Where to start

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dunivan, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    Perhaps so, but if it's a conservative workplace, the colors and patterns probably will be restricted, and then other suit details (or ties, shoes, hairstyle, etc.) will be visual determinants of whether someone is, ahem, a "stuffed suit." We're far enough from the original purpose of the thread now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013


  2. dunivan

    dunivan Active Member

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    Wow, some great insight here - thanks for the input.

    I happen to love the black suit, and it is surprisingly common to see a black suit in court, that said, I will not buy another one. I think charcoal is more useful.

    As for budget - I am a new attorney so Jos. A. Bank (GASP!) is comfortable on the wallet, although I know I will be replacing them in 2-3 years.

    I am redefining with staples to start (white, light blue shirt oxford shirts, conservative ties [hard to ditch my Garcia ties though :(], etc)

    As for shoes, I do see the value there first, so I will try to improve that area first.

    Keep it coming and thanks again!
     


  3. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    Depending on how many suits you need, it may be worth your while to try to score one slightly higher quality suit that will stay in your wardrobe for awhile after you replace the JAB stuff and that you can wear for special occasions (solid grey or navy would be a good choice for such a suit). Just a thought and no worries if that just isn't sensible with your budget now. If JAB is what you can afford right now, just make sure you buy the right size and it fits you in the shoulders (I shopped at JAB briefly pre-SF for my first job after undergrad because it was affordable and I definitely had people try to sell me a jacket that was too big) and get them tailored.

    For shirts, I recommend Charles Tyrwhitt over anything from JAB. You can check out the Charles Tyrwhitt thread for thoughts on fits and sizing, but these shirts are much better than what JAB sells IMO. If you buy on the UK website, they are having their 4 for 100GBP semi-perpetual "sale," which translates to 4 for $160 or so plus shipping ($40 per shirt).
     


  4. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    CT is better than JAB, but there's no CT in Florida and 4 items of anything from an unfamiliar brand is too much. T.M. Lewin also has ongoing sales and is better than Jos. A. Bank.

    Making sure of the fit should involve sharing pictures somewhere or feedback from a good tailor in person
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013


  5. TM79

    TM79 Senior member

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    I don't think 4 items is too much if the store allows for returns and you happen to know what size you are.

    I mean, a 15.5/34 (as an example) isn't going to vary widely from one maker to the other and there are certainly enough CT posts on this forum if the OTR fit is a question.
     


  6. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    +1. The biggest issue is getting the correct fit (regular / slim / extra slim) and the sizing guide is helpful here. It's doubtful returns would be necessary but if they are CT's returns policy is great.
     


  7. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    Arrgh. It's hardly about fit. It is about duplication and satisfaction. The latter takes a while to determine. Buy an item from a respectable brand and eventually decide he does not like it much -> x4 is not a good idea.

    Edit: whether or not Charles Tyrwhitt quietly has such a policy, some retailers penalize customers who return a high rate of purchases, which adds an extra risk to buying a batch of items as like-or-return.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013


  8. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    The problem is that shirts are one of those things where you need a decent amount pretty quickly. With suits the idea of buying two and rotating to see how they work for a few weeks before adding additional ones to the rotation (if OP needs to wear a suit daily) can work pretty well and makes a lot of sense. With shirts, he's going to need at least 5 dress shirts in short order and there's just no way around this. He could buy a shirt from multiple different brands but this hardly seems practical. Here we're talking about $160 at risk for a brand that's generally seen as having decent quality for a $40-$50 shirt, which is less than OP is likely to be risking on a single suit.

    FWIW, I've also never had any issues returning items to Charles Tyrwhitt. I don't see OP being penalized even if he does need to make returns.
     


  9. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    Why assume he has no wearable dress shirts or needs everything fast? Anyway, there will be sales at other reputable menswear stores, including Brooks Brothers. For shirts, Paul Fredrick and Jos. A. Bank are passable and often on sale (PF has a new customer dress shirt offer). Also, for image management, two caveats: French cuffs regularly likely would look ostentatious on a new attorney, and exclusively European dress shirts could get a backlash if noticed.
     


  10. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    How would one notice he is wearing shirts from a European brand?

    Re: single vs. double cuffs
    This is an argument for Charles Tyrwhitt over TM Lewin. TM Lewin shirts are very often available only in double cuff, while CT offers a single cuff option on pretty much every shirt they offer.
     


  11. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    BB even on sale tends to be more expensive than the CT offer and he's on a budget. OP said that he was looking for help building a wardrobe / starting out, which I took to mean he doesn't have too much other than what he told us about. If he's working, he'll need a decent amount of dress shirts. If he doesn't need shirts right now, he has some more time (though adding a few from CT, if he does not already have shirts from there, would reduce "duplication").


    +1. We're also talking about $40 shirts, not some $300 luxury shirt.
     


  12. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    The label is very unlikely to be seen. That leaves clothing discussion, at work. If asked, "I get my shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt" might come across as uppity. More likely to be asked due to dressing well. Maybe it would go better as, "I get my shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt - it has great sales" :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013


  13. dunivan

    dunivan Active Member

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    Since we are on shirts, how does Modern Tailor compare to say CT or BB? I like the CT look but am worried about sizing after reading some threads. The deal, however, seems awesome!

    They seem affordable and custom made, but the prices seem too good to be true.
     


  14. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    Proceed at your own risk with online MTM. If you get everything right, it can be wonderful but we see a lot of disasters on here as well. If you are going to try online MTM, I would only do one shirt at a time until you get your pattern right and be sure you are not getting shitty cloth.
     


  15. dunivan

    dunivan Active Member

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    Ok, I think I got it.

    First things first - I am going to a tailor on saturday to alter a suit I bought online so I will get him to take all my measurements.

    I am going to try a Modern Tailor shirt, to see the quality and hopefully get a feel for "proper fit" - all my clothing now is OTR, but the JAB suits were measured and seem to fit really well.

    I think my next suit will be my "upgraded suit" as archibald suggested - depending on how my MTM experience goes, it may be Black Lapel, but OTR Brooks Bros will be a close #2.

    I've been soaking up the site a little bit and see references to black tie rigs, i'm not there yet, but can you really eff that up? Isn't a tux "in style" for a while if you go the trad route?

    And my last noob question - anyone with opinions on tie bar ties for the conservative tie game?
     


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