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Help Dress a Veteran

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hi,  I've recently determined the need to develop a wardrobe since I'm about to finish a decade of military service and can't count on the government to dress me anymore.  I've ordered a navy superfine herringbone Benjamin Sartorial suit, that I'll have tailored after it arrives, and some basic slim fit shirts from 5th and Lamar.  This leaves me with shoes, belt, and tie for a basic outfit with $300 left in budget, and the wildcard of my KIA Bracelet.  So here are my questions:

 

1.  Is there any good reason I should have to take of my KIA bracelet?  I've worn it for nearly five years now every single day, it commemorates the first one of my men I lost.  It's a simple all black one with just name, location and date, no fancy symbols, and is in good shape.  I wear it on the left like most people would a watch, and am willing to replace it with an exact copy when it gets too dinged up.  I'll be going on job interviews soon, in a field far away from the Army so I'm afraid it won't be understood.  On the other hand these jobs are in the technology sector, not finance or the like so I would think there would be some leeway from CBD.  It is roughly similar to this if anyone doesn't know what I'm talking about: http://www.rangerjoes.com/KIA-Bracelets-Custom-Pack-of-5-P2167.aspx

 

2.  I friggin dig oxblood/burgundy shoes.  I knew nothing about men's clothing before getting on here, and I can't get over how much I actually care about them.  It seems like they're appropriate in most situations and I'm confident about wearing them even for a job interview.  AE's are the only things close to my budget right now, and they'll have the tent sale soon.  I was wondering what type of prices to expect from that, and any recommendation for style.  Right now I'm between the McClain and the Park Ave's, but am open to suggestions.

 

3.  I have a decent (I think) darker brown Johnston and Murphy belt, but if I get the burgundy shoes the belt needs to be reddish correct?  Should I just order one from AE with the shoes?

 

4.  Tie, I got know clue here.  I learned the 4IH from Drill Sergeant Guyer in 2002, and have only worn black GI tie since.  Put This On seems to be big on grenadines and I like them, but I'm afraid that it would be a bit pricey.  I'm also worried if there is any issue with the texture going with the herringbone suit.  I'm super open to suggestions here.

 

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my life story and for any advice.

post #2 of 23
1. I'd wear it w/ pride.
2. Either looks good to me. New, they'd blow your whole budget. You could find them new on eBay for less though.
3. I wear brown belts w/ burgundy shoes, but a burgundy one would be good.
4. I'd wear thrift store ties till I could afford a grenadine or two from Sam Hober.

Good luck w/ your interviews and than you very much for your service!
post #3 of 23
keep wearing the KIA bracelet...and THANK YOU for your service....
post #4 of 23
For a burgundy belt on a budget I would recommend just heading over to Men's Wearhouse. They have shitty clothes, but I picked up a decent burgundy belt for about 25 dollars. I have burgundy Park Avenues and the belt matches just fine.
post #5 of 23
First, thank you for your service. As for the rest:

1. Keep wearing the bracelet, there's no issue with that at all. Something like that clearly has meaning to you but is not ostentatious or flashy. Obviously they commemorate very different events, but in this respect it is similar to a wedding band, which other than a watch is usually the only type of jewelry a man should wear, especially to something like a job interview.

3. Even most brown belts with a reddish hue will be fine. You don't need to match exactly or really even close to it. Just no black.

4. A grenadine is a fine option - the most affordable that I know of are at Kent Wang for $75. I think for your budget you'd be better off getting something cheaper and allocating the savings to shoes. You can monitor the Buying & Selling pages here for a while and likely come up with a pretty good tie for $25-30. Ebay and thrift stores can be good too if you're willing to spend the time sifting through stuff. Go through the soporific tie porn thread for ideas on ties. Any kind of conservative design, like pindots or neats (evenly spaced designs, such as those in the links below) should be fine. With a herringbone I might shy away from stripes as that makes for a lot of lines in one outfit.

http://vandafineclothing.com/store/neckties/86-royal-blue-neat.html
http://store.asuitablewardrobe.net/30ounceprintedsilkneckties.aspx
post #6 of 23
Bracelet fine, nothing unusual in wearing bracelet, shoes fine, belt OK. get a few silk ties as you can afford them.

