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Advice for new wardrobe; mtm or rtw at my budget?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by ballines, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. ballines

    ballines Well-Known Member

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    I am taking a new job that requires relatively nice business dress. I have 3 suits, none of which are particularly nice. The best one is a black one from HSM from Nordstrom's. I need probably 2-3 suits or so, plus some nice new shoes, ties, and shirts. Future co-workers (though more senior and much more wealthy) wear Kiton and Brioni, etc. I can't afford those brands, but I want to look respectable. I'd like to spend around $4K-$5K including everything.

    Would it make more sense to buy MTM suits from one of the places in New York or RTW stuff? Any specific brands/shops you could specify would also be very helpful.

    Finally, what is the general consensus on the places in New York that charge ~$3K for 3 suits plus some shirts and miscellany? Are these any good? Are they better than RTW at the same price points?

    Thanks.
     
  2. regularjoe

    regularjoe Senior member

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    If RTW fits you, I would recommend it. On discount prices, you could easily meet your budget with change to spare.
     
  3. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Get yourself to the Woodbury Commons outlets in the Central Valley, and beeline to Zegna and Neiman Marcus last Call. Between those and maybe the Saks Off Fifth and Barney's Outlets, you should be able to pick up a slew of RTW suits for about $600-$700 apiece, if you go for the top of the line, except at Zegna, where you are looking at a little more (closer to $800, I think). Zegna and Canali suits are especially business worthy, not too flashy - I prefer more "modern" cuts, but I think that boardroom types would frown on that), and they just got a bunch of new stuff - Zegna is more expensive than some of the the other outlets though.

    You need a navy, charcoal, and charcoal or navy pinstripe suit to begin with. Get a medium dark heathered grey suit as a forth suit. This should all add up to about 3K.

    You can probably pick up shirts at the same places, but. here, I am going to go against my usual inclinations, and tell you to go straight to the vintageUSA ebay auctions, and pick up a bunch of Borrelli, Attolini, and Barba (I love Barba) shirts at about $139 a shirt (down from over $250 a piece, minimum) Get about 7 shirts - you can always pick more up as you go. Do the same for ties and pick up some of his Martin Dingman belts - you need one in brown and another in black. Now you are probably up to about 4K. Buy three pairs of shoes. Now, the shoe fiends will want to kill me, but Ferragamos are fine - get two black pairs (you'll be wearing them most of the time and will want to rotate) and a brown or oxblood pair. That brings you to a little under 5K. Done.
     
  4. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Senior member

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    Dang, an entire wardrobe in three paragraphs. I'm impressed. As a unofficial junior member of the shoe cognoscenti I would suggest waiting out for a sample sale or the next Barney's warehouse sale in August (if you can wait that long).

    Secondly, if you live around NYC, I think that Geneva or AC MTM might be a better suggestion for the shirtings. Despite my love for Borrelli fabrics, the shirts fit like tents on me and the cuffs require an extra $12 for shortening...otherwise, not such a great deal IMHO.

    norcal
     
  5. Yosarian77

    Yosarian77 Well-Known Member

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    Dare I ask what job you are taking where the senior folks are wearing Kiton and Brioni? Hmmm.
     
  6. Mitch D

    Mitch D Well-Known Member

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    Seattle,WA. USA
    First of all,welcome to the forum..

    As you peruse the older threads,and post new ones,you'll find styleForum has many very knowledgeable gentlemen,willing to help on a myriad of subjects. I have learned a great deal from them.

    IMO,unless your body has unusual proportions (e.g. very athletic,with a large chest/neck,small waist; odd-shaped feet),RTW would provide a better value.

    Shopping at the sales,outlet stores suggested here will also help you stretch your budget. If you aren't already familiar with manufacturers or fabrics to look for,a quick search of this forum will surely help.

    Best of luck with your new job.
     
  7. ballines

    ballines Well-Known Member

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    Future co-workers (though more senior and much more wealthy) wear Kiton and Brioni, etc.
    Dare I ask what job you are taking where the senior folks are wearing Kiton and Brioni? Hmmm.
    Much appreciated for all the great advice. Woodbury Commons definitely sounds like a good possibility (and glancing on eBay seems to show good Zegna deals, though I am a bit concerned about authenticity). I'm about as standard as they come (42R, 5'11", 175lbs), and I've never had fitting problems before, so I'm thinking RTW probably will make more sense. Going to work in a LBO (leveraged buyout) shop. I work in one now as well (just not one that dresses well).
     
  8. regularjoe

    regularjoe Senior member

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    There's some threads on the forums about this (if we're talking about the same thing). You're right to question the authenticity as there are an abundance of suits being billed as Zegna suits when they are merely suits made with Zegna cloth. You're probably better off going to outlets like Woodbury.
     
  9. VWpete

    VWpete Senior member

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    LA Guy,
    How do Barba shirts fit? I've seen some ebay ones that I love, but I'm slim (love Jil, Helmut, dior fit) and would like a good fitting selection of shirts for business attire.
    Pete
     
  10. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Barba shirts fit pretty slim for a more classic label. They are definitely not as slim as Helmut Lang or Dior Homme - I would say that they fit just about as slim as Prada; and they definitely go nicely with businesswear.
     
