How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

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investingdad
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How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by investingdad » Tue May 22, 2018 8:54 am

I admit I tried to spend some money on "upgraded" clothing labels this past weekend. I spent some time looking at office type clothes in Brooks Brother's, Ralph Lauren, Boss Hugo, etc.

Nope, couldn't do it. I kept thinking of how little any of this would cost at Kohls. I did manage to drop a couple hundred on two pairs of Johnston and Murphy shoes the other year, but that's it.

In fact, I didn't even feel comfortable in the stores between the sharply dressed sales people and other customers that didn't bat an eye at the prices. And (apologies for the braggy bit), I'm fairly certain with a top 3% household income I'm part of the target demographic. But, yeah, no way I'm spending that much on a single shirt or pair of pants.

So for those that want to dress professionally, can you upgrade your wardrobe at a reasonable cost and avoid these labels? What have you done?

Dottie57
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Dottie57 » Tue May 22, 2018 8:58 am

Why are you thinking of upgrading? Do you wear comparable clothing to your peers? How about compared to your management? Do you aspire to rise through the ranks. Your clothing can show your aspirations.

FlyAF
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by FlyAF » Tue May 22, 2018 9:05 am

No offense, but I can spot a middle aged guy in a Kohls wardrobe from 15 blocks away. Nothing wrong with that either BTW. There are those that are into fashion and like to spend the coin on it and those that don't. Don't try and force it as it will likely be a waste of $$$ if you don't keep up and pay attention to the trends.

wootwoot
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by wootwoot » Tue May 22, 2018 9:06 am

:confused
Last edited by wootwoot on Tue May 22, 2018 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue May 22, 2018 9:07 am

I go by the old mantra.....wear what your boss's boss wears. Well, my boss's boss wears jeans, a button down shirt and decent sneakers. His boss wears the same except for khakis. Most in my office wear company polo shirts with the company name on it......which I'm doing today.
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NextMil
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by NextMil » Tue May 22, 2018 9:07 am

Saks off 5th. Nordstrom rack. Barneys warehouse. All of them you can get good quality stuff online especially with sales. I should say you need to know what you are doing, and its better to have a good tailor than an expensive suit. If you can go to a store and find the right fit, then you can order online and then send back what does not fit you. I buy the same suit in a couple of sizes to make sure I get fit right and then return what I dont want.
Last edited by NextMil on Tue May 22, 2018 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Texanbybirth
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Texanbybirth » Tue May 22, 2018 9:08 am

I used to wear exclusively Geoffrey Beene dress shirts (still do), but I really like the feel of Tommy Hilfiger button-down long-sleeve dress shirts. The fabric feels...heavier/stronger/je ne sais quois, without being hot. We can usually get them at Macy's for $20-$30, so I'm not sure if that's "upgrading".

I still wear Dockers. :D

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Sandtrap
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Sandtrap » Tue May 22, 2018 9:15 am

Total retiree upgrade last year. Eliminated most cotton.
Labels:
Columbia
Levi
Wrangler
Asics
Dockers on Sundays.
Walmart.
Slippers :D

donall
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by donall » Tue May 22, 2018 9:16 am

In our neighborhood, the shabbier the clothes, the richer the guy. Oh course this is only for the retired group.

investingdad
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by investingdad » Tue May 22, 2018 9:21 am

My boss's boss is in another country and my boss is female...so that guidance won't work. :)

We have a range of fashions at our Megacorp. Some are sloppy and it's not a good look. Others are way on the other end, most are in the middle.

My objective is simply to look a little more put together in the office. Climbing the ladder isn't on my radar. I recently received a pay scale promotion and, frankly, seeking to go up the org isn't something my wife or I need to focus on at this stage.

It's purely a personal thing.

