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Old 08-14-2009, 04:35 PM
 
339 posts, read 2,067,367 times
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Hi,

Basically, I'm looking at buying more professional clothes (business-casual and business formal), and I needed some help on what brands, styles, etc. to look for. I also prefer something that is classic/classy rather than trendy even within the professional realm of clothing. I tend to avoid flashy as much as possible.

So some others have told me that I should first focus on blazers/suits (one blue, one charcoal, one beige) and shoes first. The rest can come afterwards. So what are good, affordable brands for those two items? Brands I typically wear include Polo Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, sometimes J. Crew (although I've been unimpressed with their quality lately), but since a suit will last me much longer than say a polo, I thought I'd buy something a bit higher class than that, and am looking into the more famous brands (i.e. Burberry, D&G, Versace, etc.), so any advice on who makes good shoes and suits? I know sometimes (whether or not it's fair is another story) there is a stigma that people who wear D&G and such are "gay", (please, please, please don't get offended. I'm not saying that it's right that they judge like that), so if there is a brand that typically doesn't have this association but is still higher fashion, that would be ideal. I've heard that Burberry, Armani, and Purple Label (I won't be able to find Purple Label in Oregon though) are generally more "masculine" but anything else?
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Old 08-14-2009, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 11,067,859 times
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I can't tell you brands as much. What I would look for in a basic men's preppy wardrobe are the following:

Lined Navy blue blazer with gold buttons (double breasted if you're thin), good quality Khaki pants, silk or cashmere mock turtle neck tops, black suit with matching pants, Hounsetooth checked or Herringbone suit jacket and matching grey or dk brown pants, couple of white shirts, couple of colored shirts, couple of lightly geometric or stiped ties (yellow, grey, beige, maroon, navy). They will generally have free or low cost tailoring to make a more perfect fit.

Shoes: tassle loafers med brown, slip on squared toed dk brown and lace up formal black, all good leather. Dark dress socks. A good neutral belted raincoat. You may also want a couple of tweed short sleeved shirts with collars for warmer weather. Also leather boat shoes, dress shorts, sweater.
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Rural New Mexico
557 posts, read 2,355,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgoldie View Post
I can't tell you brands as much. What I would look for in a basic men's preppy wardrobe are the following:

Lined Navy blue blazer with gold buttons (double breasted if you're thin), good quality Khaki pants, silk or cashmere mock turtle neck tops, black suit with matching pants, Hounsetooth checked or Herringbone suit jacket and matching grey or dk brown pants, couple of white shirts, couple of colored shirts, couple of lightly geometric or stiped ties (yellow, grey, beige, maroon, navy). They will generally have free or low cost tailoring to make a more perfect fit.

Shoes: tassle loafers med brown, slip on squared toed dk brown and lace up formal black, all good leather. Dark dress socks. A good neutral belted raincoat. You may also want a couple of tweed short sleeved shirts with collars for warmer weather. Also leather boat shoes, dress shorts, sweater.
Good post. Like the suggestions above. Do you know what colors flatter you? A well made jacket or suit in the wrong color for you isn't worth it in my book. Another suggestion: find a good men's store, too, where they can advise you. Remember that natural fibers are best (wool (including cashmere), cotton, silk). May I ask your approximate age?
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:01 PM
 
339 posts, read 2,067,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suninhair View Post
good post. Like the suggestions above. Do you know what colors flatter you? A well made jacket or suit in the wrong color for you isn't worth it in my book. Another suggestion: Find a good men's store, too, where they can advise you. Remember that natural fibers are best (wool (including cashmere), cotton, silk). May i ask your approximate age?
19
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:07 PM
 
Location: appleton, wi
1,357 posts, read 5,130,762 times
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It's late so I'm not writing a novel, but what you should do is grab yourself an issue of GQ. That's how I learned how to polish up. I'm 31, by the way, and one of the cleanest dressed at my office.

