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Business Casual Wardrobe - Appx. $2,000 Budget

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Last new thread for a while, I promise.

I'm looking to build a good business casual wardrobe on a budget of about $2,000-2500 max.

My initial idea was something like this:

- 4-6 dress shirts at a price point of $100-150 apiece

- 3-5 pairs of dress pants at a similar price point

- several ties (I already own 5 that pair well with things). I've been checking the B&S forums and Ebay for ties and seems like I can grab Drakes for about $50-100 and Turnbull for < $100

- 2 belts (1 brown, 1 black)

As far as shoes go I should be all set. I have a pair of Park Avenues in burgundy/merlot, a pair of Peal & Co. black monk strap shoes, and a pair of Strands in walnut.

I'm looking to phase out crappy Banana Republic dress shirts and the like which I'm currently stuck wearing.

First, does the above selection sound decent? Second, any brand recommendations?

I work in downtown Boston so a lot of stores are going to be accessible to me. I'm also looking into MTM shirts with Raymond Tailors and Drinkwaters of Cambridge because it seems you can get them there for < $200 per shirt.

I'm 32, work in finance (but suits aren't a requirement), and have a tall, slim build.

I wouldn't mind throwing in one or two blazers but at the same time I want quality over quantity within my budget constraints this time around, so I'll wait a few months if necessary.
post #2 of 12
At that price point you can get shirts from CEGO, albeit at the high end of your range. Ehaberdasher has some very nice shirts for $75 that I love.

Ties, unfortunately, are becoming a dime a dozen. With just a little effort you can get some very nice ties these days for very little at consignment shops and internet auction/sale forums.

Belts I have never found important to spend big money on, but a really "cheap" belt is no bargain either (they wear out MUCH faster than slightly higher priced belts - I know this from experience.) I now get most of my belts in the $20-$30 range at places like TJMaxx. They work out just fine.

Good luck!
post #3 of 12

I agree with the idea of MTM shirts. I don't know about MTM in Boston, but it seems like you've done your research.


For trousers, Howard Yount and Epaulet, 2 SF vendors, get a lot of praise. I like Incotex and Bill's Khakis.


Ties and belts are fairly cheap compared to shirts and trousers. If you poke around ebay or B&S, you can easily build up a good collection for much cheaper than retail.

post #4 of 12
I say more shirts, but cheaper shirts.

have a look at CT tailored fit shirts. you can get 4 for $175 shipped. Quality won't make you shit yourself (either way) but they look nice and wear well.

Also, you need to mix in some sport coats and blazers. you can look at suit supply or B&S. You should be able to get 2 or 3 for $1000.

finally, I like allen edmonds belts. They are like $50 on sale or on ebay.
post #5 of 12
oh, if you don't already have them, get yourself 2 or 3 pairs of Brooks Brothers Milano Advantage chinos. They are inexpensive, fit nice, and will go well with the above mentioned items.
post #6 of 12

The Milanos are perfect for me at least, highly recommended.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys. So far all the pants recommendations seem to be for chinos.

Any recommendations for light weight wool pants? I tend to like those a bit better (sorry I didn't mention that the first time around)

I'm also thinking of getting 1 or 2 pairs of linen pants at some point for the summer months.
post #8 of 12
Originally Posted by langdon20 View Post

There's Hugo Boss, Banana Republic, or JCrew.

bad options, pretty much all the way around
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Looks like there's a Milano gabardine option for $165 + 25% off of that right now, and it's in 8 different colors. Decent option?

Guessing that's too hot for the summer since they're lined down to the knee, but could be worn 3 out of the 4 seasons.
post #10 of 12
I'd definitely recommend Howard Yount pants. Awesome fabrics, great construction and styling, and prices are very reasonable for what you're getting. Regarding shirts, I recommend MTM as well. 6 dress shirts is fine.

I think you'll want to get a blue blazer. Once you have it and wear it a few times, you'll want to wear it always. Suit Supply is a good recommendation for a place to try and find one.
post #11 of 12
Also on ties - if you don't have one already, try throwing on a knit tie. Looks great but is more casual than its woven silk counterparts.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Looking at blazers now and I can definitely find something. I've been meaning to add blue since it's the staple and pairs so well with a lot of different things. I may also add a beige color at some point.

Thanks for all the good replies, guys. Howard Yount pants look very good as do some of the Brooks Brothers ones. Leaning toward Yount right now. Similar price points but seems like they offer a bit more choices than BB.
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