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Essentials for a basic wardrobe

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm a recent college graduate about to embark on a new career in advertising. I've always liked to look good, but now my job requires a suit every day and my wardrobe simply isn't equipped. For suits, I have one wool dark navy chalk-stripe suit (3-button, double vented) and a grey flannel (c'mon, this is advertising) glen-plaid 3-button. If it matters, I live in the northeast. So here's my request: What is the minimum number of suits I need, and more importantly, what should they look like? What colors, materials and styles? I'm pretty comfortable with my knowledge of manufacturers so I'm less interested in that kind of recommendation, but if there is a certain maker you think every man needs (i.e. "No discerning gentleman should be without at least one Oxxford suit..." etc. etc.), I'm all ears. A list followed by insightful comments would be most useful. Please help a young professional on the path to sartorial enlightenment.
post #2 of 7
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post #3 of 7
Mr BlvdDandy, If I may suggest- purchase the book by one of the gentleman that post here: The Men's Clothing Guide - by Steve Brinkman (about 19.95) There is a link to the website to order the book if you do a search of posts. Perhaps there will still even be a slight discount. I sugggest this because he made some excellent suggestions on how to make the most of 3 suits and a few pair of pant and about 5-10 shirts if I recall. Another thing that impressed me ... he gave a failry good explanation (with a chart) of finding out what your color pallette is and how to purchase clothes accordingly. I can't express how importsat knowing you "season" of color or your "color pallete" is. Had I understood that better I could have saved literally a few thousand dollars on clothing I purchased and just almost gave away in the early years. Knowing your color, for example i am a light complected caucasian with mostly grey hair ( graying since age 16 at that) and I am a classic winter pallete. HAd I understood what colors "washed me out" I could have directed those dollars spent in a better direction. ( The upside is I DO know how to take advantage of these colors now to exit a social gathering early... oh to be not feeling so chipper....... with wearing the right colors <impish smile> ) If I recall ( it just hit me typing sir) the website is : www.MensSpecialtyRetail.com or www.MensRetailSpecialty.com Respectfully, John DISCLAIMER- I am in no way affiliiated nor do I know the author personally. I was just impressed with the wealth of information it contains for such a low price. I think it is VERY useful to anyone wanting to get a good grasp of a beggining wardrobe.
post #4 of 7
I've been in and out of the advertising business over the last 4 or so years. I've been on the creative side, but have never worn a suit to the office--not even to interview. Client side is a much different story, though. Re: shirts and ties, there is a lot you can do with 10 or so shirts and about as many ties within the same color story, allowing the mix and match, thus multiplying your possibilities. Also, there is a book entitled Dressing the Man that is worth a look. I'd recommend poring over this with a cup of coffee at Borders, because not only is it quite large, it's a sizable literary investment at around $75.
post #5 of 7
I personally rotate between about 12 suits or so, with about 20 or so dress shirts. I wear a suit w/tie about 50% of the time, but wear a sportcoat or suit the majority of the time. I think that you could easily get away with a rotation of 4-6 suits, with 10 dress shirts and ties or so. I would concentrate on getting the basics: 1 Navy Solid 1 Charcoal Solid 1 Navy Pinstripe 1 Charcoal Pinstripe then perhaps go with a dark/medium grey, and a slate blue for your other two suits, perhaps with some patterns.
post #6 of 7
I've got to agree with Drew. Unless the other people here have worked in advertising, they might now know what would be appropriate for your industry. The last thing you'd want as an image from your bosses and coworkers is a 'suit.' Instead, they're going to value creativity much more. Here's a quote form Brian Letich, independent advertising creative director for companies such as GAP and Bannana Republic; "In my business... you have to have the confidence not to wear the Gucci or Prada shoes to the meeting or job interview... In my line of work, you really have to look like you think for yourself. Showing up in a total head-to-toe designer look doesn't demostrate creativity... I tend to wear really inexpensive clothes with really expensive clothes that look they've been pulled out of a dumpster."
post #7 of 7
I've worked in both the creative and account management side of a major agency in the northeast; depending on where you are in your agency, your dress will be less or more conservative. I wore suits when interviewing, but let my individuality come through with my shirt and tie, my cuff links, and my presentation. On the creative side, I never wore a suit. Day to day was usually a nice pair of pants and a dress shirt. Rich, not gaudy. This held even when I was going off-site to a vendor, or when we had a client coming in. On the account side, client contact always requires a suit. I chose mine based on the account I was working with, their campaign, and who was going to be in the meeting. That said, after filling out the basics (solid navy, solid charcoal), you might want to consider black if you'll be wining and dining the client, or attending parties with upper echelon agency staff. I'd also strongly recommend at least one suit made from a material which will hold up well to travel - whether by plane, train, or automobile. Best of luck on the new career.
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