Monday, July 7, 2014

Tips for law students (and lawyers) looking to buy inexpensive work attire

There's a very informative post over at the JD Underground blog that some of our readers might find helpful concerning tips for buying inexpensive men's suits for work.  With OCI just around the corner (at some schools it now starts in August - yikes!), no doubt many law students on a budget will soon be looking to find appropriate interview clothes. The readers over at JD Underground have posted several great suggestions for retailers who offer stellar deals (some are discounters who have deals all the time while others you'll need to shop the sales) like Joseph A. Bank, Nordstrom Rack, Bloomingdales Outlet, Brooks Brothers (if you wait for the sales and then open a charge account), etc. 

One of the better suggestions I can confirm from my own experience is eBay.  It can take patience if you're looking for a particular brand or maker, but the deals can be phenomenal.  Specifically, consider buying slightly used suits from private sellers rather than retailers.  Guys are always emptying their closets onto eBay and you can frequently find very fine suits that have been worn only once or twice, if at all, for a pittance.  Sure, you may have to spend a little money getting it tailored but you're going to have that expense anyway with a store-bought suit.  Here's another tip; if you're not already familiar with a particular brand's fit, ask the seller to provide key measurements (like pit-to-pit, shoulder-seam-to shoulder-seam, etc.) so you don't have any unpleasant surprises when the suit arrives in the mail since fit varies from one maker to the next. 

Ebay is also killer for a lot of peripherals like dress shirts and ties - shoes too though if you've already got a favorite brand like Johnston & Murphy, Grenson, Cole Haan, etc., try using the "shopping" feature on Google to track down sales outlets for those particular brands.  Many of these discounters offer free returns since that's become de rigueur in the online world in order to remain competitive.  Shopstyle is a good aggregator site that let's you shop for sales by brand.

And one more suggestion - don't overlook Amazon.  Yes, they do sell clothes including men's suits (is there anything you can't get on Amazon these days?).  Amazon also acts as an aggregator of sorts since many retailers list their wares (especially discounted items) here in addition to their own websites.  You have to be patient and wait for stuff to be discounted but there are some serious deals to be had (a friend of mine just bought a cool sharkskin suit for $99.00).  Plus with Amazon, you've got a great return policy which means it's pretty much risk free. 

Of course all the foregoing is male-centric because, hey, I'm a guy.  Women looking for shopping tips on inexpensive work clothes should check out the Corporette blog or Vivia Chen's columns at the Careerist blog (among other suggestions) for their great counsel.

(jbl).

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