First post ... seeking advice on professional attire upgrades

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by zero neck, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. zero neck

    zero neck Well-Known Member

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    Hey. A little background - I studied art as an undergrad, lived really cheap in a pretty bad part of brooklyn for five years, and now I'm in my first year of law school. I don't have alot of money, but I need to upgrade my wardrobe.

    Here's what I have - sorry if I sound like an idiot I've always been a skateshoes/jeans/hoodies kid. But i'm growing up - i swear, haha.
    So i have - 1 dark gray suit (Hilfiger - the color is nice, the fit is acceptable, its cheap but it's been serviceable so far - i can probably wear to more casual things still, but looking to upgrade).
    1 pair of slip on calvin klein something in black.
    a couple shirts and a couple ties.

    So I need an interview suit - getting the right size and fit in a suit is tough for me, i'm kind of inbetween sizes (43R) with long arms and broad shoulders and a belly, so i can't wear anything slim cut. I'm also living off loans, so I can't really spend much here.
    This is what i got: http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/outfit.do?cid=56527&oid=OUT23380
    after considering several inexpensive options, I decided to get the Banana Republic Tailored Fit suit in Navy - Fits pretty good, figure i could have it taken in if i need to, sleeves are good, and it was 30 or 40 percent off the jacket and the pants so it was in my price range.
    Looked at some other suits - jos a bank, ralph lauren, etc - jos a bank seemed to be on the cheap side, the wool didnt feel great, and the sleeves on the lauren were like 2 inches short.
    As i couldn't go higher, I think the banana was a pretty good choice for me, but i was curious to see what kind of advice i could get here ...

    Next is shoes - I need a pair of lace up black oxfords - Have been looking at the inexpensive ones: namely, AE Provo - (would prefer the leeds but cant afford it, also like the kenilworth), CH Air Adams looks ok, there's a florsheim for like 110 at nordstroms that looks decent ....
    Not sure where to go with the shoes. Never owned a nice pair of dress shoes, so any help would be appreciated.

    So, aside from that, I am just looking for some general advice on suits (i will be getting probably 2 more as I start working this summer), Dress shoes in general, Conservative tie suggestions, etc.

    Thanks for the help in advance ..
     
  2. bringusingoodale

    bringusingoodale Senior member

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    Bespoke. Go bespoke.
     
  3. landshark

    landshark Senior member

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    If you're not afraid of used shoes, e-bay can be a goldmine for lightly worn shoes for way less than retail bordering on dirt cheap.
     
  4. zero neck

    zero neck Well-Known Member

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    Thanks - bespoke is just handmade, is that correct?

    I'm not opposed to used shoes, i just don't really know my precise size in dress shoes, or what brands to look at.

    Basically, I am coming to professional attire from Nikes, baseball caps, and buffalo/seven for all style jeans. I've been reading up but i'm not exactly sure where to start, on a budget, and in somewhat of a hurry because of interviews honors-related school things.


    thanks again!
     
  5. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    take all the advice here with a grain of salt... there's a decent amount of in-group jokes plus we're a bit of a 1% population bubble so the opinions are quite skewed... I'll let the others give you actual advice related to wardrobe
     
  6. coop86

    coop86 Senior member

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    Since you live close to NYC I suggest you go to the Suit Supply store and buy a suit from there. See the website for general knowledge:

    www.suitsupply.com

    Suits run from $399-$639. If you are on a really tight budget, I would suggest buying one of the cheaper suits and spending at least $60 on tailoring since you claim to have an awkward body. Make sure to tell them you are in law school and need conservative suits because they do carry a ton of flashier stuff better reserved for the weekends.

    Michael who works there helped me out and seemed very knowledgeable about fit and styling for what I was looking for.
     
  7. zero neck

    zero neck Well-Known Member

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  8. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Have you tried Brooks Brothers? They will have your size.
     
  9. cbbuff

    cbbuff Senior member

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    This is a good place to start. Really think about spending a few more dollars and get some basics that will last you a while. If you cut too many corners, you will be back where you are now in a couple of years.

    The BR suit is not worth the money, in addition, the thinner lapels and high button stance won't do you any favors if you are not thin.

    When looking at suit fit, sleeves length should be your last concern. Assume you will need to get the sleeves adjusted for you, that's standard for everyone. You want the shoulders and chest to fit well, and the overall length to be right.

    A black calf cap toe is the classic, conservative first shoe you need - an Allen Edmonds Park Avenue. See if you can get a deal or look for seconds. Lesser shoes will be cheaper, but will look not as good, nor last you nearly as long.

    Take some time, use the search feature and educate yourself.
     
  10. Birks and Grey Socks

    Birks and Grey Socks Senior member

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  11. duggyald

    duggyald Senior member

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    If you can't find anything for you at the stores, try going for custom made or bespoke, that way it's personalized specifically for you.
     
  12. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    Do you really need suits everyday for law school? How about a few pairs of trouser and shirts? Save your money later for the interview line up
     
  13. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    Anybody recommended bespoke or even nicer MTM to someone living on loans is an asshole.

    sorry
     
  14. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    I don't think OP could afford anything that will satisfied SF's level, in terms of fit and construction

    Best is for OP to save money and don't bother buying new stuff until having enough to spend

    I can only say it is sad for OP to discover styleforum at the wrong time, it is going to destroy his own fashion sense
     
  15. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I've known plenty of guys who were in school and barely scraping by but wanted to start dressing well. They were able to pull it off by defining a look for themselves and shopping carefully at sales to get what they needed.
     

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