago specific establishments that anyone recommends, please let me know. 

 

The firm I am working for specifically requires suits, and I think I can stretch 3 over 5 days a week. But what do you guys think?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CousinDonuts View Post

1. Hit up thetiebar.com for ties. If you need the shirts really soon then you'll have to go off the rack. Same as what I'll say on #4 below, try on a bunch of different brands. For the one that works the best, get 2 white shirts, a solid blue (light blue, not dark), and 1 or 2 stripes. If you can afford more then add another white, another solid blue, another stripe, and a pink. When you have more time and money you can look into better brands or online MTM.
2. If I was spending some money for the future I'd do it here. Don't wear the tasseled loafers. Buy nice pair of brown oxfords. Then you can rotate daily. You bought a quality black pair, just do the same for brown.
3. Target
4. +1 to go to a nicer department store and just try on a ton of stuff. Figure out what fits and what you like.
5. You went straight to pinstripe so now you need to go back to solids. Next purchase should be a navy, then a regular charcoal or mid-grey. There are plenty of SF threads that deal with <$500 suits.
good luck

 

I'm onboard with the shirts except the pink. What would I wear it with? Feels like it would be a bit off for a law office anyway. 

 

As for going to a nicer department store and trying things on - should I just make note of my measurements in each brand? For instance, JAB has me at a 48 long, but other brands I can fit 46-48 regular. Thoughts?

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maseace007 View Post

The Marshall's near where I live (I know not all do) carries mid-range quality shirts (Ralph Lauren, Claiborne, DKNY) for less than $30.00. If you need the shirts now but are planning on losing some weight in the future then it might work for you to purchase these. They'll help you get by while you lose the weight with not a lot of investment up front. Another plus is you can pick up your much needed socks and some undershirts in the same trip!
Like one of the previous posters noted, I'd invest in the shoes first, especially if you're going to be changing sizes in the suit and shirt department. I'd also maybe add a white linen pocket square to the list, it's an inexpensive way to class up your JAB suits.

 

Thanks, but are pocket squares advisable for a summer associate at a law firm? The last thing I want to do is out dress the partners. 

post #8 of 31

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester87 View Post

 

 

I live about 2 hours outside of Chicago. So getting to all of the big stores is no problem - I can do it in a day trip. If there are any Chicago specific establishments that anyone recommends, please let me know. 

 

The firm I am working for specifically requires suits, and I think I can stretch 3 over 5 days a week. But what do you guys think?

 

 

 

I'm onboard with the shirts except the pink. What would I wear it with? Feels like it would be a bit off for a law office anyway. 

 

As for going to a nicer department store and trying things on - should I just make note of my measurements in each brand? For instance, JAB has me at a 48 long, but other brands I can fit 46-48 regular. Thoughts?

 

Just go straight to Michigan Avenue and hit Neiman Marcus, Saks, Nordstrom, Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, Mark Shale and Nordstrom Rack.  Have the sales associate measure you and then refine your size by trying on jackets.  You'll find that you're likely the same size in most lines with a few exceptions. 

 

As a summer associate, you can absolutely have a three suit rotation to get you through the week.  You'll need more suits later, but this is fine for starting out.

 

Regarding your law firm and a pocket square, look around to see how others dress.  I don't wear one and would be very hesitant to wear one as an SA, but there will be others that will say it is fine.

 

post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester87 View Post



Thanks, but are pocket squares advisable for a summer associate at a law firm? The last thing I want to do is out dress the partners. 

I would not wear a pocket square or a pinkie ring. So you're saying this firm is business formal every day?
post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by viator View Post


I would not wear a pocket square or a pinkie ring. So you're saying this firm is business formal every day?

 

Yes, they specifically wrote me:

 

 

"Proper business attire for the gentlemen would be a suit and tie."

 

They all seemed to be in suits when I interviewed. 

post #11 of 31

Is this a smaller firm where the associates are in court on an almost daily basis?  Kind of rare nowadays to require the daily wearing of a suit and tie.

post #12 of 31
If your neck is no bigger than size 18, Costco might be a good resource for inexpensive dress shirts. They're all "no-iron" now and not as nice as the older ones. Still, for a decent-looking dress shirt at less than $20, the're hard to beat.
post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by New Shoes1 View Post

Is this a smaller firm where the associates are in court on an almost daily basis?  Kind of rare nowadays to require the daily wearing of a suit and tie.

 

They are about 100 attorneys across the state. I am working in their main office which has about 50-60 I believe. The primary areas of practice are ID and commercial lit. I think they do regularly appear in court because of the ID. When I interviewed, they told me that their bread and butter cases are still the smaller ID claims, but they do handle more complex professional liability and coverage disputes as well. 

post #14 of 31

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester87 View Post

 

 

They are about 100 attorneys across the state. I am working in their main office which has about 50-60 I believe. The primary areas of practice are ID and commercial lit. I think they do regularly appear in court because of the ID. When I interviewed, they told me that their bread and butter cases are still the smaller ID claims, but they do handle more complex professional liability and coverage disputes as well. 

 

I think I know the firm you are talking about.  Congrats on finding an SA gig in this tough market. 

post #15 of 31

As a partner in a biglaw firm that requires suits, I'd offer this advice:

 

1 - skip the loafers and go with a pair of brown balmorals, (a brown park avenue, for example);

2 - Don't wear pocket squares or pinkie rings unless you see partners wearing them.  As a SA, you want to stand out because of who you are and what you bring to the table, not because of how you dress.

3 - 3 suits is fine for a SA

 

Lastly, relax.  In addition to your legal skills (which, IMHO, no SA really has yet) you're going to be evaluated on how you carry yourself, how well you play with others, your willingness and ability to learn and take direction, and how well the partners feel you will fit into the fabric of the firm.  Be yourself, don't try to sell yourself.  You can smell that a mile away, and it's not a pleasant smell.  

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