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Wardrobe overhaul

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Jeff L., Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Jeff L.

    Jeff L. Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I am looking to overhaul my current wardrobe. First... A few facts about myself, and profession.

    I'm a 39 yr old Elementary School Teacher. 5'11 210 lbs.

    Their is really no specific dress code for my current school, however, I usually tend to dress somewhat business casual, I guess you would say.

    I'm trying to create a wardrobe that I can wear to school, as well as social functions... dinner out with the wife, church on the weekends, etc.

    First of all what would you recommend as far as trousers and shirts.

    what about shoes that I could use for a 5 day rotation.

    By the way.... love this forum.

    Thank you in advance,

    Jeff
     
  2. philosophe

    philosophe Senior member

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    Could you tell us more about what you're wearing now? For example, are you wearing khakis and the like to school? Wool trousers? etc. Then we could make some specific suggestions.
     
  3. Jeff L.

    Jeff L. Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I'm currently wearing Khakis, button down oxford shirts, and slip on shoes, in either cordovan or black.
     
  4. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

    Messages:
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    It would also be useful to know what you want to spend, what your priorities are, etc. Do you want to wear sportcoats?

    As for shoes, I would recommend getting at least one pair of suede shoes. They look great worn casually, but can be worn dressy, and they are a tiny bit unusual. These are a great deal at $125 each using this link: www.ctshirts.com/spots

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. philosophe

    philosophe Senior member

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    Suede shoes could be great. We are, as you've no doubt noticed, shoe fanatics around here.

    One clear upgrade would to mix some wool trousers in your rotation. In cooler weather, corduroy would be nice as well. Would something like Brooks Brothers work for you, price and/or style-wise?

    Sportcoats would also make sense.

    Could you tell us more about your budget, your taste, and your shopping options?

    Last but not least, an SF favorite is sierratradingpost.com. They sell lots of good stuff at great prices, and their return policy is very liberal. That might be good source of trousers, shirts, shoes, etc.
     
  6. Jeff L.

    Jeff L. Member

    Messages:
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    Mar 13, 2006
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Yes I would like to wear a sportcoat. I currently do not own one. Suggestions would be appreciated.

    I am looking to spend around 3k.

    By the way... the shoes you mentioned look great.

    Please keep the replies coming.
     
  7. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    For 3K, with some judicious shopping, you can do very well. I'd shoot for something like this:

    5 pairs of goodyear welted shoes (1 black, 4 brown). You should be able to get five pairs for under $1000 total, $750 if you are disciplined, $500 if you are willing to buy (barely) used off of eBay. Mix and match:
    one suede
    one monkstrap
    one wingtip
    one burgundy
    one cap toe brogue balmoral or blucher
    one boot (chukka or chelsea)

    Minmum 3 sportcoats. Budget maybe $250 each. This is going to be a bit more difficult. If you want the money to stretch, figure out your measurements and buy on eBay. If you do, you can easily get more. Perhaps a corduroy for fall, a seersucker for summer, etc:
    One three season wool navy blazer (with or without metal buttons)
    One fall/winter tweed
    One summer weight wool/cotton/linen

    10 shirts, perhaps one or two of which is a button-down collar. Brooks Brothers is a good source for these. Decent quality shirts at a reasonable price. Their shirts are also easy to buy on eBay for about $40 a shirt. I'd get at least:
    3 solid (2 white, 1 french blue)
    3 checked
    4 striped

    10 pairs of trousers. I'd be sure to include:
    one grey flannel
    one corduroy
    one linen
    one cotton poplin

    8 ties. Discounters like Filene's Basement and Marshall's can have good ties. Again, eBay is awash in decent quality ties under $20. Ties can really blow your budget if you pay full retail, but you can find good deals pretty easily.

    So maybe the budget would work as follows. You could probably cut back on both ties if you wear them infrequently, and could toss more money into the catch-all Misc.:

    Shoes $750
    Sportcoats $750
    Shirts $400
    Trousers $800
    Ties $150
    Misc (belts, pocket squares, socks) $150
    Total: $2850


    Resources:

    A good place to check is www.virtualclotheshorse.com. The owner is a member of this forum, and his prices and service are both excellent.

    A good ebay seller for quality shoes is Grapevinehill:
    http://stores.ebay.com/Grapevinehill...Q3amesstQQtZkm

    You can buy shoes from Allen Edmonds on eBay, though usually in discontinued styles or odd sizes:
    http://stores.ebay.com/Allen-Edmonds...Q3amesstQQtZkm

    I'd echo the recommendation of Sierra Trading Post. It's a great resource, and there are good deals. Plus, discount codes often surface for 10-20% off.

    Keep your eyes on the Buying and Selling forum here. Members (self included) often sell their own high-end clothes, or items they've bought new to resell at very good prices.
     
  8. JBZ

    JBZ Senior member

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    Oct 14, 2003
    The way you're dressing already really isn't that bad (perhaps not terribly imaginative, but not bad), so it's not like you're starting from scratch. You probably just need a little variety in your wardrobe, which most of the suggestions above will give you.

