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Noob with a few questions, don't hate me

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've been lurking here for a week or so, doing some research but there are a lot of differing opinions on each topic so I figured I would make a post and get some fresh input.

Sorry if I'm asking some questions that get asked a lot, I did use the forum search tool all week but I still have questions.

I'm 26 years old and my wardrobe is terrible. I basically don't own any suits, just 1 half canvassed Calvin klein suit that I got a few years ago for under $200 and I've been wearing it to every single suit-requiring occasion ever since.

I do have a decent amount of nice button ups and ties, and a couple of vests from express but I need some good suits and I also don't have any nice shoes except for a pair I got 2 years ago which are mediocre at best and not in great shape anymore.

I learned a long time ago that I just can't work for other people. So in order to succeed massively in life, I've decided that it's best to portray an image that shows people I'm a status figure. I want the way I dress to speak for me when I walk into a room, I want older business men/women to look at me and want to talk business instead of just saying "oh that's just some young kid who has nothing to offer me"

And I want my peers to look up to me and not down like they are better than me.

Money isn't extremely abundant, but I can definitely manage to spend a couple thousand up front and then continue to add roughly 1,000 worth of clothes to my wardrobe every couple of months.

So from the research I've done so far, it seems like maybe suit supply would be a good place for me to start. I'm just wondering, if I'm going to invest say, $2,000 up front, how should I break this down?

Maybe 2 suits from the purple line at suit supply, and how much do you think I should spend on shoes? What is the minimum amount I should be looking to spend per pair of shoes if I want to portray the image that I described above? Do you think $2,000 is even enough to get me started in the right direction or is this just wishful thinking? If it is wishful thinking, how much do you think I really need to get my wardrobe started?

Thank you in advance for reading, and I apologize for rambling on. I just thought I should give a full background on myself so you guys could understand what I am going for.

Mike
post #2 of 9
If you intend to add quite a bit to your wardrobe, I'd go to a few B&M places to actually try things on and see them in person. Fit is going to be more important than just about anything else. SuitSupply is certainly a place to start and if you have one nearby, drop in and take a look. If you're after a slim/athletic cut, you can also consider Ralph Lauren Black Label. The label is being phased out (or merged with Purple Label), but what is still around should be on sale and might match your budget.

Be sure to calculate proper tailoring into your budget. I assume I am going to need to spend an additional 10-20% on tailoring. Hemmed pants are cheap/easy, but you may need jacket sleeves shortened, a jacket taken in at the waist, etc. It also helps to have someone knowledgeable (i.e. a tailor that can truly offer feedback) rather than a salesman on the floor.

You mentioned vests, which I'd ditch. Waistcoats/vests do have their place in a wardrobe, but they're far from essential and don't really replace a jacket and are not really "stand alone" items.

If I can be brutally honest with you in regard to this paragraph:

"I learned a long time ago that I just can't work for other people. So in order to succeed massively in life, I've decided that it's best to portray an image that shows people I'm a status figure. I want the way I dress to speak for me when I walk into a room, I want older business men/women to look at me and want to talk business instead of just saying "oh that's just some young kid who has nothing to offer me"

I think I get what you mean. You want to be taken serious and you want your clothes to help get you the respect from both your peers and those with experience. Clothes can/will get you noticed, for right or wrong reasons, and help you achieve your goal. However, putting on the right suit is not going to be some sort of Gordon-Gekko-women-want-me-men-want-to-be-me moment. Twenty-six year olds don't get the same respect in any industry because, well, they're twenty-six. More important than anything, you have to have something to back up your image. Most of the time the image one has is earned through a reputation of success and the clothes eventually match the reputation. You may be putting the cart before the horse.

I'm sure you're ambitious, so respect will come with your own success. Good luck!
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

HansderHund,

 

Thank you for the reply/suggestions. I will definitely get the advice of a tailor instead of just making a purchase off of what the salesman says.

 

I do not intend to use my vests as a staple or to replace jackets with them, just figured it was worth mentioning that I own a couple.

