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Post-MBA Entering Management Consulting - Need to Buy 3 Suits - Please Advise!!

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I'm 28, 5' 9", 180 pounds, and will be entering the field of Management Consulting - so I think it'll be somewhat conservative -  probably like I-Banking but maybe not that conservative. But still conservative given that we could be in meetings with C-level executives in Fortune 500 companies.

 

Using a tape measure, my chest measure is 42" and my waist is a 34" (where my belt lies). However, my abs (the largest part of my stomach is 40"). So I have a little of an athletic build / v-shape, but slight love-handles that I'm working hard on getting rid of as soon as possible.

 

I'm looking for a more tailored / slim / modern cut, and have tried on the Hugo Line from Hugo Boss as well as the Z Zenga. 

 

What other ready-to-wear brands do you recommend I try on? I'd like to stay away from M-T-M because I need these fairly soon, and I'd say my budget for each suit would be right around $1,000 each.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 30

If you want conservative, yet modern suits, you should look into the 1818 Brooks Brothers line. The Fitzgerald model is the most popular, but there's another model that's also quite slim. I don't know if the summer sale has passed already, but you can get the suits for $500-600 each.

 

You could also check out Polo Ralph Lauren (the blue label ones made in Italy). They are more expensive, but quite popular on this forum.

post #3 of 30
Try Style Forum 101 rather than start a new thread on this oft repeated subject.
post #4 of 30
Sure, you should check out the Styleforum 101, there will be good pointers. However, specifically to your question I'm in the same boat and I've purchased a couple Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald fit suits (a Navy, and a Grey Glen Plaid) to outfit me for my MBA. I've gotten nothing but complements, including one of my cohort telling me that I'm the best dressed person in the group. So, as per Ballmouse, it's a smart way to go.
post #5 of 30
Hugo Boss gets no love here on SF. But for athletic builds I think it looks great and is a good value. You can often find classic, basic colors of solid navy or grey on sale too, especially at Nordstrom or their own stores. I've bought Boss recently for both my son and son-in-law who are athletic because of the fit. Both have had Boss in the past and got tons of wear out of them. I thought the fabric had a nice drape too.

I would try Brooks Brothers and then compare to Hugo Boss and select the best fit and value. Either brand should be ideal for your first business suits.
post #6 of 30
Navy and gray solid suits. Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece and 1818 lines are now modern cut. ZZegna is not conservative enough. Do not wear a skinny suit in a management consulting office. You're going to stick out like a sore thumb. The cut of ZZegna is just too extreme. Jackets are too short and too tight, pants rise is too low.

Check the buying and selling forums here if you want the absolute lowest prices. Plenty of NWT suits in your size (40R or 41R)
Edited by jrd617 - 7/6/12 at 10:48am
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the great advice!

 

It looks like Z-Zenga is out because the last thing I want to do is stick out like a sore thumb in management consulting.

 

So it looks like the only two options seem to be: Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald and the Boss Suits.

 

For Boss - Are their slim-fits okay, or is that not conservative enough as well?

 

Also, what are thoughts on Ralph Lauren Black Label suit?

 

Thanks

post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pocketsquareguy View Post

Hugo Boss gets no love here on SF. But for athletic builds I think it looks great and is a good value. You can often find classic, basic colors of solid navy or grey on sale too, especially at Nordstrom or their own stores. I've bought Boss recently for both my son and son-in-law who are athletic because of the fit. Both have had Boss in the past and got tons of wear out of them. I thought the fabric had a nice drape too.
I would try Brooks Brothers and then compare to Hugo Boss and select the best fit and value. Either brand should be ideal for your first business suits.

Thanks - Which cut/style of Hugo boss did your son and son-in-law go with? The traditional black label or the hugo line (which my understanding is the slimmer stuff).

 

Thanks

post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by barracudapartne View Post

Thanks everyone for the great advice!

It looks like Z-Zenga is out because the last thing I want to do is stick out like a sore thumb in management consulting.

So it looks like the only two options seem to be: Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald and the Boss Suits.

For Boss - Are their slim-fits okay, or is that not conservative enough as well?

Also, what are thoughts on Ralph Lauren Black Label suit?

Thanks

The slim fits look good if you are trim and you don't get them too tight.
post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 

I just saw that Ralph Lauren BL doesn't have belt loops - so that's going to be a dealbreaker for me.

