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Most Budget-Friendly Dress Attire

jxyooj71

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Hi:

I'm a college student and a newbie when it comes to any attire (even casual), but I want to focus on dress/formal attire, which can be used for interviews and formal events. I'll list what I have and I know not everything (if nothing) I have is even considerably great.

-100% Polyester white suit, vest, and pants that cost me around $125 at MENSUSA
-Black Billy London suit and pants
-$15 Casio Solar Powered Sports Watch
-Black Deer Stags dress shoes (no laces; from Ross)
-I usually wear black dress socks but I've happened to lose them during laundry (from Ross)
-Some dress shirts from a variety of brands like George, Zara Man, Lanzo Couture, Arrow etc.
-I have some cologne but it doesn't last very long and definitely cheap (a gift)
-I have a set of hairband because I have a small ponytail if that matters.
-La Bella Super Hold Hair Gel (I'm wearing it)
-I have incredibly cheap reflective sunglasses that are Aviator style.
-Red Perry Ellis tie
-Brown Tommy Hilfiger belt

I never really learned how to dress while growing up, and I want to learn soon as I'm going to graduate college. I'm also going to replace a lot of my clothing because I used to wear larger shirts (L or XL) but I'm actually an M, 5'7" with an average build. For my budget, as cheap as possible with decent/considerable quality. Tell me if something's wrong, but I considered a G-Shock (or Baby-G) because it's well-known and super practical + durable for a formal attire (could even wear it casually). I've looked into other brands as well such as Timex, Seiko, etc. only as far as watches goes but looking for advice on pretty much anything a person can wear. Sorry for such a long post. Thanks everyone in advance!
 

GBR

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Don't think anyone here has bought this parsimoniously: difficult to know what to advise in these circumstances. At $US125 for a suit, heaven alone knows what sort of a rag that is; one can't even say don't buy polyester.

FleeBay?
 

CadillacChris

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I'll chime in with my 2 cents because I'm not much further along in the process than you, and probably working with a similar budget, but have been learning what I can and definitely making steps in the right direction.
I suspect you'll get a lot of responses on this forum telling you to save up a couple hundred dollars minimum for a suit, $100-200 for a pair of shoes, etc... to invest in high quality stuff that will last... and that's not a bad idea.
However, you're probably looking for results sooner rather than later, and just because you're working with a shoestring budget doesn't mean you can't start moving in the right direction, even if right now you're "throwing money away" on lower quality items that won't last that long.
While it may be true that spending more upfront for quality items that will last for years and years will end up being more cost-effective in the long run, I don't think it's a bad idea to buy inexpensive stuff right now that you know will only last a year or so. This will give you time to figure out what you like and what you don't like, and will give you time to improve your financial situation and save up so that when you go to spend big bucks on a suit or shirts or whatever, you'll have a better idea of what you'll like and what to avoid.

How your clothes fit you is probably the most important thing to start with. A cheap shirt that fits you perfectly will look a million times better than an expensive shirt that doesn't fit you right. Learn about how your clothes should fit first. Are there any items in your wardrobe that fit really well? Measure them and use that as a guide when shopping for new clothes. And by new, I mean new OR second-hand. Thrift stores and eBay will allow you to spend a small amount of money to buy much higher quality, more expensive clothes. I've bought barely used Brooks Brothers shirts from eBay for like $20 shipped, though I ended up not liking how they fit. Good thing I didn't buy them new at retail price!

Study up on building a lean wardrobe, don't waste money on items that won't work well with other items you already have. Stick to the basics for now, this way you can create many different combinations that all work well together from just a few shirts, pants, jackets, shoes, etc.

Don't worry too much about brands right now. Just find clothes that fit you well and are in your budget. Keep an eye out for good deals on eBay and thrift stores but don't go crazy buying things that you don't really need. As you start earning more money and have a better eye for what styles you like and what looks good on you, then start investing in higher quality, more expensive items.
 
Last edited:

dapperdoctor

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Go get yourself a charcoal colored suit. That color is appropriate for interviews and most occasions, such as a wedding. Your second suit can be navy colored. Make sure the suit fits properly. Go to a tailor and pay for minor alterations. It will be worth it.

Also, get yourself a pair of black captoe shoes and a few white dress shirts, as well as a few light blue dress shirts. These will make you fit in anywhere. Always match your shoes to your belt.