First and foremost the fit of the clothes is much more important than the brand or pricetag. If it doesn't fit, it won't look good. That's shirt, pants, and suit, and still consider getting them tailored a bit. ESPECIALLY suits. I just buy Express, Banana Republic and Gap shirts because they fit and the price is right. Usually have the sides taken in a bit. If you take care of them they should last long enough. Be choosy, all three of these brands are hit or miss.

Also, at 19 I wouldn't go blowing a grand or more on a suit. Actually GQ does a yearly "best suits under $500" article, check their website to see if it's listed. There's a lot to picking out a suit. Business casual could be any color, tan, grey, even black with the right shirt or shoes. Formal business should always be dark, dark navy or black and shy away from stripes. Next, a peak lapel is more stylish but a notch is probably more versatile. Two button jacket, I wouldn't double breast at this point. Flat front pants, cuffed at the bottom comes in style and goes out just as fast, I don't cuff mine. And slightly tapered leg. If you spend $400 on the suit and $100 in good tailoring no one will ever question it. Last one I bought was a CK on sale for like $400 from Macys.com

Shoes are... you can spend $300 on a pair, I wouldn't. $100 or $150 will get you something nice and won't break the bank. Save that for your 30's, just keep them real polished. Try Aldo or Banana Republic has some. For versatility get slim, black shoes. If you're stylish try brown, the lighter the brown the more stylish or daring or whatever.

Ok that's a novel. Cliffs Notes: It's not what you spend, it's how it fits you, and how you take care of it.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Rural New Mexico
557 posts, read 2,355,718 times
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You're 19 and already you appreciate quality clothes in a classic look--that's great! Designer clothes are nice if you can afford them. If you want to save money you might consider non-designer labels but yet well made (check with Brooks Bros., Nordstrom?). Check to see how the garment is made inside and out, how does it "hang" on you, etc. Maybe you know all this already. Do you know which colors suit you best? Does black flatter you or not really? Is chocolate brown better? Warm grey or cool grey? A bright white dress shirt or one in off white? Is true navy blue better, or a marine navy blue instead? If the color part interest you, let me know and I can recommend some reading if you like on clothing colors for men. By the way, I like Cole-Haan shoes for men.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Rural New Mexico
557 posts, read 2,355,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yo vanilla View Post
It's late so I'm not writing a novel, but what you should do is grab yourself an issue of GQ. That's how I learned how to polish up. I'm 31, by the way, and one of the cleanest dressed at my office.

First and foremost the fit of the clothes is much more important than the brand or pricetag. If it doesn't fit, it won't look good. That's shirt, pants, and suit, and still consider getting them tailored a bit. ESPECIALLY suits. I just buy Express, Banana Republic and Gap shirts because they fit and the price is right. Usually have the sides taken in a bit. If you take care of them they should last long enough. Be choosy, all three of these brands are hit or miss.

Also, at 19 I wouldn't go blowing a grand or more on a suit. Actually GQ does a yearly "best suits under $500" article, check their website to see if it's listed. There's a lot to picking out a suit. Business casual could be any color, tan, grey, even black with the right shirt or shoes. Formal business should always be dark, dark navy or black and shy away from stripes. Next, a peak lapel is more stylish but a notch is probably more versatile. Two button jacket, I wouldn't double breast at this point. Flat front pants, cuffed at the bottom comes in style and goes out just as fast, I don't cuff mine. And slightly tapered leg. If you spend $400 on the suit and $100 in good tailoring no one will ever question it. Last one I bought was a CK on sale for like $400 from Macys.com

Shoes are... you can spend $300 on a pair, I wouldn't. $100 or $150 will get you something nice and won't break the bank. Save that for your 30's, just keep them real polished. Try Aldo or Banana Republic has some. For versatility get slim, black shoes. If you're stylish try brown, the lighter the brown the more stylish or daring or whatever.

