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Starting from scratch... need help building my first wardrobe

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'm living in New York City, and I will be moving to London in a few weeks for business school. I would like to build a wardrobe for business formal wear, business casual wear and evening wear. I want to look my best at all times, whether I am going to school, interviewing, networking, going out for drinks, company events, working, etc.


I really don't own that much clothes, so I don't have any base. I lived frugally throughout my life until I finished university. I have an athletic build and I'm not sure if the thin European one button suit style will fit me properly. I don't know for sure, so I will try on as many things as possible to make sure I get the best clothing possible.


I'm assuming London is more expensive than New York, so I would like to do the bulk of my shopping in the USA. But, I would be willing to pick up a few things abroad as well if it's worth it.


I need things from accessories (like wallets and belts) to suits, and everything in between. Bear in mind, I rather get quality over quantity. I don't need to buy 1,000 items to have a complete wardrobe. I don't mind collecting things over time, but I need something to start out with -- i.e. a few good suits, plenty of nice business casual wear for school and evening wear for pub crawls :)


What stores should I go to? What brands should I look out for? Any particular products do you have in mind? Help me plan my NYC shopping itinerary.


I'm after a great deal, but without sacrificing quality. I want to look great, but I don't want to overspend just yet. I'm still a student. Once I land my dream job, then I'll go a little crazy. In the meantime, I just want to look the part.


This is the list that I have so far, although I don't know what to get specifically just yet:



Massimo Dutti

666 Fifth Avenue (not opened yet, I think.)



520 Madison Avenue//Bloomingdales @ Lex (going to get custom shirts: evening wear, causal and formal for suits)


Tom Ford

845 Madison Avenue//754 Fifth Avenue (Bergdorf Goodman store)



post #2 of 7
One of my favorite threads.
post #3 of 7
What's your budget?
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Cant kill da Rooster View Post

One of my favorite threads.


Thanks for providing the link. It's a much needed guide.


Originally Posted by GHo View Post

What's your budget?


I don't want to exceed $3,000 + ~$800 in gift cards for my first shopping round. I want to make sure that all my purchases are still usable later down the road. I don't want anything "temporary." Like I said earlier, I rather have quality over quantity so to speak.

post #5 of 7
Charles Tyrwhitt would be a good place to visit.

Since the job will be in London, keep in mind that brown shoes might not be okay for work there and that the British tend toward more colorful dress shirts than do Americans. It makes sense to wait until the move to buy most dress shoes, as quality mid-range footwear is much easier to find in Europe.
post #6 of 7
Take a look at SuitSupply. They sell inexpensive suits in trim, modern cuts that would probably look quite at home in London.
post #7 of 7

Steer away from Pink.  Wait until you get to London, and then hit Jermyn Street (in ascending price):  Charles Tyrwhitt; New & Lingwood; Turnbull & Asser.


There is something in the comment about colourful shirts,(*) but I would advise against trying to ape the look.  It is a component of a wider look that cannot be achieved by simply adding in a colourful shirt.  It also makes co-ordination more difficult, which is not what you need when starting out.  FWIW, I don't actually like it myself - I tend to wear pale blue and blue and white shirts and these will look perfectly appropriate. 

(*)  See e.g.,

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