  11. Rudder

    Rudder Member

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    ballines, I'm curious about your build. How would you describe it? Like Tobey Maguire / Ethan Hawke (slim)? Brad Pitt / Terrell Owens (chiselled)? Russell Crowe / Mel Gibson (regular)? John Travolta / Sean Connery (burly)? The Rock (muscular)? I'm asking this because a friend of mine who played QB in college is 6'1 and 210 lbs (regular build) and he wears a 42R. How do you like your fit? To give you an idea, take a look at the Men's fashion pictures on the Oscar Web site. I prefer Joaquin Phoenix's natural fit Armani tux -- sloped shoulders and trim in the body -- over the squared shoulder sartorial Zegna, which doesn't look as good on Adrian Brody's gaunt frame. BTW, Jim Carey's suit appears to big for him. I agree that you should get three shoes, but I would suggest that one of them be a dressy slip-on, such as the Donald Pliner Peers. ps: how do you know that the folks at the new company wear Kiton and Brioni?
     
  12. VWpete

    VWpete Senior member

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    Thanks LA Guy,
    They sound right up my alley for work and such... I may grab one to try.
    Pete
     
  13. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Senior member

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  14. ballines

    ballines Well-Known Member

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    I'd probably say somewhere in between slim and regular. I have a bit of barrel chest which might explain it a little bit, and of the suits I own, I think some are 41s and some are 42s. Carey's does look too big, but I think Brody's fit looks pretty good. Kiton/Brioni was heard from friends who were former employees.
     
  15. PeterMetro

    PeterMetro Senior member

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    Out of those actors, I think the best dressed are, in descending order:

    #3 - Kevin Spacey, can't say I like the notch lapels, but a good, classic look.

    #2 - Pierce Brosnan. As much as I don't like him and find him to be a bit of a pansy, he does look sharp. Damn you foppish Brits.

    #1 - Sidney Poitier. Both for his sweet tux and for his daughters - GOOD GOD.
     
  16. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    I don't have much to add to the good advice you've already received. Check out Bluefly for good deals on Canali. Carlo Franco has the best deals on super nice ties I've seen. www.carlofranco.com RTW seems like the way to go for now, unless you ever get to Hong Kong, in which case you can pick up some bespoke at RTW prices. Kai
     
  17. Rudder

    Rudder Member

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    This is what I recommend: Suits As someone said earlier, I would go MTM or bespoke only if you have 'non-standard' body proportions or want to achieve a look not available off the rack. So from what I can infer from your posts, RTW is the way to go. Designers: I would avoid Canali if you prefer fitted garments -- the pants are extremely baggy. I would also stay away from EBay (poor selection). There might be some value there, but you're willing to invest a good chunk of money on yourself so you might as well get the best suit that you can afford. Try Boss (Flynn or Rosselini (sp?) style), Z by Zegna, Abboud, Smith or Sander. Cost: about $800 to $1100 per suit, so for 3 suits let's estimate $2700 (negotiate if you buy them all at one place). Shirts A regular dress shirt adds 7" x 2 to the body, while a slim-fit shirts adds 5" x 2. Here's an example of a baggy fit and here's a proper looking fit shirt (note that it's not a dress shirt). I like my dress shirts to fit like the latter and because I am shorter I have to go bespoke (3.5" x 2). I suggest to try shirts from Boss, Zegna, Thomas Pink, Banana Republic, Etro, Ike Behar, etc. Colors: I would get all patterned shirts (offers more combination with your suits and ties). Definitely get one with some pink in it and one with burgundy. Cost: These shirts go from $80 to $250, let's say you buy 5 shirts for a total of $800, but I'm sure you can find good deals and bring it down more. Ties Obviously they should match your shirt or suit. I love Canali ties, but the same can't be said for their suits and shirts. Boss, Zegna and Armani are others designer ties that I own. I would avoid Bluefly, the ties there are on clearance for a reason -- they're ugly. Cost: About $80 to $120, but I would definitely wait for end-of-season sales. Get 8 power ties for say $600 and maybe less with some smart shopping. Shoes I don't recommend any particular brands. They should be comfortable first, then durable and finally look good. Get a black oxford, a black dressy slip-on and a brown dress shoe. Cost: I would wait for sales and you could get away with 3 great shoes for about $600 Belt Very simple -- one black and one brown belt to match your shoes. I favor Boss belts. Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes and Gucci belts are way too conspicuous for my taste. Cost: 2 x $100 for a total of $200 ------------- That said, you can spend $1000 less than what I suggested with lower-priced brand and still come away looking good. The key is to be confident about the colors you wear and to match your garments tastefully. Happy Shopping. ps: I hope you have good watches to go with all this.
     
  18. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Huh??

    Why in the world would you pay full price for an inferior suit when you could buy Kiton or Attolini at the same price?? That's the best suit you can afford.
     
  19. VWpete

    VWpete Senior member

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    FYI-Sander suits don't even start below $1300 these days unless you get a deconstructed casual cotton number. The dollar isn't worth anything at retail...
     
  20. Rudder

    Rudder Member

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    Harris - valid point, although "best" can be interpreted in many ways. By best I mean quality, style and fit. An ugly Kiton suit selling at half price is still an ugly suit.

    Pete - thanks for the info.
     

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