PoppyA
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by PoppyA » Tue May 22, 2018 9:24 am

Try on a Brooks Brother suite, then tell us if you’ve changed your mind.
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123
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by 123 » Tue May 22, 2018 9:37 am

I bought some new socks from JC Penney a couple of years ago. It took me a year to get around to opening the package. I usually only introduce a new pair into my sock rotation when there's a special occasion, like when we visit friends/relatives where the custom is to remove shoes when we enter the home.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue May 22, 2018 9:42 am

123 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:37 am
I bought some new socks from JC Penney a couple of years ago. It took me a year to get around to opening the package. I usually only introduce a new pair into my sock rotation when there's a special occasion, like when we visit friends/relatives where the custom is to remove shoes when we enter the home.
ROTFLMAO

How is it that I can post under two usernames... :thumbsup

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue May 22, 2018 9:46 am

investingdad wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:21 am
My boss's boss is in another country and my boss is female...so that guidance won't work. :)

We have a range of fashions at our Megacorp. Some are sloppy and it's not a good look. Others are way on the other end, most are in the middle.

My objective is simply to look a little more put together in the office. Climbing the ladder isn't on my radar. I recently received a pay scale promotion and, frankly, seeking to go up the org isn't something my wife or I need to focus on at this stage.

It's purely a personal thing.
Shop outlets and sales, try Jos A Bank.
Try Macy’s and similar type department stores. Another one is Charles Tyritt. Shop the specials.

Off the rack suits work just as well, the quality of Brooks brothers has degraded. The prices have not. If you want a bespoke suit, try a custom made one for $800 and up depending on quality of goods chosen. Personally, I buy off the rack.
Last edited by Grt2bOutdoors on Tue May 22, 2018 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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adamthesmythe
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue May 22, 2018 9:49 am

Before I retired I was faculty. You can wear jeans and athletic shoes unless you are administration. I usually went for an upgraded look by wearing an old sports coat.

Now retired, I have discovered those Walmart pants with extra thigh pockets. Lots of T shirts.

NextMil
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by NextMil » Tue May 22, 2018 9:52 am

investingdad wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:21 am
My boss's boss is in another country and my boss is female...so that guidance won't work. :)

We have a range of fashions at our Megacorp. Some are sloppy and it's not a good look. Others are way on the other end, most are in the middle.

My objective is simply to look a little more put together in the office. Climbing the ladder isn't on my radar. I recently received a pay scale promotion and, frankly, seeking to go up the org isn't something my wife or I need to focus on at this stage.

It's purely a personal thing.
Hard to give guidance if we don't know if you are at suit level. What are you trying to get into for office gear? Suit? Sport coat, slacks, and tie? Slacks and dress shirt? Need more details.

Rupert
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Rupert » Tue May 22, 2018 9:52 am

There's a fair bit of ground between Kohl's and Brooks Brothers/Ralph Lauren and another fair bit of ground between off-the-rack Brooks Brothers/Ralph Lauren and bespoke. What exactly is your goal? Are you trying to dress more stylishly, or are you simply trying to upgrade the quality of your clothing while maintaining your existing style? You will definitely find a better quality of clothing at stores such as Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren (note I'm not talking about Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren outlet clothing, which is different from the clothing in their flagship stores) than you will at a store like Kohl's, meaning the clothing will be made of higher quality fabrics, etc., but you won't necessarily find more stylish clothing there. Brooks Brothers, in particular, sells some fairly fuddy-duddy stuff, e.g., old man suits with pleated pants and sweater vests. So if your goal is a more stylish wardrobe, I think you should actually consult a stylist or personal shopper, which many upscale department stores offer. They can help you determine what you look good in (what cut of suit, etc.) and then you can search for those same styles in less expensive stores or on sale.

stoptothink
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by stoptothink » Tue May 22, 2018 9:54 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:07 am
I go by the old mantra.....wear what your boss's boss wears. Well, my boss's boss wears jeans, a button down shirt and decent sneakers. His boss wears the same except for khakis. Most in my office wear company polo shirts with the company name on it......which I'm doing today.
+1. My boss wears jeans and sneakers most days he is stepping onto his Gulfstream. Last year he had a custom suit made for a very important public appearance; I have never seen him more angry than when he received the bill (~$4k).

investingdad
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by investingdad » Tue May 22, 2018 10:00 am

Not full suit as I only wear a jacket and tie if meeting clients off site.

Really more like good slacks and dress shirts. I like the jacket no tie look and that's acceptable for the meetings above.

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Pajamas
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Pajamas » Tue May 22, 2018 10:05 am

investingdad wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:00 am
Not full suit as I only wear a jacket and tie if meeting clients off site.

