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Need Advice On New Wardrobe

ColdFlare

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Hi, having found this forum and done several searchs I'm stuck and would greatly appreciate advice from veterans of men's clothing from you experts.

I've recently graduated from college and was hired at one of the big companies on Park Ave (not naming which for security sake). I went to the interview with a sad looking old suit from century 21 that was tailored in the city by a tailor I chose because of distance. He was relatively close but the suit just doesn't look very good on me. I also have several banana republic jackets namely 3 that I had purchased on sale for about 100 some odd dollars each many moons ago. 2 of those jackets have no matching pants and I scoured banana republic to find matching pants for them, however it seems like production for those pants has long since been phased out. My banana republic jacket measurements are 46R, the pants 38x30. My brooks brother measurements for shirts are 17 neck and 33 arm.

One of the banana republic jackets has matching pants however the jacket that matches those pants don't seem right. The sleeves are just too long. Is there any way to fix this?

Would it be better for me to find a tailor to make pants for those 2 other jackets, or somehow get rid of them? They still have tags on those 2 jackets.

I need a new wardrobe for work, preferrably about 4 new suits that I'm willing to spend about $1000-$1200 (college student) on. I don't think I can get into the bespoke range for that. Do you guys have any recommendations on what I should get? Should I get them off the rack and have them altered or should I just have them made to measure from Mr Neds or something? Or any other tailor recommendatoins?

I work in a very conservative environment so is it possible to also get some color recommendations for my new suits? I've always fancied the type of suit worn by Michael Scott the character on The Office the US version, but I'm not sure what style that is.

Any help/advice/recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

edit: I'm in the NYC area.
 

ghulkhan

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1000-1200 each
or total?
i thinkyou mean each but im just making sure
 

lee_44106

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Sleeves too long: fixing this should be very very easy. Any competent tailor should be able to SHORTEN the sleeve. This is almost tailoring 101, so I'm not understanding your problem

Banana Republic almost never recycle patterns and clothes from past. So if you have orphaned suit jackets that has no matching pants, you are out of luck. Now, are these two jackets patterned or of solid color. Patterned (for example, pin-striped) suit jacket will almost never work as lone sportcoats/blazers. You may be able to get away using solid colored suit jackets as sportscoats.

I also don't understand your budget. Do you have $1K to spend PER suit, or $300 per suit?

Since you said you work in a very conservative environment, I actually would recommend Brooks Brothers, if that's your cup of tea. BB is just about the bastion of American business conservatism.

Basic conservative suit colors are blue and gray. Patterns are pinstripes.
Look at the pictures of the suits being offered in the Brooks Brothers catalogue, that'll give you an idea.
 

ColdFlare

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Originally Posted by lee_44106
Sleeves too long: fixing this should be very very easy. Any competent tailor should be able to SHORTEN the sleeve. This is almost tailoring 101, so I'm not understanding your problem

Banana Republic almost never recycle patterns and clothes from past. So if you have orphaned suit jackets that has no matching pants, you are out of luck. Now, are these two jackets patterned or of solid color. Patterned (for example, pin-striped) suit jacket will almost never work as lone sportcoats/blazers. You may be able to get away using solid colored suit jackets as sportscoats.

I also don't understand your budget. Do you have $1K to spend PER suit, or $300 per suit?

Since you said you work in a very conservative environment, I actually would recommend Brooks Brothers, if that's your cup of tea. BB is just about the bastion of American business conservatism.

Basic conservative suit colors are blue and gray. Patterns are pinstripes.
Look at the pictures of the suits being offered in the Brooks Brothers catalogue, that'll give you an idea.


Sorry for the confusion, the two jackets 1 is charcoal and pinstriped that are wide. The other jacket is black and has pinstripe in a yellowish-brown pattern. I feel comfy spending 1000-1200 for each suit.

What I am looking for is good and very comfortable fit. I had some banana republic pants before and they have broke around my thighs. I am looking for something that is durable. Which is why I was thinking about having mr neds make me a suit with good fabric.

I've read some reviews on the forum and on askandy that Brooks Brothers MTM suits are not great. So that is why I am hesitant to go there. Are there any other suggestions?

Sorry i'm a complete noob at this.
 

lee_44106

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Sounds like you are out of luck with your two BR jackets.

With $1.2K to work with per suit, you have lots and lots of options.

I don't know about Mr. Ned, but you can't beat a custom garment for fit, plus you get to choose the fabric.

I would still stick with blue, gray, and solid color pinstripe as your first suits.

The Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece version suits are made by Martin Greenfield and are very good quality.
 

Master Shake

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Originally Posted by lee_44106
With $1.2K to work with per suit, you have lots and lots of options.
Agreed. You won't go wrong if you decide to get suits from Mr. Ned, but if you have the time, you might want to consider waiting for the Hickey Freeman sample sale (I believe they hold two a year, and the last one was several months ago). Like Brooks Brothers, they have a conservative cut, but the quality is better. I don't recall the exact prices, but I think the suits may start at around $800, and at the last day you can get two for $1000.
 

The Happy Stroller

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Perhaps you're using the term 'conservative environment' wrongly, judging from the charcoal striped suit, which you described as pinstriped that are wide, which sounds more like chalk striped, and the black suit.

