The First Five Thread: Starting a Wardrobe From Scratch

Darkside

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696
I will admit it. I am new to this game, and like all n00bs, I have made many purchases which I have regretted.

This is a thread where I am seeking advice on where to start on my wardrobe, and which direction it should go in thereafter. What are the "first five" items in each category that I, or anyone just looking to revamp their style from scratch, should be looking for? First five jackets? First five ties? Shoes? Shirts?

Chorn has advised me on this topic a few times, but I want it to be out in the open, so all new guys can learn from it, and maybe find some dissenting opinions, and hopefully spark some interesting discussion. Paging Rambo Thruth ElioDA Monkeyface, and anyone else who has an opinion.

To kick it off, here is my first specific inquiry:
What should be the first 5 odd jackets that should be in a well-dressed (DressedWell) man's wardrobe?

If I may quote Claghorn: "If I had a five jacket rotation, I'd have one mid brown, one dark brown, one solid navy, one mid-blue jacket, and maybe a blue with a simple pattern (large scale or small, but not medium)"

So far, I have this navy Suit Supply Hudson Cotton Wool:


And this Brown Suit Supply Wool Havana:


For jacket #3, I am looking at SS's latest Fall/Winter offerings, I am interested in this:
It's a Hudson in Ormezzano Wool/Hemp.


Though they still have one of these left over from their Spring collection in my size:
Hudson in E. Thomas Wool/Silk/Linen.

I also really want this one, but perhaps it should be #4 or 5:
Hudson in Wool/Cashmere by Carlo Barbera
 
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Chorn

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That one from spring is a tad light and will limit your shirt wearing options slightly. At the same time, the winter Hudson might be a bit too gray and may limit your ability to easily wear gray pants.

My rule of thumb as far as purchasing a jacket is: it can be worn easily with at least five shirts I currently own, three pairs of pants I currently own, and at least ten ties I currently own. This can probably be easily adapted for wardrobe building by replacing "currently own" with "realistically own in the near future." And doing so, I think, will create a much more organic wardrobe.

---

I'll be getting that rust colored jacket when it becomes available.

---

Also, are those the Carmina chelseas? Looks good.
 
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Darkside

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696
That's probably the number one lesson I've learned from coming iGent land: If you have a small wardrobe, don't buy niche pieces that you have to stretch your existing clothing and accessories to coordinate with. Buy pieces that will match with things you own so you increase the variety of outfit combinations factorially. They may seem plain, boring, or austere, but they will serve you well in the long run.

Yeah they're Carmina Chelseas. Dainite Sole. Rain Last. :hatersgonnahate:
 

Leitmotif

Eating his po boy w/oyster,petrosyan caviar,& gold
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Great idea for a thread. I have enough shoes and pants. Now I only need to work on my shirt game which is bloody awful
 
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ElioDA

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I'm surprised that the academics in this thread start giving advice without asking a few relevant questions first.
Darkside do you have no requirements for suits? If so, any other professional wardrobe requirements or are you doing this purely for your own pleasure?
What climate do you live in?
What are you aiming to achieve within the menswear idiom? Dressing 'correctly' or is it more about individual expression?
Last but not least, what are you willing to invest? I'm asking because a certain member here will no doubt chime in at some point and tell you to book a ticket to Napoli....
 

ConchitaWurst

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Last but not least, what are you willing to invest? I'm asking because a certain member here will no doubt chime in at some point and tell you to book a ticket to Napoli....
i warn that certain chinamember in advance not to do the low life shilling he is known for
 

Chorn

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I'm surprised that the academics in this thread start giving advice without asking a few relevant questions first.
.
Well, Darkside and I have been chatting for months about this. I sort of forgot that nobody else was and treated this like a continuation of an existing conversation :scratchchin:
 

robertito

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871
interesting thread. ElioDA posted some interesting questions, but I would bypass that and go directly to the question from the OP. What would be the 5 essential odd jackets?
Chorn's answer is based in colours.

"If I had a five jacket rotation, I'd have one mid brown, one dark brown, one solid navy, one mid-blue jacket, and maybe a blue with a simple pattern (large scale or small, but not medium)"
I can see two browns, but no beige (is mid brown a beige?) I see three blues but no a mid/light grey.
there my option would be: 1 dark brown, 1 tan, 1 solid navy, 1 mid blue and 1 light/mid grey.

I am not considering fabric/texture as I dont know where the OP lives neither I've considered any brands. I think once you know what you want you can find anything in any budget.
 

robertito

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871
Out of 5 yes. Rather than 2 browns and 3 blues. I understand it could not be easy because sometimes it can look as an orphan suit, but for that we would need to play with the texture and the fabric.

some options;












What would be your five?
 

