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Summer Associate at a large firm in Manhattan; I need an entirely new wardrobe. Help! - Page 2

post #16 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd617 View Post


Ok, well that narrows your search if that's what you think you need.

You could look at the 1818 line at Brooks Brothers for suits. Half canvas models like the Fitzgerald (slim) or Madison (less slim). Those should run $700 each on sale, possibly less if you look for the same models on eBay or the Buying and Selling forum here on SF

Better in the long run to buy quality shoes. There are tons of threads on the subject, and the consensus is quality, quality, quality is key. You could pick up the English-made Peal shoes at Brooks Brothers for about $450 each on sale in May

As for ties, you could skimp by buying the $15 ones at tiebar.com. Those are generally regarded as being decent

Decent calfskin dress belt you could pick up for $35 (look at Polo Ralph Lauren on eBay: )

You could probably skimp on dress shirts too. BB shirts go on sale for about $45 each.

That would put you in the $3500 budget range

Thanks!  That was very helpful.

 

What are your thoughts on irregular ties from Brooks Brothers?  I remember seeing a bunch at Marshalls on sale for like $15 each and was considering stocking up on ones that I couldn't find anything wrong with.

post #17 of 39
Winston Tailors is an excellent suggestion. I'm a former customer
who stopped using them because I don't get to New York much anymore.
However, as an MTM and bespoke operation, I doubt Winston Tailors could
deliver the suits on time for your job. If they can't, I suggest Paul Stuart.
Stay away from their Phineas Cole line. Both J Press and Brooks Bros.
have declined significantly in the last twenty years.
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRob View Post

I'm from a working-class background and grew up with ill-fitting hand-me-down suits.  Right now, m
y business clothes are as follows: A cheap suit, a few cheap dress shirts, two worn ties, and one pair of cheap dress shoes.  
In other words, I have little-to-no experience with dressing properly.  


From this to $160k starting (my first paying job).


I want to buy all new clothes.  I say this not out of vanity, and I hope you don't think me too big for my britches, but the lawyering profession seems to be a lot about appearances.  
The dress code at the firm is business attire, and i
t might turn heads if I show up to a summer job paying $3,100 week in poverty clothes.  
My goal is for no one to notice my clothes (either as too cheap or as too expensive).


I'm not sure what information a person might need to help me with this stuff, but I've got very common body proportions (5'10, 165 lbs) and am white with brown hair.  Also, I'll be in a climate controlled office all day, but will be getting to-and-from the office via subway (and they get hot as hell in the summer). 


Now that I've explained my situation (read: staggering ineptitude) as best as I can, please tell me what to do.  I guess if I had to have a budget it would be around $3,000, but I'm pulling that number from nowhere; if more is necessary for a quality wardrobe, I'll pay it.  I really would appreciate any advice anyone had for me, even if it was pointing me toward a reputable source of information for me to look at.

Cliffnotes:
-Starting a high-paying job
-Need to buy a full set of business clothes
-Know nothing
-What do I do?

My significant other spent several years at on the of top law firms in nyc. I met many of her coworkers and, to be honest, I was amazed how poorly many dressed, considering what they were getting paid. Sure, a few of them always looked great and were in top quality outfits, but a good chunk also looked like slobs/dressed terribly or in ill-fitting suits. I guess working 12 hour days 6 days a week didn't leave them caring much about their dress. I wouldn't worry too much.
post #19 of 39
Thread Starter 

My last post in this thread got absorbed as waiting for a moderator (that was six hours ago).  Dafuq.

post #20 of 39

Heyo, I also went to the law school and contended with this issue pretty much exactly (except that I work in public service, and don't get the big firm bucks).

 

My suggestion is not to buy a bunch of suits all in one go, as your taste in suits will evolve really quickly once you have to start wearing them every day, especially if you are around a lot of other lawyers in your firm, or if you are in court a lot.

