spk22

Starting Member
I’m 18 and just got my first job. It’s working retail so at least I’m starting somewhere and it’ll be fun cause I’m working with friends. But it’s got a super strict dress code...black pants, tucked in shirt, tie (plus mask, earpiece in at all times,apron...last two provided by them).

I’m kind of nervous because I’ve always been kind of a t shirt guy, so this’ll be a big change dressing up all day, five days a week. What all should I have for the weekly cycle? I am valuing cost and comfort more so than style to be honest.

How long do you think it’ll take to get use to wearing a tie and dressing up? I’ve always found ties kinda uncomfortable but I want to go through with this

thanks!
 

some_dude

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Congratulations on the job! That is awesome!

I think others can probably help more with finding a low-cost wardrobe for this (and I think you will!), but I do have an important suggestion about comfort:

Make sure that whatever shirts you buy, the collars are not too tight! For some reason, clothing salesman always want to encourage tighter clothes. No! The key to comfort is having a reasonable collar. Then, when you tie your tie, you don't need it to be especially tight either. You don't want the knot to hang loosely or anything, but it doesn't need to be choking you.
 

drpeter

Super Member
Excellent advice from @some_dude. And let me add my congratulations too on your first job! It's lovely to think of someone embarking on a life of work. I don't know what your line of work is, but whatever it is, do it as well as you possibly can.

I haven't bought too many new shirts lately, but for years, I routinely bought shirts that were larger by a half-size. The cotton inevitably shrank in the laundry over the months and years, and the extra half-size settled into my correct neck size. My work, university teaching, did not specify any dress code, but I usually wore blazers, sports jackets and ties, grey flannels and khakis, sweaters, etc.

Now, as to your wardrobe: For the dress code at work, does it always have to be black trousers? Or is there some flexibility -- charcoal grey, dark blue, etc? For the shirt, does it have to be white always? Or can you have blues, pinks, small checks or stripes, etc.? Does the tie have to be the same colour, or can there be different colours? Does it have to be a solid or can it have small patterns, like stripes? This information will be useful for me to speak further about your options.

Assuming the requirements are pretty inflexible, what you should aim for is to have, eventually, about five to seven sets of clothes (pants and shirts) that you can rotate through the work week. Likewise, about seven ties which you can wear through the work week. This is so that you don't have to repeat anything within the week.

Have you thought about shoes and socks? Are there requirements there, or is there flexibility? Also, one way to keep the cost down is to buy your clothes from Goodwill or another thrift shop or consignment shop. Very reasonable prices, and if you look carefully, you can find some great clothes, often brand new with tags. There is a large selection of pants and shirts, in all sizes. If you read the thread in this forum titled "Thrift store Blues and Brags" you'll see examples of purchases people made and what they paid for these items.

If you can provide a bit more information about the broad nature of the retail job, it would be helpful for me to assist you in selecting a wardrobe.
 
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Faust

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Congrats as well.

My small piece of advice is not to go overboard with expensive shirts. I'll echo some_dude and say that there are a lot of threads on the forum that discuss affordable and expensive brands and haberdashers. For the most part you need to think about what could be the typical lifetime of the shirts/pants. Some jobs require more elbow grease than others and you may wear through clothes more quickly. Good luck!
 

fishertw

Advanced Member
I agree with others here about buying lower cost shirts with a neck size about a half (numerical not S M L) size larger than will easily button around your neck. Good luck with your new job. I wore a tie to work for over 35 years and it easily becomes a regular part of your life. Dont let it throw you.
Cheers.
 

spk22

Starting Member
Excellent advice from @some_dude. And let me add my congratulations too on your first job! It's lovely to think of someone embarking on a life of work. I don't know what your line of work is, but whatever it is, do it as well as you possibly can.

I haven't bought too many new shirts lately, but for years, I routinely bought shirts that were larger by a half-size. The cotton inevitably shrank in the laundry over the months and years, and the extra half-size settled into my correct neck size. My work, university teaching, did not specify any dress code, but I usually wore blazers, sports jackets and ties, grey flannels and khakis, sweaters, etc.