ConchitaWurst

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Out of 5 yes. Rather than 2 browns and 3 blues. I understand it could not be easy because sometimes it can look as an orphan suit, but for that we would need to play with the texture and the fabric.

some options;












What would be your five?
there wouldnt be a plain grey in there. maybe a grey tweed herringbone. maybe

but it really depends on what climate you live. here in northern europe i would say a year around navy blazer, a navy cashmere or wool cashmere mix for winter (could have a pattern like a windowpane), a donegal tweed for winter (you pick the colour, could even be grey if you want) and two linen or (one linen and a linen mix) sport coats for summer, a plain beige one and a french blue (could have a windowpane pattern like the dormeuil i just posted in the tissue thread)
 

ConchitaWurst

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Out of 5 yes. Rather than 2 browns and 3 blues. I understand it could not be easy because sometimes it can look as an orphan suit, but for that we would need to play with the texture and the fabric.

some options;












What would be your five?
dont like any of these, except for maybe for the rl (?) model in the grey tweed (?). most of these pictures look like coxsackie on a bad day
 

ConchitaWurst

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They are the first five pictures I found in internet, but again why would be your five odd jackets and why dont (if you do) like the pale/mid grey.
look up thread manuel! i answered your question!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thats a very common problem taking the first items one finds. also in kopping. restraint and patience are very important
 

ConchitaWurst

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tosq

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In general, I wouldn't suggest buying 5 of anything. Instead I would suggest one start with a well-fitting staple and then focus on building a small wardrobe of complimentary parts - ala chorn's method.

In Darkside's case I would say the color pallette for both current and planned jacket purchases is already quite staple-ish, but may lack enough for consideration of seasonality.

Given professional and social dress codes influence much of the seasonal color choice, this needs to be better defined.


Regards,

Tosq
 

robertito

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Messages
871
I am not sure why you call my attitude rush as my selection is nearly the same than yours. you left the brown behind and used blue again. I have not mentioned any texture / divided the coats in winter/summer as I dont know the context where the OP lives.
I am not asking to go for those particular jackets, I don't even know from where they come from, just replying to your question about the pale/mid grey.

I agree with the comment that patiente is the key to build a good wardrobe.

but it really depends on what climate you live. here in northern europe i would say a year around navy blazer, a navy cashmere or wool cashmere mix for winter (could have a pattern like a windowpane), a donegal tweed for winter (you pick the colour, could even be grey if you want) and two linen or (one linen and a linen mix) sport coats for summer, a plain beige one and a french blue (could have a windowpane pattern like the dormeuil i just posted in the tissue thread)
 

ConchitaWurst

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I am not sure why you call my attitude rush as my selection is nearly the same than yours. you left the brown behind and used blue again. I have not mentioned any texture / divided the coats in winter/summer as I dont know the context where the OP lives.
I am not asking to go for those particular jackets, I don't even know from where they come from, just replying to your question about the pale/mid grey.

I agree with the comment that patiente is the key to build a good wardrobe.
probably my prejuidice getting the better of me
 

fxh

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darkside - I'm inclined to be with eliod here, to an extent, and ask a lot of questions about context, age, height/weight, work, social life, personal style, climate, budget, preferences, what you already have, are you dressing for the internet or real life, etc. I'm not even convinced you need 5 sports coats.
That all assuming you aren't Noodles sock?

OTOH if you have unlimited parental dollars as most SF people seem to have - go for it.​

I'm especially concerned seeing the only pics you posted show you in a fairly refined spots coat with chinos and/or jeans and open necked shirt.
 

Russell Street

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I'm equally skeptical on gray odd coats. I forgot where I heard it, but any sport coat that one can't pair with some medium gray trousers should be disregarded.

This would've been good to see before I got that, albeit beautiful, brown checked coat. It's too country for white, most patterned shirts won't work, and I end up wearing it with the same one or two colored solid shirts all the time, severely limiting use. Meanwhile, I have two old tweed herringbones that can be tossed on almost completely indiscriminately.
 
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colco

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darkside - I'm inclined to be with eliod here, to an extent, and ask a lot of questions about context, age, height/weight, work, social life, personal style, climate, budget, preferences, what you already have, are you dressing for the internet or real life, etc. I'm not even convinced you need 5 sports coats.
That all assuming you aren't Noodles sock?

OTOH if you have unlimited parental dollars as most SF people seem to have - go for it.​

I'm especially concerned seeing the only pics you posted show you in a fairly refined spots coat with chinos and/or jeans and open necked shirt.

This. Seasonality, at minimum plays a big part in this. Five odd jackets in a place with hot summers is very different than if you live in Southern California.
 
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colco

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I'm equally skeptical on gray odd coats. I forgot where I heard it, but any sport coat that one can't pair with some medium gray trousers should be disregarded.

