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First Power Suit - Page 3

post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierce R View Post

I'm going to start with the two plain MTM Alexandre suits -- a navy 3-piece and either gray or slightly-darker gray 2-piece -- and get an extra pair of trousers with each; one pair of each with side tabs, braces buttons, and no loops. Because braces.

 

We shook hands on the job a couple of weeks ago, and I'm told the offer letter should be in the mail after the first of the year. As soon as I get it I'm going shopping and I'll post pics as I go along.

 

Thanks, all, and Merry Christmas.

 

Stick with two-piece suits for now - this sounds like your first job outside the military, and you don't want people to think you're starting off by channeling your inner-Gekko. Ditch the extra pair of trousers as well.

post #32 of 67

big lover of peak lapels here. especially for a power suit. they really project power IMO but I'm guessing you're set on your style?

post #33 of 67
A big fan of Phineas Cole (from Paul Stuart) if you've athletic build otherwise Southwick and/or Samuelsohn provide good values at around $1k mark.
post #34 of 67
Thread Starter 

Necro-bump.

 

Funding for the startup got delayed, Goddamn stupid new economy mad.gif  so I've been cruising Victor's Tumblr and hanging out in the Dumb Threads section.

 

I got a call this week that the firm has finally secured its first round of funding and is setting up the office space, and should be sending out offer letters within 60 days. I'm told I should be in this first round of hiring. So, go team.

 

That puts my need-a-suit drop-dead date probably sometime around June; plenty of time to get a MTM from Alexandre. Still torn between navy and charcoal.

 

I also found a Boss at Nordstrom that they claim they can sell me as separates and it actually looks pretty damned good even without any work done. I'm sure that with the right alterations it would really pop. I haven't moved on it yet, though. It would be a few hundred more than the MTM, but the Alexandre is fused and the Boss isn't.

 

In the meantime I've collected three pairs of gray wool flannel slacks (Sierra Outpost, $49 a pair!) and a few slim-fit shirts from different manufacturers. My wife says that Kenneth Cole Slim Fit seems to fit me best OTR. I also picked up a couple of nice ties and some conservative tie bars -- silver with black accents to match my watch and my wedding ring. I got a kickass JZ Richards power tie for Christmas.

 

I scored a Nordstrom guncheck tweed jacket at Goodwill for $10, and for $50 I had it altered and had a small reweave done. I'll post a pic in the Thrift Store Bragging thread next time I wear it. It is already my favorite thing in my whole closet. Right now I only have cause to wear it to church. cool.gif 

 

I like the gray flannel slacks / jacket / no tie look. At first it felt awkward, but now that I'm used to it, it looks so much more competent and adult than the tie-with-no-jacket look. I think it'll be my thing, and frankly, I'm thinking to pick up a few sport jackets instead of a second suit. I'll get more mileage out of the wardrobe that way, too.

 

For shoes, I plan to go with AE seconds/returns from NR, at least until I can drop the coin for "real" ones. And yes, I read the thread about them. Thank you for your concern. 

 

I have my heart set on black AE Fifth Street boots. If I can't find them as seconds I'm just going to bite the bullet. 

 

So I guess this is just an update to let you all know that I'm still working on it, and I'll post pics as I go once I get serious. Which, fingers crossed, looks like it'll be soon. 

post #35 of 67

As a fellow military guy, I can say without a doubt we are collectively the worst dressed group of people on the planet. Just look at any Friday safety brief held within the last 5-10 years for a confirmation. I can't tell you how many of my men don't even own a jacket or a tie and would consider putting on something with a collar for a date or an event some form of punishment. Why? The majority are under the age of 26.  Even Field Grade officers and Command Sergeant Majors dress like crap. Why? They have spent all of their formative years in the military which means all day they wear a uniform and whenever they get off they throw on a unit t-shirt and some gym/cargo shorts or outdoors/adventure apparel or at worse some Affliction/Tap Out shit for the youngins. I think moving away from the PX and surfing blogs for inspiration is a good choice. Nothing good can come from the PX except polyester/rayon/fused sacks of shit.  A $200 sack of shit is still is still a sack of shit no matter how many "designer" labels you slap on it.

 

 

Your chest waist drop is not unusual for the military, especially in our current CrossFit obsession. There are plenty of good "military tailors" around bases. These do not translate to good "clothing" tailors. Just because they can sew on patches and velcro while you wait does not mean they know how to do anything more than hem pants and jacket sleeves on dress blues/class A's.  Don't be afraid to google around and drive away from post down towards Seattle to find a proper tailor. Say away from shopping malls near post. They universally sell crap. Nordstrom's in Seattle may have some decent stuff; but well fitting, quality staples from a department store sandwiched between a Hollister and a Hot Topic outside the post front gate are few and far between.

