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New Uniform

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Retired from 20+ years of military service.  It was time to get a new that I need to think about every day...and enjoy doing so.  Went to a local clothier (Sofio's) to get 6 suits and 7 shirts + 3 ties.  A few photos of the way I've worn some of the outfits.







post #2 of 19

Congratulations on your retirement. Watch out for that exploding pocket square! ;o) I really like #6. 


Infantry leads the way!

post #3 of 19
5&6... ....
post #4 of 19
It's never a good idea to buy so many clothes at once. Also, it generally is not a good to wear a black suit. In #1, a button-down collar with a suit and conservative paisley tie is rather incongrous. The arrangement of the pocket square in #2 is rather weird, and in #5 and #7 the tie and pocket square compete with each other. Aside from that, the pictures look fine.
post #5 of 19
Congratulations on your retirement and thank you for your service. Overall, I think you've done pretty well here (a bit too much square in picture 2 and hard to tell if the squares in 5 and 7 are a bit close in color to the tie; I'd agree on the no black suit thing as well but the world's not exactly going to stop if you wear it). I like the suit as a uniform. I'd also consider a few more shirts and ties and maybe a sport coat or two eventually, but you have plenty of time for that. Take some time to reflect on what colors and outfits you like the most before anymore acquisitions and feel free to solicit feedback on recommended acquisitions here.
post #6 of 19

Congrat's on retiring from the military. You deserve to wear whatever you want.

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the kind words.  Was a little hesitant to post.  Wore the same military uniform for 20+ years.  Now I'm enjoying "retirement" in the civilian workplace...still associated with the military...wearing suits, it's my new "uniform".


I'm learning my own sense of style at 40+ years of age.  Trolling the blogs and Tumblr for ideas.  Debating with the dear wife on whether brown shoes and a light gray suit is OK (I argue it is).  My experience wearing suits up to this point was for weddings, funerals and holidays @ church.  Now I'm wearing MTM shirts, custom suits, pocket squares, expensive shoes (3 pairs of Allen Edmonds), etc.  Having a ball doing it.


I'm blessed that I could afford to spend several $K right off the bat.  Trusted Sofio to set me up right.  Love every single suit I own now.  My off-the-rack suit I had for interviews hasn't made it out of its garment bag in months.  Bought 3 sports coats + 2 wool pants @ Mens Wearhouse to round out the wardrobe.  Would like to get a few more shirts and ties.  I find myself drawn to darker fall-ish type colors vs. more white and blues.  But I'm now taking my time to buy things that fit well with what I have.


Replying to some of the comments (thank, BTW):  No black suits in the bunch.  One is dark navy and one is shark skin (charcoal)...look black in the poor lighting.  100% agree on the exploding pocket square.  Haven't tried to wear it that way since.  Wife hates the polka dots but I like it.  I rarely wear the button down shirt anymore.  Last time I wore it was for "casual Friday" w/a heather colored merino wool sweater and no tie.  I can't dimple a tie to save my life.  Need to work on the 4-in-hand knot more.


post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thought I had replied to all...let me start again.


Thank you all for the kind well wishes on my first retirement.  I'm truly enjoying the excitement of new and interesting clothes every day.  I owned 1 suit prior to joining the civilian workforce and nothing but cheap ties and shoes.  I've been trolling the various men's style blogs for help and hints.  First time I've posted.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  I'm pleased with the helpful comments and lack of holier-than-thou haughtiness.


A few comments on the outfits:

- No black above.  Shark skin grey and navy

- Agree on the exploding polka dot pocket square...DW hates it period.  I've worn it differently and like it.

- I can't dimple a tie to save my life.  I get it right 1x in 10.

- On buying too much at once, the clothier gives a substantial discount to retiring military.  After the first go, it goes up (but still a decent discount).  I asked him how many suits I needed in rotation "to start".  He said's more than a "suit for each day of the week" so I can mix it up. 


I bought 3 sports coast @ Mens Wearhouse to round out the wardrobe.  Gray, navy and a brown check.  2 pairs of odd wool pants -- black and gray.  I own 3 pairs of AE -- 2 black and 1 dark brown.  I have 4 merino or cashmere/cotton mix v-neck sweaters to mix/match into the rotation (pic #6--cognac sweater with light gray suit).  All in all, a pretty decent start.


