First of all, your site is an invaluable resource for us men. I've learned things about dressing up that I've never quite understood before. I have a few questions since I'm about to enter the corporate world. My college days were spent mostly in shorts, jeans, sneakers, and t-shirts. I wasn't the typical stylish guy back then but I want to have an improved image now that I'm about to work. I find myself unsure of what to buy to at least have a closet with the "essentials". Can you recommend brands of long-sleeved shirts that you prefer? I'm looking specifically for those crisp, white dress shirts that I see on TV but I can't seem to find one. How about neckties? I'm seeing inexpensive brands in department stores but I was wondering if it would be better to invest on those nice silk ties. Finally, is it advisable for me to have my pants custom-made or just stick with off-the-rack items? I hope you can suggest brands that are within the range of a typical worker earning 20-25k. Thanks a lot.
Dressing up is not primarily about brands. It's about quality and fit. Of course, the generally accepted belief is that branded clothes tend to do well on quality. But, good fit is not always a function of the price tag.
If you're lucky to have a medium build with mannequinesque proportions, then retail is still the best and probably the more affordable option. Your mentioned income will be able to afford you classic shirts from Marks & Spencer and Zara.
However, if you have a tricky body build (vertically or horizontally challenged), then visit a good tailor with approximately 2. 5 yards of pure Japanese or Swiss cotton fabric. Be ready to spend somewhere from P 1,800 to P 2,500 for well-tailored shirts. But, I assure you, once you get the right tailor, you will be spoiled with the right-fitting shirts.
There are a lot of option for affordable ties -- those from Tie Line, Top Man and Zara are among those that won't break the bank.
On pants, I'm still for tailored, unpleated pants.
I've mentioned this before... clothes are an investment. Especially for someone who's just starting out, the first impressions you will create will have a big impact on how your career will progress (or not).
Enjoy the real world!