Really more like good slacks and dress shirts. I like the jacket no tie look and that's acceptable for the meetings above.
Then if you want to upgrade your wardrobe, get a decent suit so people don't mistake you for the security guard.

Texanbybirth
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Texanbybirth » Tue May 22, 2018 10:06 am

Where are all these jobs that let you wear jeans? :confused I would love to wear my Wal-Mart Wranglers all day everyday. (I even sleep in them occasionally.)

Apparently I missed the Life mini-lotto...

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Pajamas
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Pajamas » Tue May 22, 2018 10:08 am

Texanbybirth wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:06 am
Where are all these jobs that let you wear jeans? :confused I would love to wear my Wal-Mart Wranglers all day everyday. (I even sleep in them occasionally.)

Apparently I missed the Life mini-lotto...
If you work at home, you can wear your pajamas.

Texanbybirth
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Texanbybirth » Tue May 22, 2018 10:09 am

Pajamas wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:08 am
Texanbybirth wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:06 am
Where are all these jobs that let you wear jeans? :confused I would love to wear my Wal-Mart Wranglers all day everyday. (I even sleep in them occasionally.)

Apparently I missed the Life mini-lotto...
If you work at home, you can wear your pajamas.
I do work at home, I just don't get paid for that time. :happy

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Pajamas
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Pajamas » Tue May 22, 2018 10:10 am

Texanbybirth wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:09 am
Pajamas wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:08 am
Texanbybirth wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:06 am
Where are all these jobs that let you wear jeans? :confused I would love to wear my Wal-Mart Wranglers all day everyday. (I even sleep in them occasionally.)

Apparently I missed the Life mini-lotto...
If you work at home, you can wear your pajamas.
I do work at home, I just don't get paid for that time. :happy
But you get to wear your pajamas! That should more than make up for not getting paid. 8-)

41Fin
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by 41Fin » Tue May 22, 2018 10:11 am

Polo and those brands usually have a friends and family sale which is 20-25% off and is a good time to purchase. Same for Bloomingdales and Nortstrom who has their semi annual sale with good prices.

I usually try and get one of two pieces during those times.

I also follow Frugal Male Fashion on Reddit. People are always posting deals on fashion (a mix of streetwear, casual and business).

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Fletch
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Fletch » Tue May 22, 2018 10:11 am

MAJOR upgrade when I retired. Costco jeans, T-Shirts (warm weather), Sweatshirts (cold weather), Keene sandals (3 seasons), Adidas Goretex lined athletic shoes (winter), well broken in ball cap, hardly any major clothing expenses. Suit and tie for weddings and funerals.
Business casual for church. Ahhhhhhh, the comfort to my body and my wallet. Life is good. :sharebeer
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NextMil
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by NextMil » Tue May 22, 2018 10:16 am

investingdad wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:00 am
Not full suit as I only wear a jacket and tie if meeting clients off site.

Really more like good slacks and dress shirts. I like the jacket no tie look and that's acceptable for the meetings above.
Hunt for deals on good slacks from the places I mentioned and find a good tailor. If you wear undershirts, go v neck. Stay away from buttoned down collared shirts - those are for the weekend. If I were you, I would get brooks brothers outlet shirts, but make sure you get fitted properly, and buy on a sale. Memorial day sales should be hitting soon if not already. You can also get a decent jacket from the places I suggested as well.

Fit really matters. Most people look sloppy because they buy off the rack and its either too big or too small and its not tailored. I would also start with traditionals - white dress shirts, blue sport coat, and grey or tan slacks.

The best thing you can do is go get fitted as someone else suggested. Do as much research as you can by going into a store and trying stuff on.

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midareff
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by midareff » Tue May 22, 2018 10:22 am

Before I retired in early 2012 I shopped Marshall's for Nautica, Ralph Lauren, Polo, Hugo Boss and other top brands for suits, slacks and dress shirts at bargain prices. There was one of their stores a few blocks from the office and one day a week myself and several staffers would walk it and fast food lunch on the way back. This went on for years both for exercise value and to keep the wardrobe fresh. Typically you could find a $90 or $100 retail shirt for $25-$35. Lots of times there would be nothing that "caught your eye" but there was enough over time that kept your wardrobe AOK. LOL, another fellow in the office would proudly announce he never shopped sales and go pay retail for everything at a major department store. OTOH, since I retired I now shop Marshalls and T J Maxx. Living in South Florida my wardrobe is composed of Polo, Ralph Lauren and Nautica T's and golf shirts and water shorts. AFAIC, at this point formal wear is a shirt with a color and long warm up pants. Any where I can't go dressed that way (add a sport coat) I don't need to go.

