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2012-10-29 8:48 AM

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Subject: Help!! Business-wear questions...

I recently accepted a new job where I'll be working at the company headquarters rather than in the plants where I've spent most of my career.  Their dress code seems a lot more strict than I'm used to, i.e. no jeans on Fridays, suit/coat & tie if you're meeting with anyone outside the company. 

Most of my current work-wear is  khaki's & either polo shirts or button-ups in a couple patterns & colors, along with a handful of sweaters.  I own a black suit & a charcoal suit, both 3-button.  

Calling on the collective BT intelligence, what should I get as a short-term boost to my professional wardrobe?  I don't even know where to start with this...



2012-10-29 8:56 AM
in reply to: #4473271

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Champion
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Brooklyn, NY
Subject: RE: Help!! Business-wear questions...
Get a navy suit if you don't have one. Either solid color of with a subtle pattern. You can break up the suits by wearing, for example, grey pants with the navy jacket. Get a bunch of dress shirts with straight collars (no buttons) and enough ties that you can mix and match them. Go to a decent men's store or to the men's accessories section of a good department store, find a helpful salesperson, and put yourself in their hands. If you haven't worn your suits in a while, make sure they still fit.
2012-10-29 9:00 AM
in reply to: #4473290

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Subject: RE: Help!! Business-wear questions...
jmk-brooklyn - 2012-10-29 8:56 AM

Get a navy suit if you don't have one. Either solid color of with a subtle pattern. You can break up the suits by wearing, for example, grey pants with the navy jacket. Get a bunch of dress shirts with straight collars (no buttons) and enough ties that you can mix and match them. Go to a decent men's store or to the men's accessories section of a good department store, find a helpful salesperson, and put yourself in their hands. If you haven't worn your suits in a while, make sure they still fit.


What are you.....an HR guy for a clothing company?

I second this. Slacks and button downs (solid colors) and several ties to go between them.

Kohls (if you have one near) always has ties and oxfords on sale as well as suits/slacks.


2012-10-29 9:10 AM
in reply to: #4473271

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Subject: RE: Help!! Business-wear questions...

I would quit immediately and find somewhere else to work.  lol

OK if you insist on staying employed there I personally would shop at places like JC Pennies because it's a lot cheaper.  As others have mentioned you can buy 2 or 3 jackets and several pant/shirt/tie combinations to make a pretty extensive wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Also, you can go there with a regular suit the first day and then recon what everyone else is wearing.  I've seen some places that were strict suit/tie places but then when you get there you see that everyone is wearing collared shirts with no ties.  So make sure you know how strict the dress code is before you stock up too much.

2012-10-29 9:12 AM
in reply to: #4473271

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Subject: RE: Help!! Business-wear questions...
I found that when you do purchase a suit, consider buying two pairs of pants. even though you may be required to have the jacket on hand, usually you will not wear it all the time. pants wear out faster, plus you can dry clean one pair at a time and not be "down' a suit in the rotation. watch a place like Jos.a bank. they will go to 70% off a couple of times a year. good luck! 
2012-10-29 9:30 AM
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Subject: RE: Help!! Business-wear questions...
C F - 2012-10-29 10:12 AM

I found that when you do purchase a suit, consider buying two pairs of pants. even though you may be required to have the jacket on hand, usually you will not wear it all the time. pants wear out faster, plus you can dry clean one pair at a time and not be "down' a suit in the rotation. watch a place like Jos.a bank. they will go to 70% off a couple of times a year. good luck! 


Completely true!!! Mine don't last well at all. I get maybe a year out of them, then have to trash them.


2012-10-29 10:19 AM
in reply to: #4473326

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Subject: RE: Help!! Business-wear questions...
C F - 2012-10-29 9:12 AM

I found that when you do purchase a suit, consider buying two pairs of pants. even though you may be required to have the jacket on hand, usually you will not wear it all the time. pants wear out faster, plus you can dry clean one pair at a time and not be "down' a suit in the rotation.  


