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Starting Fresh

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    Starting Fresh

    Ok, so this is my first post, I have been lurking for a few days now. I am looking to start my wardrobe over again. I am a teacher and many of the clothes I purchased starting out were cheap buys and there was no 'system' or method to the buying madness. I have recently gone through my closet and cleaned up. I have started from the bottom up to a certain extent, I recently bought two pair of Chukka boots, one lighter from Kenneth Cole and one darker from Cole Hann plus a few Chino pants from the J-Crew and Banana Republic outlets nearby. I have about 20 shirts still, but would be willing to remove a few more to make room for some more classic styles. With that said what do you consider to be classic dress shirts and what are some good brands with a good fit.

    Remember I am a teacher, so probably looking at below $50 for the shirts.

    Thanks for the help


    The most basic and versatile may be blue and white button down oxfords. With fall approaching, you'll be able to layer those underneath sweaters and other garments you may own. I'm happy with those I bought from Frank & Oak. They cost $35 each with a promo code toward the end of one of their monthly collections, and they seem reasonably well made and are cut trim. And speaking of layers, I like v-neck sweaters, button cardigans, and half-zip sweaters in neutral colors, which are more versatile. Think grey or camel.

    I like chukka boots too and wear mine often, but eventually you might want to look at adding a brown cap-toe oxford shoe. For more casual shirts in your price range, J. Crew has many options when running a sale. Good place to pick up some plaid or gingham shirts. There's also a trim-fit gingham option mentioned in the Nordstrom sale picks here on the site. You may want to check that out also.

    I'm not sure what your personal style is, but Club Monaco is another source I'd look at. I've found some good items in their sale section. All won't be under $50, but they're not much more.



      I've liked Brooks Bros extra-slim fit on sale, Neiman Marcus slim fit on sale, Land's End slim fit. LE is the loosest and NM the slimmest for me



        cheap.. lands end

        one thing to keep in mond is a LOT of people buy shirts with sleeves that are too short and many otr places have trex arm lengths. i cant find 15.5-16 neck and 36 sleeve. Dont buy anything going "Good enough".

        you could try made to measure route as well, i believe itailor is sub 50. or wait for groupon specials.



          Neiman Marcus trim fit are really good shirt for a pretty good price if you get those %40 off email.

          I like GAP tailored khakis. material is not too heavy and not too light. so they can be worn all year round. if you live in the colder areas, sampson gave good advice, buy some sweaters for layering. they may even be cheaper if you but them now since weather is still quite warm.

          forgot to mention, for shirt very happy with Charles Tyrwitt tailored fit. i think they fit the slimmest. so no tailoring needed.

          A couple of nicely tailored blazers (blue and Grey) will give you a versatile wardrobe.



            Dave - if we could stress anything at all as a collective entity here at Dappered (or in the greater menswear cosmos), it would be WHAT you wear is far less important than HOW you wear it. In other words, fit is everything. A $1200 Brioni suit that is a size too big in the shoulders and has never seen a tailor is going to look VERY inferior sitting next to a $200 Express suit that is the correct size and has been to the tailor.

            That having been said, focus on LIGHT colored dress shirts, forget those ugly solid colored dark dress shirts that make you look like you're on your way to the Jersey shore. Dark wash straight leg jeans, straight leg chinos, etc. Check out the articles here and ones on EffortlessGent, Styleforum, MensStylePro, etc. But remember this: no matter what you buy, keep the tailoring costs in consideration, because tailoring is not a luxury if you want to look classically good: it's a necessity.



              Just found these great is an example but the Last Call page is full of them:




                For shirts, though, there are so many size and fit combinations in this day and age that I don't think it makes sense to tailor shirts unless you have old shirts you want to slim down in the body.

                If you go to Target, you can try a bunch of shirt sizes but limited numbers of fits. The cotton/poly blends will be the cheapest but not as comfortable as 100% cotton. A store like Express will have white shirts on a rack by the changing rooms to test drive all their different sizes and fits instead of unwrapping the shirts in the front of the store.

                Be picky! Be sure they fit exactly right before committing to buying a bunch.

                I've migrated to buying only Brooks Brothers shirts on sale ($88 down to $44 about twice a year). The quality difference is striking. But you wouldn't want to buy a closetful of BB shirts only to later decide that you want to switch sizes.



                  Ok so these four are sitting in my "shopping bag" right now...thoughts?







                    Buy one MTM shirt from modern A blue is 20 bucks and a white is 25 for first time customers.



                      I'd tentatively sign off on those four shirt choices (though I'm kinda skeptical of the last two) as long as you've already nailed down the necessary shirts like solid white and blue in point or spread collar. The solids are going to be much more versatile than that purple gingham which works well with far fewer things. But, like I said, if you already have the solids, go for it!

                      I'd disagree with NC insofar as for the slimmer among us, and I know that NC himself fits in this category, even extra-slim fit shirts in neck/sleeve measurements often are still extremely billowy and really do require extra tailoring to look their best. Suits, in contrast, should ALWAYS be tailored.



                        @ Kidsamson - This is huge! I haven't heard anyone talk about the Frank & Oak shirts before. How tall and thin are you? Anything else about their fit? I've just struggled to find shirts in some of the patterns that they have, (the proportion of their gingham is PERFECT, and I can't find one in that proportion without dropping 90+ dollars) but I'm hesitant to buy because I'm afraid they won't be slim enough, even with tailoring.



                          Don't want to hijack the thread but I'm kind of in the same boat as the OP, and need to obtain some basic solid shirts that fit me well. My problem is that my body type is tall and lean (6'1") but I have a bit of a beer belly so finding shirts that are slim up top (16.5 neck, 35 sleeve) but more roomy (but not boxy) in the waist is a challenge. Of the shirts I've tried so far, a Bonobos large standard fit is too slim in the waist but fits perfectly up top (neck, shoulders, sleeve), while the Nordstorm Calibrate trim fit gingham mentioned in the Dappered Nordstrom anniversary sale post fits me really well in a 17/34-35. Later this week I'm going to go shirt shopping at a shopping center near here that has J. Crew, Gap, Old Navy, BR, and Express. Can anyone offer any insight into which of these stores might have a basic shirt that would fit my body type well?



                            Thank you guys for the responses...I am looking forward to checking out some of the shirts I ordered and the Frank & Oak website seems promising, just need to get 'approved' first.

                            Thanks guys I am excited to follow this site in the future.



                              Kenneth - the extra slim fits out there are so slim, there's nothing left to tailor for me. And I'm about as skinny as you get!