 

For your first suit or 2, I would probably just buy two hickey freeman suits, which are fine middle of the road suits. They might be a little boxy, but they should be totally fine (I know a lot of people like the Brooks Brother's suits as decent starters, but unless they are on a deep discount, I have always thought they were not such a great bargain).

 

Just buy a navy blue, and a charcoal. Watch out for jackets that are too short! This is sort of a fad these days, but it is not where you want to start out with your proper suit ownership; particularly in a legal environment

 

Then, GO TO A TAILOR AND MAKE HIM TALK TO YOU ABOUT WHAT HE THINKS. In my experience, tailors are usually not very giving in conversations about clothes, but torture the guy and make him spell out how the suit looks and how it should look. I think this is a good way to sort of wrap your head around how clothes should look until you get your sea legs.


Then go to Brooks Brothers and buy 7 or 8 non iron shirts. Don't buy 8 copies of the same shirt, because you want to give the illusion that you have a broad range of clothes.

 

Then buy some Allen Edmond's Park Avenues, or something similar, and a belt that matches from the same shop (there is an AE store in NYC, so it might be best to just go in there, and skip the internet. The LA store has great customer service).

 

Finally, your taste in ties is also going to change fairly rapidly and they are fairly expensive new (I know you are making gumby bucks, but still, no need to flush it away). I suggest just buying a bunch of decent brooks brothers / faconnable ties off ebay.
I would probably buy about 10, which is a little thin once you start wearing them everyday. Once you have a better sense of what you like wearing, you can start buying them new, but in the meantime, you can get really decent / like new ties off the ebay for extremely reasonable prices.

 

Okdoke, I hope that helps, best of luck in the grind!

post #21 of 39
^ This is the best advice in this thread. Lulz at the guys telling a summer intern who "knows nothing" about clothes to look into MTM/bespoke. Having been in your shoes:

- Don't go out and drop $3k all at once. Your tastes will evolve and you will come to lament your first purchases...minimize the financial damage
- Even at big law firms in Manhattan people don't dress particularly well, nor do they pay much attention to how others dress (especially associates)
- One solid charcoal, one solid navy is plenty to begin with. As long as you rotate ties and shirts you could wear the same suit every day and nobody would notice or care
- Get one pair of black oxfords - Allen Edmonds are probably a good entry point. Once you learn a little more you might want to go upmarket
- Buy a batch of conservative ties (navy, dark green, dark red). Ebay, Century21, Brooks Brothers should have plenty to choose from

I haven't been in Charles Tyrwhitt in years but I always thought they gave the best bang for the buck if you had to buy in a brick and mortar store. Definitely check them out before you pay full retail for a boxy BB suit.
post #22 of 39

The guys here know what they're talking about. As a summer associate, start with the basics suits then gradually incorporate some patterns as you become accustomed to wearing suits in your office. A new suit doesn't have to be expensive.

post #23 of 39
You guys want him to see learn about bespoke clothes and choose a tailor? That's absolutely nuts. He's going to start working in little more than a month. This is what Jos. A. Bank is for. Get one grey and one navy suit. That will be more than enough to start. Get something on sale. Quality doesn't need to be special. Nobody will care or notice.

Anyway, most days, you won't even be wearing a suit--just a shirt and trousers. So, what you really need are shirts, pants, and shoes. Again, get stuff on sale. Nothing fancy necessary.
post #24 of 39
Thread Starter 

I really hope this post doesn't get held up as waiting for a mod (read:deleted), but yeah - thanks for the advice, guys!  I bought 5 shirts for $250 from Charles (their customer service rep had a lovely British accent).  I plan to pick up more shirts from BB when they have a good shirt sale.

 

I'll go to Brooks Brothers' brick-and-mortar store with a friend of mine and see if I can't find some suits on sale - I'll get a dark grey and a navy blue one.  Finally, I'll go to the NYC AE store for two pairs of black shoes and a matching belt.  Does this sound like a solid game plan?

