Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

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blsingindisguise
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:30 pm

starch is also bad for the fabric of your shirts if they're any good

as is dry cleaning for your suit -- ask them to PRESS the suit and not clean it, and only clean it a couple times a year assuming you're not wearing it every day.

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:34 pm

fastforward wrote:I have refrained from posting on these haberdashery threads until now. But I continue to see, everywhere, violations of some basic rules that I haven't seen addressed elsewhere in these forums. I don't know anyone who attributes their landing a job in the legal field to their well-turned-out appearance. Still, sartorial mistakes can distract from your stellar professional credentials. The idea is to convey that you know and follow certain unspoken rules.

The tie --whatever knot -- should have the tip fall just at the bottom of the belt buckle when the man is standing straight. A four-in-hand is the easiest to master, and you will never go wrong with it. But the critical thing is the length, followed closely by symmetry of the knot. Practice, practice, practice. The tie always should be silk, in a conservative pattern such as a burgundy/navy/cream rep or foulard. A burgundy foulard will work with any conservative suit. Avoid a pocket square unless you know exactly what you are doing.

It should be second nature for a well-dressed man to unbutton the suit coat upon taking a seat, and to fasten one button upon rising. This is de rigueur courtroom and business meeting behavior, so attorneys interviewing you may unconsciously notice if you do not execute this maneuver with insouciance.

Belt and shoes should be fine quality leather (calfskin is always a good bet), and the belt should match the shoes in color. Socks should be silk blend or mercerized cotton in a dark color (no pattern until you're hired) to coordinate with suit color. These forums have many recommendations about brands of shoe. Men whose taste I trust tell me the Bostonian oxford is most comfortable, and their appearance never fails if you get the proper size and keep them treed in the closet. Need I mention spit-polish shine? DIY polish can produce an excellent result, but can be messy, so plan ahead. Once you own a pair of quality shoes, you should have a shoe brush and know how to use it. Be sure to get the shoes re-heeled when they wear, usually at the outside corners. Avoid fashion statements such as the Ari Gold square-toed slip-on.

For shirts, a solid white or ecru pinpoint oxford with a straight collar is always appropriate. Button-down and tab collars tend to bunch; spread collars look effete. If you might not have the time to get a shirt professionally laundered, have at least one high-quality no-iron shirt on hand. When you send your shirts out, ask for hangers (your other choice is folded), and heavy or medium starch. Absolutely imperative is that about 1/2 inch of cuff show past your suit coat at the wrist -- no more and no less (unless you are wearing a shirt with French cuffs and cuff links, in which case you should show cuff to just past the link; but your law school wardrobe does not call for cuff links). Wear a wife beater or v neck undershirt; a proper dress shirt will feel scratchy and if you are uncomfortable it will show in your bearing.

As for suits, until you need and can afford more wardrobe choices, stick to solids in very dark gray and navy. Brand does not matter so much as quality. As the posts above attest, price does not equal quality. There is a rich abundance of information on these forums about suit quality. Search these forums for a discussion of fused vs. canvassed suits. Get the best quality you can afford. Your suit should fit like a glove, which requires professional tailoring, so be sure to factor that into the cost. Avoid cuffs and pleats in the trousers. Wear your dress shoes to your fitting. A good tailor will be certain your trousers "break" perfectly over your shoes. Avoid a suit coat with no vent. For most men, a single vent is most flattering. A double vent is best only if you have a wide rear-end; avoid them otherwise.

I wish it could go without saying, but wardrobe maintenance is important. The scent of cigar on your suit from your cousin's wedding has not disappeared even though you no longer detect it. The pattern of your tie will not camouflage the minor drip from that errant salad dressing.

Once you have mastered the basics, you can experiment with, say, a pin stripe suit, braces (i.e. suspenders, which btw, should never match the tie), or a colorful paisley tie.

The idea is to avoid being judged for your wardrobe choices. Do everything well, and they'll have a good impression of you for reasons they might not be able to articulate. Do one thing wrong, and something they can't quite express may annoy them about you.

This is amazing.

