Building a professional wardrobe from the (almost) ground up

Hello manly men,

I am trying to build a wardrobe from almost scratch. I have recently been hired as an intern with a department of my state. I'll have this job for the next year and a half (unless I hate it or they hate me) until I graduate with my bachelor's in Civil Engineering. At that point my goal is to be offered a full-time position in the department as an engineer, or at least come out of it with a really good reference.

When I had my interview the dress at the office seemed to be business casual or maybe even casual business. However I think that they were impressed with the fact that I wore a suit and I think that if I want to be an engineer I should dress like some of the PEs I know. Also I think that it's easier to "dress down" than it is to "dress up" so I should acquire a nice wardrobe now.

I was wondering if you knowledgeable folks might help me with my "shopping list" and offer some advice? 

Basically, what I have right now is one black suit, two pair each dress socks in blue black and brown, one dress shirt and two or three good ties. For shoes I have a pair of shiny cheap cap-toe dress shoes and a pair of black Doc Martens shoes. My dad said he is going to send me two sports coats, that should fit me well, so I should have the jacket covered unless they are like super-1970's funky. 

I'm hoping to hit the town Sunday and flesh out my wardrobe. Here's what I'm shooting for:

- A wool pea coat/trench coat (it's Alaska and it'll be winter for another 3 months)

- A scarf

- Two or three cool ties

- Tie bar

- Three or four more dress shirts

- Three pairs of pants (black, blue and khaki)

Is there anything I'm missing? Any suggestions on where to get this stuff on a student budget? Should I pick up another pair of shoes? Am I on the right track or is this too dressy?

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No offense taken.  The later surplus coats are good, the Schotts are phenomenal.  Schott had Navy contracts to produce Peas before the specs changed.  The story goes that Schott decided to keep the coat the same even though the quality/material specs were loosened.  Of course other contractors were able to bid lower and that ended the military deal.

I really respect Schott for keeping their standards up.  If the OP was in San Diego or the Deep South it probably would not matter.  But in Alaska I'd go with the Schott, no question.

I've had my Schott classic pea for decades.  It's a coat that can be passed down through the generations.


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