 

So any other good slim fit brands to consider besides Zenga Milano and BB Fitzgerald/Regent?

post #11 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the great advice! I also read the entire thread that was linked.

So it looks like I will be making my way over to Brooks Brothers again. I tried on the Regent and Fitz and both were nice, but I just wanted to see what other options were out there before I threw down a lot of money.

Any other brands that you reccommmend I check out? Because of the timing, I need to go somewhere in person / department store.

I'm going into consulting, so I'm thinking 2 suits - one navy and one charcoal.

EVERYTHING else needs to be replaced (I was in business school for the last few years and was wearing older / run-down stuff that I'm going to donate)

How many blazers? What color?
How many trousers? What colors?
How many dress shirts? What colors

I'll be traveling quite a bit - probably like 70% of the time out-of-town.

post #12 of 30
The quantities of blazer and trousers depend on office dress code, in this case whether a suit is worn regularly or not. And you probably mean a sport coat, not a "blazer." Standard colors are dark gray and navy. Mid-gray might be okay. For pants, various shades of gray are fine. Olive, tan, and navy might be okay. Avoid black clothing.

Maybe 10 dress shirts. Solid white, solid blue, white-blue stripes and possibly checks. Branch out later, depending on what respected colleagues wear.

If there is a Nordstrom nearby, that has many safe brand options. Ralph Lauren also should be fine.
post #13 of 30
i've been on the client side for a lot of the main consulting firms - Bain, BCG, McKinsey, PwC, E&Y being the most common - and they all wear dark blue or gray suits, with white or light blue shirts. very seldom do i see a bold pattern or even a bold shade of blue. no cufflinks or tie bars either. maybe a muted stripe or check every once in awhile, or black pants.

i think they do dress to conform/not stand out depending on the client. for instance, most of my colleagues walk around the office in their shirtsleeves, no jacket, and after day 1 all the consultants lose their jackets as well
post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRoi View Post

i've been on the client side for a lot of the main consulting firms - Bain, BCG, McKinsey, PwC, E&Y being the most common - and they all wear dark blue or gray suits, with white or light blue shirts. very seldom do i see a bold pattern or even a bold shade of blue. no cufflinks or tie bars either. maybe a muted stripe or check every once in awhile, or black pants.
i think they do dress to conform/not stand out depending on the client. for instance, most of my colleagues walk around the office in their shirtsleeves, no jacket, and after day 1 all the consultants lose their jackets as well

What about blazers / sport coats?

 

Just dress shirts with pants?

post #15 of 30
Z Zegna is also fine. It all depends on how things fit on YOU. It's only when you get to something clearly fashion inspired like Christian Dior that we can say with certainty that it is inappropriate.

Just get:
- Navy solid suit
- Charcoal solid suit
- 5 white shirts
- 2 light blue shirts
- 2 faint stripe shirts
- 4 decent muted pattern ties
- 5 dress slacks in navy, charcoal, mid grey, light grey, tan
- 1 pair of chinos
- Navy blue sport coat (very slight pattern like herringbone might be nice)
- lots of socks
- brown and black belt
- black conservative shoes (AE Park Ave are safe)
- brown conservative shoes (AE are good here as well)


Make sure your pants aren't too baggy or wide legged. Put darts in the shirts if they are not well fitted. Make sure the suits fit to a tee.

That's really all you will need for a long time. However, it's not a bad idea to build this over 6 months to a year and start a little slowly. Make sure you begin day one of work with at least the navy suit, mid grey and dark grey dress pants, black shoes, 2 ties, and mostly white shirts. That way you have the suit, basic shirts, and you can use the suit jacket as a sport coat (you're a beginner... it's ok) and the suit pants as dress pants. Then add more dress slacks ASAP, then shirts, then the charcoal suit, then the brown shoes, then the sport coat. Finally a couple more ties.

How to wear it:
- Obviously suits are to be worn with white shirts and sometimes light blue shirt to switch it up. The muted ties should be pretty interchangeable.
- Black shoes with any of those suits is standard, but brown can add some flair once you get comfortable.
- When it's more casual, pair any of the dress pants with any of the shirts. Throw on the sport coat when it's a little cooler but NEVER when you're wearing the dark grey, or navy pants.
- Match socks to the color of your pants, but when wearing black shoes, black socks aren't the end of the world.
- Match belt to shoes.


It's that simple.
Edited by saiyar1 - 7/9/12 at 7:39pm
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