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vamedic03
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby vamedic03 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:53 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:
3) A proper four-in-hand is assymetrical, so i don't see how you can focus on symmetry. In any case, better to wear a half-windsor to interviews/court type situations.

4) STRONGLY disagree about wife-beaters/v-necks -- the outlines tend to show through the dress shirt and should be avoided unless you need to wear one with a business casual shirt. Tees are better because the only place their outline will be noticeable will be below the shoulders. I have also never heard of proper dress shirts being "scratchy."


Strongly agree with #3. As to #4, the only reason your dress shirts are 'scratchy' is because they're being starched. Ask for starch on the collar only, or no starch at all. Starch only serves to accentuate wrinkles.

Also, as to fastfoward's advice re: suits - there is no reason to avoid pleats with suit pants. It's one thing if you don't like pleated slacks, but many fine quality suits have pleated pants. Pleats are designed to make the suit more comfortable to sit in and no one notices them when work as a suit.

spets
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby spets » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:24 am

blsingindisguise wrote:Some good stuff in the long post above but I disagree on a few points:

1) Spread collars do not look "effete" - that's silly

2) A matter of preference, but I say the tie point should come closer to the top of the waistband when you stand up 100% straight. Inevitably, most people don't stand 100% straight most of the time and as such the tie can look too long and sloppy if it's tied to reach the bottom of the belt. In any case, I would not go a millimeter further than the bottom of the belt.

3) A proper four-in-hand is assymetrical, so i don't see how you can focus on symmetry. In any case, better to wear a half-windsor to interviews/court type situations.

4) STRONGLY disagree about wife-beaters/v-necks -- the outlines tend to show through the dress shirt and should be avoided unless you need to wear one with a business casual shirt. Tees are better because the only place their outline will be noticeable will be below the shoulders. I have also never heard of proper dress shirts being "scratchy."


+1

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kalvano
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby kalvano » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:46 am

vamedic03 wrote:Also, as to fastfoward's advice re: suits - there is no reason to avoid pleats with suit pants. It's one thing if you don't like pleated slacks, but many fine quality suits have pleated pants. Pleats are designed to make the suit more comfortable to sit in and no one notices them when work as a suit.



+1.


Also, why the hell would you avoid cuffed pants? That looks weird, especially on suits.

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ahduth
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby ahduth » Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:23 am

kalvano wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:Also, as to fastfoward's advice re: suits - there is no reason to avoid pleats with suit pants. It's one thing if you don't like pleated slacks, but many fine quality suits have pleated pants. Pleats are designed to make the suit more comfortable to sit in and no one notices them when work as a suit.



+1.


Also, why the hell would you avoid cuffed pants? That looks weird, especially on suits.


I think both are avoided, because they look less dressy. For "working" suits, they're fine. But if you're going to an "event," such as an interview, they're not going to look as classy as non-cuffed, non-pleated pants. That's just my take however, I'm not exactly a sartorial god over here.

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vamedic03
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby vamedic03 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:46 am

ahduth wrote:
kalvano wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:Also, as to fastfoward's advice re: suits - there is no reason to avoid pleats with suit pants. It's one thing if you don't like pleated slacks, but many fine quality suits have pleated pants. Pleats are designed to make the suit more comfortable to sit in and no one notices them when work as a suit.



+1.


Also, why the hell would you avoid cuffed pants? That looks weird, especially on suits.


I think both are avoided, because they look less dressy. For "working" suits, they're fine. But if you're going to an "event," such as an interview, they're not going to look as classy as non-cuffed, non-pleated pants. That's just my take however, I'm not exactly a sartorial god over here.


Less dressy? A conservative suit has cuffed pants and pleated pants. And conservative and traditional is a better approach for an interview.

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kalvano
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby kalvano » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:02 pm

A traditional dressy suit has pleated pants, cuffed trousers, and is not slim fit or anything like that.

Capitol A
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby Capitol A » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:57 pm

ahduth wrote:
kalvano wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:Also, as to fastfoward's advice re: suits - there is no reason to avoid pleats with suit pants. It's one thing if you don't like pleated slacks, but many fine quality suits have pleated pants. Pleats are designed to make the suit more comfortable to sit in and no one notices them when work as a suit.



