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Help me establish a classy wardrobe for minimal cost

Borky

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I'm looking to expand my wardrobe to be more overall classy, but in the preppy range. Thus, I'm looking for a source of inexpensive ties, dress shirts, a blazer or two and a pair or two of boots/shoes.

I keep reading about these tie makers on here like Kiton, Brioni, and all these other italian names, but I've never actually seem them in any stores and I doubt they are that cheap. How will Brooks Brothers, RL, Zara, and other stores like that do? Also, whats the deal with fihties.com, are they decent? They seem pretty well priced.

As far as dress shirts go, I need real slim ones. I'm 6'1", 150lbs, 36" chest. I have one from Club Monaco that fits me great, but I hear the quality isn't the best and it also cost almost $100 retail. So where should I go for these?

Blazers and shoes I have no clue about. They will be paired with nice jeans or slacks that I already own, so nothing too fancy. I plan on wearing the blazers to events or parties, class would be going too far.

I'd prefer buying online, but I'm in the DC Metro area so there are stores I can visit. Any suggestions to get me started?
 

DocHolliday

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First, go to some nice stores -- Saks, Neiman, etc. -- and check out the merchandise. Look at it, touch it, try it on. Get a sense of it, and see how it fits you. Find out what works for you and what doesn't. Spend a good bit of time at this. Then you can begin bargain hunting. Try Filene's Basement, Saks Off-5th, TJ Maxx and stores like that. Online, Sierra Trading Post is an incredible resource, and eBay is ever popular among forumites.

For shirts, I've given up on finding appropriately slim ones. You can always buy ones you like and then have a tailor/seamstress taken them in at the waist and arms.

Good luck!
 

Borky

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Well what are some brands I should look for in terms of commonly available ties and so on? Is Brooks Brothers ok to buy retail?
 

DocHolliday

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There's really little reason to buy anything at retail, unless you just like a particular item or enjoy the retail shopping experience. Brooks ties, though, are nice enough. Try doing some searches for "favorite tie" and the like. You'll get plenty of information on most any common brand.
 

marc237

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Agree with everything the lunger said.

Also, FIHTies is great. Jonathan, the owner, is an absolute pleasure with which to do business. Ties are very good quality and service is superb. (I am wearing one of his today.) My only caution is that I find the images to be a bit washed out on the computer screen. In other words, I think the ties have more vibrancy and substance in real life than you would expect from the screen image (and I have used three different computers). Overall, really nice.
 

JBZ

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If you're looking for "preppy" (or "trad" - and, to avoid the rath of any lurking trads, I admit they're not exactly the same) and "inexpensive", I'd suggest J. Crew, Lands' End, or LL Bean (for casual clothing) at full retail. Also, Brooks Bros or J. Press during one of their sales.

I find the Brooks Bros ties to be particularly nice for the cost.
 

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