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Sandtrap
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Sandtrap » Tue May 22, 2018 10:26 am

midareff wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:22 am
Before I retired in early 2012 I shopped Marshall's for Nautica, Ralph Lauren, Polo, Hugo Boss and other top brands for suits, slacks and dress shirts at bargain prices. There was one of their stores a few blocks from the office and one day a week myself and several staffers would walk it and fast food lunch on the way back. This went on for years both for exercise value and to keep the wardrobe fresh. Typically you could find a $90 or $100 retail shirt for $25-$35. Lots of times there would be nothing that "caught your eye" but there was enough over time that kept your wardrobe AOK. LOL, another fellow in the office would proudly announce he never shopped sales and go pay retail for everything at a major department store. OTOH, since I retired I now shop Marshalls and T J Maxx. Living in South Florida my wardrobe is composed of Polo, Ralph Lauren and Nautica T's and golf shirts and water shorts. AFAIC, at this point formal wear is a shirt with a color and long warm up pants. Any where I can't go dressed that way (add a sport coat) I don't need to go.
Where do you shop now that you are retired?
jim

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midareff
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by midareff » Tue May 22, 2018 10:39 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:26 am
midareff wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:22 am
Before I retired in early 2012 I shopped Marshall's for Nautica, Ralph Lauren, Polo, Hugo Boss and other top brands for suits, slacks and dress shirts at bargain prices. There was one of their stores a few blocks from the office and one day a week myself and several staffers would walk it and fast food lunch on the way back. This went on for years both for exercise value and to keep the wardrobe fresh. Typically you could find a $90 or $100 retail shirt for $25-$35. Lots of times there would be nothing that "caught your eye" but there was enough over time that kept your wardrobe AOK. LOL, another fellow in the office would proudly announce he never shopped sales and go pay retail for everything at a major department store. OTOH, since I retired I now shop Marshalls and T J Maxx. Living in South Florida my wardrobe is composed of Polo, Ralph Lauren and Nautica T's and golf shirts and water shorts. AFAIC, at this point formal wear is a shirt with a color and long warm up pants. Any where I can't go dressed that way (add a sport coat) I don't need to go.
Where do you shop now that you are retired?
jim
Marshall's and T. J. Maxx. Polo (AFAIC) still has the best 100% V neck cotton T's and except for an occasional high end collared golf shirt they have that niche as well. Nautica runs a close second IMHO. For cruise attire I generally bring T's and water shorts for days on shore and collared golf shirts with long pants for evening. Skechers and sneakers, although I did keep a couple of pairs of leather soled work shoes for nostalgia purposes, or a wedding or such. Gave away tons of suits and office dress shirts and stuff to a neighbor who has had some difficulty getting back since the recession.

Generally, anywhere I can't go in a T and shorts I don't need to go.

Bogle_Bro
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Bogle_Bro » Tue May 22, 2018 10:48 am

I pretty much ONLY shop at Brooks Brothers for business clothes (6% back with maxed reward tier)...

Their prices really aren't that bad if you don't buy one shirt at a time. 4 for 200 is key, + other bonuses stacked.

Another key is to wait for the best sales. Not just any sales... Since there's always something going on.

Semi annual sales are the best.

Absolute best is stacking the day after Christmas sale with the winter semi annual sale with the promo for opening their Master card. That combo is like 70% off
Last edited by Bogle_Bro on Tue May 22, 2018 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

desiderium
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by desiderium » Tue May 22, 2018 10:50 am

I think the key to dressing as a male professional is fit. That's why advice about particular brands may miss the point.

One important element is to have components that can mix and match to a certain extent, so that the wardrobe can vary without purchasing a new set of clothes every year or two. Also, well made and up to date clothing lasts and looks good for a number of years, so that the initial cost can be spread out longer (I have found) than with inexpensive, poorer quality or fashion-insensitive items.