+1.


Also, why the hell would you avoid cuffed pants? That looks weird, especially on suits.


I think both are avoided, because they look less dressy. For "working" suits, they're fine. But if you're going to an "event," such as an interview, they're not going to look as classy as non-cuffed, non-pleated pants. That's just my take however, I'm not exactly a sartorial god over here.

Traditionally, cuffs are dressier than non-cuffed (at least in terms of suits, of course you'll never see a tux with cuffs, but only Brennan Huff and Dale Dobach wear tux's to job interviews); but the cuffs make the pants slightly less versatile-you're less likely to wear your cuffed suit pants without the jacket. Also, in either case, but especially with the cuffed pants, be sure they aren't too long. having your pants bunched up around your ankles will make you look like a clown.
As far as pleats...They are not more traditional, nor are they dressier (think again about the tux pants-never pleated). Pleats are put onto pants to allow for more volume through the seat and thighs. Flat front pants do not necessarily have to be slim fit, but they are almost always more slimming. Pleats vs. flat front is a fashion/style preference, and not much else. Pleats are currently out of style. Of course, that being said, looking nice is never out of style. So if your pleated pants fit you well and make you look nice, you have nothing to worry about. If you are buying a suit now though, and you are trying to decide, do not buy pleated pants unless you have an unusally large rear end. The suit that you should buy now that will last you a while will be a 2 button jacket with mid-width, notched (not peaked) lapels and straight (not slim) fit, flat front pants. The cuff issue is really your decision, but go with a 1.75" cuff and minimal break for a classic look (full break will make you look like a short slob). 4 season wool in gray can be worn 365 days a year.

Capitol A
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby Capitol A » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:01 pm

ahduth wrote:
kalvano wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:Also, as to fastfoward's advice re: suits - there is no reason to avoid pleats with suit pants. It's one thing if you don't like pleated slacks, but many fine quality suits have pleated pants. Pleats are designed to make the suit more comfortable to sit in and no one notices them when work as a suit.



+1.


Also, why the hell would you avoid cuffed pants? That looks weird, especially on suits.


I think both are avoided, because they look less dressy. For "working" suits, they're fine. But if you're going to an "event," such as an interview, they're not going to look as classy as non-cuffed, non-pleated pants. That's just my take however, I'm not exactly a sartorial god over here.

That's okay. These guys are, and they are willing/able to help:
http://www.unabashedlyprep.com
http://www.thestyleblogger.com
http://www.menofhabit.com
http://www.streetetiquette.com

Sandro
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby Sandro » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:28 pm

I am in need of some major wardrobe purchasing in the next few months. :oops: First step is throwing away all these fraternity/sports t shirts I will never fit in/wear again.

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Bartlebee06
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby Bartlebee06 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:09 pm

Renzo wrote:
maf70 wrote:my Ks professor always rags on me for my flippy floppies.


That's because they're disgusting. Seriously, cover up your feet in public, nobody wants to see your hobbit toes.



I cant stand all of the flip flop haters out there. I proudly rock mine and anyone who doesn't like it can kiss my big toe since its all out there and stuff.

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kalvano
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby kalvano » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:12 pm

Bartlebee06 wrote:
Renzo wrote:
maf70 wrote:my Ks professor always rags on me for my flippy floppies.


That's because they're disgusting. Seriously, cover up your feet in public, nobody wants to see your hobbit toes.



I cant stand all of the flip flop haters out there. I proudly rock mine and anyone who doesn't like it can kiss my big toe since its all out there and stuff.



When it's 105 degrees outside, flip-flops are the only correct footwear.

aliarrow
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby aliarrow » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:13 pm

kalvano wrote:When it's 105 degrees outside, flip-flops are the only correct footwear.


I come from hell Florida and I still find flip-flops on males disgusting.

Capitol A
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby Capitol A » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:17 pm

aliarrow wrote:
kalvano wrote:When it's 105 degrees outside, flip-flops are the only correct footwear.