Ok that's a novel. Cliffs Notes: It's not what you spend, it's how it fits you, and how you take care of it.
Righto. Tailoring IS important. Suits and sport jackets off the rack almost never fit as is. If you're 5'8" or under, do not cuff your pants or it will make you appear shorter. Brown and tan blazers can be tricky if you want to look truly professional and taken seriously (that's just my opinion). The right shades of navy and grey for your hair and skin color are always safe.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:08 AM
 
339 posts, read 2,067,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunInHair View Post
Righto. Tailoring IS important. Suits and sport jackets off the rack almost never fit as is. If you're 5'8" or under, do not cuff your pants or it will make you appear shorter. Brown and tan blazers can be tricky if you want to look truly professional and taken seriously (that's just my opinion). The right shades of navy and grey for your hair and skin color are always safe.
Alright, I am 5 foot 6 (although I still have time to grow, it's probably not much), and I'm Indian, so I have darker skin. I think darker colors fit me best, so should I just get pin striped black, navy, and dark brown, or would that be "too dark"?
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
887 posts, read 2,697,268 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumpman023 View Post
So some others have told me that I should first focus on blazers/suits (one blue, one charcoal, one beige) and shoes first. The rest can come afterwards. So what are good, affordable brands for those two items? Brands I typically wear include Polo Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, sometimes J. Crew
Lacoste is getting trashy and I find it less superior than other brands. They fade fast in the sun and the dyes never stay vibrant. They also shrink at initial purchase so you either have to size up when you buy or be careful washing. I wouldn't suggest that brand for polo shirt purchase anymore, even though I continue to wear my old ones.

For blazers and other fine menswear, check out: Hickey Freeman, Robert Talbott, Ike Behar, Scott Barber, Allen Edmonds, Zanella, etc. Brands like this. There a TON of unique brands in the internet world as well. Check out: AskAndyAboutClothes..

Quote:
(i.e. Burberry, D&G, Versace, etc.), so any advice on who makes good shoes and suits? I've heard that Burberry, Armani, and Purple Label (I won't be able to find Purple Label in Oregon though) are generally more "masculine" but anything else?
All of these brands except Purple Label and are pretty "trendy" and overpriced for their quality. Check out Oxxford, Brioni and those types of brands over these.

Are you going to work a job where you need this stuff? I do by with sportshirts and jeans at my job and actually wear nicer clothing on weekends and at parties so don't overbuy.
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
14,089 posts, read 24,080,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumpman023 View Post
Alright, I am 5 foot 6 (although I still have time to grow, it's probably not much), and I'm Indian, so I have darker skin. I think darker colors fit me best, so should I just get pin striped black, navy, and dark brown, or would that be "too dark"?
You're close to my height. You will absolutely have to tailor the clothes, especially the shirts and jackets. Almost all off the rack shirts and jackets will have sleeves that are too long. Pin stripes, if cut right, will make you appear taller than you are. Sears and Penny's has some pretty good clothes without breaking the bank. They're not Walmart cheap so they won't fall apart after a few weeks. They'd be a good place to start if you're on a budget. If money is no object then a custom made suit from a good tailor is the best way to go. Select your jackets for flexibility. A good jacket can go with many other outfits. I've seen people select a jacket because it matches a particular color outfit only to discover it doesn't go well with the rest of the suits they have. I'm going to pass on a slogan we had in the military,...pay attention to detail. It's the tiny rarely seen details that can make a suit. Cufflinks, tie clip/pin, belt, socks, under shirt, and hair grooming all make a big difference. You can have a top quality suit look like garbage if your hair isn't done right, your face has spotty shave, cheap cufflinks and tie pin, cheap belt, and a stretched undershirt. Another thing to consider is your closet. Don't pack your clothing in the closet so tight they press wrinkles while on the hanger. Allow space between outfits so that they barely touch. Don't forget a lint brush. There are some handy pocket size folding models for travel. I use to dress preppy in high school. Slacks, matching belt and shirt, leather dress casual shoes, etc. I miss dressing like that. I now work in a hospital boiler room on a rotating shift. I do still have slacks and shirts and wear them on rare occasions. Most of my off time is spent caring for our home, my 83 year old fatherinlaw who lives with us, and my wife who has spinal problems.
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