Lawyer: Build My Wardrobe

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mispoke, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. mispoke

    mispoke Well-Known Member

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    This could be fun, especially for those in the know or in similar industries.

    Context: starting junior lawyer at BigLaw firm. Would welcome your ideas about how to build a functional work wardrobe that can last the week (or longer!).

    Include: item of clothing (e.g., blue dress shirt); quantity; and if possible, point to a specific brand/product and price).

    Would also welcome your commentary about which pieces would work well together.
     
  2. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Budget range and location?
     
  3. mispoke

    mispoke Well-Known Member

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    Is $5000 reasonable? I already have what I think to be some staples, but would like to see how you would build it. I work in a major Canadian city, but I'm planning to stop by NYC in the near future and will shop then.
     
  4. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    At 5000

    • 4 suits from Suit Supply. Two solid navy, slightly different tones. Solid charcoal. Then maybe a gray with some pattern, like glen plaid. (~2300)
    • 3 shoes. Black captoe oxfords. Oxblood captoe oxfords. Dark brown brogued wingtips. Let's say Allen Edmonds just for the sake of your budget as well as purchasing something you'll still be able to wear a few years down the line when you have a larger rotation. Also, shoe trees and shoe care (~1200)
    • 8 shirts. Two solid white. Three light blue (different hues). Three blue stripes. At around 80 a shirt (~640)
    • 10 ties. Solid navy. Navy neat. Solid burgundy. Burgundy neat. Navy pindot. Solid gray (maybe a grenadine). Green neat. Brown neat. Blue grounded stripe. Burgundy grounded stripe. Let's say Sam Hober. (~850)

    For more detailed advice, I suggest you check out Noodles' Good Natured Advice Thread.
     
  5. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    I hope that you are not so clueless at your professional duties.
     
  6. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Wisdom is knowing when to ask questions. Probably a bunch of other stuff too.
     
  7. arglist

    arglist Senior member

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    Fantastic reply! I wish there had been somebody to tell me this when I started to build my business wardrobe.
     
  8. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    The big law firms are generally business casual. You should have a suit or two, but you aren't going to be wearing suits everyday. I'd focus on finding a really solid shirt maker that produces a fit that you really like as most days you will be in a shirt and trousers. If you are in a city with big law then you are in a city where there a shirt makers.
     
  9. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    That's definitely NOT the case in my neck of the woods. I don't know where the OP hails from.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
  10. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    In NYC it's business casual for all the big law firms save WLRK.
     
  11. Viral

    Viral Senior member

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    There's only 1 major Canadian city - Toronto - so I can't imagine the firm is without dress code.

    OP, what is the dress code for your new firm? Congrats on the new job......
     
  12. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    Yup - OP, what do the junior lawyers in your firm wear?
     
  13. JohnnyGalt

    JohnnyGalt Well-Known Member

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    VERY solid suggestion here. Claghorn pretty much hit the nail on the head, although there is some room for tweaking for personal preference. I just went through this process myself, and here are the necessities I came away with for wearing suits 4 days a week + casual friday:

    -Solid navy and solid charcoal suit from Brooks Brothers (~$1200 when on sale)
    -Navy Blazer from Brooks Brothers (~$500 when on sale)
    -Medium grey dress trousers from Brooks Brothers (~$150 when on sale)
    -Black stitch cap, black punch cap, burgundy full strap loafers, as well as shoe trees and polish (Allen Edmonds Park Ave, AE 5th Ave, AE Randolph comes to ~$1100)
    -8 Dress shirts. I went with 4x white, 2x solid light blue, 2x light blue stripe. It's probably best to get these MTM, mytailor.com (Hemrajani) travels throughout the country and you should be able to get entry level quality stuff for $100 a piece, which comes to $800 total.
    -2 Oxford Cloth Button Down shirts (for casual friday) $200
    -10 ties from Sam Hober. Navy Solid, Slate blue solid, 2x Navy pindot, 2x Navy neat, Burgundy solid, Burgundy neat, Silver/grey solid, Black/White Prince of Wales check. ~$900
    -3 white linen pocket squares from Sam Hober for each of your jackets. $100

    Take whatever is left over and buy a halfway decent watch you can wear to work (if you don't already have on). I particularly like the Art Deco watch from Kent Wang as an affordable, appropriate option ($450).

    Rotate the suits, shoes, dress shirts and ties Monday-Thursday, throw on the blazer, trousers, loafers and OCBD without tie on Friday.
     
  14. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I took out the navy neat from the original suggestion and added a solid green.
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    Not including pocket squares as I suspect it would be a bit much for a new hire. But after a few years, white linen is probably the direction you want to go. After you get more than a few grays on your head, feel free to be a bit more extravagant with what you shove in your pocket.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
  15. NickInTO

    NickInTO Senior member

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    Do you work on Bay, Roger? My brother-in-law is a lawyer at a pretty big firm near Old City Hall, and I believe it's fairly business-casual unless there's client meetings/court.
     

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