Getting Started - What to buy

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by farooqm, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. farooqm

    farooqm Senior member

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    Hi Everyone,

    My friend tipped me off on this forum and I have been spending some time reading up on just how expansive mens fashion is, I never realized the depth and character in such seemingly simple items.

    I would like some advice on how to proceed with acquiring a great wardrobe. ie: what and where to buy items. I work as a technical consultant for one of the big 4 accounting firms in Canada. So our dress code is generally a dress shirt and slacks, if I were to wear a tie or suit I would stand out, although I do plan to do so on occasion, especially in the winter.

    My same friend sold me a pair of Brown calf Charles Thywritt shoes with a cap toe. By the way what would you recommend for a matching belt? So I already have those, what I am looking for:

    - 3 pairs of Linen/really light wool pants(white, tan, light grey)upto $100/each
    - 5 paris of heavier wool pants for fall/winter upto $150/each
    - 10 shirts upto $100/each (I'm thinking Jantzen)
    - 3 Polo Shirts upto $75/each (Lacoste?)
    - Summer Loafers (white, tan) upto $100/each
    - Blank Monkstrap (double closure) shoes upto $200
    - Oxblood patterned (the one with the perforations) shoes upto $200
    - Matching belts upto $100/each x 3
    - Navy Suit 38R (perhaps a bespoke, or an Isaia) upto $1000

    If you guys could critique the above list, from a price allocation, choices, etc. that would be great. Also provide me with some suggestions on where to find the best stuff within those prices. Eternal thanks.

    Also Computer Science was my major so if anyone needs any assistance in that field please feel free to msg me.

    - Farooq
     
  2. alflauren

    alflauren Senior member

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    I think that's a pretty good list. If you can wear stuff off the rack, the prices you've laid out are certainly reasonable. I would suggest checking out STP for a suit - most Cornelianis or Isaias will come in around $800. Then take that remaining part of your budget and reallocate it to shoes. $300/pair will put you in the starting range for some mid-grade Italian stuff and also most pairs of Allen Edmonds.
     
  3. javyn

    javyn Senior member

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    Just wondering Farooq, would it be wrong to stand out/dress above your coworkers? I certainly plan on doing it.
     
  4. raley

    raley Senior member

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    Just wondering Farooq, would it be wrong to stand out/dress above your coworkers? I certainly plan on doing it.

    I'm 20, and currently work in a business casual office. I'm not sure if it is just this office, or what, but everyone dresses really, really poorly. I'm talking dockers and short sleeved dress shirts from target/wal mart. I stand out as it is wearing quality dress shirts and wool pants twice a week.

    If I were to wear a tie, it would feel VERY uncomfortable. I cannot even imagine wearing a suit regularly in this environment. It just isn't possible.
     
  5. raley

    raley Senior member

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    The Loakes that you have are a good start. I think it would be a good idea to by a pair of black cap toes, just to have them. Then you will probably want a third pair of shoes as well. If you like the monkstraps, then I would go with them, but definitely go brown. There isn't really an outfit that you will be wearing to work that will require black shoes, so the more brown shoes you have the better.

    To look for these, I would start with the ebay seller "Grapevinehill" who sells lots of Polo branded C&Js and Purple Label branded EGs.

    I think the polo shirts are a good idea. Lacoste works, as well as RLPL and regular RL Polo shirts (with the pony).

    I'm not an expert on belts (or anything really), but I would go for ebay on this as well and get something that is pretty good quality for cheap. Or if you have access to something like a Marshall's or other discount store, go check it out and see if you can find a classic belt with reasonably good leather for 20 bucks - I would guess that you could easily find one.

    Dress shirts are probably going to be the most important thing for you. What size are you? Can you fit into OTR stuff or are you going to have to do MTM? If you can fit into OTR, there are plenty of options out there. Try www.shopthefinest.com for a wide variety of high quality brands.

    When you are dressing up every day without a coat, the shirt is going to be the biggest factor in making you look good, in my opinion. You are going to want something that fits very well with nice buttons and a nice collar. Keep in mind that you will be having an open collar most of the time, so make sure you buy something that is going to look good with the top button undone.