In my job, I have found that looking sharp is an advantage in conveying serious professional intent with clients and both up and down the corporate food chain. My clothing budget recognizes and reflects this feature of my privileged position. Could I do business for less? Sure, but I find dressing well is part of conditioning myself for a day of serious work.

My core approach is to attend the Nordstrom anniversary sale each July. They have new fall items (not leftovers), especially the more conservative gray and blue basics (suits, sport coats, trousers), with very substantial discounts--30-50% off. If this is something you might consider, email the store manager explaining your need to renew your wardrobe and ask for a personal salesperson. These people know a lot about the clothing lines and can see what brands fit you best. Their job is to make you look good, thereby cultivating a long-term relationship, rather than a quick sale. They will help with coordinating a clothing set that will be versatile and can be mixed up for variety. Everything will be altered to fit your body. I have been working with someone for several years. I make an appointment and let him know what I am thinking about and he will already have a number of things pulled out when I arrive. He also makes sure I am measured for alterations by the best tailor.

Shoes are really important. I spend 4-500 per pair (on sale) for a brand that fits me very well, and I have about 5 pairs altogether. I can walk for miles in these shoes without discomfort and they are extremely durable. I started this about 8 or 9 years ago and I still wear my first pair--they look great after a visit to the cobbler for a shine, heel replacement etc. I have come to appreciate that my amortized cost is not very high.

Good fitting, well made and well liked clothes last me a long time. I can update things easily with a couple of new shirts and ties, and my annual costs are not exorbitant.

S&L1940
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by S&L1940 » Tue May 22, 2018 10:52 am

retired, diet worked, lost weight, find the Costco sportswear department answers my needs just fine

hard to fit, used to do Lands End but, to me, they lost their way with Sears and then they tried to charge me for returns
selling clothes by catalog or on-line or with no easy access to try on in the store (Marshall's, Maxx, Costco and such) you gotta have an easy return/exchange policy at no charge or else I pass them up.

what does 'upgrade' mean?
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

stoptothink
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by stoptothink » Tue May 22, 2018 11:09 am

Texanbybirth wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:06 am
Where are all these jobs that let you wear jeans? :confused I would love to wear my Wal-Mart Wranglers all day everyday. (I even sleep in them occasionally.)

Apparently I missed the Life mini-lotto...
It's jeans here on Fridays, otherwise khakis and polos (including the c-level execs). The only time I have to wear slacks and dress shoes is when representing the company publicly by speaking at conventions and the like (maybe 20x/yr).

Texanbybirth
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Texanbybirth » Tue May 22, 2018 11:10 am

stoptothink wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:09 am
Texanbybirth wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:06 am
Where are all these jobs that let you wear jeans? :confused I would love to wear my Wal-Mart Wranglers all day everyday. (I even sleep in them occasionally.)

Apparently I missed the Life mini-lotto...
It's jeans here on Fridays, otherwise khakis and polos (including the c-level execs). The only time I have to wear slacks and dress shoes is when representing the company publicly by speaking at conventions and the like (maybe 20x/yr).
But you didn't tell me where you work or offer me a job?

stoptothink
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by stoptothink » Tue May 22, 2018 11:13 am

Texanbybirth wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:10 am
stoptothink wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:09 am
Texanbybirth wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:06 am
Where are all these jobs that let you wear jeans? :confused I would love to wear my Wal-Mart Wranglers all day everyday. (I even sleep in them occasionally.)

Apparently I missed the Life mini-lotto...
It's jeans here on Fridays, otherwise khakis and polos (including the c-level execs). The only time I have to wear slacks and dress shoes is when representing the company publicly by speaking at conventions and the like (maybe 20x/yr).
But you didn't tell me where you work or offer me a job?
A health products company that is the largest player in its specific market. Hey, if you have a background in chemistry or biology and experience in producing peer-reviewed research, PM me a resume.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Tue May 22, 2018 11:16 am

Texanbybirth wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:06 am
Where are all these jobs that let you wear jeans? :confused I would love to wear my Wal-Mart Wranglers all day everyday. (I even sleep in them occasionally.)

