Originally Posted by BlackBeard
I don't post on the forums often (if ever), but I do enjoy the atmosphere fostered by its members and I also enjoy reading all the advice that is handed out. So I've come here today hoping to get your input and advice as I embark on the journey of giving my wardrobe a complete makeover. To put into perspective, when I dress in the mornings for work (and even at night to go out) I don't feel confident and many of my clothing items don't fit properly. The number of pieces in my regular rotation are down to about 10 (a mix of shirts and pants) and some I've used for 7+ years and just look beat up (e.g. missing or cracked buttons, baggy fit because I've lost weight, etc.). I'm tired of my wardrobe and want to start dressing like a man with confidence. My life is going through a bit of a transformation right now and this is one of the areas I want to focus more energy improving.
If you've read this far then I'd like to say thank you. I'm also guessing you are interested in helping me out (thanks again!) so below are some additional details on myself and what I'm trying to accomplish. There is no bad or wrong advice you can give me. Anything from brands I should look at or places to shop, or a recommended tailor will be helpful. Even helping me figure out what items are more essential so I can start working on those first.
Thank you in advance!About Me
Shirt:: 16x35.5 slim fit but more on the not slim side
Pants: 34x34 but I have trouble in the seat/thigh because of my big behind
Work: Office job in Manhttan. Suit not required.
Budget: I can invest $2,000-$2,500 in the wardrobe refresh.Current Staple Items
2 Levi jeans
1 RLBL dark gray pinstripe suit
1 RL cashmere jacket (I love this thing because it is so comfortable and it fits like a glove, but I barely wear it because I don't have any nice shirts to go with it)
1 white oxford from Banana
1 blue long sleeve Lacsote
1 gingham pink from Penguin
1 red and blue plaid shirt from PenguinGoals
6 solid color dress shirts
5 pattern shirts (some casual and some dress)
3 dress pants (navy, charcoal, khaki)
3 casual pants I can dress up(navy, charcoal, green?)
6 dress socks
2 new belts (brown and black)
1 navy blazer (prefer non brass buttons)
1 navy suit (not necessary for work but I would like to have in my arsenal)
1 tie bar
1 brown leather watch
Congrats on the decision to start rebuilding your wardrobe. For $2,000-$2,500, it might be tough to do all of that well. Here are some thoughts. First, try to be patient and wait for things to go on sale (at least say 25% off). It will make this a lot easier. Also, places like Filene's Basement and Century 21 can be your friend.
- Charles Tyrwhitt shirts can be obtained for $50 per shirt on a regular basis. Skip the black label; the basic shirts are fine for now. Try 8 for now (6 solid, 3 pattern, save the additional patterned shirts for when you have more). This will be $400.
- +1 to everyone who said that medium grey dress pants are the best option. They will go with a navy blazer and look great with almost everything. Brooks Brothers on sale is not bad here, maybe take a gamble on Sierra Trading Post (great with returns if sizing is off). You should get 3 pairs for $300.
- Casual pants should be versatile. I prefer chinos in the stone to tan range; save the fun colors for now. Sierra Trading Post is another good option here. Feel free to search the forum when doing diligence on brands. 3 pairs for $150.
- I'm not a sock expert, but you can get good deals in discount stores. Get a couple more pairs. $100 for 8 on discount.
- For belts, my best guess is that you can probably score 2 good ones for $150 at a reasonable sale.
- Navy Suit - This is great to have for any interview, wedding or evening event where you do not want to wear pinstripes, which should stay in the office. Brooks Brothers regularly has sales for $700 or so on their 1818 line. Other comparable values exist. For maybe $850 or so shipped (maybe a bit less but don't quote me), you can get a basic MTM suit from MyTailor. Let's use $800 as a mid-range estimate for this. You want your one navy suit to look good when you do need it.
- Navy Blazer - Hang onto the cashmere jacket for now unless you want to get rid of it for some reason. Save this for the next stage of upgrades.
- Tie Bar - Not just yet.
Total is $1,900, give or take. I'd add two pairs of Allen Edmonds or comparable dress shoes. One black balmoral with some toe medalion (technically you should wear a plain stich cap or very similar shoe with a suit, but it is silly for you to have a pair of shoes that is too formal for most of your outfits; better to have something that can work with a suit and the rest of your wardrobe) and one brown or black blucher or monkstrap. These will be a bit over $300 each at retail, but you can sometimes find deals on some models.
$2,500, give or take.