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first job help

nycguy

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wow, this is my first time browsing through this forum and I have to say - the wealth of information here is amazing!

I'm actually starting my first job in a bank in new york in three weeks, and i'm trying to figure out what shops to look at to buy a solid base of "real" clothes (by real, I mean not including the shoddy dress clothes I used to get by in college). After an internship there, I realized that most people were pretty well-dressed, so I decided that I didn't want to be the badly dressed analyst. I was hoping some of you gurus could help point me in the right direction.


However, I obviously need some sort of balance between price and good fashion, since I dont want to be spending my entire sign-on bonus on clothes. So here's a preliminary list:

dress shirts: Charles Tyrwhitt, TM Lewin (the collars for TML all seem to be spread collar though)
suits: i have a black, navy pinstripe, and charcoal pinstripe (the latter two have been described as too "flashy" though, as the stripes are wide and prominent, and they're a lightweight cashmere/wool blend and thus shine a bit)
ties: TM Lewin, though I might go to Century 21 or Sak's Off to find a bargain on a Zegna, Canoli, etc.
shoes: have no idea - been wearing a square toed Kenneth Cole pair but those types have been getting pretty bad reviews on this forum. I might go to Century 21/Sak's Off for this as well, but wouldnt know what to look for
dress pants: Brooks Brothers seemed to have pretty nice flat front trousers but I'd venture to guess there's better options out there

just lookin for some direction...thanks guys!
 

nycguy

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also, just wondering:

for shirts, french cuff or single cuff? pointed collar or spread collar? poplin, twill, herringbone?
for shoes, black cap-toed oxfords seem to be a safe bet but please correct me if i'm wrong
 

AlanC

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For ties I would certainly haunt the discounters. Brooks is having a sale right now, so you might pick up at least a few things like dress trousers there while you're getting started. There apparently are some Golden Fleece suits on sale at Brooks, which would be a good place to start. Aim for solid navy and/or gray.

Be very careful of the tie labels playhooky suggests on ebay. Those are all frequent counterfeit targets. Do a search for some of the favorite or best tie threads here and get some good ideas about brands to look for. I would suggest going through the discounters prior to hitting ebay so you can get a better feel (literally) for what you like/want.

For shoes, I would start with a pair of black Allen Edmonds Park Avenue. They're always appropriate and are of high quality. You'll get your best price to value there.

You might consider going to CEGO and getting some custom shirts, depending on how much money you want/are able to drop.
 
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Costwise is there much difference between CEGO and Lewin or Tyrwhitt?

Keep an eye on the NYC shopping thread here, people posting a lot of heads ups on sales on high quality stuff
 

Pennglock

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Here are a few suggestions you can not go wrong with:

Pants - Brooks currently has a sale for 2 pairs of gabardine for $160. You really cant beat this.

Shoes - Get some black Allen Edmonds Part Avenues. You can find new pairs for around $200 on ebay or at a factory outlet. You will never regret the 100 premium they command over, say, Johnston and Murphy.

Suits - Have a professional get your measurements then go to ebay. You need to buy solid navy and solid charcoal first, since you dont have those. New Brooksease suits go for around $110. Midrange stuff like Canali and Corneliani can be had for around $400. You can also get high end stuff like Oxxford and Isaia for around $600-$800.

Spend another hundred getting the suit tailored if you need to, and you're still paying half of what you would at any real store.

If you dont have time to ebay, I would again head over to Brooks' sale. You can come out of the store with a very respectable suit for less than $500.

Shirts and Ties - I dont really know where the bargains are, but just remember to keep them nice and conservative. Many of the combos styleforum members love simply wont fly at a bank, especially for an analyst. For shirts, build up a collection of white, off-white, and light-blue, and maybe some univerity/bankers stripes in those colors. Wear button cuffs, and collars with a minimal spread. For ties, think solid, pin-dot, or repp/regemental.
 

orbit

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nycguy, I would start your first Monday with a white shirt and cuff links.
Maybe start every week off with the cuff links, that way you would only need one French cuff shirt and time to get it dry cleaned and press before the next Monday until you could afford more cuff shirts.
Regards-Steve

http://www.cufflinks-only.com
 

nycguy

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wow thanks guys for the help! I went to Bloomingdale's today, and saw a pair of cap-toed AE's for $225, and a great Cornelliani suit for around $600 and a Hugo Boss grey suit for $400, though I'd have to get both altered a bit, as the fit is too boxy for me.

A few questions:

- Should get cordovan shoes? Those seem to be a universal "must get" on this forum.

- Are there tie brands that look great but won't break the bank?