A blue or burgundy colored tie is good too. They also go with most things and you will look professional.

Once you get a decent job and are making money, your options will expand. For now, worry about getting the right fit and keep it simple. You don;t need too much.

If you are young and reasonably fit, you will look better in a well-fitting cheap suit than an older, out of shape person will look wearing a 5K suit. Depending on where you live, try going to an outlet store to score some deals.
 
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ter1413

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Keep the socks.
 

jxyooj71

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Go get yourself a charcoal colored suit. That color is appropriate for interviews and most occasions, such as a wedding. Your second suit can be navy colored. Make sure the suit fits properly. Go to a tailor and pay for minor alterations. It will be worth it.

Also, get yourself a pair of black captoe shoes and a few white dress shirts, as well as a few light blue dress shirts. These will make you fit in anywhere. Always match your shoes to your belt.

A blue or burgundy colored tie is good too. They also go with most things and you will look professional.

Once you get a decent job and are making money, your options will expand. For now, worry about getting the right fit and keep it simple. You don;t need too much.

If you are young and reasonably fit, you will look better in a well-fitting cheap suit than an older, out of shape person will look wearing a 5K suit. Depending on where you live, try going to an outlet store to score some deals.
This is actually very helpful! I will consider it, despite finding cheap options. I still maintain my white suit very nicely, as I have only worn it about a few times a year.
 

jxyooj71

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I'll chime in with my 2 cents because I'm not much further along in the process than you, and probably working with a similar budget, but have been learning what I can and definitely making steps in the right direction.
I suspect you'll get a lot of responses on this forum telling you to save up a couple hundred dollars minimum for a suit, $100-200 for a pair of shoes, etc... to invest in high quality stuff that will last... and that's not a bad idea.
However, you're probably looking for results sooner rather than later, and just because you're working with a shoestring budget doesn't mean you can't start moving in the right direction, even if right now you're "throwing money away" on lower quality items that won't last that long.
While it may be true that spending more upfront for quality items that will last for years and years will end up being more cost-effective in the long run, I don't think it's a bad idea to buy inexpensive stuff right now that you know will only last a year or so. This will give you time to figure out what you like and what you don't like, and will give you time to improve your financial situation and save up so that when you go to spend big bucks on a suit or shirts or whatever, you'll have a better idea of what you'll like and what to avoid.

How your clothes fit you is probably the most important thing to start with. A cheap shirt that fits you perfectly will look a million times better than an expensive shirt that doesn't fit you right. Learn about how your clothes should fit first. Are there any items in your wardrobe that fit really well? Measure them and use that as a guide when shopping for new clothes. And by new, I mean new OR second-hand. Thrift stores and eBay will allow you to spend a small amount of money to buy much higher quality, more expensive clothes. I've bought barely used Brooks Brothers shirts from eBay for like $20 shipped, though I ended up not liking how they fit. Good thing I didn't buy them new at retail price!

Study up on building a lean wardrobe, don't waste money on items that won't work well with other items you already have. Stick to the basics for now, this way you can create many different combinations that all work well together from just a few shirts, pants, jackets, shoes, etc.

Don't worry too much about brands right now. Just find clothes that fit you well and are in your budget. Keep an eye out for good deals on eBay and thrift stores but don't go crazy buying things that you don't really need. As you start earning more money and have a better eye for what styles you like and what looks good on you, then start investing in higher quality, more expensive items.
I'm grateful; I'm also glad that I'm not alone in just beginning to crack down on this. Do you think it's better to buy something cheap and fit, but also have it maintained very well to last for years compared to higher quality stuff that may only last the same with less maintenance?
 

thesilentist

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http://www.styleforum.net/atype/5/Styleforum_101

Go read the articles under the "hottest styleforum topics" heading. Frankly, before you buy anything, you need to learn about the basics.

Also, while you don't necessarily have to spend a LOT of money to look good, you'll probably have to spend more than you're typically used to spending on clothing.
 

CadillacChris

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Obviously you want to take care of whatever you have, whether it's inexpensive or high end. Just don't plan on spending the rest of your life buying cheap, throw-away clothing.
When you're out of college and making more money, you can start replacing the now worn-out items with more expensive, higher quality items that will last longer. For now, go with what you can afford... just make sure it fits you well!
 

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