Have no idea where to start. For, let’s say, someone just entering the job force with limited funds (Lets say $1500), what would you recommend? Let’s assume this person needs to wear a suit 2 times a week, business casual the rest of the time.For same person, what do you recommend for casual wear? Ever post on Styleforum?
Great questions. To start with, the prices I give are in AU$. Consider that here, cost of living is much higher so clothes/everything is more expensive than in the US (but we get higher wages so it evens out).
Entering the Workforce
If you ever need to buy a suit, it’s always best to get one that has a quality/fit/style that will last for years. Every man is different, with a different body type and different needs. But almost everybody will look great in a deep charcoal or deep navy suit.
I’m not well-versed with US labels, but here’s what you need to look for when buying a basic first suit:
- Regardless of how much it costs, a suit is worth nothing if it doesn’t fit you. The shoulder is the most important fit area when buying a suit off the rack – the shoulder seam needs to fit right on the joint between your arm and shoulder, and the sleeves should flow nicely down your arms without bunching or being too tight. The waist will almost always need to be taken in by a tailor, and the pants should be slim rather than billowy. If you need a belt to hold up your pants, your pants don’t fit.
- Suits with a floating canvass last far longer than fused suits. A floating canvas means that a layer of canvas is sewn in between the outer and inner layers of fabric in the suit. In cheaper suits, this canvas is glued in (called “fusing”), which tends to wear poorly over time.
- If you’re overweight, you need a suit with a structured shoulder and a slim waist that helps to broaden your silhouette. If you’re athletic, you need less padding in the shoulder and a suit that drapes your body without overly-accentuating it.
- Shoes are one of the most important parts of a suit. The width of the toe should harmonise with the width of your trousers; if you have very slim trousers, you need slim shoes; if you have more relaxed trousers, you need wider shoes.
- Dress shoes should give a flattering shape to the foot. Round, contoured and slim is flattering. Fat, boxy, straight-lined or square-toed is not flattering.
If you had $1500 to spend, I’d roughly suggest:
- $800 on the suit
- $300 on shoes -  /r/malefashionadvice would kill me for not suggesting a nice pair of brown Allen Edmonds brogues, which are incredibly versatile, can be worn with a suit or with jeans, and will last for many years.
- $150 on some 3 basic dress shirts. Lands End seems popular and cheap although I can’t vouch for them as they’re not available in Australia. But get a light blue one, a white one and a nice patterny one.
- $50-$100 on a basic pair of chinos. I like Dr Denim’s chinos as they’re well-fitted yet nice and relaxed, although they can be a little pricey.
- $200-$300 on a casual blazer/sport coat. 2-button, no garish features, just something well-fitted and versatile.
With a wardrobe like that you’ll be well-equipped for just about any situation, good basic wardrobe to get you started. As I said, unsure of how much suits cost in the USA, so you may find that a nice off-the-rack suit + tailoring could come in at less than $800, giving you more cash to spend on shirts/ties/pocket squares/whatever you like.
Casual Wear for the Young Business Man
As above, you can easily put together some great outfits that can be worn at work/to cafes/while partaking in an undercover drug sting. Chinos + dress shirt + blazer + dress shoes are the most common option go sans blazer in hot weather, add a scarf and thicker fabrics for colder weather.
It sounds very limiting, but with basic items like that you can make thousands of different outfits by playing with different colours, fabrics and patterns.
I read from time to time, but never made an account. Same with Sufu, Hyperbeast, Stylezeitgeist, Ask Andy About Clothes and many others – there are so many great guys on those forums, they’re a goldmine for anyone interested in men’s style.