Apparently I missed the Life mini-lotto...
Software development. All this talk of suits and "wear what your boss's boss wears" makes me laugh. My boss's boss is the CEO and he wears jeans, sneakers, and a polo shirt.

z91
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by z91 » Tue May 22, 2018 11:19 am

If the clothes fit and are of good quality, who cares? I work for megacorp and all of my managers have worn wear jeans, simple/clean shirt and shoes; some execs even do this.

I think in some cases it is worth spending a bit more money for quality. I've had some Kohl's shirts last me 2-3 years. Others last 2-3 wears. It's hit or miss for me.

I spent $200 on dress shoes last year and don't regret it at all. With each wear they get more comfortable and age well. I used to wear dress shoes that would kill my feet after a wedding and end up in the trash. I've only worn these new ones twice so far but can't imagine throwing them out as the build quality from the soles to the stitching is excellent.

Bungo
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by Bungo » Tue May 22, 2018 11:35 am

Professional attire here in Silicon Valley is t-shirt and jeans, thankfully :D

CppCoder
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by CppCoder » Tue May 22, 2018 11:37 am

desiderium wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:50 am
Also, well made and up to date clothing lasts and looks good for a number of years, so that the initial cost can be spread out longer (I have found) than with inexpensive, poorer quality or fashion-insensitive items.
My problem with that approach is that my clothes tend to be retired due to stains or tears long before they no longer look good from too many washes or wears. Spaghetti sauce can end a $15 shirt or a $150 short equally well on the first wear or the hundredth wear. :happy

FoolMeOnce
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by FoolMeOnce » Tue May 22, 2018 11:39 am

123 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:37 am
I bought some new socks from JC Penney a couple of years ago. It took me a year to get around to opening the package. I usually only introduce a new pair into my sock rotation when there's a special occasion, like when we visit friends/relatives where the custom is to remove shoes when we enter the home.
I've recently discovered that spending money on good socks is a great wardrobe investment, comfort-wise. Half of what I wear these days is from Target, but good everyday Smartwool socks? Worth every penny.

(Though maybe not if you need thin dress socks. Not sure how those stack up)

TravelGeek
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by TravelGeek » Tue May 22, 2018 11:41 am

Bungo wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:35 am
Professional attire here in Silicon Valley is t-shirt and jeans, thankfully :D
Yup. And I really only need the top half since the bottom half is not visible on video conferences (I work remotely).

So at this moment it's a polo shirt (LL Bean, 5 years old) and shorts. Pretty standard for me. No plans to upgrade anything.

investingdad
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by investingdad » Tue May 22, 2018 11:55 am

I do appreciate the store specific feedback. Thanks.

kjvmartin
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by kjvmartin » Tue May 22, 2018 11:59 am

desiderium wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:50 am
I think the key to dressing as a male professional is fit. That's why advice about particular brands may miss the point.
+1 on fit. Changed my life.

I'm 6'4 and rather slender at 200lb. My whole life I struggled with XL being too baggy, L being too short.

Then, I needed a suit. I walked into Joseph A. Bank and nearly ran out. Some kind of "sale" they were having - lol. On my way back to the car, I passed through an "out of my price range" high end department store. Out of curiosity, I sparked a conversation with the salesman and explained I needed my first suit. He measured me and then showed me a clearance Joseph Abboud charcoal suit originally $695 marked down to $165. I think it was last years style, at the time. The store included alterations on suits, and they were very thorough about getting it measured right.

I put that suit on and was wearing something that fit me properly for the first time in my adult life. No one had ever commented that something actually looked good on me until I wore that suit. I felt like a million bucks. I made friends with that salesman and he would call me anytime something was marked down to my price point. I've got 5 good suits now. Hart Schaffner Marx, Hickey Freeman, Rubin, Abboud. I think the put together look and confidence that comes in being dressed well has been helpful in job interviews and other situations.

It also prompted me to research what brands and styles would fit me best for non-suit days. Previously, I just bought what was cheap. LL Bean, Eddie Bauer, and Lands End all have great options for tall people. Worth the extra cost. I still struggle with shoes and jeans, though. Haven't yet captured the magic.

kjvm

coupleofcents
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by coupleofcents » Tue May 22, 2018 11:59 am

To answer your question: I focus on fit. A well fitting $20.00 dress shirt will look better than a baggy $100.00 shirt. Also, nicer shoes I think make a big difference. Slim, rounded toe for dress shoes.

