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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the last 20+ years, I’ve worked at a company with a required uniform. Everyone wore the same thing — production workers, management, even the company president. I had other meetings and events outside of work that required business attire, but not every day.
Over the last several years I have added nicer elements to my wardrobe for these functions (and in anticipation of a possible job change).

Because it was not a corporate environment, I felt more freedom in choosing some of these items. As an example, I wanted a nice navy blazer but I went with a double-breasted style.

Now, as I look to potentially start a job where a sports coat and tie is normal daily wear, I wonder what basic items are considered a “must.” For example, should I purchase a standard navy blazer to wear in place of my double-breasted one? Are there any rules about how often you should wear the same sports coat?

I would appreciate any advice.
Thank you.
 

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Now, as I look to potentially start a job where a sports coat and tie is normal daily wear, I wonder what basic items are considered a "must." For example, should I purchase a standard navy blazer to wear in place of my double-breasted one?
What's the job exactly? Will you be supervising anyone? Will you be meeting with customers face-to-face?

As far as blazers/sport coats are concerned, I guess you should have what I consider the core: a single-breasted navy blazer, and at least two sport coats: a black-and-white herringbone, and a dark brown or medium brown herringbone. Then, over time, add a primarily brown glen plaid and a district check.

Regarding trousers, don't limit yourself to khakis. Have in your wardrobe a decent supply of wool trousers: a couple of shades of grey flannels, and grey and tan gabardines and tropic weights.

Neckties: Start out with two solid ties--both gabardine--one navy, one burgundy. And three ties with stripes--an Argyle and Sutherland; a Brooks Brothers #1 (black and white diagonal stripes on a burgundy background); and one with gold diagonal stripes on a dark blue background. The aforementioned ties are the most versatile.

Are there any rules about how often you should wear the same sports coat?
No rules; play it by ear. You don't want to be known as "the guy who always wears the [fill in the blank]." My feeling is that you should have at least 5 jackets so that you don't wear the same one more than once a week. But people probably won't notice or care if you have only 4 jackets in your rotation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What's the job exactly? Will you be supervising anyone? Will you be meeting with customers face-to-face?

As far as blazers/sport coats are concerned, I guess you should have what I consider the core: a single-breasted navy blazer, and at least two sport coats: a black-and-white herringbone, and a dark brown or medium brown herringbone. Then, over time, add a primarily brown glen plaid and a district check.

Regarding trousers, don't limit yourself to khakis. Have in your wardrobe a decent supply of wool trousers: a couple of shades of grey flannels, and grey and tan gabardines and tropic weights.

Neckties: Start out with two solid ties--both gabardine--one navy, one burgundy. And three ties with stripes--an Argyle and Sutherland; a Brooks Brothers #1 (black and white diagonal stripes on a burgundy background); and one with gold diagonal stripes on a dark blue background. The aforementioned ties are the most versatile.

No rules; play it by ear. You don't want to be known as "the guy who always wears the [fill in the blank]." My feeling is that you should have at least 5 jackets so that you don't wear the same one more than once a week. But people probably won't notice or care if you have only 4 jackets in your rotation.
When you mention a "herringbone" sports coat, I immediately think of tweed - which would be great for the colder months. I've got a grey herringbone sports coat (with a blue windowpane woven into it). I believe it's flannel, which still seems like a winter material. Actually, I've got winter pretty well covered with a guncheck tweed, a camel hair blazer, a corduroy blazer, and a couple of other patterned blazers.

What is a good spring/summer jacket? That might be the weakest area for me. I do have a blue windowpane, and a tan plaid jacket that seems to be appropriate. (The blue is so bold as I can't imagine wearing it every week.)
 

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You could wear a blue blazer more than once a week, it wouldn't look overdone. I'd keep the double breasted in the rotation, it spices things up when you need to (yes, a touch formal, but that's the point). IMO the more unique and attention-grabbing an outfit or jacket, the less often it should show up in a clothing rotation. My advice is to build slowly with things you like. Past experience (and my past closet!) has steered me away from impulse buys, where I see something I like and buy it on a whim. Those clothes typically gather too much dust!
 

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What is a good spring/summer jacket? That might be the weakest area for me.
You should go to the O'Connell's Clothing website and do some window shopping. Even if you don't plan on buying anything, the website is perfect for you because it divides the sport coats into categories such as "spring-summer," "fall-winter," "year 'round," "Harris tweed," etc. Click on "spring-summer" and you'll get plenty of ideas for what sport coats to wear during those seasons. (O'Connell's has 60 sport coats in that category alone. A lot of them are on sale right now.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You should go to the O'Connell's Clothing website and do some window shopping. Even if you don't plan on buying anything, the website is perfect for you because it divides the sport coats into categories such as "spring-summer," "fall-winter," "year 'round," "Harris tweed," etc. Click on "spring-summer" and you'll get plenty of ideas for what sport coats to wear during those seasons. (O'Connell's has 60 sport coats in that category alone. A lot of them are on sale right now.)
Thank you. I appreciate the help.

I reviewed the sports coats on their website and liked several of them. I like the way that they're organized - that is VERY helpful. With the sale, they are still more than I was hoping to spend. (I'm not working yet!)

Thanks again.
 
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