Now, as to your wardrobe: For the dress code at work, does it always have to be black trousers? Or is there some flexibility -- charcoal grey, dark blue, etc? For the shirt, does it have to be white always? Or can you have blues, pinks, small checks or stripes, etc.? Does the tie have to be the same colour, or can there be different colours? Does it have to be a solid or can it have small patterns, like stripes? This information will be useful for me to speak further about your options.

Assuming the requirements are pretty inflexible, what you should aim for is to have, eventually, about five to seven sets of clothes (pants and shirts) that you can rotate through the work week. Likewise, about seven ties which you can wear through the work week. This is so that you don't have to repeat anything within the week.

Have you thought about shoes and socks? Are there requirements there, or is there flexibility? Also, one way to keep the cost down is to buy your clothes from Goodwill or another thrift shop or consignment shop. Very reasonable prices, and if you look carefully, you can find some great clothes, often brand new with tags. There is a large selection of pants and shirts, in all sizes. If you read the thread in this forum titled "Thrift store Blues and Brags" you'll see examples of purchases people made and what they paid for these items.

If you can provide a bit more information about the broad nature of the retail job, it would be helpful for me to assist you in selecting a wardrobe.
Thanks for your response. Its weird going from wearing t shirts all the time to dress clothes/tie everyday. It’s at a grocery store so nothing fancy haha . Our pants have to be black and shirt has to be white, but we can wear whatever ties we want. Shoes and socks have to be black.
 

spk22

Starting Member
Congratulations on the job! That is awesome!

I think others can probably help more with finding a low-cost wardrobe for this (and I think you will!), but I do have an important suggestion about comfort:

Make sure that whatever shirts you buy, the collars are not too tight! For some reason, clothing salesman always want to encourage tighter clothes. No! The key to comfort is having a reasonable collar. Then, when you tie your tie, you don't need it to be especially tight either. You don't want the knot to hang loosely or anything, but it doesn't need to be choking you.
okay I’ll pay attention to my collar. I know in the past I’ve never liked ties because I felt they were tight but that was maybe the collar. I definitely don’t want that for a 8 hour shift lol
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
Congratulation on the new job. And don't worry as, like @fishertw, I wore a tie everyday for almost thirty years and, once I got the right size, it never bothered me one bit.

All the above advice is great, but also be careful not to go too far the other way, meaning having your collar fit too loose as that looks awful and feels weird.

I remember starting out and being told the "one-to-two finger" measure as shown here:

https://propercloth.com/reference/how-the-dress-shirt-collar-should-fit/

Hope it helps.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll do well as you seem like a thoughtful young man.
 

TimF

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
The advice to be mindful of shrinkage in the collar only applies if the collar is 100% cotton, and has no glue (aka fusing). If the OP is shopping for shirts on a budget, it's almost guaranteed he will be purchasing fused collars, and should expect near-zero shrinkage. So in that case, judging the comfort based on out-of-box experience should not be far off.
 

spk22

Starting Member
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. This was my first day of work outfit (black slacks out of frame). I hope it’s acceptable haha. Wearing a tie all day was super strange but I think I’ll get use to it.

I’ll have to stock up on shirts and pants like suggested. Maybe a variety of ties because it’s really the only thing I can vary up.
 

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drpeter

Super Member
Our pants have to be black and shirt has to be white, but we can wear whatever ties we want. Shoes and socks have to be black
In that case, you are probably limited to finding black pants and white shirts, and again there is plenty to be had at thrift shops like Goodwill. You may still have some freedom in choosing styles of pants and shirts. For pants, you could consider whether you want black jeans (I'd recommend against this, especially since you are wearing a tie, but others don't mind that), or black dress pants in cotton (like Dockers pants). Likewise, shirts could be classic oxford cloth button downs (OCBD, in our parlance here) or broadcloth shirts with short or long point collars. Both styles would be quite acceptable. You might like English style spread collars as well. For pants and shirts, 100% cotton is ideal, but a mix of cotton and polyester is also fine, and easier to keep from wrinkling too much. By the way, pants range from $5.99 to $9.99 and shirts too are in that broad range of prices.