 

 

Sierra Trading Post is a great website to find high quality goods at huge discounts (Isia, Incotex, etc) I first started going to STP to buy extra Asolo hiking boots for Afghanismastan. Who knew? Hitting the AE/Alden seconds is a good plan. Stay away from boots until you get some decent balmorals/bluchers in black and brown. When I first started a wardrobe I bought a lot of "outfits" and "statement pieces". I was "hey this looks great on this posed online photo or on the mannequin in the store"-Avoid this. I filled my closet with a lot of junk that I can't wear with anything else that way. I found it was better to go with staples that can be mix and matched for versatility. (Try googling Put This On wardrobe essentials and the million other lists of 10 essentials for the wardrobe, etc). Classic, high quality, well fitting can never go wrong. A few of these with take you a lot further mixing it up than "outfits" and "statement pieces".  Thrifting and eBay can be a good way to get a few essentials as long as you know a good tailor, avoid the "fuck yeah, I'm here to win" mentality of online bidding. Use Gixen or a sniping service and bid and leave it, you win awesome, you don't you didn't have to have it anyway or you'd have bought it in the store or "buy it now".

 

 

MTM will be good for you. I would start Navy, then Charcoal, then a mid-grey or glen plaid and go from there. Get a Navy blazer (dark horn buttons) that you can wear with your slacks or wear for business casual for the trips impromptu meetings. A few white shirts and a bunch of blue shade point collar and a blue OCBD and you'll be GTG for 90% of situations. Being well dressed with the basics is more important than power suits and power ties. Actually the phrase power tie makes me cringe at the thought of some loud, bright, garish tie as part of a costume with some ridiculous pocket square.  You don't do costume well, you do uniform well. You know adhering to the rules and having your shit dress-right-dress is the best path to success.  Follow this in your civilian dress.  Well polished shoes, pressed clothes/shirt, straight gig line, and well tailored clothes are how you still pass the Board in the civilian world (see what I did there?). In the military, you were used to putting on all your flare as a walking 201 file so you could know a guy just by looking at him - "Hey look at my HALO wings or my CIB". Your temptation will be to mimic this with tie bars, pocket squares, flag pins, whatever -Avoid this. Quality, well fitted, well tailored clothes will make a much stronger statement than a "hey look at me" costume. Get comfortable with you're operating environment before you whip out your scuba bubble and ranger scroll combat patch (i.e. tie bar and pocket square) Same with your haircut - get rid of the high and tight(if you rock it full hooah like that) and go for well kept/well groomed professional.  You're a grown man dammit wear a jacket.  If you wear a tie, wear a jacket. For me, feel free to lose the tie if it's after the duty/work day, on the weekends, or you've got a drink in your hand.

 

The bottom line is it sounds like you are going to be working west coast, traveling east coast to do consulting/contracting for alphabet agencies, gov, and mil contract types. Think quiet professional - you know the ones I mean. The one who when he opens his mouth everyone shuts the fuck up and listens, not the pogue who can't wait to blab to you about his war stories from the Green Zone or Kandahar's boardwalk. You know to judge people on actions/deeds not words and that they weirdo no-last name with a beard and full Crye kit doesn't always know his head from his asshole, just like the quiet guy with fire in his eyes is not to be under estimated or taken lightly. Know your environment, if you're working with the people/organizations I think you're working with to secure contracts, they will be much more impressed by your hard, no-BS work ethic and that you know how to put yourself together with well fitting-classics than your designer suit and your "power tie".

 

Good luck with the start-up and the contracts. Remember "Hope" is NOT a method. Deeds not words.

post #36 of 67
Thread Starter 

^ Should be required reading for everyone transitioning out. 

 

I go to the Hire America's Heroes events and ex-mil job fairs, and you're dead-nuts on. We are an embarrassment. Black square-toed shoes with brown belts, polyester-blend ties, bad jackets. But some guy at MWH told us we look great, so we must, right? A class on how to dress decently should be part of the transition process. Saw a fucking guy with khakis, a blazer and tie, and Nikes at one of these not too long ago. ("Fix yourself!") Jesus. Cargo pants with a tie is another great look. Post-modern deconstructionist. 

 

I won't be working with .mil's and alphabet soup; our thing is impact analysis and consequence modeling for firms investing in infrastructure development and reconstruction efforts in developing nations. My presentations will be for boards of directors, venture capital groups, NGO's, equity fund managers, etc. Generally guys who can dress. 

 

But other than that, yes, you exactly nailed it. Cheers. 

post #37 of 67

Before I spent all of that money on clothes and shoes, I'd make sure that the terms of my pay were crystal clear. I wouldn't want them to "run out of funding" and brush my paycheck to the side.

post #38 of 67
If you're on the west coast, Seymour's in San Francisco will make you a solid bespoke suit at your price point. They take shortcuts and outsource the sewing but the product for the money is good and you will have a tailor with 30 years experience seeing it through. i think eventually you would graduate to a higher quality product but in the beginning they are good quality for the money.

Otherwise, in Seattle maybe gian Decaro has a M2M line.
post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierce R View Post

Hey, all. Longtime lurker, first-time poster.
 