- Do you think the sale for Brooks Brothers ($500/suit) is a better bet than the two suits I saw at Bloomingdale's? I don't know much about the relative quality of these brands, or even the defining features of a great suit (other than fit). Also, I have the option of Mr. Ned in NYC which I've heard is pretty good, but I'm guessing I will only be able to afford the lower quality fabrics.
 

sho'nuff

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Originally Posted by nycguy
wow thanks guys for the help! I went to Bloomingdale's today, and saw a pair of cap-toed AE's for $225, and a great Cornelliani suit for around $600 and a Hugo Boss grey suit for $400, though I'd have to get both altered a bit, as the fit is too boxy for me.

A few questions:

- Should get cordovan shoes? Those seem to be a universal "must get" on this forum.

- Are there tie brands that look great but won't break the bank?

- Do you think the sale for Brooks Brothers ($500/suit) is a better bet than the two suits I saw at Bloomingdale's? I don't know much about the relative quality of these brands, or even the defining features of a great suit (other than fit). Also, I have the option of Mr. Ned in NYC which I've heard is pretty good, but I'm guessing I will only be able to afford the lower quality fabrics.


there is no necessity to get cordovan leather shoes. calf leather will suffice.
tie brands you can get some respectable brand names at a good discount at saks fifth outlets.
brooks brothers suits will be much better quality than boss or theory suits at the bloomingdales, but i do believe your priority is to have a good selection of wearable suits to the office.
your black suit will be ok to the office i think, though i would not wear it, also a good navy and charcoal suits are a necessity, but should be in a solid color, especially for a younger worker.
 
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for ties, check out virtualclotheshorse.com - Lance is a member here and he often has really good stuff at really good prices. Ive bought Nicky ties from him that are fabulous for ~$40.

Last time I checked he had a lot of Borelli there at about $70-80.

Join his mailing list, he often has free shipping etc for forum members.

On to those with whom I dont have experience...

I think Chuck - carlofranco.com - was selling off old stock at around $60 to forum members - and from all accounts (Ive never seen his stuff) his ties are as good as it gets.

Fourinhand ties and Mulberrywood are both also forum members with reputedly very nice ties, not sure on pricing.

BTW - use the sponsor links at the top for all of the above so you can contribute to the J-must-come-to-Vietnam-to-find-himself-a-wife fund...
 

johnapril

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In Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, Amory's mother suggests he go to Brooks for his suits.
 

royal618

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Originally Posted by playhooky
I'd recommend your basic white, baby or French blue shirts (point or spread)to start with, some good ties (very important) like Burberry, Zegna, Armani (all of which I pay about $10 ea for on eBay - there's also a guy selling BOSS 5 for $20 right now but I have no experience with them
*cough* counterfeit *cough*
 

cpac

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Originally Posted by nycguy
Also, I have the option of Mr. Ned in NYC which I've heard is pretty good, but I'm guessing I will only be able to afford the lower quality fabrics.

Having just picked up my second Mr. Ned suit, I whole-heartedly recommend him, though with the world cup in progress he said things might be a bit slow for the next little bit.

As for fabrics, you get all the basics you could want at the $850 price point - navy, charcoal, medium grey, black in solid, herringbone, etc.

If off-the-rack suits tend to fit you well without much alteration, then Mr. Ned might not be worth the extra expense, but I, for one, have found that the difference is such that I am unlikely to pay for an OTR suit again.
 

nycguy

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I'm surprised that BB suits are better than Hugo or Corneliani, but I will check it out today. On the website, it says that the suits are center vented which I am not a big fan of...
 

MrDaniels

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Don't rule out a trip to one of the outlet malls in the area. My personal favorite is Jersey Gardens (sounds like an oxymoron, I know
) which is about 20 minutes beyond the Lincoln Tunnel with low traffic-NJ Transit also has a bus that leaves frequently from The Port Authority.

www.jerseygardens.com

I like the fact that it is laid out like a traditional mall, very easy to go from store to store. You have to do a bit more digging than you would have to do at say, Bloomingdales; but a good bargain hunter can find great deals.

Working in Manhattan for the last 15 years I can tell you that one needent be concerned about wearing French Cuffs. They have become quite standard, almost the norm. It's a nice detail that lets your higher-ups know that you are a young associate that has bothered to lean to dress himself beyond the sphere of George Zimmer.

By the way, are you SURE that the suits you already have are "too flashy?" It would be a shame for a young man starting out in business to not be able to use two of his existing suits. Try posting some pics here, and let the guys here be the judges-there is a lot of wisdom on this forum. Also, they might be muted with the right shirt and tie combination.
 

nycguy

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that sounds like a great idea - I will be getting back to NY (where all my dress clothes are) in a week, and will definitely do that. Considering they need tailoring as well, some tips beforehand would be good.

I know this subject has been touched before, but is converting pleated pants to flat front a hard task? The problem I have is that I have pleated pants that have no cuffs, and I'd want to fix that problem by converting the pants to flat fronts. However, I don't want to completely ruin my suit either.
 

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