1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

Work-Friendly Wardrobe on a Budget?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Geran Brown, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. Geran Brown

    Geran Brown Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    107
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Hi all,

    My name is Geran (29yo) and I live in the Washington DC metro area. I recently got a promotion at my job to a position that was a career step, and I want to upgrade my wardrobe so it’s more work-appropriate. I’m on a budget for building my wardrobe from scratch, though. My budget is limited to around $1500.

    I was wondering how many suits and other pieces of clothing (shirts, polos, basic tees, etc.) should I own for both casual Fridays and regular work days (Monday - Thursday)? One thing that I would like are decent shoes that will hold up for years to come.

    Thanks for all your help!

    Regards,
    Geran B.
     
  2. kayhill

    kayhill Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    404
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    Start with the basics:

    - MTM Plain navy or dark grey suit
    - well-constructed shoes
    - quality shirts

    then add accessories:
    - ties
    - pocket squares
    - socks

    Can you buy all of that with $1,500? No. To be honest you'd need to shop around to get a decent MTM suit for just that price, but I believe building a wardrobe takes time. Get the basics down now - a high quality suit will make the biggest immediate difference to your look - and then buy more things as the months and years go by.
     
  3. masernaut

    masernaut Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    422
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    You should do *okay* for that much. As long as you look out for sales, though. Building a wardrobe will take some time so don't rush. Taking the time to figure out what your style and preference is will benefit you in the long run before you make unwarranted purchases.

    Like Kayhill said, start with the basics.

    You need at least two suits, navy and mid-grey (imo). Circulate between them every other day. Along with that, two pairs of shoes in black and brown. Allen Edmonds is currently on sale at Nordstrom's for $229 (select models). You can't go wrong with a black pair of Park Avenues and a brown pair of Strands or McAllisters. If properly taken care of, you should get at least five years of use from them.

    A handful of tailored dress shirts should accompany the suits. The best colours to start with are white, light blue, French blue and if you think you can pull it off, pink. There are many other conservative colours available such as ecru.

    Rue La La has a few Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald suits from their mainline on sale for $399. Half-canvas construction. For a bit more, you can try the Suit Supply route where their suits start at $399 (although their solids start at $469). Their stores offer a made to measure service. Again, if you pay attention to sales and promotions from high-quality men's stores, you can at times grab fully canvassed suits for as much as what Suit Supply charges for their suits.

    If you check out the Marketplace of this forum or on eBay, you can find Brooks Brothers shirts for ~$25-40. At times Brooks Brothers will have their own sales dropping their shirts to around that price.

    I can't answer to casual Fridays as I am not familiar with the concept. I assume it's a shirt and jeans day?
     
  4. kayhill

    kayhill Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    404
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    ^ excellent response

    I probably went a big 'over the top' with the MTM suggestion. A much more cost effective method is to buy a suit that fits well across the shoulders and the neck and to tailor it as required. The sleeves, pants and waist suppression on the coat should all be fairly easy jobs as long as the suit fits relatively well in the first place.
     
  5. Veremund

    Veremund Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,467
    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    No reason at all you can't completely re-do your wardrobe with 1500.
     
  6. Geran Brown

    Geran Brown Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    107
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Should I spend more on shoes compared to other items?

    OTR suits probably won't do me well since my body type isn't normal. 29in waist and a 30in chest...so a 32r is way too big for me I the shoulders.
     
  7. kayhill

    kayhill Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    404
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    While good quality shoes are important, you'll have to spend to your budget. As a rule of thumb is say 50% of your suit price could go to shoes.

    In terms of real Bang for your buck though, i'd say some decent quality shoes in a nice colour and good shape is more important than price at this point in time! Don't get shoes that turn up at the ends!
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by