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Beginning Wardrobe

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Crosea, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. Crosea

    Crosea Member

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    I am a senior in college majoring in civil engineering. I already know that the office will be business casual so I am looking for some recommendations, mostly brands, that I should be looking into. I am basically starting from scratch with a budget of about 1,000-1,500 to start off with. I am in no rush at the moment to buy things so I have time to shop around to find some deals. Any advice you can lend will be greatly appreciated. Also, I am 5'5" 145 lbs so if you know any brands that fit really well on a smaller frame that would help.
     
  2. Crosea

    Crosea Member

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     . Thank you for taking time to read and respond to my thread. I have seen that post and I understand the essential pieces of the wardrobe and I am now looking for some brands to look for. I know all about the custom made dress shirts and the Crockett and Jones shoes, but with a 1,500 budget I can't afford those so I wanted to know of some "cheaper" brands that are still of decent quality. If you know brands for some nice shirts, trousers, shoes, ties etc...
     
  3. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You can get dress shirts made for you for as little as 50 bucks online now. Keep browsing the site and you'll get an idea of what different brands look like. Or just go to stores and look at them. It would be a huge waste of time for everybody to come in here and start naming brands for you. It probably wouldn't even serve you that well. Also at that budget level, eBay is ur friend.
     
  4. Mariooo

    Mariooo Senior member

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    welcome to the forums!
    do you know the "business casual" definition of the office by actually seeing it or being told?
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  5. Crosea

    Crosea Member

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    Ok thank you.

    I was told that it was business casual.
     
  6. Mariooo

    Mariooo Senior member

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    I dare to say that at least in europe in the engineering branch nice jeans/chinos and a a polo or sport shirt will be fine as everyday workwear.. even sneakers and t-shirts..

    unless you have to attend a meeting.. nicer shoes and a sport coat/blazer..

    dress shirts, oxfords, ties, suits... ... for formal/official occasions only

    I'd ask what they mean, or if you get invited to an interview you'll see it anyways..

    good luck :)


    for brands: lurk, browse, search through the forums to get some ideas and discover brands you might like :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  7. Crosea

    Crosea Member

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    It is a privately owned consulting firm and business casual is how he likes to be represented unless we are doing field work. I have done some lurking the last few days and most of the brands mentioned here especially for shoes, would destroy my budget after buying just a few pieces.
     
  8. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    Don't bother buying anything, just use what you have

    I can image a guy have no chinos or shirts in the wardrobe before they have their sartorial enlightenment.
     
  9. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You should start off with two pairs of shoes. Spend ~200-250 on each. That can get you Meermin, Ed et al, AE on sale, etc....
     
  10. Crosea

    Crosea Member

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    I do have some stuff but I wouldn't dare to be seen in them in a professional atmosphere, they are things that I bought just in case something came up.


    Thank you, this is the advice that I was hoping to get. Also, do you have any experience with T. M. Lewin shirts?
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  11. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    What's the location? The small stature will make it harder. What size shirt and pants do you wear?
     
  12. Crosea

    Crosea Member

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    I live in Florida. I wear a 15 inch neck 32 inch sleeve in my dress shirts, a 30 inch waist 30 inch inseam for pants, and a 10 for shoes.
     
  13. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    Paul Fredrick, T.M. Lewin, and Charles Tyrwhitt are some of the less expensive yet decent brands that have dress shirts in 15/32. All sort of colors and patterns that would be okay for business casual.

    As it's Florida, the guess is that "business casual" is more chinos than wool pants. L.L. Bean and Lands' End have some 30/30 pants. J. Crew, Banana Republic, and other mall brands might be worthwhile, if they have local stores. Shades of brown and olive work best for chinos. Navy might be okay. Black is a lousy choice. Avoid cuffs.

    "Florida" is still too vague to recommend a local shoe store, and you didn't mention shoe width. It's always best to try on a new shoe style before buying. As they say, Allen Edmonds should look good enough, barring a few ugly models. Florsheim runs cheaper but so does its quality, and its shoes usually look old-fashioned, which not everyone wants.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  14. Misanthropist

    Misanthropist Member

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    You're 5'5" with a 32" sleeve? You may have missed your calling as a UFC fighter.

    Apropos of the thread, there are many routes one could take: RTW and then tailoring or simply MTM from the go, neither of which, given the ever-decreasing cost of MTM, is significantly cheaper than the other. My advice would be to focus on the bare essentials and get a strong foundation wardrobe from which you could build a large array of versatile arrangements.

    Since you want brands.. Shirts:
    ModernTailor
    Ratio
    Charles Tyrwhitt
    J.Crew

    Trousers:
    Howard Yount
    Bonobos


    Shoes:
    Allen Edmonds
    Alden
    Magnanni (their best line)
    Johnston & Murphy (their best line)

    Brands are really rather irrelevant.. Focus on fit first, as always.
     
  15. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    At 5'5", 32" sleeve sounds long, but 30" inseam might also be, and that would be consistent with a short torso. Of course it's possible the sleeve measurement is wrong, and therefore getting measured at, say, Jos. A. Bank is worthwhile.

    MTM or bespoke is a bad idea for someone new to style, especially if self-measured.

    J. Crew doesn't make real (sized) dress shirts.
     
  16. Crosea

    Crosea Member

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    Ty for the advice, I was actually going to order some Charles Tyrwhitt shirts today because everything is on sale. The only thing is that the standard for their shirts is a 33 inch sleeve anything else is considered custom and they charge $13 to alter the sleeves. I was thinking that $13 is a lot to change a $40 shirt, or should I think like I'm getting a nice dress shirt for under $60?

    Quote:
    Thank you for answers with brands. I realize that fit is best but I also wanted to buy things that last. It would suck to look at a bunch of brands that fit well but were build poorly because in the end it would be a waste of money.

    When I measured my friend helped me with them using the measurement guides from different shirt companies but I guess it couldn.t hurt to get a real tailor to measure me. But I know that my cousin is like 5'9" and if we reach straight up our arms go to about the same height.
     
  17. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    $13 isn't a high price for that alteration, and since you need something soon and want good quality... Assuming the color and pattern are tasteful, the only problem is if the shirt turns out to be too small anywhere, because the alteration presumably makes it non-returnable. Also, don't buy shirts with French cuffs.
     
  18. Crosea

    Crosea Member

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    Ye, from what I've read on styleforum button cuffs are alot more versatile and thats what Im looking right now to start my wardrobe. And I'm not in a rush, I don't start my job until April of next year once I graduate.
     

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