I shop for sales (try dappered.com for weekly deals) at: Gap, Banana Republic, JCrew Factory

When on sale you can get dress slacks $30-50 bucks, button down dress shirts $20-40.

Shoes I do Johnston Murphy, Florsheim, Colehaan, AE (FActory seconds under $200.00 or less)

It takes a bit of work but you can get better quality than Kohls for still more affordable prices if you are willing to shop the sales and wait for them.

iamlucky13
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Location: Western Washington

Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue May 22, 2018 12:39 pm

I gave up on Kohl's and Penney's when I realized the clothes at Macy's and Nordstrom's usually fit better, were more comfortable, and usually had less variation between samples than the lower end stores.

I think I originally tried buying some clothes at Macy's specifically because I was fed up after having tried on 3-4 pairs of pants at Penney's, all labeled the same brand, style, and size as the pants I was wearing at the time and needed replacement for, and each of them fit badly in different ways.

Another department store like Macy's is also a lot closer to the experience you're used to at Kohl's. You can always tell the staff you're just browsing, and they'll leave you alone - it's not an environment where the expectation is to be waited on continuously while you confidently choose your wardrobe.

Somebody else mentioned fit is more important than brands. I think this is true and a big part of why folks say things like, "I can spot a middle aged guy in a Kohls wardrobe from 15 blocks away." I'm sure they can't tell the quality of the cloth from that far away, but they probably can spot tell when the cloth billows or clings awkwardly or has other signs of poor fit.

For myself, the self-consciousness of dressing up declined by about 1/2 when I found out that when I friend of mine recommended I get "tailored" shirts, he didn't actually mean having a tailor adjust the shirts to my measurements. It's apparently just a contradictory label used to denote shirts cut to fit men in the recommended body mass index range, instead of having room for stockier men. I could both see and feel the better fit.

I'm still clueless about brands and specific styles, though. My wife had to explain to me that Calvin Klein isn't (or wasn't historically) a Target brand. I just see the name there because they're expanding downscale.

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JupiterJones
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Location: Nashville, TN

Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by JupiterJones » Tue May 22, 2018 12:52 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:07 am
I go by the old mantra.....wear what your boss's boss wears.
Not sure I'd be able to pull off a skirt and blouse.

I've also heard you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Anyone know where I can find a spacesuit? :P
Stay on target...

2015
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by 2015 » Tue May 22, 2018 1:10 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:05 am
No offense, but I can spot a middle aged guy in a Kohls wardrobe from 15 blocks away. Nothing wrong with that either BTW. There are those that are into fashion and like to spend the coin on it and those that don't. Don't try and force it as it will likely be a waste of $$$ if you don't keep up and pay attention to the trends.
Thanks. I found that really, really funny.

TSR
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Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by TSR » Tue May 22, 2018 1:19 pm

desiderium wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:50 am
Shoes are really important. I spend 4-500 per pair (on sale) for a brand that fits me very well, and I have about 5 pairs altogether. I can walk for miles in these shoes without discomfort and they are extremely durable. I started this about 8 or 9 years ago and I still wear my first pair--they look great after a visit to the cobbler for a shine, heel replacement etc. I have come to appreciate that my amortized cost is not very high.
100% agree with you on the "fit" issue -- I was walking around in the wrong sized suit for a number of years. Shirts and pants tend to be way too baggy on older men as well.

I am writing just to ask you what your brand is for high-end dress shoes that are also comfortable. Thanks!

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fandango
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Location: Greater Atlanta area

Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Post by fandango » Tue May 22, 2018 2:52 pm

I think a nice (well fitting) blazer and a couple of dark suits (well fitting) for weddings, funerals, job interviews, etc. should be enough in today's environment for traditional wear. Sy Syms used to be my major provider ($1000 suits for $200) but alas they have gone bankrupt.

Now that I am retired, I wear t-shirts, shorts (or khakis depending on the weather) and tennis shoes. Occasionally I add a fleece pullover if it gets really cold.

For church, I "dress up" and go with khakis and a nice shirt. Getting a new minister in June, and I think blue jeans will be the new base standard.

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