    Brooks Brothers is having a 25% off sale right now (if you purchase with a BB card - 15% without the card). I've had really good luck with their trousers. Also, their sport coats are nothing terribly special when it comes to quality, by the styles are classic - you could do a lot worse.

    I'm not sure you need quite as many shoes and trousers as chorse suggests (although, the more the merrier [​IMG] ). You can probably get by with three pairs of shoes to start. Let's say one black and two browns, one of which could be a suede, if you like the style. You may want to opt for 7 or 8 pairs of trousers instead of 10 (you could even get by on 6, which is more than one for each day of the work week).

    Also, it hasn't been mentioned yet, but you should own at least one suit if you don't already. If you're only going to have one suit, a solid navy or charcoal two button single breasted would be my choice. You can use the suit jacket as an additional sport coat.
     
  9. Tck13

    Tck13 Senior member

    Messages:
    5,750
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    Philly
    I've posted this before but I like the list:

    I found this in a book I recently purchased called "What Not to Wear". I kinda like the list as it seems to cover most bases. It seems to be a good goal to shoot for. (Except tuxedo event)

    I forgot to add; this list should be considered a bare minimum!

    1. A heavier weight wool 2 or 3 button suit in charcoal or navy
    2. A tropical weight wool 2 or 3 button suit in brown or med. grey
    3. A tweed sport coat (Personally, not tweed for me, but...)
    4. At least 6 dress shirts (sized neck and sleeve)
    5. 6 sport shirts, long or short sleeve, some polos mixed in
    6. 6 ties
    7. 2 pocket squares
    8. 3 sweaters (pref. cashmere)
    9. An overcoat
    10. Brown loafers
    11. Black loafers
    12. Brown lace ups
    13. Black lace ups
    14. 2 pairs of jeans- lighter for day, darker for night / dressier
    15. 1 pair cargo, painter, carpenter pants
    16. 1 brown belt
    17. 1 black belt
    18. 1 QUALITY umbrella
    19. 1 leather briefcase
    20. 1 metal band watch
    21. 1 leather band watch
    22. 1 non-athletic sneaker
     
  10. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    Nov 7, 2003
    Location:
    Heart of America
    Jeff, where in Kentucky are you?

    AlanC
    Displaced Kentuckian
     
  11. acidboy

    acidboy Senior member

    Messages:
    21,170
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    I've posted this before but I like the list:

    I found this in a book I recently purchased called "What Not to Wear". I kinda like the list as it seems to cover most bases. It seems to be a good goal to shoot for. (Except tuxedo event)

    I forgot to add; this list should be considered a bare minimum!

    1. A heavier weight wool 2 or 3 button suit in charcoal or navy
    2. A tropical weight wool 2 or 3 button suit in brown or med. grey
    3. A tweed sport coat (Personally, not tweed for me, but...)
    4. At least 6 dress shirts (sized neck and sleeve)
    5. 6 sport shirts, long or short sleeve, some polos mixed in
    6. 6 ties
    7. 2 pocket squares
    8. 3 sweaters (pref. cashmere)
    9. An overcoat
    10. Brown loafers
    11. Black loafers
    12. Brown lace ups
    13. Black lace ups
    14. 2 pairs of jeans- lighter for day, darker for night / dressier
    15. 1 pair cargo, painter, carpenter pants
    16. 1 brown belt
    17. 1 black belt
    18. 1 QUALITY umbrella
    19. 1 leather briefcase
    20. 1 metal band watch
    21. 1 leather band watch
    22. 1 non-athletic sneaker



    #15- i'd rather forego the worker pants and purchase good pyjamas
     
  12. philosophe

    philosophe Senior member

    Messages:
    4,892
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    A few other suggestions: Check out Four-in-hand ties. Jonathan, the owner, posts here, and members have raved about his products and service. I believe the address is www.fourinhand.com. Also check out carlofranco.com; Chuck and Jill post here. They are also on ebay as sartorialsolutions.
     
  13. Jeff L.

    Jeff L. Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Thank you all for you replies.

    Alan C.- I am from Louisville..... The "Derby City"
     
  14. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

    Messages:
    4,536
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    The replies contain some good guidelines, though with a few too many items and no mention of goodies like merino wool sweaters and cotton-linen pants. The jeans sound unnecessary.

    If you have $3000 to spend on a casual wardrobe, little urgency, and many pieces that could be mixed in with the new, it is best to spend it gradually (and maybe not completely). That way, you discover your own tastes and let others get used to the new you.

    By the way, let some call it blasphemous, but as a teacher (probably moving around a lot), you might do well with no-iron dress shirts.
     
  15. tiger02

    tiger02 Senior member

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    Location:
    NYC
    Jeans will get 10x the wear of cotton-linen pants
     
  16. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

    Messages:
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    They'll technically hold together much longer, but that is only relevant to the general and excessive popularity of jeans. This isn't working outdoors. It is teaching, and the person in question apparently already eschews jeans.
     

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