or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Basic wardrobe for Foreign Service
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Basic wardrobe for Foreign Service - Page 2

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longmorn View Post



And if you think you can find a suit in Kinshasa that is neither too flashy on the one hand, or evidently poor quality on the other, more power to you. Maybe things have changed since the last time was there.


I am less praising their tailors as much as refering to the standards of dress that is expected in an entry level state department guy.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post

light colored trench coat - sierra tradding has a good sale on ralf lauren trench coat right now.

 

Thanks for the pointer.  Of the three that they have now (Allegro, Galant, or the longer Double-Breasted), what would my best choice be?

post #18 of 27
Just wanted to let the OP know that JAB is having a pretty good sale by JAB standards this weekend (over in a couple hours): shirts, ties and pants 60% off and suits are b1g2 free. So you could just stock up not knowing your size and swap them for your size when you get them.

You could get 10 serviceable non-iron shirts for $350 at the very least.
post #19 of 27
First of all, welcome to the forum JWalters

A couple pointers

1. Buy a few basics to get you started. http://www.styleforum.net/a/how-should-i-start-my-business-wardrobe

2. Get comfortable with assessing how stuff should fit. Use this guide to compare measurements (shoulder/chest/waist/rise/leg opening, etc). It's the best on the net: http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/clothing/style-tips/how-to-measure-a-jacket

General article on fit and "balance" for jackets:

http://putthison.com/post/9394551419/three-basic-points-of-fit-waist-shoulder
http://putthison.com/post/19955659382/how-a-suit-jacket-or-sport-coat-should-fit-a
http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/forum/showthread.php?111624-BALANCE-EXPLAINED&s=3469070572270d99b31f59166ea9664f
http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/forum/showthread.php?60268-What-the-heck-is-balance&p=426152#post426152

3. After that, you can look around the Styleforum Buying and Selling forum for reinforcements at DEEP discount (65-85% off). You can find excellent quality NWT stuff. (Corneliani, Samuelsohn, Zegna, Polo Ralph Lauren, Borrelli, Ralph Lauren Purple Label. Brooks Brothers, etc)

Many sellers will ship international if you cover the postage difference. I at least sell a lot of stuff to international members

You shouldn't have much trouble getting stuff sent to you during your "hardship" post if you learn the basics before you leave
Edited by jrd617 - 9/30/12 at 10:30pm
post #20 of 27
Welcome to the FS. As an OMS (with aspirations to be an FSO generalist) you'll want to dress like one. Many of us dress poorly, so you'll want to look a bit better. I suggest 3 suits and 8 shirts and 2 shoes. After you have adjusted a bit, you can order via the web/ebay (once you figure your last in a particular model of shoe and fit in a particular OTR suit brand). I started the journey with a few Hickey Freeman suits, Allen Edmonds shoes and BB no iron dress shirts. I'm now into PRL suits, C&J/Alden shoes and the slimfit BB no iron shirts. I blame SF for that. Good luck to you Sir.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post

sorry, I don't stand by that comment - I don't buy either brand myself, I am just thinking of the labels that I see people wearning, so you surely know better than I do.
OP - there are BB outlets, and they do have sales. if you have 4 months, aim at doing your shopping on Black friday at an outlet

"I don't buy either brand myself,"

Nor do I. We've met at a SanFrancisco Meet-up in early 2011, I believe.
I also said hello to you at the SF 10 the Anniversary bash.
My real name is Roger
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post

you can get a suit as good as a BB suit in any of those cities. the OP isn't an "elite" of a kleptocracy, he is a government clerk.

Exactly.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWalters View Post

Thank you all for the discussion and advice.  I deeply appreciate it.
Central Oregon, and thank you.  Before I'm off to training in DC (and beyond) in early 2013, I will probably spend several weeks visiting family in the San Francisco and New York areas.

Thank you.  I appreciate the specifics, and your thoughtful "off duty" list as well.  I just won a pair of BR flat front chinos on eBay for $10 shipped.  
As to the timepiece, I've dabbled in the "guy gadget" hobbies long enough to have an Orient Mako, a surprisingly nice Momentum quartz, and my grandfather's old Bulova.  


This is an excellent perspective, thanks!  I did not make the cut for FSO but I am delighted they picked me up as an Office Management Specialist (OMS).  At work, I tend to excel so I'm sure opportunities will arise with time.  Given the focus of much of my federal job search, I am hoping for an OMS posting in a Diplomatic Security section.   I appreciate your invitation and will PM you before too long, once I get a little more reading done.

