The very first thing you should buy is a good set of bags. You can borrow a hammer, tape and knife. But borrowing another man’s bags is like borrowing his girlfriend.
You could spend an exorbitant amount of money on something sweet. The problem is that if you haven’t earned the right to wear something exorbitant then it could be seen as serious overkill. The flip side of this is buying a cheap one-piece setup. It’s the bag that screams “I’m the rookie, treat me like one”!
Start with a belt. It’s best to buy a 2 1/2″ belt made for this purpose, but in a pinch you can use anything. Build your rig piece by piece. Develop what is comfortable for you depending on the job you’re doing and the budget you’re working with.