 

Also, how do you guys feel about the Brooks Brothers "irregular" ties from Marshalls etc., for $15?  I have two of them now, and I can't see any irregularities in them so I doubt other people can.

post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRob View Post

I really hope this post doesn't get held up as waiting for a mod (read:deleted), but yeah - thanks for the advice, guys!  I bought 5 shirts for $250 from Charles (their customer service rep had a lovely British accent).  I plan to pick up more shirts from BB when they have a good shirt sale.

 

I'll go to Brooks Brothers' brick-and-mortar store with a friend of mine and see if I can't find some suits on sale - I'll get a dark grey and a navy blue one.  Finally, I'll go to the NYC AE store for two pairs of black shoes and a matching belt.  Does this sound like a solid game plan?

 

Also, how do you guys feel about the Brooks Brothers "irregular" ties from Marshalls etc., for $15?  I have two of them now, and I can't see any irregularities in them so I doubt other people can.

 

Every firm is different, but I'd be surprised if you are in a suit five days a week.  So, I agree with Foo and others that you need a suitable rotation of dress slacks and shirts and one pair of nice brown dress shoes (I do not think you need two pairs of black shoes).  If you go to Brooks Brothers, their wool gabardine slacks can be had in basic solid colors (mid-grey, charcoal, navy, brown) for $85 a piece during a corporate incentive sale.  Finally, do not obsess too much about dress.  The expectations for Summer Associate dress are lower than for associates; everyone understands SA's usually have limited funds for their professional wardrobe.  People will pay more attention to whether you exercise good judgment in how you dress.

post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by add911_11 View Post

I smell the trolling here.

Me too. I do know that there is quite a glut of law school grads out there, and unless maybe the OP was the editor of the Harvard Law Review or something like that, a starting salary of $160K seems, well, a bit surprising. However, I don't know much about salaries at law firms. And, I would expect a guy stepping into such a position would have more than just "poverty clothes." Hell, if I were making that kind of dough, the first thing I'd do would be to schedule an appointment with someone like Fioravanti.
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by rfc84 View Post


My significant other spent several years at on the of top law firms in nyc. I met many of her coworkers and, to be honest, I was amazed how poorly many dressed, considering what they were getting paid. Sure, a few of them always looked great and were in top quality outfits, but a good chunk also looked like slobs/dressed terribly or in ill-fitting suits. I guess working 12 hour days 6 days a week didn't leave them caring much about their dress. I wouldn't worry too much.

Instead of clothes, some people would rather spend their money on homes, luxury goods and vacations. The fact that they make a lot of money doesn't change that.

post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post


Me too. I do know that there is quite a glut of law school grads out there, and unless maybe the OP was the editor of the Harvard Law Review or something like that, a starting salary of $160K seems, well, a bit surprising. However, I don't know much about salaries at law firms. And, I would expect a guy stepping into such a position would have more than just "poverty clothes." Hell, if I were making that kind of dough, the first thing I'd do would be to schedule an appointment with someone like Fioravanti.

 

Well, you're a 7K+ posts member on a style website, lol. Most people aren't. See my above post.

post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post

Me too. I do know that there is quite a glut of law school grads out there, and unless maybe the OP was the editor of the Harvard Law Review or something like that, a starting salary of $160K seems, well, a bit surprising. However, I don't know much about salaries at law firms. And, I would expect a guy stepping into such a position would have more than just "poverty clothes." Hell, if I were making that kind of dough, the first thing I'd do would be to schedule an appointment with someone like Fioravanti.

$160K is the starting salary for first year associates at every large law firm in Manhattan (and I assume other major US cities as well). You would get a bonus on top of that based on a variety of factors. In New York city, believe it or not but that isn't much. For those who borrowed to go to law school, you aren't looking at Fioravanti prices for a very long time.
post #30 of 39
but this guy is claiming to be a summer associate, i.e. an intern.

he might make that $12k a month, but he'll only do it for 3 months.
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