Chalk stripes make a pretty bold statement in a conservative environment. And you probably are aware what kind of profession in the Chicago of 1920s was associated with chalk stripes: people who wear a Fedora and a submachine gun.

If you are a business executive, black seems non-conservative. Of course, if you are in the legal profession, black should be alright since that is a gentlemanly profession, not a business. Also, be aware that a black suit (e.g., Lord Vader, the black uniform of the German Gestapo or a Red Chinese policeman), though it looks totally cool to young men, might look too sharp (therefore, implying the wearer is unreliable or incapable of feeling compassion, to older, conservative folks,

Unless, maybe if you are actually working in Los Angeles, then your idea of conservative environment fits, I suppose, and, in which case, please disregard my observations.
bigstar[1].gif


Originally Posted by ColdFlare
Sorry for the confusion, the two jackets 1 is charcoal and pinstriped that are wide. The other jacket is black and has pinstripe in a yellowish-brown pattern. I feel comfy spending 1000-1200 for each suit.
...<snip>...
 

philosophe

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If I were you, I'd toss the BR stuff and focus on buying a solid charcoal suit, a solid navy suit, a grey pinstripe and a navy pinstripe. BB Goldenfleece and Hickey Freeman are great conservative choices. Another option might be Corneliani, which can often be had at Sierra Trading Post at excellent prices.

Don't buy anything that not fully canvassed/
 

ColdFlare

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Thanks guys, I have access to Mr Neds, so right now I'm just trying to decide whether I should just go to Mr Neds and have him make me a suit or get some at BB. They are about the same price.

I don't really understand why a black suit isn't considered conservative, but if this is what society is deciding then I will probably go for something in the dark charcoal and dark navy color suits. From what I heard, black was always the color of wealth/money in most culture.

So what do you guys thing? Mr Neds or BB? I want really nice looking suits with good fit and comfyness.

Btw thank you guys so much for the advice so far.
 

The Happy Stroller

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Be aware that a suit may be conservative-looking, yet can be inappropriate for a particular person.

For instance, the charcoal grey (what you call dark charcoal) and dark blue (what you call dark navy) are not only conservative, but they are also what is considered authoritarian colours. They are more suitable for persons of high status, power and authority. The lighter the shade, the less status, power and authority. Also, the more a color is closer to black, the more authoritarian. Conversely, the more colorful a suit is, the wearer is seen as less threatening.

If you are starting at the junior level, it might be wise to wear navy blue or light grey and work up from there as your rank goes up and power increases. This way, you avoid stepping on the toes of those superiors who have macho complexes and are always on a lookout to kick out those they feel threatened by.

But if you don't feel the need to lie low, and you feel more confident, you can choose to dress in medium grey as a change.

Since you are starting your career, I would advise you to spend less so that you have some time accumulating some familiarity with suits, including those worn by others and your superiors and customers in your firm, before you spend more on your next suit. Who knows, you might discover the dress code is actually casual smart!
bigstar[1].gif


Originally Posted by ColdFlare
Thanks guys, I have access to Mr Neds, so right now I'm just trying to decide whether I should just go to Mr Neds and have him make me a suit or get some at BB. They are about the same price.

I don't really understand why a black suit isn't considered conservative, but if this is what society is deciding then I will probably go for something in the dark charcoal and dark navy color suits. From what I heard, black was always the color of wealth/money in most culture.

So what do you guys thing? Mr Neds or BB? I want really nice looking suits with good fit and comfyness.

Btw thank you guys so much for the advice so far.
 

Edward Appleby

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My suggestion, as usual, would be to go to some department stores and figure out your size in a selection of good brands and then go to town on ebay. Brioni, Isaia, Oxxford, and Purple Label are all readily available on ebay within your budget.
 

maxnharry

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Congratulations on the new position! I think you are on the right track bilding your wardrobe. I am going to be making a major career change in the next few years and have embarked on building a business wardrobe like yours.

I had a blue blazer, the suit I was married in and some sad shoes. All along with the requisite Dockers, polo shirts, etc.

What I Did:

1. I spent time here and at AAAC and made a list of what I thought I would need for an outstanding wardrobe. My intent was to spend well up front and hopefully not need to replace anything due to changes in style.

2. The first suit I bought was a charcoal pinstripe in an English cut from WW Chan with extra trousers (thanks Alex Kabbaz!). I think they did a great job and I think I paid around $1200. That suit fits like no other I have every owned.

3. The next suit was a solid navy fresco also from Chan. I chose a fresco because I was going to be in a very warm part of the country on business. I am also happy with that suit.

4. I just purchased a solid navy worsted Oxxford from eBay. I decided to give Oxxford a try and am pretty happy with it so far.

5. What should you do? I think a list is key. You need to see what you need and then get whatever you need right now and then hunt on eBay, here on the sales forum, STP, store sales to build your wardrobe. By doing that, I think I have paid about 20 cents on the dollar for everything except my Chan suits.

As far as suits, if I were you I would take a look at RLPL, Oxxford, Brioni from discount sources and see if you are satisfied with the fit. If not you could go with Mr Ned, Chan or even the Brooks MTM program (make sure to have Martin Greenfeld measure you in person).
 

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