Are you a “newbie” in the business world and are looking to buy your first suit? Or are you taking on a new job that requires you to wear suit and tie, and need some advice on what to buy? This article will help you find the perfect suit, dress shirts, neckties, shoes, belt, and other accessories without breaking the bank. If you follow the advice below you should have no problem to create a basic business wardrobe for under $500.
Your suit will be the most expensive clothing item for your new outfit. What determines the price of a suit is the designer label, the fabrics, as well as where you shop. What is most important is the right fit, and the fabric quality. Recommended are suits that are made from 100% wool. Synthetic fibers and fabric-blends may be much cheaper, but will also be much less comfortable. Chose a suit that is made from 100% wool, and is a so called “Super 100” or “Super 120” wool – a number that refers to the quality of the wool.
When trying on a suit, make sure that the shoulders fit correctly. Choose a cut that fits your body type: More athletic built men should choose the more tapered, so-called “European cut” suit, while bigger men are much better off with an “American” cut style. Once you found your suit style that fits correctly at the shoulders, it may be necessary to adjust the sleeve length. The sleeves should have a length so that 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of dress shirt is showing when you are sitting with your arms forward.
If you are shopping for your first suit, then choose a color that is classic, easy to match, and well-suited for any season of the year. Great are solid navy blue or charcoal gray suits. When buying your first suit stay away from pin-stripe and checkered patterns as those are much less versatile and much harder to match to shirt and tie.
A 100% Super100 wool suit can be found for under $300. Look for sales at your local men’s store. Some retailers even offer an additional discount on a second suit. If this is the case, check with your friends or co-workers. Maybe you can share those additional savings.
Your Dress Shirts:
Now that you found your perfect suit, it is time to find the right dress shirts. Most important, once again, is the right fit. The collar should fit so that about 1-2 fingers can be slipped in between the buttoned collar and your neck. Your sleeves should fit so that they don’t slide up when bringing your arms forward. If you have a athletic and/or lean built then choose a dress shirt that has a more tapered cut at the waistline.
Next, think about the colors and patterns. If you are building a new business wardrobe, then the first 2-3 dress shirts should be solid white in color. They are classic, well accepted in any office environment, and are also easiest to match to any suit and tie. Once you have your white dress shirts, choose 1-2 shirts in a light to medium-blue color. Once you have these basics, you can add some more colors and even patterns. A quality 100% cotton dress shirt, when on sale, can be bought for less than $30. Choose 2 whites and one light blue for your first business outfit.
Ties, Shoes, Belt, and Other Accessories:
Even though you only have one suit and 2 different types of dress shirts, you can create a new look by choosing the right type of accessories. The best way to do this is by having a good selection of ties to choose from. The best and most classic “business ties” are striped ties, navy ties, neckties in burgundy, and fine patterned neckties. Choose 5-7 different ties and you will be able to create a new outfit every day of the week. We, at Ties-Necktie offer quality ties for less than $10 each.
Finally choose a nice pair of black leather dress shoes and a matching black belt. A decent pair of shoes, when on sale, can be bought for less than $60. Still have some room in your budget? Then add a few other accessories such as a nice set of cufflinks. Please note, that the cufflink color should match the color of your belt buckle. In addition, cufflinks require you to wear a so-called French cuffed (also known as double-cuffed) dress shirt.
A Quite Note on Clothing Care:
If you only have one suit and one pair of dress shoes, then proper care is even more important for the professional looking outfit each day. Hang your suit on a hanger in a well-ventilated area after each day. Also, never drive with your suit jacket on. Don’t use wire hangers but invest in a wooden suit hanger with a wider shoulder area. For proper shoe care, make sure to polish them with shoe-wax on a regular basis. If you live in a wet climate make sure to use water-repellent spray. Shoe-trees are also recommended to keep the shape of the shoes free from wrinkles and cracks. For more information on shoe care you may also want to read: Shoes Don’t Grow on Trees.