You will soon get used to the government not giving you its idea of clothes which are cheap and conform to its idea of necessity and you will probably like and enjoy the freedom to express yourself, just look about and watch what others wear for ideas.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for your responses and support.  I'm very glad to hear that my bracelet shouldn't cause any issues, and that most of my choices so far seem to be alright.  I'll try and do some thrifting to score a great tie this weekend, and if not I'll just pick up a basic silk one.  My budget is more about pacing and will power than it is bank account, so as long as I won't regret the purchase within 2 years I'm fine with going over or under a tad.  I set aside about $200 to make sure that tailoring would be completely covered since that seemed more important than anything else, but it seems like alterations aren't generally that expensive.  I have two more questions now that I've researched tailoring a bit more though.

 

1.  I like the idea of functioning buttons, and the Benjamin is designed for it, but as a beginner is the cost benefit worth having this done versus spending that money elsewhere?

 

2.  If I don't have my Big Kid shoes by the time I'm ready for tailoring my suit should I just use the GI Bates monstrosities as stand ins, or should I hold off till I get what I'll be wearing so everything is just right?

ugh: http://www.marlowwhite.com/80-110.html

 

Thanks again for all the advice and support.

post #8 of 23
keep the bracelet
thanks for your service
good luck
post #9 of 23
I'd not get the functioning buttonholes. I never get them on my rtw jackets. I guess I can understand the appeal, but not if it comes at the cost of only owning one tie or not being able to get your AEs. I'd hold off on the buttonholes until later. You can get them put in at any time.

On the tailoring, price will depend on where you go. Better tailors will obviously cost more both because their work is better quality and they'll generally do more work, as they'll see ways to improve fit that a lesser tailor might not.

On the shoes do you mean to wear just for the tailoring? Any shoes are fine as long as the heels are about as high as the shoes you'll eventually wear.
post #10 of 23
Also, if you are on a budget then www.thetiebar.com is a great place to pick up some cheap ones. I've only tried their cotton and wool ties, but they have held up well and come in different widths.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yeah, it would just be for tailoring. I'd rather go barefoot than ever wear those uncomfortable hunks of plastic again. Thanks for the link too.
post #12 of 23
Like the others have said, thank you for your service. It is nice to hear from soldiers who've made it home safely.

The burgundy AEs you have your eye on are nice shoes. Go for it. The bracelet sounds like a great story - one you've earned the right to tell to whomever asks about it. It's not an accessory, it's part of who you are - which is frankly what this place is supposedly about. As for belts, I'd simply go to a department store and find one that fits that is within the realm of the same color as your shoes (no need for it to match). I like the faux grenadine ties from tiebar very much - you can get 3-4 of those for the price of one real grenadine tie. Great to tide you over until you can budget for the real stuff (if you even care to).

Welcome!
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by acridsheep View Post

Like the others have said, thank you for your service. It is nice to hear from soldiers who've made it home safely.
The burgundy AEs you have your eye on are nice shoes. Go for it. The bracelet sounds like a great story - one you've earned the right to tell to whomever asks about it. It's not an accessory, it's part of who you are - which is frankly what this place is supposedly about. As for belts, I'd simply go to a department store and find one that fits that is within the realm of the same color as your shoes (no need for it to match). I like the faux grenadine ties from tiebar very much - you can get 3-4 of those for the price of one real grenadine tie. Great to tide you over until you can budget for the real stuff (if you even care to).
Welcome!

Great tip on the (faux)grenadine ties. I've been wanting to snag a grenadine tie but I've been a little cash strapped, so these look like a great option.
post #14 of 23
A grenadine tie, or imitations thereof, are the wrong tie for someone putting together a starter wardrobe.

I'll take about this later.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by F. Corbera View Post

A grenadine tie, or imitations thereof, are the wrong tie for someone putting together a starter wardrobe.

I'll take about this later.

I'm curious as to what this meant.
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