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Please advise an up and coming lawyer

younglaw

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I've landed a job at a big law firm and want to look the part. I'm somewhat short (5'6"-5'7") with a muscular build (broad shoulders, small waist). My complexion is a little on the pale side, but I look good black, charcoal, brown, and gray. Generally I look best in a charcoal/black (so I've been told).

I don't want to spend more money than necessary but I want to look good. I have a few medium grade suits (Ralph Lauren, Joseph Banks, Alfani). I wouldn't mind getting one or two higher quality suits (not that those are bad quality). I don't want to be a jerk showing off money for its own sake, rather I want to dress the part of a dignified professional.

Please advise. There are a bunch of sales this weekend and I'd like to pick up some good deals. Where should I be looking? Macy's? Lord & Taylors? Brooks Brothers?

Suggestions on shirts/tie brands also welcome.

Thank you very much for any help at all...I'm a little clueless when it comes to this stuff.

EDIT: I should add, I'm in my mid to late 20's.
 

MrDaniels

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I would say off the top of my head: Go for two-button suits with a fairly low gorge to help you appear taller...avoid three-buttons. Also, avoid black for business...especially if you are pale; do you want to look like a mortician?

Macy's can have some good deals on the better brands, avoid their in-house stuff and be sure to get a salesman who knows what he is doing. Brooks Bros will sometimes do a good deal on multiple suits and one rarely can go wrong there. What city are you shopping in?

And what kind of lawyer will you be...trial, corporate? That will help you zero in on proper style.
 

needshoehelp

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I recommend someplace like Paul Frederick for shirts. Good, solid workhorse shirts that you can get with an exact sleeve length and trim fit if you choose. You can pick out exactly what you want and prices are good.
 

younglaw

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I'll be in the corporate department. I guess one of my questions is, are the $1600 suits at Brook's Brothers noticably better quality from the brands I'll find at Macy's?

I'm currently living on the West coast, but I will be working in Boston. I'm traveling to Boston this weekend to scope out apartments and visit friends. I was hoping to do some shopping.
 

bachbeet

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With the student loan debts I've heard about, I imagine law school set you back well over $100k. So, you'll probably have to forgo expensive clothes for a while.
 

crazyquik

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Originally Posted by younglaw
I'll be in the corporate department. I guess one of my questions is, are the $1600 suits at Brook's Brothers noticably better quality from the brands I'll find at Macy's?

Yes, they are.

However, Brooks is currently running a 2 for $999 or something sale on the 1818 line of suits (thier middle grade). This is probably exactly what you need. It may be even cheaper this weekend because I think there is an extra 15% off (maybe 25% off if you sign up for a brooks card).

Two conservative 1818 suits for $750 would be pretty perfect. I have suits from the three main lines at Brooks and these will treat you well.
 

TheFoo

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It sounds like you already have some respectable suits. So long as they fit, you should be fine. After all, you're not going to need to wear suits that often--unless you'll be at one of the very few firms that still require business dress ona daily basis.
 

younglaw

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I have student debt, but nice suits are an investment in my career and the salary is generous. The suits I have do fit me very well.

It is business casual, but, unless I am mistaken, most men generally wear suits without a tie. I'll look into the BB 1818 deal..sounds like a good catch. Where is this deal though? I see the 20% off...but not can't find the 2 1818 suits for $999.

Anymore suggestions for brands? In terms of shirts I like to buy solely wrinkle-free to avoid having to get the shirts professionally cleaned.
 

dopey

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Originally Posted by mafoofan
It sounds like you already have some respectable suits. So long as they fit, you should be fine. After all, you're not going to need to wear suits that often--unless you'll be at one of the very few firms that still require business dress ona daily basis.

Is this common or uncommon in law firms today? Ae any strictly suits every day?
 

younglaw

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I appreciate the advice UnFacconable. I'll speak with some associates and get their take, as I'm sure it varies a little firm to firm, but I'll keep your advice in mind. Part of the choice for nice clothing, for me, is that it boosts my confidence a bit.

On a completely unrelated note, it is very encouraging to see a partner at a large firm with an MF Doom avatar.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by dopey
Is this common or uncommon in law firms today? Ae any strictly suits every day?

Almost none of the big firms require daily business dress. The two I can think of that do are Cravath and Jones Day.
 

TC (Houston)

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Originally Posted by UnFacconable
I may be speaking out of turn since every professional environment is different, but I'm a corporate partner at a large law firm and can honestly say that investing in nice suits isn't really an investment in your career. As long as you look presentable you'll be fine. It may be different in Boston or with the particular folks you're working with, but I doubt it.

The only way you're clothes will stand out is if you dress wildly inappropriately.

Also, standard business casual is wool trousers and a cotton shirt. No need to wear a suit.

Now, if you've come here because you want to dress nice for other reasons, don't let me discourage you. I just think the "this will help my career" advice is wildly overblown on this board, particularly for lawyers.



That is fantastic advice.

The only thing I would add is that you should develop the parts of your wardrobe that are going to get the most use rather than dropping a substantial sum on some fine suits that will not be worn frequently. If you have decent suits already, I would invest in more trousers and sports jackets, shoes and nice shirts that can be dressed up or down depending on the circumstances. That being said, I think it is good to always have at least 3 decent suits that you feel confident wearing. You probably won't have to wear suits that often unless you choose, but from time to time I am required to be suited up and stuck in the same room with the same people for weeks, and then it's nice not to be wearing the same suit every day or even more than twice a week.
 

crazyquik

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Originally Posted by younglaw

It is business casual, but, unless I am mistaken, most men generally wear suits without a tie. I'll look into the BB 1818 deal..sounds like a good catch. Where is this deal though? I see the 20% off...but not can't find the 2 1818 suits for $999.


Well, it looks like they ended it, but they do have the 25% anything with a Brooks Card deal going on. They will also have a big sale the day after Christmas (and if you're still a student you can certainly wait until then).
 

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