This would've been good to see before I got that, albeit beautiful, brown checked coat. It's too country for white, most patterned shirts won't work, and I end up wearing it with the same one or two colored solid shirts all the time, severely limiting use. Meanwhile, I have two old tweed herringbones that can be tossed on almost completely indiscriminately.

I am on the hunt for a grey herringbone tweed for the coming season. I do not care whether it will pair well with grey trousers or not.
 

Mcdonald

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Messages
372
I'm surprised that the academics in this thread start giving advice without asking a few relevant questions first.
Darkside do you have no requirements for suits? If so, any other professional wardrobe requirements or are you doing this purely for your own pleasure?
What climate do you live in?
What are you aiming to achieve within the menswear idiom? Dressing 'correctly' or is it more about individual expression?
Last but not least, what are you willing to invest? I'm asking because a certain member here will no doubt chime in at some point and tell you to book a ticket to Napoli....
Very pertinent questions if you don't want to dress like a conformist.


For starters with the assumption that you are based in the northern hemisphere

Summer
- Navy hopsack jacket for the summer months.
- White/beige/cream/whatever summer jacket

Fall
- Solid Navy flannel or cashmere blend
- Dark olive in a plaid check with other color accents
- Brown donegal or herringbone tweed
 

robertito

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871
Very pertinent questions if you don't want to dress like a conformist.


For starters with the assumption that you are based in the northern hemisphere

Summer
- Navy hopsack jacket for the summer months.
- White/beige/cream/whatever summer jacket
Fall
- Solid Navy flannel or casare blend
- Dark olive in a plaid check with other color accents
- Brown donegal or herringbone tweed
now imagine for one second that you live in 1 season sort of climate. Variances in temperature coud be +/5-7 degrees between summer and winter. And the average temperature could be 25. If I were in the USA I could say California.
What would be the 5 then? no flannel, no tweed, you could have the dark olive in cotton, but what about the other 2?
 

Dropbear

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After seven years on iGent forums I'm still a noob at this and don't really care. With that caveat, I'll add my vote to a grey jacket that doesn't look like an orphan - either a PoW check in a lighter colour for summer or a darker tweed with lots of texture in winter.

I'm also a fan of petrol blue for suits and jackets - a medium blue-grey that will pair with both those colours without looking like a forced match.
 

Mcdonald

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372
now imagine for one second that you live in 1 season sort of climate. Variances in temperature coud be +/5-7 degrees between summer and winter. And the average temperature could be 25. If I were in the USA I could say California.
What would be the 5 then? no flannel, no tweed, you could have the dark olive in cotton, but what about the other 2?
Fair enough, I once lived in SoCal so I understand

In addition to the summer choices I mentioned above I'd also add

- Mid blue jacket in a linen blend. I've found cotton doesn't really work well as odd jackets
- Taupe jacket preferably a plaid/check pattern and also some form of wool/linen/blend which will work well with chinos or grey trousers. It's more useful than grey
- (Optional and based on bias) Blue patterned jacket. Just make sure the patterns are distinctively odd jacket. Personal preference for very bold windowpane.

I could have added green but I prefer the color for fall/winter
 
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Darkside

Well-Known Member
Messages
696
I'm surprised that the academics in this thread start giving advice without asking a few relevant questions first.
Darkside do you have no requirements for suits? If so, any other professional wardrobe requirements or are you doing this purely for your own pleasure?
What climate do you live in?
What are you aiming to achieve within the menswear idiom? Dressing 'correctly' or is it more about individual expression?
Last but not least, what are you willing to invest? I'm asking because a certain member here will no doubt chime in at some point and tell you to book a ticket to Napoli....
I have a charcoal and navy MTM suit that I recently bought for my interviews last fall. They probably aren't perfect, but they serve me well on the suit front for weddings, etc. (Picture attached)

I don't work in a profession where I am required to wear jackets ever, and very rarely even shirts, ties, and slacks. So I suppose you can say this is more for pleasure than business. This is also why I side more towards casual wear, and why my photos in the OP are with chinos/jeans. When it does come to formal wear, I try to dress "correctly" because I have little experience in the area, and don't feel comfortable breaking those rules. When I'm in the gray area where CM Casual lies, I think it's more about personal expression.

As far as climate goes, I will be in the New England area for at least the next four years, but I just moved here. I'm originally from the sweltering South Florida climate, where shorts are perfectly acceptable for black tie.

There is no "rush" attitude; just different perspective. I was looking at First 5 jackets from a color standpoint, whereas you are looking at the more nuanced aspect of fabric texture and weight, which I agree is important. Since I don't need these items for work, I just want pieces that I can wear out to a nice dinner or even push onto semi-formal event.

P.S. ConchitaWurst LKP FriendCustomer prince nez, and anyone else, please excuse my ignorance towards the membership of DW royalty.
 

