Originally Posted by outsidemike
Thanks, but now I have to go Google up gaberdine and chinos. I've never heard thoes words before.
Sometimes quirks of corporate culture or a boss might steer you in a direction other than what would be recommended here. I have a friend who worked in IT for a large bank who was not allowed to wear pants that did not have pleats, for instance. If I were in your situation I would find someone in your office who dresses in a way you could see yourself dress, and copy his look. Then as you move forward in your career develop your own style and tastes. My shoe recommendation above still stands though - you will want something that's durable, welted (not glued) and made from real leather which can be resoled when the time comes and worn for years. This will be a good foundation from which to start.
The notions of 'casual' and 'formal' varies depending upon work place culture - however in general terms five pocket trousers (think jeans) tend to be seen as casual whereas a chino (rear pockets look like 'slits') are seen as more formal.
As far as shirts go start with easy whites and blues. Without getting into construction details - shirts sized by your neck (for example 15, 15 1/2, 16. . .) are sold with the intent of being worn in more formal settings versus S, M, L, XL shirts when are usually meant to be worn as casual shirts.