Been reading this forum for a few weeks and thought I would seek some advice from the collective wisdom of the SF community. I just graduated college and start my first job in July in Chicago; the environment is business casual, though I'd like to be on the dressier side of business casual without seeming dandified. I have approximately $2,000, and while I have a few pieces I can use, I'm more or less starting from square one. I'm about 6', 165 lbs with an athletic build and generally prefer a trim, though not overly skinny cut. I recognize the post is rather long and there are a couple threads similar to this, but I felt my situation differed enough to warrant a separate thread and was hoping to solicit some unique advice. I really appreciate any consideration:
Shoes. I understand one needs at least two pairs to allow for the leather to rest for 24 hours in between being worn, and I've found, courtesy of styleforum, Bexley shoes (http://www.bexley.com/Bexley/shoe-EN.htm), which appear to offer fairly good quality and stylish shoes at a reasonable price. 2 pairs is about $250, whereas 1 pair is about $150, so there is incentive to purchase two pairs. I was thinking a pair of loafers and a pair of derbies, both brown - do you think I could get away without a pair of black dress shoes (captoe oxfords, I suppose)? Additionally, I'm planning on picking up a pair of Clark's DBs come autumn - what might a casual spring/summer equivalent be? $250.
Pants. I have two pairs of wool BR pants (a chocolate glen plaid and a charcoal windowpane), which I actually like quite a bit, though having read SF, I've grown somewhat skeptical of the BR quality. I also have a pair of J Crew off-white chinos and Gap ink blue selvedge jeans that I think would be appropriate for Fridays and weekends. What I was thinking was 3 pairs of year-round wool pants (perhaps a navy, a mid-grey, and a brown) as well as one or two seasonal pants (chinos for spring/summer, cords or maybe flannel for fall/winter). Would I be able to find such pants of acceptable quality for $100 to $125 or so? I'm lost for brands here. $500; $750 total.
Shirts. I have a BB non-iron slim fit that I like quite a bit, and I believe it fits well, so I'll probably return there for 3 or 4 shirts. Any recommendations on patterns - maybe two solid whites, a blue, and a striped shirt? I'll also probably grab a shirt of two from the likes of J Crew, i.e. a bit bolder of a pattern. $350; $1,100 total.
Ties. Styleforum 101 recommended The Tie Bar, so I'll likely buy 5 or 6 ties from there. A few silk ties, a cotton tie, a couple wool ties, perhaps a silk knot tie. Would absolutely welcome recommendations as to pattern and material. $100; $1,200.
Sweaters. I'd like to be able to layer a bit, so I'm looking for lightweight, slim fitting sweaters in neutral and seasonal colors. Most likely shallow v-necks, but also a crew-neck or two. Any suggestions on brands? $150; $1,350.
Blazers. Similar to pants, I'd like to have a couple year-round wool blazers as well as a couple seasonal blazers. To start, I was thinking the Anderson-Little Classic Blue Blazer (http://andersonlittle.com/), a second wool blazer (mid-grey?), and cotton blazer for the remainder of summer, then look to buy a tweed blazer once autumn arrives. Outside of Anderson-Little, I'm also lost for brands here, though I'm looking to spend $150 to $200 per piece - is it possibly to get a blazer of acceptable quality at this price point? $550; $1,900.
Watch. If I don't have a pair of black shoes, I don't see the necessity for a black leather band watch. With that said, I do have a Fossil black leather band watch, though I can't imagine Fossil is highly regarded here. However, I've found, again courtesy of SF, Parnis watches and have identified a brown leather band watch, which I find quite sharp, for $100 (http://www.parniswatch.net/index.php?gOo=goods_details.dwt&goodsid=592&productname=). $2,000 total.
Accessories. Again, if I only have brown shoes, is there any need for a black belt? Any suggestions on brands for belts, socks, pocket squares? Any other necessary accessories?
Outerwear. Though a few months away, I'd also like to purchase a mid-grey wool overcoat come the colder weather - would it be possible to find a coat of acceptable quality for $250 to $300? And similarly, when spring arrives, I'd probably look to purchase a trench coat at a similar price point. Any recommendations? Any recommendations for gloves, scarves, and a fedora?
What I'm looking for, I suppose, is more of the Parnis, Anderson-Little, and Bexleys', i.e. solid quality at a very good value. And while I came in around $2k, any suggestions as to where I could save some money would, of course, be greatly appreciated, as I'm also moving into my first apartment and would like to start an investment portfolio! Thank you so much for any advice you can lend me and I look forward to gleaning some wisdom from the SF community!