Several posters have echoed this advice, and I understand.  However, I am anxious about graduating training and being shipped off to Harare, Dushanbe, or Vientiane without enough work clothing.  I am fascinated by this discussion of local shopping but in my travels, have not seen many shopping opportunities for fine menswear in many such locales.  Notable exceptions such as Bangkok abound, but my hesitation remains.

Thanks for the DOS-specific observations - I have had limited contact with State compared to other agencies so this is very valuable.

Oh, I didn't mean to sound skittish about "hardship" posts.  At considerable professional opportunity cost, I have taken the time to travel extensively in such places backpacker style, "middle class" style, and via long bike tours.  Aside from serving my country, working and living in "hardship" locations is the main appeal of this gig.  Indeed, I was disappointed to learn that Baghdad, Islamabad, and Kabul are not available as first postings.


We recently attended a 2-day intensive escape-and-evasion class.  The instructor really emphasized your same point - he called it "baselining".  At the end of the field exercise day, I was able to evade a "hunter" at arm's length by improvising an outfit that made me look like landscaping staff, instead of the clothing the hunter last observed me wearing.

At class, we have an opportunity to rank the destinations list that they give us, and your list is strongly representative of my top picks.  Thus, I do want to show up there with enough specialized work clothing.


Again, thanks very much for the advice and specifics. Keep 'em coming!
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post

you can get a suit as good as a BB suit in any of those cities. the OP isn't an "elite" of a kleptocracy, he is a government clerk.

Exactly.







OMS is the current equivalent of Foreign Service Staff, I suppose.
In my day the 60s and the 70s, there was a noticible sartorial
distinction between the two. The FSOs genreally came from elite
colleges and graduate schools. Staff less so. Also the dress
of Ivy grads and the like stood out..Today,many of the grads
from the elite colleges and grad schools go into international Business,
Investment Banking, etc so their representation in FSO ranks
may be proportionately less. Also, the "Ivy uniform" is no longer the
rule to the extent it used to be. Nevertheless, conservative, whether
US, Italian, British-inspired clothes, are the model along with quality.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by comrade View Post

"I don't buy either brand myself,"
Nor do I. We've met at a SanFrancisco Meet-up in early 2011, I believe.
I also said hello to you at the SF 10 the Anniversary bash.
My real name is Roger

sorry - I didn't mean that as a zing, either. I just meant that I sort of bunch the "trad" american manufacturers together, I don't have experience myself. I didn't grow up here.

and, yes, now I do remember, Roger.
post #25 of 27

You will need: two sets of impeccably tailored evening wear (the spare in case, the first set gets damaged during the inevitable confrontation with agents of unfriendly nations), several equally impeccably tailored 'Conduit Cut' grey suits from Anthony Sinclair of Mayfair, all modified for easy access to a revolver holstered on your prefered side, a pen that turns into a radio as well as a poisoned dart gun, bespoke shoes form C&J with spring-loaded knives concealed in the soles, a fedora that can decapitate a man when thrown from up to 20 metres, an especially modified Aston Martin with machine guns, a passenger ejector seat and flamethrower. You know, the usual...

 

I believe these are provided to all British operatives in the foreign service. I would expect the US department to be similar, albeit somewhat more vulgar in style.

post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post

a fedora dress shoe that can decapitate a man when thrown from up to 20 metres

 

FTFY.

 

post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post

You will need: two sets of impeccably tailored evening wear (the spare in case, the first set gets damaged during the inevitable confrontation with agents of unfriendly nations), several equally impeccably tailored 'Conduit Cut' grey suits from Anthony Sinclair of Mayfair, all modified for easy access to a revolver holstered on your prefered side, a pen that turns into a radio as well as a poisoned dart gun, bespoke shoes form C&J with spring-loaded knives concealed in the soles, a fedora that can decapitate a man when thrown from up to 20 metres, an especially modified Aston Martin with machine guns, a passenger ejector seat and flamethrower. You know, the usual...

I believe these are provided to all British operatives in the foreign service. I would expect the US department to be similar, albeit somewhat more vulgar in style.

At least in my day nothing was "provided" to US "operatives". We acquired our own tuxes at our own expense.
I went overboard for my budget at the time with a high end Paul Stuart ensemble with a silk vest. I think I
wore it twice in five years.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Basic wardrobe for Foreign Service