My new job is business casual. Where to shop?
May 19, 2010 3:05 PM   Subscribe

My new job is business casual. Where to shop?

Sure, we've done this a few times before with the ladies, but I'm a skinny guy on a middle-class budget who likes quiet colors and blending into the background. Where to shop and for what?
posted by Avenger50 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My husband's go-to store for business shirts is Brooks Brothers. They have amazing no-iron button down shirts which come out wrinkle-less if washed on the permanent press setting.
posted by choochoo at 3:10 PM on May 19, 2010

'Two words: Banana. Republic.' is probably the canonical answer, at least in terms of getting your bearings.
posted by holgate at 3:13 PM on May 19, 2010

Yep, Banana Republic, J.Crew if your budget is a little higher, Lands End for "no iron" (but slightly less stylish/well cut) stuff.
posted by bethist at 3:27 PM on May 19, 2010

If there's an outlet mall anywhere near you, the Banana Republic factory outlets have pretty reasonable prices on decent stuff.
posted by sinfony at 3:32 PM on May 19, 2010

I too am a skinny guy. All my pants are from Banana Republic, but every time I buy a new pair they are a different style/size than the last one. I have a bunch of American Apparel polos, but I don't think they sell the ones I like anymore (This one has two buttons. Mine has four). AA has a way of screwing up a good thing like that.

If you are ever anywhere near New York City, Uniqlo will change your life.
posted by Xalf at 3:36 PM on May 19, 2010

The extra slim-fit shirts and "milano" fit pants at Brooks Brothers are great for slimmer guys.
posted by cazoo at 4:03 PM on May 19, 2010

I'm going to throw my hat in for Banana Republic. When I started my new job that place became my best friend. Everything just fits.
posted by fso at 4:27 PM on May 19, 2010

I can say enough good things about the Brooks Brothers non-iron shirts. I have the women's versions and the higher up-front cost is well worth the time saved on ironing. They just always look good, and if they don't you just put them in the clothes dryer for a minute or two and they're back to perfect. Buttons always stay on, and the shirts generally hold up to many wears. Totally worth it.

However, since you're on a budget, Land's End makes pretty nice stuff for men (including non-iron shirts) that would be over half the cost of a Brooks Brothers shirt.
posted by belau at 4:33 PM on May 19, 2010

Martin & Osa has some great stuff too, if you've got them where you're at.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:26 PM on May 19, 2010

Brooks Brothers shirts are a decent deal, especially on sale. The chinos are also a good deal.

Brooks tends to have very big sales a few times a year, where almost everything in the store is very discounted. Wait for one of those, and go stock up on a few things.

You can get plenty of decent stuff at JC Penny or Macys. Just avoid the polyester dress pants, which feel nice at first but don't hold up after repeated washing.

I personally try to avoid non-iron shirts, because they are less breathable due to the process the fabric goes through. I had a Brooks Brothers non-iron shirt and it was probably about as breathable as wearing a garbage bag. Just buy regular shirts and iron them all at once on the weekend after you wash them. It only takes a few minutes per shirt.
posted by twblalock at 6:41 PM on May 19, 2010

I'm a really tiny/skinny girl and J.Crew and Banana Republic cater to the skinny person more so than most chain stores. Which sucks, because they're also way more expensive than most chain stores, but I wanted to vouch for that. If you find stuff you like at either store, buy more than one in different colors, because they (at least for women's) change up the cuts and lengths of stuff randomly.
posted by ishotjr at 6:48 PM on May 19, 2010

Kohls, if there's one around you, has a couple line of nice men's clothes. But I'm nthing JCrew and B.R.
posted by dorothyrose at 7:19 PM on May 19, 2010

FYI, Martin & Osa is closing, so if you are confident their stuff will fit you you can get some crazy deals right now (no returns).
posted by somanyamys at 7:55 AM on May 20, 2010

Banana Republic is pretty much the definition of conservative but stylish business casual. Uniqlo is even better (less expensive, wider range of options, more fashionable), but their only US store is in New York.
posted by andrewraff at 8:15 AM on May 20, 2010

Zara is great for skinny guys because the cut is European which is narrower. I think guys in Zara look really sharp.
posted by rmless at 8:44 AM on May 20, 2010

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