 

In regards to your input about putting the cart before the horse, I completely agree with what you are saying. I probably should have taken a little more time to word that paragraph better. I am not trying to "have the clothes make the man" so to speak, I do have plenty to offer. But the fact is, in my experience at least, we live in a world where 90% of people make their decisions about you within the first 3 seconds of glancing at you. I would like my wardrobe to just help me get my foot in the door so people will take me seriously and listen to what I have to say. Plus, I just have a taste for class that most of my peers lack, and I would like for my wardrobe to explain that without me needing to say anything.

 

Anyway, I do live in NY so I will be stopping into Suit Supply sometime this week. I am still a bit unsure of what type of money I should be looking to spend on shoes though. I've noticed most of the shoes I've seen by browsing the websites of suit retailers seem to be in the $250 range. Do higher priced shoes usually have benefits that justify spending the extra couple hundred bucks or should I be looking in the $100 range or so?

 

Thanks again for your time

post #4 of 9

You may already check them out, but I'll suggest the Put This On site as a good resource.

 

http://putthison.com/tagged/Shoes/page/6

 

I started you on page 6 because there's a post about how much to spend on dress shoes.  There's far more information than that, but its a good place to start based on your question. 

post #5 of 9
Hi Mike,

It sounds like you know what I meant! Since you're in NY(C?), you have a lot of options nearby. If it were me, I'd pop into a few shops with the intent of just looking. You can go into SuitSupply and tell a salesman that you're just trying a few things on today as you'd like to check out the fit. If you find something that you like, give yourself at least 24 hours before buying. You aren't locked into it. Then again, SuitSupply offers free returns, so you're fine should you change your mind.

If you're nearby, you could also drop by Woodbury Commons. It's an outlet, so hit or miss on your size, but it's possible that you could find something at a good discount after Christmas.

As far as shoes are concerned, most of the time, a cheap shoe will look like a cheap shoe. If not immediately, then it is imminent. Spend as much as you can reasonably afford on a staple shoe and it's likely you won't regret it. A lot of people on SF recommend the Allen Edmonds Park Avenue as a great start into shoes. You can spend a bit of time on the various shoe threads to get an idea of what to look for when buying shoes (Goodyear welt, calfskin, etc.).

I don't fully agree with all of the info in this chart, but it gives you a glimpse at the different styles of shoes.



When it comes to price, shoes are just like anything else in life. You can spend any amount, but after a certain point you're not going to get more use/life/comfort out of them. You're paying for a style/design, material, name, etc. If you stick around here long enough, I can assure you that you'll change your definition of what an "expensive" shoe is!
post #6 of 9
If you are starting your wardrobe over, I recommend fit and style over quality. Quality will come in time, once you have established what you like. I see so many people want to start at the top (quality-wise), then they realize they don't the fit/style anymore. I've fallen victim to that with fragrances and watches.
post #7 of 9

Don't forget the small stuff when budgeting: belts, pocket squares, ties, etc can add up real quick! 

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the suggestions everyone. I got myself 2 suits from the purple line at suit supply, the only thing I needed to do was hem the pants. Other than that I found a perfect fit OTR.

I also got a tie, some pocket squares, socks and 2 shirts.

Also got myself a pair of black wingtips from Allen Edmonds, will be going back for the brown ones as well.

All in all I spent about 2,000. I didn't really like many of the other suits from suit supply besides the 2 I got, so now I am going to start looking into where I should go next.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylishmike View Post

Thank you for the suggestions everyone. I got myself 2 suits from the purple line at suit supply, the only thing I needed to do was hem the pants. Other than that I found a perfect fit OTR.

I also got a tie, some pocket squares, socks and 2 shirts.

Also got myself a pair of black wingtips from Allen Edmonds, will be going back for the brown ones as well.

All in all I spent about 2,000. I didn't really like many of the other suits from suit supply besides the 2 I got, so now I am going to start looking into where I should go next.

 

Try asking here:

 

http://www.styleforum.net/t/375309/noodles-good-natured-advice-thread-improving-a-business-wardrobe/32940#post_8241759

 

Cheers,

 

Ac

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