I come from hell Florida and I still find flip-flops on males disgusting.

+1 in Phoenix. A man in sandals is not a man, except maybe at the beach. Even then...

snichols16
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby snichols16 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:20 pm

Fred_McGriff wrote:Topsiders.


+1bazillion

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Bartlebee06
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby Bartlebee06 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:29 pm

Capitol A wrote:
aliarrow wrote:
kalvano wrote:When it's 105 degrees outside, flip-flops are the only correct footwear.


I come from hell Florida and I still find flip-flops on males disgusting.

+1 in Phoenix. A man in sandals is not a man, except maybe at the beach. Even then...



Not a man eh? I would much sooner question the manhood of someone who determines manhood via footwear.

Capitol A
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby Capitol A » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:30 pm

snichols16 wrote:
Fred_McGriff wrote:Topsiders.


+1bazillion

TITCR.

Capitol A
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby Capitol A » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:30 pm

Bartlebee06 wrote:
Capitol A wrote:
aliarrow wrote:
kalvano wrote:When it's 105 degrees outside, flip-flops are the only correct footwear.


I come from hell Florida and I still find flip-flops on males disgusting.

+1 in Phoenix. A man in sandals is not a man, except maybe at the beach. Even then...



Not a man eh? I would much sooner question the manhood of someone who determines manhood via footwear.

You've probably got me there. :shock:

ajr
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby ajr » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:32 pm

Slightly irrelevant anecdote. I shopped at Macy's the day before my first job interview (over 7 years back) and picked up a gray suit from the children's section (I was very thin back then). I got that job (as an engineer) and worked in the Silicon Valley for many years where if you wore a dress shirt and formal pants to work, people would come to you and ask if you were interviewing elsewhere. So I never saw the need to buy another suit. Five years later, I went to a conference in Japan with my manager where I was presenting a paper. Five year later -- mind you, I'd worn that suit two times in my entire life -- my manager sees me and says "Isn't that the same suit you wore to the interview?"
Moral of the story: People do remember what you wear. At least some do.
Needless to say, I bought myself a couple of nice suits after, and my wife bought me a very nice bespoke suit for our wedding.

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Bartlebee06
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby Bartlebee06 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:33 pm

I come from hell Florida and I still find flip-flops on males disgusting.[/quote]
+1 in Phoenix. A man in sandals is not a man, except maybe at the beach. Even then...[/quote]


Not a man eh? I would much sooner question the manhood of someone who determines manhood via footwear.[/quote]
You've probably got me there. :shock:[/quote]

I believe a truce is in order.

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kalvano
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby kalvano » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:37 pm

I do hate cheap flip-flops though. They make annoying sounds. If you plan on wearing flip-flops, at least spend $20 and get a nicer pair.

Capitol A
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby Capitol A » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:39 pm

Bartlebee06 wrote:I come from hell Florida and I still find flip-flops on males disgusting.

+1 in Phoenix. A man in sandals is not a man, except maybe at the beach. Even then...[/quote]


Not a man eh? I would much sooner question the manhood of someone who determines manhood via footwear.[/quote]
You've probably got me there. :shock:[/quote]

I believe a truce is in order.[/quote]
A truce it is then. I'll still be anti-sandal, but I'll let you keep your man card while wearing them if you let me keep mine while judging you based on your shoes :D
btw, I will be doing so in tight white jeans or maybe a pair of purple chinos (Yes, seriously, and yes I'm married-to a woman), so maybe I wasn't the best judge in the first place.

Capitol A
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby Capitol A » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:46 pm

kalvano wrote:I do hate cheap flip-flops though. They make annoying sounds. If you plan on wearing flip-flops, at least spend $20 and get a nicer pair.

No such thing.

aliarrow
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Re: Bare essentials for men's law school wardrobe?

Postby aliarrow » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:47 pm

Capitol A wrote:
kalvano wrote:I do hate cheap flip-flops though. They make annoying sounds. If you plan on wearing flip-flops, at least spend $20 and get a nicer pair.

No such thing.


Oh they exist
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