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Starting from scratch... need help building my first wardrobe

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kjb9937, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. kjb9937

    kjb9937 New Member

    Dec 25, 2011
    I'm living in New York City, and I will be moving to London in a few weeks for business school. I would like to build a wardrobe for business formal wear, business casual wear and evening wear. I want to look my best at all times, whether I am going to school, interviewing, networking, going out for drinks, company events, working, etc.

    I really don't own that much clothes, so I don't have any base. I lived frugally throughout my life until I finished university. I have an athletic build and I'm not sure if the thin European one button suit style will fit me properly. I don't know for sure, so I will try on as many things as possible to make sure I get the best clothing possible.

    I'm assuming London is more expensive than New York, so I would like to do the bulk of my shopping in the USA. But, I would be willing to pick up a few things abroad as well if it's worth it.

    I need things from accessories (like wallets and belts) to suits, and everything in between. Bear in mind, I rather get quality over quantity. I don't need to buy 1,000 items to have a complete wardrobe. I don't mind collecting things over time, but I need something to start out with -- i.e. a few good suits, plenty of nice business casual wear for school and evening wear for pub crawls :)

    What stores should I go to? What brands should I look out for? Any particular products do you have in mind? Help me plan my NYC shopping itinerary.

    I'm after a great deal, but without sacrificing quality. I want to look great, but I don't want to overspend just yet. I'm still a student. Once I land my dream job, then I'll go a little crazy. In the meantime, I just want to look the part.

    This is the list that I have so far, although I don't know what to get specifically just yet:

    Massimo Dutti
    666 Fifth Avenue (not opened yet, I think.)

    520 Madison Avenue//Bloomingdales @ Lex (going to get custom shirts: evening wear, causal and formal for suits)

    Tom Ford
    845 Madison Avenue//754 Fifth Avenue (Bergdorf Goodman store)
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  2. GHo

    GHo Senior member

    May 31, 2011
    Hawkeye State
    What's your budget?
  3. kjb9937

    kjb9937 New Member

    Dec 25, 2011
    Thanks for providing the link. It's a much needed guide.

    I don't want to exceed $3,000 + ~$800 in gift cards for my first shopping round. I want to make sure that all my purchases are still usable later down the road. I don't want anything "temporary." Like I said earlier, I rather have quality over quantity so to speak.
  4. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

    Mar 15, 2006
    Charles Tyrwhitt would be a good place to visit.

    Since the job will be in London, keep in mind that brown shoes might not be okay for work there and that the British tend toward more colorful dress shirts than do Americans. It makes sense to wait until the move to buy most dress shoes, as quality mid-range footwear is much easier to find in Europe.
  5. Threadbearer

    Threadbearer Senior member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Outside the Beltway but still in the Danger Zone
    Take a look at SuitSupply. They sell inexpensive suits in trim, modern cuts that would probably look quite at home in London.
  6. Balfour

    Balfour Senior member

    May 27, 2012
    Steer away from Pink. Wait until you get to London, and then hit Jermyn Street (in ascending price): Charles Tyrwhitt; New & Lingwood; Turnbull & Asser.

    There is something in the comment about colourful shirts,(*) but I would advise against trying to ape the look. It is a component of a wider look that cannot be achieved by simply adding in a colourful shirt. It also makes co-ordination more difficult, which is not what you need when starting out. FWIW, I don't actually like it myself - I tend to wear pale blue and blue and white shirts and these will look perfectly appropriate.

    (*) See e.g., http://asuitablewardrobe.dynend.com/search?q=jermyn+street.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012

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