I've been offered a job at a consulting startup that's opening its doors in January. The majority of my coworkers will be former military so I expect to see a lot of guys in their first-ever suits, and I doubt anyone will be holding anyone else up to close scrutiny around the office. Frankly, I'll be surprised if everyone wears clothes that are tailored. For that matter, I'll be surprised if everyone wears clothes.

Alexandre of Savile Row -- whom I'd never heard of until I saw them on-base today -- is currently offering MTM 2-piece suits for $550 at our local PX. They don't appear to be bad suits. They're fused but nicely-finished; the fabric offered is wool but nothing outstanding. $550 for a MTM fused suit vs. $499 for an OTR fused suit at MW seems a no-brainer. I intend to pick up a couple of MTM Alexandre suits for regular wear around the office.

My actual problem is this, though: part of my job will be briefing potential investors, including Boards of Directors in New York, London, and Bahrain. Some of the projects we'll be consulting on are worth 8 figures. An Alexandre suit is not going to cut it. 

I have about $3000 altogether for my business wardrobe, at least to get me through the first few months.

I figure $1100 for two Alexandre MTM suits (tax-free at the PX), another $400 or so to get some OTR OCBD's and have them tapered (ex-military; 44 chest 33 waist), and a few pairs of gray slacks. I already own black Johnston & Murphy cap-toes, a navy herringbone sportcoat, an assortment of Repp ties, and a few white and pinstripe shirts that I can get tapered. 

That leaves me about $1000-1500 for a suit that won't get me laughed out of a boardroom. More to the point, I need to be able to A.) sit at the end of the table quietly and look like I belong there; and B.) be taken seriously when I give my presentation. Essentially, I need to wear what the big boys are wearing, or be so close that what I'm wearing won't be a distraction. 

It'll have to be OTR at that price, so I'm thinking HF from Nordstrom or BB 1818 Madison. Definitely navy. That's about as far as my thinking takes me.

If this gig lasts a year, I'll be able to go bespoke; but to get there I'll need to really nail these first few presentations and impress the people who need impressing.

I'm open to suggestions. 
 

Spend all your 3k on a really nice suit. When you see clients not so much, its best that you 100% make the right impression instantly. To be honest to look really unstoppable I think you have to spend over $2500 on a suit at least, and I really mean that.
post #40 of 67
I will reiterate what some folks have said. If you decide to get something off the rack, leave a decent chunk of money to have a good tailor make alterations.
post #41 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Reeves View Post

Spend all your 3k on a really nice suit. When you see clients not so much, its best that you 100% make the right impression instantly. To be honest to look really unstoppable I think you have to spend over $2500 on a suit at least, and I really mean that.

David are you seriously suggesting someone with no background in tailored clothing drop that much on a single suit which, at that price, would be very high end MTM or bespoke? It takes a bit of knowledge when specifying bespoke don't you think?
post #42 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by bertie View Post

David are you seriously suggesting someone with no background in tailored clothing drop that much on a single suit which, at that price, would be very high end MTM or bespoke? It takes a bit of knowledge when specifying bespoke don't you think?

I know most people bespeaking suits are total clothing noob. It is reasonably substantial, but far from real treat e.g. watch, holiday, cars, house
post #43 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by add911_11 View Post

I know most people bespeaking suits are total clothing noob. It is reasonably substantial, but far from real treat e.g. watch, holiday, cars, house

Not so much the $$$ as the number of details that need to be worked out when get something made up. Without knowing what to ask for it's possible to end up with something meh that cost a lot. For example which tailoring details would differentiate a Tom Ford suit from a Prada suit? Both very spendy but with different looks. If you had one of these in mind (which an average person might view as "power" suits) how would you ask a tailor to make one versus the other?
post #44 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by bertie View Post

Not so much the $$$ as the number of details that need to be worked out when get something made up. Without knowing what to ask for it's possible to end up with something meh that cost a lot. For example which tailoring details would differentiate a Tom Ford suit from a Prada suit? Both very spendy but with different looks. If you had one of these in mind (which an average person might view as "power" suits) how would you ask a tailor to make one versus the other?

You bring a picture to the tailor, or tell them what do you like. However, most bespoke gents are total style noob, as I said, so they will simply ask the tailor to make something nice for them. As Foo once said, best results comes when you just let the tailor to do their thing, without explicit style preference.
post #45 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by add911_11 View Post

You bring a picture to the tailor, or tell them what do you like. However, most bespoke gents are total style noob, as I said, so they will simply ask the tailor to make something nice for them. As Foo once said, best results comes when you just let the tailor to do their thing, without explicit style preference.

I think Foo's reference point is a little different. He researches the tailor and picks them because of their house style. He also uses very, very expensive tailors.

Bringing a picture to a tailor will provide little more than the number of buttons and lapel style. It will not address things like pant style, rise, armhole positioning, etc. while there may well be high quality bespoke tailors in the Seattle region who can provide an outstanding suit, most mid-tier tailors require a fair amount of direction to give you a suit you have in mind.
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