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colco

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Darkside, if you are living in New England, and fall is approaching, I'd look at getting a blue odd jacket in a heavier flannel, or cashmere and a brown tweed. Your blue won't stand up to a new england winter, and the lack of texture will make it look out of place as well. You need some fuzzy shit.
 

FriendCustomer

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P.S. ConchitaWurst LKP FriendCustomer prince nez, and anyone else, please excuse my ignorance towards the membership of DW royalty.
no royalty here. the only royal was a certain Swedish Prince who happened to quit the forum. perhaps one or two northern european high bourgeois. the rest of us are people of various diaspora : semetic, indo-european and asian.

i doubt anyone will give you shit for your ignorance. you have the right attitude and come asking for advice and I beleive you are willing to listen. this is in stark contrast to certain new members such @alfanoughts and Noodles . Hopefully the later will be banned soon.

i don't have the time to read all of the posts. but my advice to you if you are living in New England is a seasonal wardrobe. If I had to do 5 jackets, I would do 3 blue blazers : one navy heavy weight DB, one navy medium weight SB, and one blue (a shade or two lighter than navy) summer wieght. Additionally I would do a heavywieght brown tweed (donegal, harris, or shetland) and a light blue lightweight linen or linen blend. Boring choices but you would get maximum usage out of these. 6 choice would be a mid wieght gun club or window pane.
 

Noodles

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Yes Darkside, don't be like me. I xan already see that you're a mature person who won't be a nutjob like me. I struggled with 38R vs 40R, and on and on my stubbornness went on.

Do you plan on having a minimalistic closet?
 
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tosq

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I would also suggest a camel hair blazer for the 5th/6th slot in the rotation.
 

Russell Street

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If I had to do 5 jackets, I would do 3 blue blazers : one navy heavy weight DB, one navy medium weight SB, and one blue (a shade or two lighter than navy) summer wieght. Additionally I would do a heavywieght brown tweed (donegal, harris, or shetland) and a light blue lightweight linen or linen blend. Boring choices but you would get maximum usage out of these.
This is almost totally in line with my thinking for the most near-universal versatility. I can't wear a fresco blazer with gray flannel pants! I need a blazer of hefty doeskin or somesuch. You want something for when it's downright hot, and a lighter blue is a proper nod to summer without getting too nutty. A navy hopsack that can be thrown in moderate temperatures is a workhorse, and at least one tweed for any rustic/country/informal stuff.
 

ConchitaWurst

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no royalty here. the only royal was a certain Swedish Prince who happened to quit the forum. perhaps one or two northern european high bourgeois. the rest of us are people of various diaspora : semetic, indo-european and asian.

i doubt anyone will give you shit for your ignorance. you have the right attitude and come asking for advice and I beleive you are willing to listen. this is in stark contrast to certain new members such @alfanoughts and Noodles . Hopefully the later will be banned soon.

i don't have the time to read all of the posts. but my advice to you if you are living in New England is a seasonal wardrobe. If I had to do 5 jackets, I would do 3 blue blazers : one navy heavy weight DB, one navy medium weight SB, and one blue (a shade or two lighter than navy) summer wieght. Additionally I would do a heavywieght brown tweed (donegal, harris, or shetland) and a light blue lightweight linen or linen blend. Boring choices but you would get maximum usage out of these. 6 choice would be a mid wieght gun club or window pane.
its like you read and copied my post
 

ConchitaWurst

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6,069
I have a charcoal and navy MTM suit that I recently bought for my interviews last fall. They probably aren't perfect, but they serve me well on the suit front for weddings, etc. (Picture attached)

I don't work in a profession where I am required to wear jackets ever, and very rarely even shirts, ties, and slacks. So I suppose you can say this is more for pleasure than business. This is also why I side more towards casual wear, and why my photos in the OP are with chinos/jeans. When it does come to formal wear, I try to dress "correctly" because I have little experience in the area, and don't feel comfortable breaking those rules. When I'm in the gray area where CM Casual lies, I think it's more about personal expression.

As far as climate goes, I will be in the New England area for at least the next four years, but I just moved here. I'm originally from the sweltering South Florida climate, where shorts are perfectly acceptable for black tie.

There is no "rush" attitude; just different perspective. I was looking at First 5 jackets from a color standpoint, whereas you are looking at the more nuanced aspect of fabric texture and weight, which I agree is important. Since I don't need these items for work, I just want pieces that I can wear out to a nice dinner or even push onto semi-formal event.

P.S. ConchitaWurst LKP FriendCustomer prince nez, and anyone else, please excuse my ignorance towards the membership of DW royalty.
why are you looking at suit supply? theyve done a great marketing job positionkng themselves outside of holland as the best thing since sliced bread but its really pretty mediocre stuff. arent there any good local shops in new england?
 
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