The trouble with this strategy is that if you dryclean them seperately, eventually they'll fade to the point that they won't match the jacket anymore and the suit will look weird.
2012-10-29 11:06 AM
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Subject: RE: Help!! Business-wear questions...
A dark blue blazer is a pretty versatile garment. It goes well with khakis too. Paired with dark blue pants it will pass for a suit with a light blue or white dress shirt and tie.
2012-10-29 12:11 PM
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Subject: RE: Help!! Business-wear questions...

mdg2003 - 2012-10-29 11:06 AM A dark blue blazer is a pretty versatile garment. It goes well with khakis too. Paired with dark blue pants it will pass for a suit with a light blue or white dress shirt and tie.

I agree that a blue blazer is quite versitile, but don't try to pass it off as a suit with a pair of blue pants.  Even if the color is very close, the texture will be different and there are a few other subtelties (blazers usually have brass buttons, while suits usually have subdued buttons). 

2012-10-29 12:33 PM
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Subject: RE: Help!! Business-wear questions...

"Dress like your boss".  Check it out and then invest some green in a business wardrobe.  Two stores to check out if you want "look the part" but not "spend the part":

Kohl's and JC Penny

Both have decent quality, nice-looking business-wear and rock-bottom prices.  When the stuff is on sale or closeout, you can really score.  No one will know the difference.  I have 4 JC Penny <$200 suits that are just fine and hold up very well.

On my last trip to Kohl's I came away with a pair of slacks, 3 shirts and 2 ties for $100.  Not bad at all.

 

 

2012-10-29 12:33 PM
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Subject: RE: Help!! Business-wear questions...
A lot depends on your company and the culture. I try to keep a tweed jacket handy, since it goes with a lot of the pants that I wear.

YMMV.


2012-10-29 12:51 PM
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Subject: RE: Help!! Business-wear questions...

Get a navy suit either solid or with a very minimalistic pinstripe.  Also get a gray suit with the
same pattern suggestion.  To supplement that, get 2 or 3 sports jackets and pants that you can mix and match them.  A few dress shirts and ties and that should get you through the first few months.

A few things that I would keep in mind:

Look at the fabric label, make sure is 100% Wool, you don’t want synthetic fabrics.  Wool will normally be more expensive but well worth the money. 

Find a good tailor in your area.  A “cheap” suit that fits properly looks much better than an expensive suit that doesn’t fit you properly.  I cannot emphasize fit enough, the vast majority of man wear ill fitting jackets, if you make sure that yours fit, you will standout without spending a lot.

Build your wardrobe little by little.  Visit stores like Marshalls, Ross, T.J Maxx and you can find great bargains.  Also, check the Christmas sales at Macy’s and big name department stores.

Do not neglect the shoes or belt, also a good leather briefcase, messenger back, etc, will make a ton of difference.

2012-10-29 2:03 PM
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Subject: RE: Help!! Business-wear questions...
Can I interest you in the software industry in Seattle?
2012-10-31 4:07 PM
in reply to: #4473271

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Subject: RE: Help!! Business-wear questions...
First, be sure that you need to wear suits, and not simply a sport coat or blazer and slacks.

Personally, I like Jos. A. Bank. The shirts fit well, and tend to be more exact in their sizing, they wear well and hold up nicely, and are professional-looking. If you're smart, you can get shirts on clearance for $19.99. And once you know your sizing, you can order them online. I've done this on numerous occasions, and been quite happy with it. You can never go wrong with a solid colored shirt, especially in various shades of blue. I would avoid wearing red shirts, though, as they can be construed as intimidating or distracting in some circles (red ties are acceptable).

For ties, I find that you can go a couple different ways. Personally, I avoid any bold prints, and novelty-type stuff (no Santas or jockeys). Generally speaking, the tie should draw the eye upwards to your face, so something that sets off your shirt and has some sort of visual appeal without overpowering the rest of the outfit is best.

The important thing in all of this is fit. Personally, I'm willing to pay a little extra if the clothing fits me properly. I have run into issues with all the bigger-name stuff, especially in the sleeve length and around the chest/shoulder. I'm not huge, but I apparently don't meet the definition of "slim fit" either.

Shoes - black, laces or slip-on, with a pointed (or at least defined) toe. If you don't know how to shine them, start learning (it's not hard at all). You can also get away with cordovan/burgundy and navy or grey slacks.
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