Again, thanks for the feedback.


Aim High!


post #9 of 19

The clothier lied. Virtually no one needs 6 suits for any given season.

Even worse, Men's Wearhouse sport coats. Almost certainly poor quality (unless Jack Victor, probably overpriced). Return them now, if possible.

And black pants are barely any better than black suits.
post #10 of 19
Glad to hear that you're liking all of the suits and it's probably for the best that none of them are actually black. For odd trousers, medium grey is probably the most useful color you can possibly own as it goes with almost any sport coat (except grey, which is kind of a tough sport coat to pair with other things, which you can wear with tan or cream colored trousers).

If you wear a suit 5 days a week, I actually think that 6 isn't a terrible number to start off with. In general, it's best to buy at a slower pace, but it sounds like you were pretty excited to plunge into this new world of clothing. Nothing wrong with that and sounds like you're set for awhile on suits. For shirts and ties, it really depends on what you're looking for. If you let us know your height / chest / waist measurements, the type of fit you like for shirts and your preferred price point, we can probably offer some suggestions. There are a decent amount of online options that offer pretty good deals, and it's a lot easier to buy a shirt online than a suit. Same thing goes for ties.
post #11 of 19
Originally Posted by mensimageconsultant View Post


The clothier lied. Virtually no one needs 6 suits for any given season.

Even worse, Men's Wearhouse sport coats. Almost certainly poor quality (unless Jack Victor, probably overpriced). Return them now, if possible.

And black pants are barely any better than black suits.

the number of suits doesn't phase me if the quality and fit are there.

black pants are useless. MW sportcoats should be returned.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

I do wear suits every day.  All the managers wear suits...the rest are a mix of shirt and tie alone (*gasp*), ill-fitting sports jackets, and wrinkled suits.  I'm doing OK.


As far as MW sports jackets...since I went with MTM suits and they took ~8 weeks (and I procrastinated), I needed to fill the gap.  They're Ralph Lauren and ???  Had to have 2 buttons sewn on.  Not 100% impressed but for the price (BOGO), it was worth it to me.


Why "no" on black wool pants?  What would you recommend?


As far as shirts, I paid ~$150 for the custom shirts (Egyptian cotton).  Not what I really *want* to pay for every shirt.  I've seen ~$50 shirts on sale @ Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH and bought 3 slim fit Nordstrom Rack shirts that I'm pleased with.  Can't see ever buying a shirt @ JC Penniless, Sears, Kohls, etc. again. 


What about ties?  I've read the folks seem to like ties from 

post #13 of 19
Medium grey is my preferred color for trousers. They're much more versatile and go with many more things than black. Black has the issue of not looking as good during the day due to the absence of color. It also carries formal connotations with it, which makes it appearing as a pair of odd trousers someone incongruous.

Definitely understand not wanting to spend $150 per shirt. You can regularly get Charles Tyrwhitt for $40-$50 (there's a thread for this shirt maker). The quality is not amazing (much better than JCP, Sears, Kohls) but I think it is fine for an everyday workhorse shirt. Don't pay more than $50 for one of their shirts though.

I've never purchased a tie from TieBar, but I have heard decent things about their ties for the price. Hopefully others with some more experience with them can weigh in. I'm a huge fan of Sam Hober ties (IMO the $75-$85 I pay is completely worth it; the quality really is great, you can customize your dimensions and they are priced below anything I know of that is of comparable quality). Not sure what you're hoping to spend on ties, but try a couple of Sam Hobers if you can, even if you think they're a bit pricey for your everyday tie. You can see a lot of fine examples in the Sam and David Hober Appreciation Thread. You can decide for yourself if the difference in price is worth it.
post #14 of 19
post #15 of 19
Another problem with black pants is ugly fading, though that's more of an issue with cotton.

Altea is another option for ties, probably very good bang for the buck. For the most part, as long as a tie is 100% silk, the look is tasteful (e.g., not very shiny), and the price isn't suspiciously low, it's worth considering.
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