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Building my first wardobe  

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Background:

Hello everyone. I stumbled across this site when trying to determine how to dress for my new job.

 

I currently have a job here in nice and humid Florida where I am a engineer salesman at one of our remote offices. I work with large, dirty, messy manufacturing facilities that require steel toe boots, blue jeans, and normally a synthetic polo to keep you dry after sweating all day. The culture of my customers required this type of apparel to fit in and not stand out which was very important. The environment involves everything from mud, grease coal dust, and acid.

 

 

I am now moving up north to my companies HQ selling to clients who dress more white collar. Inside my companies HQ, everyone I see wears either a suit with no tie, or a blue blazer. The individuals who go out and see customer tend to wear the blazer vs the suit.

I need to build a wardrobe that is versatile and  has many options . I do not have a big budget to get started, and am hoping to add a few pieces every month or so.

 

I am pretty new to this type of dressing, and making sure I do it write and I need some help.

 

Questions:

 

Pants:

-When it comes to purchasing pants, do I go for a synthetic blend or do I go straight to wool? I have two pair of Haggar expandable waist pants that are synthetic but I am told these are not as professional.

-What color should I aim for in pants. I was thinking dark navy, a light brown, and grey. Are these good choices since I am thinking  blue sports coat? Black makes me think butler, bell hop, or busboy.

 

Shirts:

-Since I want to keep the outfits versatile, I was thinking of keeping it simple with 1-2 white shirts, and 3 different light shades of blue with no pattern. 100% cotton blend. I plan on keeping the top button unbuttoned.

 

Blazer:

- I am not sure how to go about picking out a blue blazer. Should I avoid the gold buttons so that it doesn't come across too formal? Can I wear the blue blazer with the color pants and shirts I am looking into?

 

Shoes:

I actually have a pair of brown wingtip Cole Hann shoes that I own along with a $60 Black pair of Kenneth Cole synthetic monk shoes.  I assume the Cole Hanns are acceptable, however the Kenneth Coles I should look to a real Leather shoe. I was thinking either a Derby or Loafer in black. What is your opinion on the two.

 

 

 

Conclusion:

As you can see I am really starting from the bottom and building up my wardrobe. I have a child on the way so I would like to start at $500 for my initial purchases of this month and then add to the wardrobe over the next few months

post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy V View Post
 

Background:

Hello everyone. I stumbled across this site when trying to determine how to dress for my new job.

 

I currently have a job here in nice and humid Florida where I am a engineer salesman at one of our remote offices. I work with large, dirty, messy manufacturing facilities that require steel toe boots, blue jeans, and normally a synthetic polo to keep you dry after sweating all day. The culture of my customers required this type of apparel to fit in and not stand out which was very important. The environment involves everything from mud, grease coal dust, and acid.

 

 

I am now moving up north to my companies HQ selling to clients who dress more white collar. Inside my companies HQ, everyone I see wears either a suit with no tie, or a blue blazer. The individuals who go out and see customer tend to wear the blazer vs the suit.

I need to build a wardrobe that is versatile and  has many options . I do not have a big budget to get started, and am hoping to add a few pieces every month or so.

 

I am pretty new to this type of dressing, and making sure I do it write and I need some help.

 

Questions:

 

Pants:

-When it comes to purchasing pants, do I go for a synthetic blend or do I go straight to wool? I have two pair of Haggar expandable waist pants that are synthetic but I am told these are not as professional.

-What color should I aim for in pants. I was thinking dark navy, a light brown, and grey. Are these good choices since I am thinking  blue sports coat? Black makes me think butler, bell hop, or busboy.

 

Shirts:

-Since I want to keep the outfits versatile, I was thinking of keeping it simple with 1-2 white shirts, and 3 different light shades of blue with no pattern. 100% cotton blend. I plan on keeping the top button unbuttoned.

 

Blazer:

- I am not sure how to go about picking out a blue blazer. Should I avoid the gold buttons so that it doesn't come across too formal? Can I wear the blue blazer with the color pants and shirts I am looking into?