    Some brands you might want to start looking at are RLPL, Truzzi, Barba, Borrelli, Finamore, and so on.
     
  6. Pink22m

    Pink22m Senior member

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    While I agree with your comments about fit, I think these particular brands of shirts are somewhat inappropriate for someone just beginning to build a wardrobe, especially with his stated pricepoint. I would suggest trying Jantzen, and maybe Lands End custom or Hilditch and Key.
     
  7. farooqm

    farooqm Senior member

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    You hit the nail on the head Raley, everyone in my office doesn't dress badly but they stick with the typical Mexx/Club Monaco/Banana Republic staples. If I were to wear a tie or suit I would get the "Why so dressed up?" at least 5-10 times a day, plus outdressing your Senior Managers is not the way to get a promotion.

    I have a couple Barba shirts I got off ebay that I really like but they is very limited selection and I prefer MDM to design my own styles based on stuff I see in magazines. I'm size 15.75(40) in the barba's.

    I'm leaning towards the Incotex cotton, cotton/linen pants discostu posted for my summer pants. Does anyone have experience with these? I want something light and not easily wrinkled.

    As for the black shoes, I kinda prefer black when I wear grey or purple, I think it accentuates better than brown does. Oh and Grapevinehill doesn't seem to ship to Canada.

    For the belt I am obsessive about having my shoes and belt match so thats why I asked about matching the existing shoes I have.

    Thanks for the advice guys, I really appreciate it, perhaps I was to specific with my list, I am willing to try anything so don't take my list as gospel for what I am willing to get.
     
  8. CoryB

    CoryB Senior member

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    As for the black shoes, I kinda prefer black when I wear grey or purple, I think it accentuates better than brown does. Oh and Grapevinehill doesn't seem to ship to Canada.

    Grapevinehill ships to Canada. The killer is shipping to Canada costs 4 times more than shipping within the US.
     
  9. fatherseanfan

    fatherseanfan Senior member

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    Grapevinehill ships to Canada. The killer is shipping to Canada costs 4 times more than shipping within the US.

    Not only that, but at the end of month you'll get dinged by FedEx with a surprise letter asking you to pay them handling, brokerage and customs fees. I love the offerings from Grapevine Hill, but sadly, I learned the hard way that it doesn't make financial sense to buy from them in Canada.
     
  10. jjl5000

    jjl5000 Senior member

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  11. SGladwell

    SGladwell Senior member

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    I'd adjust your budget downwards a lot on the belts and a little on the polo shirts, and add the difference to both sets of shoes and the suit.
     
  12. farooqm

    farooqm Senior member

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    Thanks guys, keep it coming.
     
  13. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    I'm surprised no one's mentioned it yet, but Sierra Trading Post can be an excellent way to stock up on some of the wardrobe basics you've listed. In fact, I just bought an excellent pair of Corneliani flannel trousers for under $80 (although I think they've gone up a tick since the sale ended).
     
  14. farooqm

    farooqm Senior member

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    Yeah I've looked through STP for suits and some other stuff, altho strangely not for pants. I'll do so immediately V-Gent.

    Another question I have is about dress shirts, while I love Barba dress shirts I would like something a bit slimmer as well as shorter, I find that there is no way to wear these shirts untucked. Any suggestions on brands on the same level of quality (ie: thick MOP buttons, solid collars, hand stitching)
     
  15. raley

    raley Senior member

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    I would try Truzzi. I have been learning more about shirt construction and such lately and I have to say that my Truzzi is by far the best shirt I own.

    The buttons are GREAT - really thick and have the crow's foot stitching. I like the collar (although mine is a really soft button down, so I'm not sure about their other shirts), it is pretty good pattern matching - although not perfect, and isn't TOO long. I would prefer it to be a couple of inches shorter, but you can't have everything.

    The fit is ok, RTW shirts really don't fit me at all so I had the sides taken in and it still isn't as slim as I'd like, but it isn't huge either. They have them for 99$ on www.shopthefinest.com with fairly good measurements as well.
     

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