A very nice selection of ties can be had at Goodwill, and they are sold now at a flat rate of $1.99 (an unbeatable price, except for their clearance price which is 99 cents!) A basic set would be a couple of solids (dark blue, and maroon, or dark green), a couple of repp stripes in any colors -- these are the diagonally striped ones -- and finally a nice paisley tie in any set of colours you like, and a plaid wool or cotton tie in a houndstooth or check pattern. In addition you could add a pindot tie (white dots on blue/maroon is good and very elegant looking) and also one with a neat pattern (small repeating figures like circles or squares against a solid background). Most colours and patterns are fine against the neutral background of white shirt and black pants.

Stick to 100% silk ties, or 100% wool ties. If you like a tie particularly, then a blend of silk or wool with other materials is acceptable. You can look for Robert Talbott, Bill Blass, McGregor's, French or Italian makers, and other brand names. These are all well-made ties.

Make sure your inspect the clothes and ties very carefully. You want to avoid damage of any kind, and holes and pulled threads are not uncommon. Goodwill has now opened their fitting rooms so you can try the clothes out for fit.

Lastly, you can find shoes and socks at Goodwill as well. Black shoes come in different styles, and a simple cap-toe oxford in good calfskin would be great for you. Buy two or even three pairs, if you can find them. They would cost between $10 and $20 per pair. Again inspect them carefully and try them on.

A general point: The most important thing in your selection is FIT. If an item of clothing or a pair of shoes does not fit, no other quality will make it a reasonable purchase. Put it aside, and go to the next selection.

Good hunting!
 
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spk22

Starting Member
In that case, you are probably limited to finding black pants and white shirts, and again there is plenty to be had at thrift shops like Goodwill. You may still have some freedom in choosing styles of pants and shirts. For pants, you could consider whether you want black jeans (I'd recommend against this, especially since you are wearing a tie, but others don't mind that), or black dress pants in cotton (like Dockers pants). Likewise, shirts could be classic oxford cloth button downs (OCBD, in our parlance here) or broadcloth shirts with short or long point collars. Both styles would be quite acceptable. You might like English style spread collars as well. For pants and shirts, 100% cotton is ideal, but a mix of cotton and polyester is also fine, and easier to keep from wrinkling too much. By the way, pants range from $5.99 to $9.99 and shirts too are in that broad range of prices.

A very nice selection of ties can be had at Goodwill, and they are sold now at a flat rate of $1.99 (an unbeatable price, except for their clearance price which is 99 cents!) A basic set would be a couple of solids (dark blue, and maroon, or dark green), a couple of repp stripes in any colors -- these are the diagonally striped ones -- and finally a nice paisley tie in any set of colours you like, and a plaid wool or cotton tie in a houndstooth or check pattern. In addition you could add a pindot tie (white dots on blue/maroon is good and very elegant looking) and also one with a neat pattern (small repeating figures like circles or squares against a solid background). Most colours and patterns are fine against the neutral background of white shirt and black pants.

Stick to 100% silk ties, or 100% wool ties. If you like a tie particularly, then a blend of silk or wool with other materials is acceptable. You can look for Robert Talbott, Bill Blass, McGregor's, French or Italian makers, and other brand names. These are all well-made ties.

Make sure your inspect the clothes and ties very carefully. You want to avoid damage of any kind, and holes and pulled threads are not uncommon. Goodwill has now opened their fitting rooms so you can try the clothes out for fit.

Lastly, you can find shoes and socks at Goodwill as well. Black shoes come in different styles, and a simple cap-toe oxford in good calfskin would be great for you. Buy two or even three pairs, if you can find them. They would cost between $10 and $20 per pair. Again inspect them carefully and try them on.

A general point: The most important thing in your selection is FIT. If an item of clothing or a pair of shoes does not fit, no other quality will make it a reasonable purchase. Put it aside, and go to the next selection.

Good hunting!
thanks for the guidance.Yeah no freedom on the shirt and pants, they have to be black and white...so any variation comes from the ties. And no jeans allowed so I’m sticking the dresser options.

i got a variety of ties today and some extra shirts and pants. Worked two days now...I was super nervous about dressing up but actually it wasn’t bad and I got use to it pretty quickly.

I think I pull off dressing up pretty well:)
 

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