 

Shoes:

I actually have a pair of brown wingtip Cole Hann shoes that I own along with a $60 Black pair of Kenneth Cole synthetic monk shoes.  I assume the Cole Hanns are acceptable, however the Kenneth Coles I should look to a real Leather shoe. I was thinking either a Derby or Loafer in black. What is your opinion on the two.

 

Conclusion:

As you can see I am really starting from the bottom and building up my wardrobe. I have a child on the way so I would like to start at $500 for my initial purchases of this month and then add to the wardrobe over the next few months

Everyone starts somewhere.  Welcome to the forum.

 

Pants: grey and charcoal wool pants.  You really can't go wrong with these.  Get at least 2 pairs, so that you have a decent rotation.  Some people on the forum say to never wear navy trousers.  This is pretty dogmatic and while not strictly correct, they are harder to pair with sportsjackets.  I would go with a third pair in a lighter, cotton fabric.  This is good for "offsites" and with clients that might feel that wool trousers are a bit too "formal".  Remember that you are dressing for the client, not for yourself.  Epaulet has a variety of cuts that I like for odd trousers (http://epauletnewyork.com/collections/bottoms).  It might be worth taking a look there for a charcoal pair, a medium grey pair, and then some chinos in a lighter color (or darker, if you like that more.

 

Shirts: You are right.  You can't really go wrong with blues (keep them light colored, and stay away from French blue, which can look really cheap unless you re really doing it right) and white shirts (you can do a mix of poplins, twills, and broadcloths), all with Straight, medium, collars, are always a safe bet.  

 

Sportsjacket: Unless you are the captain of a cruise ship, or own a yacht, I would forgo the gold buttons.  Something with a bit of texture will make it obvious that it is not an orphaned suit jacket.  Here is one from Epaulet:  http://epauletnewyork.com/collections/suiting/products/vittorio-sportcoat-loro-piana-4-season-navy-pique.  Here is one from Canterelli: http://www.nomanwalksalone.com/index.php/clothing/sport-coats/navy-hopsack-merino-wool-sport-coat.html  The first is in a pique fabric, the second is hopsack.  Neither will be mistaken for suit jacket when paired with grey wool pants or well fitting chinos.  If those seem a bit expensive for you right now, www.brooksbrothers.com has some less expensive ones.  I always recommend Polo, which cuts a jacket that fits a lot of men: http://www.ralphlauren.com/product/index.jsp?productId=87952266&cp=1766205.1895470&ab=ln_men_cs_sportcoats&parentPage=family

 

If you are going less expensive still, Suitsupply might be your answer: http://us.suitsupply.com/en_US/jackets/washington-half-lined-blue-herringbone/C918I.html?cgid=Jackets

 

Shoes: I realize that it's hard to spend a lot on shoes when you are just starting out, and the price jump seems pretty high, but a pair of darl brown closed laced shoes like Allen Edmonds park avenue (http://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/fifth-ave-leather-brogue-oxfords-0226-5745--1?site_refer=CSE_GGLPRADS001_LT&prod_id=0226-5745&CAWELAID=120178030000100338&CAGPSPN=pla&catargetid=120178030000917796&cadevice=c&gclid=Cj0KEQjwoM63BRDK_bf4_MeV3ZEBEiQAuQWqkYU2NaROjWv-cl2XczUJbJfz4sxBnbff4BChjVfLYZQaApWC8P8HAQ) will serve you well.

 

Good luck.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
So from what I am reading my Haggar trousers are not really a good pant to be wearing in a HQ atmosphere.

I appreciate all the input. I did just purchase a new suit(gray). Is it ok to wear the pants without the jacket or so people typically leave a matching set alone and only when both parts will be worn together?
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy V View Post

So from what I am reading my Haggar trousers are not really a good pant to be wearing in a HQ atmosphere.

I appreciate all the input. I did just purchase a new suit(gray). Is it ok to wear the pants without the jacket or so people typically leave a matching set alone and only when both parts will be worn together?

Your Haggar trousers are probably not great for a more formal office.  Typically, suit trousers are fine to wear separate from the jacket, however, the pants are usually the first thing to wear out in the first place, and if you wear the pants sans the jacket, regularly, then at some point earlier rather than later end up an orphaned suit jacket.

 

Cheers,

 

Fok.

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