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First Job. New Wardrobe. Need Help.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone. I'm new to style, new to the site, and am seeking the guidance of the forum.


Background: I recently accepted a job in NYC and the office is casual (Jeans, Khakis, Collared Shirt, no suit or tie). Between expenses/car repair/loans my savings account is slim, henceforth I applied for a BB card. My budget is $700-800, I realize that won't get me too far, but its a start.


Current Plan: I was thinking getting 6 shirts and 3 pairs of chinos. What colors would you suggest to get the most combinations? For footwear I have a pair of Black JM Atchison Cap Toe, would those be acceptable to wear?


Thank you, any help would be greatly appreciated.



post #2 of 16
You need brown shoes too.
post #3 of 16

Light khaki, dark khaki and navy are great, versatile colors to start with.  Get a pair of $100 J&M shoes in brown.  J&M isn't at all what they used to be but still probably one of the best $100 shoes you can get.   Buy belts to match both shoes.  no need to go crazy buying overly expensive when you're just getting going.


LLBean makes very nice khakis for $70.

With those color pants you can get whatever shirts strike your fancy.  I suggest starting with "basics" - a couple "solids" and the rest simple striped oxfords.


The most important thing is that the clothes fit properly for your body type.  One of the things I like about LL bean is they make chinios in 1/4" sizes.  So, I can actually get a 31 1/4" inseam which is perfect for me. 

post #4 of 16
Why do you not use 'Search'? There are more threads than enough on this general subject.
post #5 of 16

I'd suggest burgundy or camel shoes...they go with almost any color combination.

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your suggestions. Brown shoes will certainly be on my buy list.


The reason for starting a new thread 1) My office seems to be more casual than most, in-between casual/business casual. 2) There seems to be varying opinions on the black shoe/khaki debate and I wanted input on my specific shoe/situation.



post #7 of 16

You can certainly get by wearing black shoes with navy khakis.  Also black khakis - there really is nothing wrong with them although other colors are more trendy.  There's more of a trend now to wear brown with navy but lot's of individuals still wear black and it's fine.  The challenge with a site like this is you can get TOO concerned about the "right" thing and think you have to spend thousands of dollars.  For your environment, especially given it's your first job, there is no reason to be spending $100+ on pants/shirts and spending $500 on shoes.


Keep things clean and pressed (learn how to iron and buy a decent one) and keep your shoes/belts in good condition.  You can build your wardrobe over time.  Hit end-of-season sales from Polo or Brooks Brothers - Banana Republic has sales all the time. 

post #8 of 16
Lands' End would be a good choice for low-priced pants of decent quality. Cheaper than the other options mentioned.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Again thank you all for your suggestions.




I made the trip to BB and came home with 6 shirts (16 32 Slim Fit no-iron) and 2 pairs of khakis (Clark fit flat front - Navy & Khaki). The shirts fit well, but the pants were too long. Just dropped the pants off at my tailor today. I also went to the Gap outlet and bought some extra Khakis.


On the list:


1) Clark desert boot in bees wax 2) Brown belt 3) Levi 501's 4) Allen Edmond's when they go on sale.



I commute to NYC and the mornings are getting pretty cold. I see many commuters wearing a fleece vest over their dress shirt (No tie). Is this look style forum approved?




Spoke to a BB customer service rep today. (Wanted to see if the item number could be found on the shirt. She advised me that the stores use SKU numbers, while the website utilizes Item #'s. Unfortunately there is no way to search on using SKU numbers. My purpose was to avoid buying the same shirt when I order online since the shirts only vary slightly.) She did mention that the Friends and Family sale will be held from September 27th to the 30th 25% discount, and there will be a Columbus Day sale as well. Just a heads up.


Thank you,



post #10 of 16
Not again frown.gif Six shirts is too many to buy at once from a single retailer. Return some of them.

If you're thinking of wearing Clark's footwear to the office, don't.

Lands' End pants (or almost anything) would have been better than khakis from a Gap outlet.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

I agree 6 shirts at once from one place is a bit much, but it was out of necessity. Would anyone really notice if a shirt was from a particular retailer? Either way I do plan on getting some CT shirts.


As far as the Gap khakis go. Yes they are clearly not the best, but they're being used a filler. Don't worry Land's End is on my shopping list.


Clarks - The office is way more relaxed than a typical office. Sneakers/jeans are seen daily. I figured the Clarks would be a better choice than sneakers?


Obviously I can't build a wardrobe in 1 month, but I'm trying to at least get a start. I figure following the suggestions of the forum would put me in a better position style wise than the vast majority of people I see commuting.





post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by mrbrown View Post

I agree 6 shirts at once from one place is a bit much, but it was out of necessity. Would anyone really notice if a shirt was from a particular retailer? Either way I do plan on getting some CT shirts.

Most people are not going to notice where your shirts are from and you will be fine with 6 shirts from Brooks Brothers. It is best to build one's wardrobe slowly, but when we're dealing with shirts, buying six at one is really not that big of a deal.
post #13 of 16
Clarks are better than sneakers, FWIW.

I also don't recommend wearing a black captoe Oxford shoe with khakis of any color. They're just too formal. Brown derbies are the way to go.

I would also strongly urge you to avoid black khakis. The pant style and fabric are too informal for the color. Also, black cotton pants don't seem to be able to hold their color well, so they look faded after a few washes.
post #14 of 16

You have very little disposable cash, own basically no office-appropriate clothing, and are moving to NYC. Uniqlo is your friend. 


Fuck khakis. Grey trousers. Blue trousers. Some blue oxfords, a white oxfords, and maybe a couple of patterned shirts with soft collars. A black belt, because it'll match the shoes you have. A sweater or 2. And a non-shitty fall jacket. 


You'll need a pair of boots and a decent winter coat, but hopefully you'll be getting paid by the time the snow flies.


Get your pants hemmed. Buy an iron. Enjoy the city.

post #15 of 16
It's not just about other people noticing; a brand might not actually fit right, and for example several shirts could wear out at the elbows prematurely. Also, 6 dress shirts probably aren't even necessary. Polo shirt or sweater once a week.

Wearing casual shoes is like wearing jeans, maybe acceptable but never helpful to the career.
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